Interesting time to reflect at the end of a productive day. I made a fair number of things, and perhaps made some forward progress, but just before starting this reflection I realize that I have finally made it to a point that I already knew existed. I have written a little bit before about the importance in maintaining perspective during my research process. For the most part, I do feel the work I have put in so far has been valuable. However, as I set down my pencil to review the third diagram I completed today, I noticed that my ideas look and feel like a lot of material I have already read. This may not necessarily be a bad thing.
I am naturally influenced by what I follow and read. I think the important lesson here is that I now have the opportunity to sit down and compare my direction to the work of others. I have done a pretty successful job of putting my initial notions of the research project down on paper, in visual form. My ideas are out there staring me in the face. Now is the time to take a hard look at them, refine them, and put them up against the work of other people. Am I covering ground already well traveled? If so, is there anything new I can bring to the table? I would say that it is a quite premature to actually answer these questions. However, I am beginning to see some dust off on the horizon. Once I catch up (by reading, mapping, critiquing, reflecting, and refining my ideas) to other people who have done work on design methods and social innovation, I can take a more detailed look at how I stack up. Knowing that it may be awhile before I get there, I guess I will just have to keep putting my ideas down on paper to understand just how much progress I am making.