Why would we talk about teamwork? In the game design industry, unless you are personally developing you will always be in a team of people, hence it is important to understand the dynamics of a team. Things such as every persons roles, the development, when to converge, when to diverge, learning to trust etc. These are all important concepts to try to grasp, thankfully throughout our early education we are put into teams enough so that we can get a kind of natural feeling about this, but extra reinforcement has never been a bad thing. We have all had our share of good and bad teams, but over time we learn how to tailor a bad team to more of a good team, working with our strengths and helping the design process.
I hope that doing the design projects will increase my understanding of the design process which is currently incomplete, as it will always be. Working through someone practically often helps to understand the constructs involved. This applies not just to design “Maths is taught through the hand, not the head” for example. It is sometimes suprising what you notice when working practically as aposed to theoretically. Different links between concepts become aparent.
“Play is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing.” - Homo Ludens. Play is an integral part of human culture, and us as a whole. Most of our younger lives are spent playing, but we learn important things during this time. “Let my playing be my learning, and my learning be my playing.” The very fact that there are computer games based upon figuring out puzzles, making words, solving math puzzles (Of which I will admit I played a lot of when I was much younger) shows us that at least some of us have grasped the point that people learn via play. An example drawn from my own life comes back from when Age of Empires #1 came out, my father having bought it for himself I promptly started playing it as well. Being 3 years of age I took everything in, my teachers at kindergarten being promptly surprised that at age I could spell words such as victorious, centurion and other such words. This, to me at least, just proves that we learn through play. The fact that we grasp tactics easily when put into a strategy game, start to emulate squad activities when put into a first person shooter and things like that just help to show the derivations.
Does something need to do what it is ‘designed’ to do? What its named function is? Philippe Starck and his famous Lemon Squeezer which wasn’t really meant to squeeze lemons, the Juicy Salif. This shows us that while most things should be designed to do as intended and to be economic, such as his windmill and interior designs. Not everything has to be like that, the interesting squid looking but almost alien design of the Juicy Salif does do one thing well, start conversations. So having something that doesn’t do what it is ‘intended’ to do, what its mechanical purpose is, isn’t necessarily a failure, especially in the modern world where we are exploring all new kinds of design and seeing what we can do with materials.
Practice makes perfect. Persistence. The Japanese proverb “Fall seven times, stand up eight” sums this up well, if we wish to succeed we have to keep on trying, ever giving in when we are told we should just give up. Over time, through sucess and failure we gain our own style, our own twists and dives as we fall down again. The ‘style’ we gain being kind of like a stance, a way of footing to help us to cut down to the basics of what we think is needed, and to avoid being tripped up. Eventually our own style will be noted, examined and criticised. Whether it is in a positive or negative light we need to keep on marching on, perservering on our rode to success.
10,000 hours. That is how long it is said that you have to do something to become an expert. Ten thousand hours. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Well, when you think about it, not really. We are constantly bombarded with messages saying ‘do what you love’. So if we want to become an expert at what we love, does it really take long? Even if we cannot get a job in that field, working on it about 20 hours every week will still get us our 10,000 hours in approximately 9 years, 7 months and a few weeks. Now, if we can be lucky and get a job in something we love, working 9-5 (not including the experience we had before the job). That is 40 hours/week, which only takes a little under 5 years then to become an expert. When thinking of how little time this really takes, compared to our ~80 year life span. Think about it, even keeping up time to practice so they do not become ‘rusty’ each of us, if we really wanted, could easily be experts in 3 or 4 different areas.
Can design be accidental? I think that it can, whether through an absent minded doodle, or as a side product/mistake from a current project. Relative to purposeful design I think that accidental is much more rare. One example of what may be considered accidental design is http://www.logodesignlove.com/quiksilver-logo-design. Or it could mean something like as when Sildenafil Citrate was first being tested, it was intended for use in lowering blood pressure and helping heart disease. They noted an interesting side effect, and now it is sold everywhere as the well known Viagra. These instances show that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail, because the worst that can happen is that we learn something new from our mistakes, and at the best we discover something new which may be successful anyway.
Ecosystems conceptualise the interrelationships of species that live in the same habitat. Natures way of ordering the food chain is not always in a straight line, quite often more like a web. These interrelationships can be very complex, and a conceptual diagram helps us to visualise the interdependencies of species.
Airbags, much debate has been caused by these devices, do they save more lives then not? Well the answer to this question is one of the reasons why you aren’t supposed to put children in the front seats of vehicles. A simple but yet effective design of a bag full of air increasing the amount of time it takes your body to stop, therefore enacting less force on it. Making us less like eggs in a steel box and more like eggs with cushions in a steel box.
Ur pic taken from:http://home.hiwaay.net/~jalison/ur.html
m1911 pic taken from: http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/pistol/M1911A1.html
Heart pic taken from: http://www.healthline.com/galeimage?contentId=genh_02_00382&id=genh_02_img0221
Airbag pic taken from: http://carsmechanics.blogspot.com/2010/05/hyundai-getz-part-vii-srs.html
A part of natural design, the organ we call the heart, responsible for pumping the blood around our circulatory system is another example of how nature can be wondrous and complex in its simplicity. Every part of the heart having its own function and no space being wasted, although we have found ways to augment it, only very recently have we come up with total official hearts, just showing us how much we have to learn about ourselves.