My goal as a designer is to create and facilitate both experiences and products that evoke and enhance one’s “joie de vivre”, a French proverb that refers to the enjoyment of life; regardless of whether this enjoyment be classified as aesthetic, functional, emotional, or sensorial.
Additionally, I believe that design should be leveraged as a medium for dreams and ideas to become a reality. Designs should be a journey in and of themselves by stimulating senses and emotions that drive audiences to either relive a familiar, pleasant experience or to experiment a completely new sensation that transports them to new destinations, new people, and new sentiments.
On a more personal level, I can relate to this view on what design should accomplish as a result of my motives for joining ES22. Design and design processes are a framework for analyzing and rethinking what has already been done, in order to come up with more innovative ways of doing them. This form of thinking has empowered me to consistently test myself and my capacities, which has opened a wide array of opportunities to me—even though I come from the small island of Puerto Rico. I therefore wholeheartedly adopt this vision of design as a journey that makes ideas and dreams into realities, in a way that boosts one’s enjoyment of life. In effect, the image representing my goals as a designer depicts me with many places over my head (ranging from Memorial Hall in Harvard, to Pearl Tower in Shanghai, and the Statue of Liberty in New York City). Each of these places has a very special meaning to me, in the sense that I was able to travel and experience these places out of a dream or an idea that through hard work I was able to achieve successfully. Hence, this image is sort of a trajectory of where I have been and what I have done, as well as where I want to be in the future. Moving forward, a greater knowledge of design will continue to take me to new places and allow me to reach new heights.
The gradient coloring of the leaves in Challenge 0 was desirable, to the extent which it presented itself as ephemeral. The colors essentially hinted at the fact that the color of the leaves, similar to the seasons, do not last. Hence, it is desirable to enjoy them as long as you can, because once they are gone, you cannot regain or relive them in the same way you once did.
For this SkyMall challenge, I chose a floating gondolier that is typically placed in pools. In order to make this gondolier more desirable, I decided to enhance the product so that it not only evoked the senses, but so it could also create meaning amongst consumers. Hence, I revamped the product for it to include a projector, which can show images reflected over the pool while the gondolier itself sang his beautiful song. I think the figure of a gondolier is romantic in and of itself, and I think many people would potentially think of a gondolier as a memory (perhaps from a vacation to Venice) when in their homes. Hence, more than having just the gondolier be singing. I added the projector to make the product more desirable, because this gave the gondolier the whole package of allowing consumers to relive their old memories—whether it be a trip to Venice or not. The projector transports consumers to a place they would like to be when they are relaxing by the pool while the singing of the gondolier soothes and calms customers.
In this challenge, we were able to create a desirable experience by combining a familiar topic(Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), a story that is recognizable to most, with Ferran Adria—a very exclusive and alluring chef. This combination works well, because anyone can relate to and remember the imagination and wonder of Willy Wonka. Meanwhile, most do not know much of what Ferran Adria’s food or restaurant are actually like. Hence, this combination is desirable because it attaches the wonder and imagination of Willy Wonka to the curiosity of Ferran Adria, a somewhat mysterious and secretive figure.
The desirable features of my Challenge 2 project were the main character of Zero F. Rose Falkman, who engages the dual desires of viewers. While people may fear her and her self-confidence, they also want to be her. She is attractive, witty, clever, kniving, and caring (with her family). A combination that allows her to ensnare her enemies and be loved by her family at the same time.