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”.