I still remember at the beginning of this school year, I was really excited about the core design courses. I have dreamed to be a design student since middle school. I love to design and make something new. But as an international student from China, I have barely gone through real design activities. In Chinese schools, students are supposed to memorize what teachers teach. I learned how to be a hard worker, but I lack of training of creativity and I did not really have chance to work with others. So no matter creative process or teamwork, both of them are basically brand new things to me. Majoring in design simply meant I could do what I love to do every day. But through doing projects, reading books and working with other students in the core design courses, I learned a lot from those new experiences. I realized that to only have passion is not far enough. I need more skills than I thought for being a design student. For me, I not only need to improve my ability as an individual, such as creativity skill, but also how to work in team, such as how to cooperate well with others. If someone wants to be a good designer, creativity is generally understood to be an important part of his or her qualities. Just creating something is easy, but creative something good is hard. However, it is possible to develop one’s ability to think intuitively and creatively. I still remember last semester in Design 102 class, I always had a ‘headache period’ at the beginning of every project, because it took me so much time to come up with a quality idea and make it better. Being creative does not sound that hard, but why did the ‘headache period’ happened to me? During the Design 102 class, my professor answered my query. The reason why is because I do not have enough resources in my ‘brain library’. Creativity not only comes from interests, but also, and more important, it is comes from accumulation. He showed us his sketch books. Those sketch books were filled with his drawings and pictures from books or magazines. Some of them look weird or childish, but those are the valuable sources which would influence him to come across future ideas. He also suggested that we look at other people’s works, to keep a journal, and to be inquisitive. The more things I looked at or drew, the more the collection in my ‘brain library’ grew. When I need to come up with ideas, I just think through all those resources in my head and apply them into my design. As a freshman, however, my experiences are not sufficiently varied. There still have tons of books and artworks waiting for me to look at and put into my collection. So for coming up with better ideas and getting better design work done, the thing I need to do in the future is to keep my interests, and use that passion to read more and collect more. Hence my creativity skill will become better and better.
In addition, good design usually comes from a group of people rather than one. The passageway project in Design 102 class helped me realize the importance of teamwork. Teamwork, however, does not simply mean few people working together for a common goal. To work well and have high efficiency in a team, it requires more skills for every team member than I thought. It not only needs a team leader to lead the team in a right way, but also every member’s initiative and responsibility. Looking back at my behavior during the passageway project, I noticed that I could be a better leader and team member if I avoid making the same mistakes again in the future work. Because my individual models stood out from the others, my instructor chose me as the leader in my team. I thought the leader should take the leading role and other person in my team should listen to me, so I spent most of our time on