Project 1: Written Reflections

October 6, 2020

Coming off of project 1, I learned a lot about organization and research. Something I had been curious about prior to taking this class was how to systematize research, especially the process of find people to interview, reaching out, and having reasonable questions prepared ahead of time.

I think I did not manage my time well, particularly in the beginning of the project. I have a tendency to resist straightforward interpretations of topics / forms and thus cast a wide net around much of my work. While I found it all very interesting and wished I could dig further, it did not serve the scope or the intended purpose of the project very well. I ended up scuttling most of this work to concentrate on a more “traditional” approach in the end.

If I were to start over, I would aim for a more straight-forward interpretation from the beginning and seek to refine the form and language more, that is to say: more smooth of a take off allowing for more iterative time toward the end of the project.

The feedback I received could mostly be put in two buckets. The first being how to visually organize my form better (i.e. it’s visually bottom heavy, so try to add some stuff to the top to balance it. The second being ways I could progress the metaphor and form even further, something I could have done if I had not front-loaded my research.

I was inspired by my initial research into the esoteric East Bay history, the dearth of info was disheartening. I wish I had found something I could have tugged on to really open it up, but after a couple weeks of dead ends it did not make sense to take it any further for the purpose of the project. I became inspired once again when I decided on my final form of baseball cards. I had a lot of fun iterating designs for the cards in figma.

I think I over did it on research initially, and should have progressed to the experimentation and iteration phase sooner. If I could do it again I would try to organize my thoughts better before I started. Perhaps I should have made more thorough systems diagrams. I think the research phase feels more frictionless to me, but once I begin the process of experimentation and iteration I can get really sucked in. I do love the associations and resonances that pop out during research, often they will present themselves in odd places.

I think I need to focus more on interviews and system mapping. If I were to do this again, I would work much harder on those areas. While it is easy for me to work alone, I need to be less shy about cold contacting folks who are experts in my theme or subject of interest.