Reading Response 1

In IDP 116, Reading Response by Elizabeth Muirhead

“Design thinking” is a process that demands care and thought. Since it’s human centered, the process requires designers to understand the problem that they are tackling on an intimate level. The example from the reading was interesting because the social implications of breastfeeding constricted and guided the process. An essential aspect of the design is that her breast was visible and that the breastfeeding was convincing. That detail emerged multiple times throughout the discussion and prototyping process because it demonstrates the human-centered nature of design thinking. Designers cannot ask humans to compromise their values in desires in order to fit a design; the designer must structure their design to fit the user’s values and desires.

The dialogue in the reading helped to underscore the importance of collaboration in prototyping. During group brainstorming, I’m often too nervous to pitch all of my ideas because they feel underdeveloped. During the discussion in the passage, people would contribute small ideas freely, which helped the prototype evolve slowly. I have a greater understanding of the value of smaller, less developed ideas. For example, Esther begins with a polystyrene box and evokes the idea of a bra that can be opened. And Farai contributes a spool to be a pipe for the milk. All of the members contribute small ideas that eventually result in a prototype, making the design a reflection of everybody’s work.