oliverdamian: anti-fragile design

Design Thinking Journal

Design Thinking | Winter Semester 2015 | University of Technology, Sydney

When I first began this foray into design thinking, I only had a vague notion of what it meant. It was as if I was Marco Polo landing in Kublai Khan's city of Adelma at dusk (Calvino c1974, pp 94-95). I encountered new concepts that somehow I recognise as familiar concepts from my past. After 10 weeks, the vague notions have solidified into frameworks I can use to shape my future as a designer.

We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act but a habit (Durant 1965). So as a first year student, I want to develop habits that will mold me to be a product designer of value. One of these useful habits is to begin with the end in mind (Covey 2013).

Not the labile mists of memory nor the dry transparence, but the charring of burned lives that forms a scab on the city, the sponge swollen with vital matter that no longer flows, the jam of past, present, future that blocks existences calcified in the illusion of movement: this is what you would find at the end of your journey.

Lawrence Wallen's lecture on 8 March provided me with a solid foundation framework to understand what it is to be a designer. Design lies at the intersection of memory and context. I need to complete my academic readings and reflection to understand the context of where I am at. This is both in terms of the point in time where I am now (the contemporary landscape) and the collected history of the past. But then I need to find my own voice within my context. I can only find my voice by knowing who I am by diving into my personal memory.


hand-written notes, water color drawings, and photo collage
Figure 1: hand-drawn page 1 of journal