Given my previous experience with collaboration through the Design Thinking Initiative, where my class mixed with an art class and worked in small groups to create a work of art, I am wary of group projects where members have unspecified roles and claim equal ownership over the entirety of the completed project. It is often difficult to establish a common vocabulary, and discover a method of collaboration that complements each member’s ways of thinking and working. The pressure to feel able to claim ownership of the entirety of the project often induces high stress and tension. Compromise is necessary in teamwork, yet, since there are no defined roles, each person will want the project to reflect themselves as well as possible.
While reading, I found the idea of “empathy” intriguing. Empathy has positive connotations, and with the addition of “human centered,” implies that design-thinking is rooted in improving and modifying for the better. This leaves out design that is based on discomfort, confusion, etc. However, these are just as important. It is important to design doors that are intuitive to open, but there are also doors that should not look easy to pass through.
I identify as a designer, and believe that it makes up a key part of the person I see myself as. As I was reading, I thought back to my own process. While I try to make time to often reflect upon and modify my own process, it is a pretty well-established one. I noticed that in some way or other, I worked through the design thinking steps through each part of my process. Yet as I was reading the example, I was curious about the collaboration between the members. From the way they were quoted, there seemed to be unaddressed tension.