failing even more forward

I did not want to present my work without implementing the relevant ideas and changes that I have been working on after receiving feedback on the previous assessments. My current design is an updated version of this post on failing forward, where you will find more process imagery. This again is a reflective post as the direction of my design research has changed, but I think it is important to have these thoughts to look back on.

I started this course with what I thought was quite a clear vision and research direction, but a new context and circumstances meant reflecting and adapting. I now found myself working towards validating and challenging my initial assumptions in order to grasp relevance in my research and decide on a way forward.

Exploring through design.

The first keyworks look at the design research methods. I delved into the all the methods, working with participants in different ways to explore the idea of value. I find myself displaced from home, but I know that around me people are also displaced from reality or normal life because fo the pandemic. I thought this could be trail to follow. My role in this regard was facilitating in creating valuable connections, to gather media and form insights to map out relevance and context.

Personally I found value in connecting, which is one of the lessons of Ubuntu ‘to seek connection’. I looked at these moments of connection as conversation pieces, where I could further my research. I looked at my participant set, who were mostly expats except for three. Luckily I already knew all of them so starting the conversation was easy and they are all creatives, so they very willing to participate in my research. 

To iterate on my conversation pieces and since social opportunities scarcely presented themselves, I started working with the idea of socially distant probes and combining them with embodied research methods. These iterations and my deepening personal connections with my participants made it possible to adapt the probes and questions asked according to each participant. 

I went on guided walks in person and on video-chats to share my new context and space and asked participants to share their experience of these interactions. I collected recipes and the sentimental stories attached to them, then shared these with those who wanted it. I gathered sound-clips of snippets in time from all over to show connectivity in displacement through audio. 


I really want to work on my communicative ability. I am usually quite good at getting my ideas across whether it is in design or writing, but in retrospect I have always been around others to whom the philosophies I am dealing with is part of their knowledge base. My work is about discovering solutions through exploration and therefore I time-lapse and video any physical tasks that I take on. I also create notes where I write down my thoughts and ideas for the way forward. I document a lot, but lack the organising of that, which in turn reflects on my storytelling and communicative ability.

I want to be able to tell the story better. I think its still to complex and that is why I struggle. Also the philosophy of ubuntu is very intertwined so I am going to have to be very smart with my tags, and categories. I have realised that to share the philosophy of Ubuntu is not my challenge, but more how I use it in my own process. I have been able to start identifying between introspective research and relevant research.

I want to tell the stories of discoveries and memories of every day things by people that might not have the skills to get the message across in a way that is understandable accessible to the common man. There is value in this. We can learn from this. We can create networks and therefore systems to empower this. The we is just missing for me so far.

I was listening to podcasts about Ubuntu and how it is implemented all around the world. This made me start to question where I fit into it and how can I adapt these lessons in a new way that is relevant to my process and practice. The idea of cultural appropriation kept coming up and I had to deal with it. I do not want to take on the idea of race, but rather ethical recognition.

If I look at what stands out to me from the lessons of Ubuntu, it is the ideas of value, shared culture, empowerment community, unity and creativity. Most of these link to all the lesson of Ubuntu but my role is to kill the darlings and keep what makes sense.

I kept referring back to my new design question going back to the idea of using the principles of ubuntu guidelines to create a platform / process / methodology of working towards sustainable connections.

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