Today I had my second tutorial of the module, which was with Theo Humphries. I talked through my process with Theo, telling him about my weaponry idea and how I decided against it and ended up moving on to the military idea and then the exoskeleton design. Unfortunately, I could tell from the start that Theo wasn’t totally on board with my idea, or at least he didn’t feel it was a solution to the surprise me brief. Theo reiterated to me that the brief was to create surprise by doing something that a product designer wouldn’t normally do. I agree with Theo that my exoskeleton design isn’t a particularly surprising product design creation, though I did explain to him how I felt about the module. I explained how the module wasn’t really what I had in mind and that it wasn’t really the module I would have chosen, had I known what it was about. I work far better with a structure and a solvable brief, which I can apply my product design skills and creativity to create a tangible solution, whereas this brief is so open ended that I find it difficult to conceive a solution.
Theo and I discussed where my project has started again, with the weaponry Idea, the ethics and the paradigms. Theo seemed to think that I should have perhaps continued with the weaponry idea and the challenging of ethics and paradigms, however I explained to him that I didn’t really think there was a huge potential for a legitimately creative solution down the weapons path. I do however still think there is a bit of potential in challenging the ethics of design, so I think I will continue to think about this.
I think that Theo could appreciate my point after this discussion, especially after I explained to him that I feel there has to be a problem to solve to create a worthwhile design. Theo tried to pry at my point, but eventually we came to a conclusion that I am actually unable to design without a problem in place. Theo then formulated a plan which I feel could be a good starting point – to identify a problem that no one else has ever seen. He told me I should spend 95% of my time trying to find this problem and then 5% actually solving it.
With my new plan in place, I must admit, I am not really sure what to do now. Finding a problem no one has ever seen before does sound like an impossible feat, however it is a definitive direction, which will be at least a bit better than my previous standpoint of being totally unsure…
So now I will start searching for this problem, I imagine that I will not find such a unique problem that no one has ever thought of it before, however I think if I link my two ideas together and think of a problem that no one has approached due to the ethical implications involved, then this could produce an interesting project!