Day 134: Rise and Shine

Second semester has officially started, but I am still waiting for my brain to keep up with the changing pace. In the aftermath of finishing the dreaded dissertation with a multitude of days lazy beyond imagination, there’s a feeling in the studio that a couple of days may be needed for everybody to get into the swing of things.

Pretty Studio

Applying as much brainpower as possible for my first day back, I only have one very important priority — come up with a kick-ass concept. This is easier said than done. I began my last first day back by reviewing my sketchbook from the first semester and filling in the gaps left behind by the careless panic of the latter end of 2016. Luckily, I only had to add in some documentation on the cultural probes I created (all of which I await for their return) and add in my concept sketches from so far and I was up to speed.

I have also written a brief reading list for myself in order to verse myself on data, smart cities, cycling and other related topics. By doing this, I will be able to get the gears whirring in motion again and back up any concepts that I create with some knowledge and facts.

Finally, there’s ideation. The only thing I’d change about the end of the last semester would be the ideas that I presented to the class. I had a couple of ideas that I showed to my user pool towards the end of the last semester, however I feel that they’re all a bit similar and uninspired. Because of this, I need to open my thinking about the next day or so, and come up with some more unique concepts that tread different water than the concepts that I have so far.

An unintentional Donald Trump sporting the most poorly drawn helmet of all time

That’s not to say the concepts that I have so far are terrible. There is one idea that I love so far, that I need to fully get down on paper and consider properly. I won’t delve into too much detail, half because it will sound like the ramblings of a mad man, half because I want to explore other ideas rather than settling on one that I am smitten with. Yet for my other ideas, reading more for my desk research will inspire and cement the ideas that I begin to develop.

In order to test my ideas more effectively, I have contacted Barry Kerr from Dundee City Council in order to discuss some of my ideas. Barry is involved with Dundee’s cycling infrastructure, and it is therefore imperative that I discuss my thoughts with him in order to test the real life viability of my ideas. By getting a greater insight into the viewpoint of other users of my designs, I can develop them to fit the needs of both parties more effectively.

As I am meeting Barry on Wednesday, I am already on a bit of a tight deadline. I intend on showing him about 4 or 5 product ideas, the majority of which will be ideas which have not been put down on paper as of yet. Believe it or not, this is ideal. Because of these constraints, I am not waiting around in hope of speaking to somebody from Dundee City Council after a week of sketch development — I have the interview in the bag, and now all I need to do is spend the next 48 hours developing my thinking.

This tight deadline will be the metaphorical fuel to my dormant rocket. Hopefully, it’ll be a much needed wake-up from the sleepy days of post-dissertation — I’m so glad that it’s been sorted out almost instantaneously. After taking some insights away from Barry, I will be able to develop my ideas with a greater understanding of what is needed from both parties in my user pool. For now, I have some ideas to come up with…

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, then follow me on Twitter at @jthomasmitchell or Instagram at @jacktmitchell.

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