I really enjoyed hearing from Dougie Kinnear (a recent DJCAD jewellery and metalwork graduate who is currently in the Masters programme) on Friday, in our Change by Design lecture. I saw Dougie’s work at DJCAD’s last degree show, and it was great to actually hear him talk about it, and about himself. I really appreciated what he said about being very blinkered in his approach to his course – he was very focussed on jewellery, and making, so much so that he felt his design studies lectures were a bit pointless, or at least he found it difficult to apply them to his specialism and way of working. He said he felt like the lectures were designed to turn him into a product designer, which I suppose is understandable.
I have really enjoyed Change by Design so far, and I have enjoyed having the opportunity to step away from sketchbooks and textiles, and to think differently. I sometimes do find it a bit difficult, though, to relate these “think big” lectures to myself – when you spend the majority of your week with your nose in a sketchbook, concentrating on just drawing or making things that look pretty, sometimes that message can get lost. I think so, anyway!
I really enjoyed Mike Press’s lecture, I think, because of this. He spoke about Josiah Wedgwood who, it turns out, was an incredibly influential man, not just when it comes to pottery, but also in terms of mass production, industrialisation, transport innovation, and the abolition of slavery! “He just wanted to make cups and saucers,” Mike told us, but rather than just “being a potter”, Wedgwood worked to change many areas of society. In order to just make cups and saucers, he had to create a way to mass produce them efficiently, introducing “division of labour” into his factories, and building a village for his workers. He had to find an efficient way to transport his raw materials and finished goods, so he became influential in the building of the Trent & Mersey canal. I think it’s safe to say that Josiah Wedgwood had his “design thinking” hat on!
Words to live by: Stay hungry, stay foolish; don’t be a horse, be a sponge; put the “ing” in “thing”!
I’ve heard whispers of the name RedJotter through the grapevine for a while now, but have only really been aware of it in the same way I’m aware of, say, The Wire – something I’ve heard the basic premise of, something that’s meant to be really good, but something that I’ve largely ignored because it’s not what I’m traditionally interested in. The Wire is a really good gritty crime drama. RedJotter is a service designer. Oh, okay.
RedJotter is Lauren Currie, co-founder of Snook, a social innovation and service design outfit based in Glasgow, and a bit of a powerhouse. She came to speak to us Change by Design students on Friday, and held a workshop where we worked in teams to brainstorm, journey map, and design a solution (a service) for a problem. Each team was asked to pick a time when we’d experienced bad service design, and eleven out of twelve teams picked dealing with SAAS. The twelfth team picked public transport.
My team decided, through brainstorming and journey mapping (mapping the touch-points of a journey – your SAAS awards letter, the phone, being on hold, speaking to someone, etc.) that a lot of peoples’ frustrations came from the call centre way of working (many had tried email, and never even been answered!) – you wait for ages to speak to someone, have to “Press 1 if… Press 2 if…”, and often have to be passed from one member of staff to another. One of our team had received several letters containing wrong information and had to make several phone calls, each time having to explain herself many times and each time speaking to someone different. We decided that each university, or at least each university town, should have its own SAAS branch or office, where you could visit on a certain day or at a certain time designated to your course or where in the alphabet your name falls, and where you have one adviser to help you throughout your whole SAAS experience, so there would be no risk of miscommunication between staff, and fewer “lost” files.
I found Friday’s lecture and workshop really interesting and really enjoyable. I found Lauren’s passion and confidence really inspiring – it’s difficult to imagine that she was once me, just a second year design student who hadn’t found “her thing” yet.
I had never thought much about service design before. I imagined it was just the domain of suited-up bigwigs, who decide how their companies should be run. I still find it a little bit difficult to connect everything Lauren spoke about to myself, I suppose, like I said, because I haven’t really found “my thing” yet. Even so, I really enjoyed the whole day, and I look forward to seeing how far RedJotter and Snook will go!