Design is simple, purposeful, and familiar work that motivates and inspires consumers to feel at ease, feel connected, and feel a strong sense of necessity. My goal as a designer is to exhibit how despite the fact that we live in the midst of a world that boasts its increased levels of complexity, the world can once again be made simple. I love technology, and commend the ways in which our society has advanced, but I still believe that at our core, human beings desire minimalistic lifestyles, and I want to cater to that sense through my design. 

My four #whativegot submissions all share a similar theme, and are an ode to my drive as a designer. I chose to exhibit Moleskine notebooks, wooden chopsticks, a black iPhone wallet/phone case, and Instagram. Moleskine notebooks and the iPhone wallet case appeal more to the aesthetic experience–visually, these products appeal to the senses, are clean, and embody the spirit of minimalism. These products are desirable for their simplistic purpose and how that lends to the consumer being able to be as creative and resourceful as their desire to be with it, enhancing the products’ desirability factor. 

The wooden chopsticks definitely inspire a consumer to stir up meaning through memories and associations. Wooden chopsticks are a cultural necessity in Asian cultures, as well as in America (where Chinese food/takeout is ubiquitous). We are attached to products like the chopstick, as they represent something so familiar and comfortable (comfort food). These associations of meaning enhance the sense of desirability and pleasure for consumers. Finally, my last #whativegot submission is Instagram, which embodies all three experiences discussed within the framework. The social media app is aesthetically pleasing–with its simple interface and non-flashy aesthetics, the app appeals to the senses of an iPhone user that spends too much time staring at their screen per day. It The app also allows for experiences of meaning and emotion by allowing users to interact with their circles of friends. We are able to see photos from around the world, allowing us to ascribe meaning to certain images, and feel disgust, lust, desire, and the like (of emotions) as a reaction to Instagram posts. 

Challenge 0: For challenge 0, I compiled a collage (that represents the sea) of photos that i had taken and that each represent “home.” I grew up by the beach, so I feel at home whenever I’m by the water, so it was fitting that i used my many images of “home” to capture the essence of my true home. This challenge speaks directly to emotional experience–the collage itself may not emit emotion, but the interpretation of the product causes emotion. I used themes of home and travel, both of which are shared with a general public, is relatable and spurs a range of emotions amongst the population. 

Challenge 1/2: For this challenge, I incorporated extra features to a carry-on luggage bag-turned-scooter. Addressing the product itself, I appealed more to the experience of meaning, capitalizing on the consumer’s capacity to ascribe the experience of discomfort and frustration with airports. By amping up the fun and functionality of the product by adding an internal battery charger and the option of personalizing the bag color, I appealed to the aesthetic experience as well as emotion (we all hate when our phone runs out of battery, and we definitely don’t want that to happen whilst traveling). 

Challenge 1: For challenge 1, my partner and I created a thrilling room escape scenario called “Fallen,” designed for groups of 2. We were able to create a desirable product by setting the location of Fallen in Boston, a city defined by academia and scholarly achievement. The location allows for Bostonians to embrace their dual desires and embark on the challenge. Fallen appeals to the aesthetic experience–different stages of the challenge take place in pitch dark rooms, rooms that close in, and other spaces that appeal to our sensory modalities. Moreover, we play up emotions of fear and exhilaration. Through the introduction stage of Fallen, where we have actors whisk away the players and create a setting much like those portrayed in countless crime scene television shows, we focus on desirability by providing the opportunity to experience meaning through memory retrieval and associations.

Challenge 2: For this challenge, my partner and I created a mixed-race situational comedy about a 3-generation household. The mother (Korean-American), has a strained relationship with her mother (Korean, immigrant) and father (Korean, immigrant) as well as her daughter (half-Korean, half-American). For desirability, we focused on points of relatability and relevance. This show includes characters of 3 different generational cohorts, allowing for any consumer to identify with a character. Moreover, this kind of mixed-race social commentary is incredibly relevant in our increasingly interconnected society. Many of the jokes will also be culturally relevant to the time it is being filmed/aired, thus allowing for consumers to ascribe meaning to their experience. The daughter is a “halfie,” and struggles with issues of identity, introducing herself as “hispanic” when asked “what are you?” These kinds of moments are so poignant and so relatable, making our show desirable and marketable.