Weekly Reflection 4: Finalizing the topic

Even though I finished the project brief draft, which topic is about diversity & Inclusive (D&I) practice, deep in my mind I was still not sure if it is the “one” since there are still many issues that I care about. I planned to do more secondary research on other topics to check if I still want to stick with the topic of D&I. The result was that I did do lots of research, but I also went down the rabbit hole. I created so many categories in Notion. In each category, there were more layers of documents.

Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 11.14.51 PM.png

In the end, I ended up creating a document called “About Me: Life Stories”. In the document, I honestly wrote down some of my life events and how they influence me to care about the topics I care about now. For example, I found that the reason I care about how the information is formed and delivered is because I believe information can help people to get closer to each other by understanding each other’s standpoint; I cared about civil engagement because I would like people to participate in public discussions so we can collectively create policies that adapt to our societal needs; I care about gender because I think creating gender-inclusive spaces can help gender minorities to have equal rights and freely be themselves.

Then, I began to see the pattern. I realize that my ultimate goal is to create a more openly embracing world, where people can connect through our commonalities, instead of hating each other because of our differences. After I have this conclusion, I was thinking about what field has the most potential to make the greatest impact on this ultimate goal? I reconfirm that D&I design practices might be the most suitable direction because of several reasons. Firstly, I believe companies nowadays have more political power than governments (at least in a capitalist country like the United States). Secondly, I want to create inclusiveness and diversity for all because only focusing on a particular group may cause more inequality afterward. Thirdly, based on my personal experience, the quickest way to eliminate discrimination towards a particular group is to personally know someone in that group. Since workplaces might be places we spent the longest time with and places where following rules are required, implementing D&I practices in workplaces might be more efficient than in people’s private lives. Lastly, I might be biased as a designer, but I think that most of the problems we face nowadays are caused by unethical design and technologies, and it’s our responsibility to fix them.

In short, after going through the constant inner battle process I described above, I can finally go forward on D&I design practice with certainty. Even though on the surface, it feels like there are no significant changes and progress, at least I successfully persuaded myself to just focus on the topic, which helped me to develop a more focused and narrowed secondary research and project brief.

Currently, I get more useful secondary research but also feel like I am losing in my notes at the same time. Hence, I would like to start interviewing people and create concept diagrams to map out the topic. My goal is to interview at least two people, create a concept map, and brainstorm some ideas before Friday.

Anchi Hsin