As a young student I have travelled many roads far and wide. These roads all converged into this very moment. A moment of time, a moment of being, a moment ‘to be’ with these words. My understanding of the design thinking process will be an interpretation developed through perceptions and beliefs collated through my life experiences. My experience will of course differ to that of another. This is the brilliance of subjectivity with which the design industry is based upon. Individuals have a unique ability to interpret situations though their life experiences. What one finds enjoyable, another may find discomfort. This vast spectrum of satisfaction ultimately broadens the design umbrella and creates varying design disciplines. We find ourselves collaborating with these fields to reach broader markets and create that ever-elusive ‘successful’ product. It’s in my very next breath that I question, what is a successful design? Is there such a things as a good and bad? And if so, at whose discretion? Design suggests ontology1. No longer is design about objects or aesthetics, but an intrinsic ability to think new ways of communicating and relating in the world. If we create it, we understand it. This interaction is sensitive for every one of us. As feeling humans we are able to bring emotional responses to experience. This itself I consider a privilege. Frank O’Hara’s 1966, “Having a coke with you”, reinforces privileged experiences. It removes the focus from the object and moves toward the relationship. One of the most notable cultural movements of today is the ‘Coffee experience’. Interesting to note, that in 1966, the choice of drink was a coke and not coffee. Coffee was probably nowhere near as revolutionised or affordable in the daily routine of the average person or family. If you think of the war time era, food was rationded and designs were appropriated for necessary living. People survived pressures with what the essential necessities. Today Babychinos and doggychinos? Necessity? I think not. Coffee has become the ‘thing’ to do, place ‘to be’, people to see and a desirable way of living. In this particular experience, we will find a long linage of networks that have worked together in order for that person to consume their double shot, extra hot, light soy cappuccino. To the mug, the cutlery, the menu, the strainer, the sugar satchels, the coffee machine, the table and the chair have all been well designed to create the environment to enjoy the perfectly crafted cup of coffee. Heidegger Dasein theory of totalities states an office with places for the computers, the photocopier, and so on is a place that are defined by the way in which they make these entities available in the right sort of way for skilled activity2.
I find Heidegger’s quote interesting because when foreign ’entities’ such as laptops are brought into the café, the function of the space shifts from play to work. I have many times taken my laptop into various cafes and other locations (pubs) but found, its only now that I feel a sense of ‘coolness’ when I flick open the lid and a half eaten Apple appears. A person could assume I am a designer based on the fact I am working on a Mac. Same goes for blackberries, he’s corporate. There is something about working in cafés, you feel you are being watched. Like being on display you instantly change your demeanor. Kevin Su made an interesting point, when eating at home your manner in which you eat is entirely different to the that of a Michelin stared restaurant. Surry Hills Library is also another one to note.
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players3.
When you think about it, everything has been designed. From the moment you wake, you are designing or using something designed. There is irony when I think about how I used to say ‘I hate the fashion industry’. Seemed stuffy and pretentious. But in the simple act of putting on…