My Sustainable Journey Blog 7

This week for class I read the article over visual product evaluations. I think it was an interesting article because it talks about people’s perceptions and emotional responses to products through visual evaluation and stimuli. The article states that the emotional relationship we feel towards our products is related to symbolism. Meaning that our material possessions are an expression of ourselves they say who we are to express our personality, social standing, and wealth. I feel as though that directly relates to what we talked about in class on Tuesday when we gave an example of our oldest/ most valuable things. My most valuable thing is a quilt that one of my mom’s friends made her when she was pregnant with my older brother. I eventually stole the blanket from my bother because one it was his and I wanted to be just like him, and two because it was comforting to have something that had a lot of love and meaning built into it.

I enjoyed hearing about what everyone has as their oldest/ most valuable things. I feel like you can really see into that person’s life by just knowing one simple thing they value. In most cases, it was something passed down or given to them by a grandparent or parent so you can tell that they value their family. My quilt still holds a lot of value in it however, my sweet puppy decided she wanted to use it as a chew toy and rip it up. While it still holds the same value, I am now going to put it away and keep it safe from my little rascal.

In class on Tuesday we also lectured over market research and empathic design. I feel like empathic design is really important to design something correctly for someone. When something is designed using empathic design it can fit the needs the user has perfectly. With market research, I feel as though they just try to have a blanket covering that will fit some needs but not all. Empathic design has five steps, observation, capturing data, reflection and analysis, brainstorming for solutions, and developing prototypes. In my studio class, right now we are using empathic design to design a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly or PACE. It is a five day a week place where caretakers can take their loved ones to spend the day filled with activities, meals, and medical attention that they need. We went to observe a PACE program to see what they do there, we then captured data by experiencing the struggles they may have by using the simulation suite. My group and I reflected on our findings and brainstormed for solutions for our design of the PACE program and we are now developing prototypes for our finished product.

Finally, on Thursday we had our design probes packed activity. I was a little concerned about having to come up with a design for someone based on only knowing about 42 hours of their life, but surprisingly it wasn’t that hard. Our person lives a busy life at home with a remolding project going on but really enjoys spending her time at home and not so much in class. We designed her a chair that would have the comforts of home but to be placed in the classroom. It would have an antique feel because she likes antiques and more comfortable than traditional classroom seats would have a foot rest and cushions. Overall I think we came up with a pretty good design for our person considering we didn’t know much about them!

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