Seeing Through New Lenses

Every morning the first thing I do after I wake up, after turning off my annoying alarm that is, is putting on my glasses. It’s been ingrained in my head since I was a little girl and my parents had to sternly remind me to wear my glasses. Through the years my prescription and also my frames have changed, the small purple, pink, and blue frames I used to own as a kid long gone. Those were probably my favorite glasses I’ve ever owned. The way I see the world hasn’t changed much, however after learning about design probes I felt like that I’d put on reading glasses over my regular glasses as if my vision was blurring and changing. I hadn’t thought about designing products based on seeing through someone else’s lenses while still seeing what you yourself see. I was truly amazed in class to see that people had guessed personalities based off of students pictures and created products that people would actually be interested in buying. Design probes, though time consuming, really are an amazing idea and they clearly give great information that would not otherwise be accessible. I love seeing all the creative ways that make designing things more specific to certain people, though I must admit I’m not sure it would be successful in the real world. I think seeing the design process in a different light via the design probes is vital for sustainable design world.

I have collected countless diaries and journals but I haven’t ever managed to even fill up one completely. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say but more along the lines of forgetting to put the words down on paper. Mattelmaki discussed how diaries are useful and that there are different kinds and I know now that I prefer ones with assigned pictures and tasks. The diaries that give prompts are easier to write in whereas the design probe that we did for class was more difficult for me because it was so broad. The thing that I really loved and think is beneficial about Mattelmaki’s article is that one example of a design probe included doing a collage. I have done collages since I was small and I still love them and I believe that if we had done one in our design probe it would have given us even more helpful information. I can definitely see that the article about design probes is innovative and valuable but it doesn’t seem relatable to sustainability, at least, not in the traditional sense.

The first LOLA show was full of fun ideas that I hadn’t heard much about, for example the custom shoe website aiming to make high quality personalized shoes in order to be more sustainable and give more meaning to shoes. The tiny houses presentation was something I had in fact heard about and I happen to follow someone on tumblr who posts pictures of tiny houses all the time. It’s fascinating to see just how cute the houses look in addition to being functional and affordable. What I did not appreciate about the LOLA show was the way that seats were organized; I was straining my neck the whole class period because I was facing away from the presenters. It would have been a better idea had the presenters been talking or taking questions the directions we were seated but because they weren’t it was frustrating.

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