Last week’s lecture on empathic design was more in depth than I had previously learned, and I was thoroughly enthralled by the process. The in depth process of empathic design really elevates the client experience and the overall design. I think that empathic design will become more of a trend and a standard, but I still think that it can be difficult to potentially see into the future to anticipate a client’s needs. Although you may be familiar with the client and their life, they themselves may not even know their future needs. Surprisingly, I think a moment such as my first dog passing away could hold both affective and cognitive constructs. Obviously I was dealing with the emotional trauma of losing someone close to you, but I was also understanding, in a way, the circle of life. It was the first time in my life I had come directly in contact with death, and that was something I had to wrap my head around as a nine year old. The oldest and most valuable item is my grandfather’s class ring. It’s valuable not just from momentary value but also sentimental value. When he got really sick he gave it to me to remember him by. I wore it on a chain around my neck for a year and only began to wear it on my hand after be passed away 6 weeks ago. My favorite method we discussed was designing for, with or by people. The design and client relationship is so integral to the overall function of a space, it only makes sense to include them as the focal point for the design process. Type of interaction is also an important method. So much of our design is based on functionality, form follows function, and in order for us to best design for a certain space, we must know what goes on in that space. Lastly, Input and output was an eye opening method for me. To work backwards from what you want the final product to be, to determine your input, was revolutionary.
Of the LOLA Shows, my favorite product, as in one that I would definitely put into future designs, was Elisabeth’s Interface biophilic carpet. I loved how iconic their designs were, and when you looked at their designs, you could draw a direct line from nature to their end product. Another favorite of mine was Mallory’s “Pocket Parks.” I have always loved the city, but I couldn’t understand how people could operate without any natural landscape near them, I thought it was ludicrous to have fences around parks, or to have to have designated areas where trees could grow because so many of the structures surrounding were man made, but that is simply my opinion. I think the idea for the pocket parks really fulfill our biophilic need to be a part of nature, and this is a great opportunity to potentially impact the lives of employees, parents, and neighborhoods in general. Lastly, Sarah’s LOLA Show about Sky Factory lights was very interesting. Having lived in Iowa for a time, it was great to see local businesses try to bring in elements of sustainability and biophilia. I would be interested to see exactly how affective the lights would be considering the people in these spaces are still looking at a screen and not real nature through glass. The MaxNeef matrix is a list of 9 human inherent fundamental needs, and how they can be maximized. What stood out to me the most about the matrix is the simplicity of it all. Life can be so messy, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, but Max-Neef’s ability to look at the human life and simplify it into just 9 things that we humanly need, is, in my opinion, remarkable. It’s interesting to see that having can lead to doing which in turn leads to being, who you are.