I don’t know if Shaowen, Jeff, and Erik combined forces this week or if the underlying ties and patterns surrounding the three classes I’m currently partaking in have started to coalesce and become less murky, but something clicked into place about how the readings in this class relate back to design. This might turn into some philosophical rambling so I apologize in advance.

In the Borgmann reading for Erik’s class on Tuesday the theme of the paper was commodification of experiences, and the moral implications of that. In a nutshell, things that bring us closer to reality/people/community are “better” than things that separate us. Technology can do both and as designers we have to be aware of that.

In Shaowen’s class we talked about participatory design and giving agency to the people we design for.

Finally, we have been discussing feminism this week here and in class. The realization that I had was that commodification and objectification are two sides of the same coin. Both seek to quantify and package otherwise unquantifiable properties of the human existence. What does this rambling have to do with anything? Everything and nothing.

A central tension that I’ve been struggling with throughout this semester is the medium for which we are trained to work in, that is interaction and experience. We’ve had this discussion several times in regards to how directors and writers are able to illicit emotional responses through certain techniques of their respective craft and how we as designers can reappropriate their techniques for ourselves. I’ve gone back and forth on Rayne’s perspective if design in its current incarnation can achieve the same emotional resonance as literature, film, art, and fashion, and I think the frustration that I feel is stemmed from the fact that the intention is there in many cases but because of the field’s infancy some of the attempts fall short of grace.

And now I have no idea where I’m going with this post. Perhaps more musings later.

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