Daily Reflection 03: Circling Back Around

Yesterday afternoon I sketched a very rough map of topics related to design methods. Coming in today I wanted to continue expanding my map — filling it out and refining it by adding all sorts of important details, descriptions, subtopics, relationships, etc. etc. etc. Throughout the day today I struggled to make the kind of in-depth synthesis I was hoping for. Of course, as I sit and reflect on my work this week I am struck by how easy it is to get wrapped up in excitement and forget the lessons I learned just the day before. After a few transitions from paper to computer to stickies to computer to big sheet of paper, I might simply finish today where I left off yesterday. Two important lessons I learned from today:

– enter a process or method with a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve, but build in moments to step back and reflect on your progress — and don’t be afraid to do it early

– visual notes worked for a short while to externalize my through process, were not sustainable

However, despite some of the struggles I faced today, I do feel closer to finding a focus. I keep coming back to education. Design methods and design methodology are inevitably going to be an important part of my research, but as I consider my experience and goals, I find myself continually drawn to design education. There is a lot of momentum behind design thinking as means for addressing some big problems in business and social welfare. If the current expansion of design beyond its walls continues than it is even more important to have: a) evidence for the value of design thinking, the design process, and design methodology, and b) and understanding of effective ways to educate people about design. In essence, I am wondering if my research should look to design pedagogy for principles and techniques for developing understanding of design (and the methods that are a part of it!)