From Idea to Design

Course reflection

In the course From Idea to Design, we had to develop a concept in one of three topics.  The concepts were Smart Mobility, Energy and Health, we chose energy and worked on developing a concept of getting energy from plants.

Learning reflection.

I found it hard to get started on the course since there were no clear goals or deadlines. This made for a rather slow start in comparison with the other two courses for which we had a given amount of work per week.
After our second group meeting, I had a better idea of what we were going to do, and who I was working with. For me, this made it easier to do my part of the work.
During the meetings I kept forgetting to take my dummy and write everything down, that is something that I should have done, and that I want to do in the future. I will help to remember what was discussed, and you can always look something up if you have to.

Looking back I think our group processes was rather slow. We did get stuff done, but personally, I would have preferred to make bolder and bigger steps. Both going forward, and backward. I think that would make the design process a lot more dynamic, and then the end result might be better.

This was for me, as it probably was for most of the students, the first time that I was part of a semi-complete design process. And my idea of how a design process works is very different now than it was when I started the course eight weeks ago. It is much harder and takes more effort than one would initially think. It’s just like Bart told in the lecture, as an outsider you think a design process is one straight line from start to finish. But as you experience and go through it yourself you really find out it’s not, and it shouldn’t be.

Group/Personal reflection.

As a group, we were off to a bit of a rough start. Only three of us came to the first meeting since we didn’t have a lot to talk about. The second meeting, however, was very good. We brainstormed about the three cases and planned ahead for the next meeting. We were all going to do research.
We all had even input during our meetings and we all did the work we were supposed to do. Sometimes during the meeting, we would lose focus and start talking about other stuff. This could make the meeting rather long and not very productive. We maybe should have appointed a chairman for every meeting to make sure it would all go a bit smoother. We did all get along very well.
During the third week, Oskar broke his collarbone, because of this he missed a few of the meetings. After the meetings, we would bring him up to speed on what we had discussed via WhatsApp.

Until the midterm video, our process was very smooth. We all had a clear idea of what we had to do and that made it easy to go along. After the video, however, I had the idea we got kind of stuck. We would talk about the same thing over and over again and not make a lot of progress. We also figured out that our initial idea was never going to be feasible and so we had to come up with something else. Because we were rather slow it took a while before we got to the point where we thought we were stuck. I would rather have taken a big step back, and maybe do something entirely else, in the field of energy. But most of the group wanted to stick with the idea and not make too many big changes.  

A one-page reflection as actually a little bit short, especially if you want to reflect on three different topics.  I think we were very lucky with our group, we could all get along very well, and we all did our part in the process. As for the course, I think it is a nice start as fresh Industrial Design students, and it should be a nice basis for our first project in the second semester.