Reflecting back on my work from the semester thus far and thinking more critically about how my perception of design has shifted over the previous weeks, I have come to the conclusion that not only has by personal design aesthetic shifted dramatically since the start of this course, but more so, that the role I believe design plays in everyday life has changed as well. First thinking about my person sense of design, I came into this course with the ability to look at products and individually identified if I liked them or not but struggled when it came to defining what precisely I actually found most desirable. Although I often use to use terms such as “modern,” “sleek,” and “clean” to define the products I enjoyed using the most, these terms often just provided a superficial rational as to why I enjoyed the products I did. Looking back, especially at my “What I’ve Got” posts, I now realize that a commonality of the products I like the most is that they all fulfill a very specific and niche job, better than the competition and often through a more simplistic approach. None of products I have chosen to write about in my “What I’ve Got” approach have ever been products which I think revolutionize the human experience, but rather are products which improve very small day to day activities. Whether it be a pencil which makes taking notes more enjoyable or a jacket which allows me the luxury of not having to lug around a big coat, I really enjoy products designed to significantly improve small day to day occurrences. Following this pattern, I believe the reason I do not like the Swell bottle is that the company claims to provide the service of improving day to day life to its customers, but in reality, I think the bottle does little if anything to actual make this a reality.
Thinking about how I see design in my everyday life, I entered into this course with the perception that design could only be seen in the creation of tangible products like those which I have highlighted in my “What I’ve Got” postings. What the sampling challenging and furniture design challenge made clear to me however is that design really encompasses every aspect of the human experience. In other words, while design is absolutely present in tangible objects, it is just as present in everyday life experiences from things like the way I walk around campus to the emotions I experience when I eat at a restaurant.
Looking back at my work in group design challenges, I think the designs created in the furniture project and the shoe project highlight my desire to improve small day to day events. The multi-use desk created by our team was not mean to reinvent what it meant to work at home, but instead was simply attempting to make the process of working from home more enjoyable. Likewise, the shoe I designed was not created with the intention of redefining men’s wear but instead was meant to improve the commute process many men endure by eliminating the number of shoes a man must own.
For my representative photograph, I decided to capture a page of my Moleskin Planner. Over the years I have used countless numbers of notebooks and planner, many of which have claimed to guarantee organization. What I love so much about Moleskin is that they don’t make any claims and they don’t tell you how to use their product. For the user, the notebook is intuitive and I have found every elect of the design, from the soft back cover, to the fabric bookmark and the elastic band, all make the experience of maintaining a notebook that much better.