Impact and Influence Workshop

The impact and influence workshop helped us gain valuable insights as we move forward in defining our final major project. The disruptive approach to the workshop helped in defying pre conceived notions and alluded aspects of our project that we might have not given importance to before this workshop.

The ‘priority assessment chart’ helped in mapping my insight decisions in order to visually and cognitively register where I stand in terms of making these approaches/methodologies a reality. Two out of the three insights I gained were in the aspirational sector; this reiterated the face that I need to narrow down my topic which is primarily knowledge based to a more practice based outcome.

The exercise helped me question my assumptions and ensure that the terminologies and concepts that I might be using in my research question are not too subjective and biased. The particular exercise where we listed down all the things that go into making a single object that we need to complete our thesis project was eye opening as I realized the magnitude of the project I might be undertaking; and as a result occupying a certain stance as a designers and researcher. By the end of the day I had rephrased the word ‘technology’ in my research question to ‘digital applications.’ The step by step approach made the task of filtering easier as a constant external opinion allowed me to tackle bias in my approach to the project.

Initial project overview:

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An empathy manual for technology driven products and applications dealing with human problems.

Overview after workshop:

IMG_20180621_130656673

An empathy manual for digital application companies that cater to social and psychological well being for millennials.

The practice of thinking, writing, exchanging and reviewing are all great exercises when done individually; and more so when done one after the other. The workshop fuelled my thought process by disrupting, dissecting and discarding broader themes around my final major project thesis.

 

 

 

 

The Myth of Global Design History

The concept of ‘glocal’ has been pervading through media, the food we eat, the shows we watch, our education system and so on. As an Indian living in a bustling metropolitan city like Bangalore I had the choice of eating in a Japanese/ Vietnamese / Italian restaurant, have my fill of British/American television shows on Netflix and closely engage with the United States’ Presidential election. As a designer, the soft wares I used for my work, the people I whose work I drew inspiration from on Instagram were not restricted to my country or my ethnic background. Even before I was physically in a different continent I felt like I was a global citizen – simply because of the exposure I was privileged to have in my lifetime, through the rise of technology and the phenomenon of globalization.

In the article ‘what is global history now?’ the author Jeremy Adelman talks about the concept of Westerners and Resterners. His point of view is that the progress or decline of the West is closely linked to the economic/political/social changes happening in the rest of the world. This is interesting as we see the West as almost a yardstick for the rest of the ‘Rest’. Who has created this subtle yet poignant yardstick that pervades most of our decisions, lifestyle choices today?

This era of globalization has also ushered in a new but confusing question of the changing face of individual identity and how the labels we often impose on people based on their race, nation state might be misconstrued. The country I come from, definitely helps someone gauge and demographically understand my physical appearance but does it really define me? The cross cultural identities that are now present around the world represent the current state of moving away from rigid boxed cultural narratives. As easily we accept technological advances originating in the ‘West’ we are still generations behind on accepting and exploring the complexities of cultural histories and identities. Hi tech products developed in a software company in the West might be the brainchild of an émigré designer -the novelty of a new innovation could be rooted in the cultural view point of an individual. I am not completely opposed to the idea of a singular global design history. However, I feel like it must be layered, with metaphorical chapters that show how with design, the ideas, expression, values of people have evolved; try to build a framework for a complex cultural design history to prevent the rise of monoculture.

Citations:

https://aeon.co/essays/is-global-history-still-possible-or-has-it-had-its-moment

Fry, T., 1989. A Geography of Power: Design History and Marginality. Design Issues,

6(1), pp.15–30.