I’m settled into my hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where I’ve been facilitating a pretty large meeting. (We did a World Cafe with over 800 people yesterday — a record for me!) I finished a little dinner and settled down to read the blog reflection posts in Project Community. I worked my way group by group, reading the posts and the comments. WOW! Lots of changes, improvements and some wonderful insights. So I thought it might be useful to share my reflections of my experiences so far, and also reflect on what I sense as I read YOUR posts.
First – your posts. While not everyone has posted yet, I really appreciated that you DID reflect – you looked at what worked, what didn’t work, both from your work and the external factors, such as technology. It can be really hard to be honest with ourselves and with each other and so many of you have really taken and succeeded with that challenge. You have had the courage to look at yourself and give feedback to your peers and instructors. That is a critical skill for a creative person, for a designer and for a successful professional. To do these things and to be aware of HOW we do them.
I appreciated the diversity of views — what works for one person, doesn’t work for another.
As I reflect on my participation as one of the instructors team, there have been moments where I think we started to hit that point of “magic in the middle” by connecting and understanding both each other and our work.There have been moments when I felt the instructor team working together well, with each of us bringing our strengths forward.
There have been moments where I wanted to curse technology, to magically show up in your classroom. TO be able to read everyone’s minds at a distance. to be able to have smaller conversations with each of you. Yup, some struggles.
Yet in those moments, we often learn the most. I get to practice speaking more clearly and succinctly. I get to try and improvise around technological blocks. These are essential skills for professionals, for designers. So maybe it is in the challenges we learn the most.
This is the first time I have taught this course and furthermore, I helped design it. So I think about what I would do different next time, and what I would keep. I feel a lot of responsibility…
I worry too. I worry that I can’t call in for week 7 as I will be in a client meeting in Washington DC. I worry that we haven’t scheduled follow up team meetings yet — and how we’ll squeeze in time to do that!
I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing what all of you will do for you final projects. In my personal opinion, all of you going into industrial design can play a critical role in not only designing cool stuff, but designing stuff that may help improve the world we live in.
OK, what did I say about being succinct? I’m failing. Again!