Individual Reflection – Shira Breen

In Learning Design.Design Learning, Uncategorized by Amanda Lavond

There is a huge need for a deeper sense of belonging on this campus. This project definitely made that need clearer to me. There were many incredible ideas and moments of creativity that we had throughout the semester. I learned a lot about working in groups and more about what my creative process is. I was challenged a lot throughout the project by confronting the fakeness of buzzwords, the shallowness of arts and crafts, and what it means to be trying to generate a sense of belonging at Smith that is real and gets beneath the attention Smith loves to put on its image. My favorite part of the project was doing the interviews to empathize with users and ideating as a group. I felt like when we were ideating, we were able to get in a more cohesive zone and pool ideas together around what belonging could look like. Towards the beginning of the semester, our Sunday brunches that involved discussing our weekly readings generated some really beautiful conversations. I think as the project went on, some of that focus and care was lost by many group members for a number of reasons, and we became more focused on creating a prototype than we did with meeting the expressed needs of our users from the empathizing stage. I wish we had grounded ourselves more in the empathize stage of Design Thinking. Design Thinking teaches you more no matter what and served as a way to bring people together in ways that were hopefully as real and genuine as they could be.