So this week  we will look at Chapter 5: Desiderata of Nelson and Stolterman’s The Design Way. We did read this chapter last semester in Design Theory and the part about the “sweep-in” and “block-out” approaches resonated with me.

Though I’ve always somehow managed to figure out a lot of the problems I encounter in the past, I would always initially take the “sweep-in” approach. I’d want to rush in and find the right answer right away and I wanted the answer right that moment. That did lead me to a kind of paralysis. I always had a lot of anxiety and I would feel a lot of dread because it felt impossible. Of course, since finishing something that is assigned to me always takes priority, I got over that initial paralysis (usually with some sleep) and let go of that giant problem and started working with bits and pieces until I could complete that task. Needless to say, I do the later bits more and not the “sweep-in” as much.

With the “block-out” approach, I’ve noticed that my mom does a lot of this. Whenever I share with her some sort of problem that I have (or if she sees that I have some “problem”), she would often give me some sort of set prescription. Sometimes it’s from her own experience but some are hearsay. While generally her prescriptions make sense, it doesn’t always help me in the specific situation that I am in. Her methods tend to take the situation I am in and generalize it or it is outdated or doesn’t take how I am as a person in or is based off of “old wives tales”, etc. While I know she means well, it’s something that has always bugged it and something I’ve always tried not to do.

This is why I like the “there is no one answer” way of thinking. There are better answers then others but it all depends on the situation and the people in the situation. I enjoy this type of deep, explorative thinking a lot more than the “here is a right answer and now conform to that right answer”. I respect that there are people that work that way. I just don’t.

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