PROCESS – Design course | Research into design topics | Prototyping | Reflections on webpage

I learned to take different perspectives and design with having complex systems in mind.

During the Master course Matter of Transformation, I reflected on three design topics; complex thinking, learning, and lenses. I looked at how these relate to the new and not yet clearly defined term Matter of Transformation. I see Matter of Transformation as the collective term for sources resulting in growth, and the practice of transforming towards the transformation economy. To initiate and facilitate my reflection on these topics, I made several low-fidelity designs or rather sketches. Throughout the process, I reflected on sketching as a means as well.

From this course, I learned to reflect more in-depth and ask more critical questions. I broadened my perspective and became aware of unconscious learning, ‘tacit knowledge’. This allowed me to reflect on my competences as a designer with a personalized profile. Additionally, I explored the boundaries of ideation and innovating by reflecting on three topics for design.

Firstly, I designed labels to illustrate the complexity of production, of in this case a potted plant and all it’s components. This can raise awareness on circularity. I found that dynamic models for circularity will be needed to make this transformation to the circular economy, because all around us are interrelated, complex systems. And I think complex thinking is the core of transformation, because when designing we should look at the context, users and stakeholders. For the second topic, learning, I explored my own competences as Industrial Designers at the TU/e have a very personalized curriculum. I became more aware of my skills that I had learned unconsiously, so by doing, such as reflecting, and through exploring combinations of skills, I explored potential jobs next to starting my own studio. As for lenses, I saw that this can be an important tool for innovation and setting goals, because it allows to focus in all this complexity and to look in different perspectives, such as different types of future (e.g. probably, preferable). I took futures and geography as two lenses and made a tool to set goals towards transformation. As a common factor, I found that sketching, or rather the characteristic of iteratively exploring topics and tackling problems to innovate, is a means for transformation.

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