Week 2

Saturday marked the completion of our first week of classes. It has been a whirlwind of navigating new experiences, processing new knowledge, and honing time management skills.

On Monday, we received our first assignment for IDSE 101/202 which entailed identifying a philanthropically minded business, pitching them to obtain access to their organization to interview 15+ employees over 30 hours, and pay us $1000 for our design research (research only, no solutions). Upon hearing the assignment was to be presented in 48 hours, I decided to not stick in my initial state of terror and to instead trust the process and take it one step at a time. It was somewhat comforting to hear a classmate voice that they didn’t really hear the content of the lecture once the $1000 clause.

Aaron and Cristina and I, gathered as a team in the morning to share companies we had identified to approach and brainstormed some more as a group. There was an additional level of challenge because Cristina and I moved to Austin a day before orientation and a day after orientation so did not have a knowledge bank of local organizations; Google, along with some creative search titles, was key to identifying business options. I think what made this assignment particularly difficult was that at every point, it seemed like we were working on the most challenging task but the next one seemed larger once we arrived at it. It was somewhat akin to trekking up to a plateau, but once you near the top you see there is another steeper portion ahead, and again when you believe you are nearing the top you see yet another steeper section ahead. I’m not quite sure how this analogy will continue into this week; one of our team members joined a different project and concurrently our verbal contract with REI didn’t go further. I am assuming this next phase is going to feel like trekking across a field of skree searching for the angle of repose and for that I am thankful and excited for the adventure. Sometimes we learn by falling and to me there are few feelings better than getting up and going forward with new perspective.

This week also marked the start of IDSE 101: Design and Society, our theory class,  and it was a nice balance to engage in active reading and commentary in contrast to identifying action items and finding solutions. I really enjoyed seeing the overlaps with architectural design history and theory in the writings. I found identifying the parallel design movements occurring in the architectural world at the time of the readings publication highly correlated.

We finished the week sketching in IDSE 103, our studio foundation class. Pat had great exercises for us to do and made our class really fun. Although I have taken a number of drawing classes, I was frustrated and in complete agreement that sketching is a skill that needs to be continually practiced. Some time ago, I read a study about success which focused on people who were innately good at something as opposed to people who struggled with the same topic. The conclusion was that the people who lacked the innate ability needed to dedicate more time to reach the same goal but in the mean time they gained an exemplary   expertise in the subject. And so I will sketch, and I will sketch…

Looking forward to the adventures to come next week!