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  • Writer's pictureQuite Frankly

"Everything We Touch, Changes Us"

It's interesting how the things you've learned at an early stage in life can change

as you get older. While reading "The Miseducation of The Doodle", I thought of doodling in a brand new light. Doodling was always frowned upon ,at least from my experience, and often received ridicule. It was seen as an indication that you were distracted, daydreaming, or uninterested but it doesn't have to live up to this negative connotation.

The three major ways to learn and retain knowledge is by seeing it, hearing it, and applying an action to it. Doodling unifies these three areas, making your retention of knowledge that much greater. It allows you to focus on the information while activating different parts of your brain. You can doodle in many different ways according to the article by using lettering, bullets, frames, connects, faces & figures, shadows, and shading.

Doodling is not to be confused with sketching which can take a more literal and focused approach to the idea at hand. As read in "Sketching : The Visual Thinking Power Tool", you don't have to be an artist at all to sketch. While sketching, you are can take every idea in your head and throw them onto a design medium whether it be good or bad.

The point being to keep all criticism quiet until after you have completed your sketching process. This creates a variety of options to choose from and takes you to the next step of asking questions to challenge the idea you are trying to bring to life. Sketching speaks to three key topics, having "a variety of ideas", "exploring the alternatives" and "fostering better discussions." Now that we've spoken about doodling and sketching, you're probably wondering where these methods would be applicable and the answer is technically everywhere but let me first broaden your perspective in design studies through a lecture called "The Horizons of Artificial".

Now unless you live in complete isolation in the wilderness with no connection to life as we know it, sleep under the trees and gather food with your bare hands, your life is consumed with nothing but technology. As soon as you wake up, either your phone or your clock is waiting there to tell you the time. Your lights are available at your leisure and it even come down to mechanical pencil or pen you use to take notes on the daily (keep in mind that technology does not mean it needs to be operated by electricity). Technology has been around for thousands of years so how can we even imagine a life without it. It's nearly impossible. As stated by design studies scholar, Clive Dilnot, "We need to recognize our absolute dependency on technology and the artificial." The line between what is artificial and natural are almost completely blurred.

"Everything that we touch, changes us" Words written by Hannah Arendt, a philosopher. When you sit with this quote, you can't help but realize how true it is. It leads you down the rabbit hole of how we tried to change things that literally changed us in the process. This can be see from the way we live, travel, obtain food, communicate with one another and process information. Whatever we touch or bring into the world affects everything and everyone that resides on earth. So how can we be more thoughtful and mindful about the designs we produce? We literally have the tools to change everything as proven through time with how civilizations have evolved. There are infinite possibilities to which we can change the standard of the future. This points to the overarching topic of sustainability. How can we design and create in a way that is not harmful to us and the earth? How do we determine what is necessary?

Tony Fry's lecture "Design as Politics in Action" dives deeper into the effects of how we've built our civilizations and how sustainability is crucial to our survival. First, it is pointed out that we were once a nomadic people. If the weather changed or food was scarce, we moved where conditions were livable and suited to our needs. Eventually we started building permanent homes and cities that caused the population to increase at rapid rates. Fry says "We are made by the world of design and we design the world that we made." The problem we face today is that we have now become a threat to our environment. The rate of technological development is not sustainable. Fry offers a solution of designing from the future back to the present. Now I see this as meaning, in order for there to be a future we must design our cities, environment and way of living in an effort to ensure that there is a future to look forward to. Instead of creating for the now, we need to be creating for the preservation of the future.

An example of how we have created a harmful situation for the future according to Fry is the constructing of cities and structures along coastlines.

These cities ,as projected through science and the rapidly changing climates of the the earth, will eventually be underwater. This does not set the future up for success. Fry touches on a point where he says that we are chronophobic (fear of time). We have built everything while believing that it would remain there forever and that is just unrealistic. So how do we move forward? ? How do we "create new knowledge to learn how to make new kinds of cities and institutions?" Well I hope you've been using your doodling skills while reading this blog because now it's time to sketch out those ideas and come up with a plan.

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