Design Principles and Practice, Carnegie Mellon University, Fall 2019
Created With
Pen, watercolor
For our final project in the Design Principles and Practice course, our professor gave us an open-ended prompt to reflect on how our understanding of design had changed over the course of the semester. 
My classmates and I felt we had grown exponentially through each other's perspectives and feedback, and we recognized design as inherently collaborative. We wanted to work as a team to reflect this understanding. 
Ten of us came together to design a collective response that would both showcase our individual strengths and the ways in which we engage with one another. We structured our responses as a Prezi presentation, addressing four themes: what I thought design waswhat I've learned, where my practice is going, and how I engage.
One thing I've learned is that I prefer hand-drawn mediums for reflection. To that end, I chose to paint and scan 5"x8" watercolor illustrations for my slides. I also passed around the original works. Below are a selection of the slides I presented, with brief explanations.

"What I Thought Design Was"
I assumed that I'd go to design school and learn definitive steps designers use to get things right every time. I still like the metaphor of design as a recipe, but not for the same reasons: just like in cooking, cultural context, nuances of individual projects and perspectives, and personal preferences all play a role in the result. They may temporarily crystallize into a single documented way of doing things, but are bound to proliferate again.

"What I've Learned"
I made it a practice to privately reflect through writing on patterns emerging in my thought processes and practice. This semester, I aim to bring this practice to Medium posts showcasing thoughts on my process as they emerge, as well as project and process documentation.

"What I've Learned"
There is room for ongoing improvement and continual reorientation not only in the solutions we design, but also in ourselves. It's important to plan for long-term trajectory, but also to remain open to unexpected change and growth.

"What I've Learned"
The fuzzy front end can be a daunting place, but I've gained comfort in ambiguity and an increased trust that through diligent, iterative, optimistic work, elegant solutions eventually emerge.

"Where My Practice Is Going"
I love teamwork and am eager to work on more team projects within a design context to hone the roles where I can thrive and contribute most.

"How I Engage"
Our studio has a sort of open-office concept, so this illustration was inspired by the conversations I've had peering over the dividers between our desks. I love providing outside perspective on others' creative challenges or a listening ear when a friend gets stuck.

"How I Engage"
We studied human factors in Design Principles and Practice, so I wanted to take the physical components of these diagrams and imbue them with my approach to conversation. Trust and vulnerability are a huge part of collaboration and critique, for me and for our cohort as a whole. 
"How I Engage"
It's important to openly celebrate the people around me. I take time to communicate the qualities and achievements I admire in my friends, teammates, and acquaintances.

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