week 1 IXD102 – Pocket profiles – My response to Wilson Miners “When we build”

I found this presentation incredibly inspiring and it made me excited for my future as an interaction designer.  The quote from Marshall McLuhan that Miner referenced at the start was a recurring subject throughout the talk – “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us”.  This quote was interesting to me as I’ve thought about this fact before but I’ve never realised how important it it makes being a designer until now.

I really liked the analogy he referenced from Steve Jobs with the bicycle in which he called computers “a bicycle for our minds” .  When the bicycle was invented nobody would have expected the impact they would have on the world and how useful they would come to be.  It made me think about just how helpful out technologies are that we take for granted every day.

He made me think about the importance of interaction designers/ designers in general.  I contemplated how much of our time we spend using technology each day and therefore how much of a difference interaction designers make on the worlds population.  The quote – “we aren’t just making pretty interfaces.  we’re actually in the process of building an environment where we will spend most of our lives” sums this up well

The analogy about his friend who was inexperienced with cooking was clever- he pointed out that so much of modern day interfaces are made up of learned conventions which are confusing to a new user who had never operated technology before.  It made me think of my grandparents who feel left behind and isolated from generations below them who use touch screens more.  I’d love to work in a profession in the future which could maybe help less tech savvy people feel more included and involved.

The quote by Alistar Smith was inspiring to me and made me think about how fast paced our world is nowadays due to technology. – “At times of change, the learners are the ones who will inherit the world, while the knowers will be beautifully prepared for a world which no longer exists.” We as designers need to be prepared for change at all times as well as constantly learning how new technology works in order to succeed.

Miner mentioned an artist called Robert Irwin towards the end.  He creates installations based on the environment he is put in, and he found a way to link this to the tech industry.  He said that as long as we’re willing to “listen to the changing environment, and be available in response.” We will succeed as designers.

His talk left me feeling inspired and sure about which course I have chosen to study.  I’m excited about the idea of having a place in such a fast paced, ever growing industry 

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