(ixd102) – When We Build – Wilson Miner

After watching “When We Build” by Wilson Miner, I felt inspired, and even more excited for my future in Interaction Design.

Miner begun the talk by showing how “we put so much of ourselves” into our physical possessions, because, although they’re “just things” they are also a symbol of ourselves. Marshall McLuhan said “We shape our tools, and thereafter, our tools shape us.”          I had never thought of it this way. Everything we make changes our environment, and therefore changes us. Our views of the world and ourselves are heavily influenced by the environment in which we surround ourselves in, and seeing as most of our time nowadays is spent in front of a screen, so I agree with him in saying that it is important to us as designers to create an environment that is positive and enjoyable.

“We are not just making pretty interfaces, we are in the process of building an environment where we will spend most of our time.” if this environment is ever changing, then we must always be learning and be open to learning. Miner also inserted a quote by Alistair Smith, which I found to be very inspiring, it read “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.” I think this idea is very important to think about in the current climate, as technology is advancing so fast. If we limit ourselves to what we already know, and are not open to discovery, then we will fall behind the rest.

Miner spoke of a very intelligent artist called Robert Irwin. Irwin creates installations based on the room he finds himself in; he looks at the space and responds to what he sees. Miner related this to responsive design, which will open many possibilities so long as we are willing to “listen to the changing environment, and be available in response.” Miner described our designs as organisms, even our best chosen attributes for survival may die, but the ones that survive are the ones that adapt to the environment, the ones that evolve and respond. Another thing Miner said that I found to be very encouraging was, “We are the product of our world, but also the designers.” We get to put a dent in the Universe, we get to make our mark. Design is the choices we make about the world we want to live in. A world we are constantly adapting, whilst also adapting to.

“All that will be left of us is what we make. What do we want to shape us?”

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