Daily Reflection 05: Slight Progress

Today I am one step closer to completing my early topic map. I continued to draw relationships between the aspects of design that I am interested in addressing, a process that helped me also construct an early justification for my direction. It has been interesting to move back and forth between the broad scale of my DESMA application essay (roughly: “how can design methods facilitate wicked problem solving”), and the area where I hope to focus my research. I jotted down a quick paragraph to explain my thinking, which I will try to distill to a few key points:

1. Externalization is important for working through the models that we have of the world
2. Designers often use visualization to compare, critique, and refine models of the current point in time
3. Once they have defined a model of how things are, they can move on to how things “could be” in the future
4. Therefore, the ability for people to externalize their models is important if they hope to change their environment
5. If more people understand and have the ability to externalize their models, the design process may be applied to problems at the scale of a community

These points led to some important questions that may shape of my literature review:

1. How are designers educated about the methods they use to model model “how things are” before offering models of “how things could be”?
2. How do designers practice the methods they use to model “how things are” before offering a model of “how things could be”?
3. What are the outcomes of using methods to model problems of “how things are”
4. What are the activities and principles that make modeling a successful problem-solving technique?