Realizations, part 2

Some time ago I wrote this entry called Realizations where I presented some of my thoughts on my future, education and skills. I want to follow up on that a little bit now.


We have this project now, a transportation design project. The brief stated:

During this 4 week course students will have the opportunity to choose a specific area of transportation to develop. Students must have chosen a segment of transportation and a specific area or detail to work on and deliver a brief description.

Expected learning outcome
After completing the course students shall have gained some knowledge of the complex World of Human interaction with transportation design, at the same time evaluating the effects of form and function in an integral part of design development. Students will also demonstrate basic skills in communicating their ideas and concept, reflecting on their strengths and abilities in the design process.

As open as that. No particular requirements, go with whatever you want pretty much. And that’s where the problem starts for me. I chose snowmobiles, out of lack of ideas, and though that one was at least somewhat interesting. And it is in fact, I loved the research part, reading opinions, seeing history of the machines, how they looked 10-20 years ago, and what directions should the improvements take. But not that it comes to applying this research… I haven’t done a single thing on it for 1.5 weeks. I’ve been thinking about it, and planning to work, but it just never happened. Why? Because what’s the reason actually?


I realized that I’m very reason-guided person. Whatever I do in design or any sort of content has to have a clear reasoning and motivation. But in case of this project I just fail to see the reason to work on it, other than passing a course. And, honestly, that’s the same sort of experience I had though 4 years of my bachelor studies. Learn this and that to pass the course. IDI doesn’t grant me a degree and it’s a skill-improvement course for one’s own pleasure pretty much.

Over the recent projects and experiences I realized that there are things I enjoy a lot and I’m good at, for instance I really liked a recent short Arduino course, and I loved the previous project for the library. While organizing Global Game Jam I had a great time co-ordinating everything and now I’m volunteering to organize Music Tech Fest, and I spend large part of last weekend on helping with their website. Even though I abandoned web design for the most part, I still understand the code and I still enjoy it, and now having that experience of working on improvements for a large WordPress site I realized I’m pretty good at that.

Back to the project then. So basically, I’ve been doing quite a bit of meaningful and enjoyable things recently. I found out what I’m good at and what I like doing. And sketching is not among them. Nor is designing transportation or any part of it really. So why should I put my efforts in that? Of course expanding skills is good, but how much do I have to do that? I feel like my skills and interests are broad enough and I should finally start to narrow them down instead of expanding.

I’m basically the only person in my class who doesn’t like sketching. I don’t feel confident with it, but I also never really had any passion for drawing. I see how it’s useful, but it’s just not my thing. It’s not relaxing for me, it’s stressful and uncomfortable. Others like it, so for them having a meaningless project like that should be fine because they get to practice sketching.

Well, yes, I did pick a thing that doesn’t really require that much sketching, but still. It comes down to the reason. For the library project, we did it for the library, for Gardena, we did the project for the brand, and the previous couple projects were targeted at teaching us ways of working, just introduction. Now it’s no longer time for meaningless introductions like that in my opinion.


I don’t like how open and seemingly meaningless this project is. My inner need for reason for everything is violated. Over the last weeks/months I realized that there are things I’m good at and I enjoy a lot and have enough skills to work with (graphic design, web design and coding, organizing events). So in the end going to the gym everyday and relaxing feels more meaningful than working on a project that is “just for passing a course”.

Updates: IxD, IKSU, library lecture & projects

I was away from here for quite a long time. There were multiple times that I wanted to write something but there wasn’t enough time or I just didn’t have enough energy to go through all the typing business. I’m not necessarily back, just want to write about a couple of recent events. I’m a awfully busy person recently. But I manage to somehow deal with the school assignments, some extra events while being quite social with my amazing classmates.

Point one: IxD (Interaction design)

I applied for the Master’s program in Interaction Design at UID (where I currently study). I wanted to study that program ever since I found Umeå, but I wasn’t eligible due to lack of education in arts, and also lack of portfolio. I submitted my application in mid-January with a very weak unfinished portfolio, and to my surprise I went past the first stage, being selected from over 65 participants. In fact part of me hoped I wouldn’t get in so that I would have a chance to go for internships. But me and my friends went through the first stage, so now I’m hoping we will get in and have another great year with awesome classmates :D

For the Second stage we had to record a short video blog talking about co-design. I spent a couple of hours on Sunday filming it, and then most of Monday editing it, and when I was ready to send it in, I read the assignment again… and I had to re-shoot the entire thing. Thankfully it’s only 2-minutes long video. But first I made a video about my opinions about the method, not my experiences, as it was asked. So 2 hours before the deadline I filmed a new video, in 15 minutes this time, 1 hour editing and then uploaded it. I wonder if it’s good enough. Results will be announced probably around mid or late March. *fingers crossed*

Point two: IKSU

I finally got the IKSU card – the local sports center –  and I’m enjoying the full benefits it gives me. Despite I generally don’t like classes and workout in groups I decided to try out some here and I love them! It’s also easier to get in for classes than for a regular gym which is usually full, but at the same time I can never really push myself alone as much as during organized classes.

A couple of weeks ago we had a sports day at the university and the entrance was free. We booked beach volleyball and played it with classmates. Ever since we book it every week! Some of my best friend also decided to get a card so now we can also go to classes together. I never though I would experience going to the gym with my friends! Feels so cool! We went to 2 workouts this week, and I went to BodyCombat today as well. I love it. Plan for the future is BodyPump twice a week (for building some muscles) + BodyCombat twice a week (for cardio and cool moves) + ice skating + beach volleyball. Quite an ambitious plan, but I hope I’ll be able to maintain it for a bit. It feels great!

Point three: library lecture

Two days ago I had a lecture at the university library. The library encourages students for more participation and offers the possibility to share knowledge on various topics (and also pays quite well for that). I talked about the basics of web design. Even though I’m not updated that much on recent technologies the basics don’t really change, and there wasn’t time to get into details anyway.

The lecture went really well, and some people talked to me afterwards too. It was really cool!


Point four: projects

Recently we had a project for the university library, mostly about updating the look of their website but we expanded the area a bit more beyond the website. We also had a great group, where I worked with two of my best friends, one of which is also a web designer (but much more experienced than I am). It was great, learning more and discussing issues. And even though we’re friend we kept the groupwork really focused on the task without going on random private conversations. I think it was the best group experience so far, where entire group worked really well (I think I was the lazy one in this case).


Currently we have a transportation design project, and I decided to focus on snowmobiles and their controls. I always wanted to try riding one, but since I haven’t it’s a bit challenging. I emailed an organization which rents them if I could come and at least see them from up close. Still waiting for a reply. I got really excited about it. Seems like it’s a transportation type with a very particular community, and there’s a lot of passion and love for the machines there. I love those kind of communities. But then, trying to re-work a machine is gonna be challenging not to be viewed as a total poser who ignores their passion for snowmobiles.


All in all, I’m busy with a lot of things. And in the beginning we’re going on a trip to Brussels and Amsterdam with my friends-classmates. Best class ever! Finally!