Blog Six – Unthinking Things

Monday, February 22, 2016

“Skinning future textiles through living material technologies and electronic multisensory experiences” was an interesting article. This article discussed research about using more materials in 3D printing. This is something that I never thought about. “The ultimate goal would be to substitute synthetic with biological materials.” I am excited to hear about future developments of this. I plan to spend most of my blog reflecting on Wednesday’s class.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

 How I felt when I first ate cake:  I thought that the video was very cute and funny. I do not remember the exact time that I ate cake but I remember times that I had different types of cake. For example, one time my mother made a strawberry cake. I thought I would like it, but it made me sick when I tried it. I was not excited about having it like I thought I would.

TED TALK Design is in the details:  I loved this Ted Talk. The first thing that was shared was a video from the patient’s point of view. The point was that all a patient does is just lay in the hospital bed staring at the walls and ceilings. Paul mentioned that little things could be changed to make a big difference such as putting a mirror at the end of bed, changing flooring, adding whiteboards, and more. These little things can be a big impact on patient’s lives.

I am in the hospital and doctor’s offices frequently. I understand how things like this can make a difference in someone’s life. I will be going to the hospital on Monday and I am planning to analyze my surroundings. As an apparel designer, I can think about the empathic design of apparel in hosptials. This video reminded me of a time that I was being an empathic designer without realizing it. My father had to be in the hospital for months after a heart operation. The hospital gowns that he had to wear were not comfortable and he could not wear his clothing because of the closures. I decided to design something for him to replace this. I made him a shirt with the closures in the correct places. He loved wearing this because it was more comfortable and it made him feel more normal. I think that even though I was not the patient, I was able to put myself in his shoes by seeing him in a hospital gown everyday.

Another subject he discussed was designing a storage system for kids. They researched by not only observing how kids interact, but also putting themselves into the kid’s shoes. When I think about putting myself in someone’s shoes, I usually think about what life is like for that person. They actually did what kids do by crawling around and acting like a child. This created the idea of making a storage system underneath a table. I think this design would not have been thought of if the designer didn’t put themselves in someone’s shoes like they did. I enjoy designing children’s clothing. I can put myself in a kid’s shoes by doing things such as putting on and off garments with the mobility of a child. I can also clear my mind by forgetting about the look of my clothing and think more about how comfortable it is. Kids are active and they need clothing that allows them to easily run, play, etc.

Paul mentioned “unthinking things” and starting the design process with a clean slate. This is something that I need to be more aware of in situations. Something that helps me when working on projects is to write down everything that is on my mind at the time and things that I have to do. By doing this, I am able to focus more one the project I am working on or class that I am attending. I think that this can be beneficial when thinking of sustainability solutions.

Designing with people website:  I thought this website was very interesting. I have multiple medical conditions that I can relate with these people. It is important to design with people that have different capabilities. The video states that “good intentions are not good enough, we need good information.” It is important to design with people not design for people. I have personal experiences with this topic. I have lupus and one of many effects it has on my body is Raynaud’s disease. I do not handle cold weather. My hands and feet are constantly cold. When I am exposed to cold weather, I loose color and feeling in different parts of my body. There are products that have been suggested for people with this disorder, but not specifically for it. The website is an example of different products that have been suggested but not approved by the FDA. There are many design ideas that I have for people with this condition and it is something that I can think about as a future career.


I also have a severe condition of Pes Cavus. It causes me to frequently loose balance and walk on the sides of my feet because my arch is too high. I discovered a company that designs shoes for this condition. The website is I can relate this to empathic design. Many people might buy shoes because they are trendy while it helps others keep their balance and walk with less pain. In connection with the Ted Talk video, little things can make a big difference. Something as simple as creating shoes that have different insoles has made a huge impact on my life.


Video Envisioning the Future Kitchen: The table in this video has built in scale and stovetops. Users can put ingredients on the table to know how to prepare them. The designers discussed that looking at what people do on kitchen tables helps know how to build it. This is another example about how it is important to put yourself into other people’s shoes.

About katherineannew

Apparel Design Student
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