Thinking Big

It was good to hear Dougie Kinnear talk about his experience as a Jewellery and Metalwork Design Student on Friday at The Change By Design Lectures.  He spoke about being blinkered in his approach to the lectures and couldn’t see the relevance of them to his own discipline of Jewellery until it was a bit too late! He was too focussed on his pursuit of Jewellery Design alone and didn’t read the books i.e The Tipping Point which were recommended or use the Mind Map book at all. It was only when it came to proposing his 4th year dissertation that he saw the point of the Change By Design Lectures and made use of the books that had been recommended.  Dougie learned the hard way and had a lot to catch up on in his 4th year which made it a difficult journey for him.  As a mature student myself I can relate to Dougie feeling too focussed on the Jewellery Design/ Making. I chose Jewellery Design as I wanted to be involved in making and that is what I love but I know that at the moment I have to keep an open mind and be open to everything. Dougie’s advice which I aim to do – “Don’t be a horse be a sponge”.

I enjoyed the lecture “Think Big” by Mike Press. It was very interesting, inspiring and informative.  He looked back at famous designers such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who focussed on the user experience and designed his railway empire on providing his passengers with “A Feeling” or “An Emotional Experience”. William Morris, believed that design could make the world a better place and Josiah Wedgwood, all because he wanted to make a cup and saucer, basically invented the factory and mass production, market research and built houses for his factory workers as he had a social responsibility for his workers! Just amazing men who were big thinkers, hugely ambitious and had vision.

More recently another amazing man who had vision was Steve Jobs  founder or Apple. I found his video talk at the lecture inspirational and the quote below summarises what I believe in and why I have changed my career more than once and I am now at DJCAD.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

I also have a great belief in what Jobs also said in that:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

The lecture was packed with masses of information and other points I think are important for me to remember and learn from are:

  •  “put the ing in the thing” useful, i.e. “don’t just design a chair to sit on, design a seating experience”. I find myself trying to convince my partner of this when I book an expensive restaurant for example – ” It’s not just the food we’re paying for it’s the eating experience” but he’s usually convinced sooner or later! I have to say that I am into the whole consumer culture thing and find it fascinating.
  • Mike asked the question “How do we design commitment?”  Mike gave the example of buying a new car and how and when does the customer decide to commit to buy that particular car in preference to another car? Car manufacturers spend millions of pounds working out the answer to that question. Design for commitment is worth thinking about more.
  • Push the boundaries of design, if you don’t ask you don’t get! Dare to ask questions that no one else will.
  • Learn to be a designer who makes a difference, design for societies problems that are happening now.
  • Lastly, think if you are a realitarian designer or a possibilitarian designer.

The lectures have given me a lot to think about and writing about them makes me think about everything in more depth and that can only be a good thing can’t it?



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