2017-05-08 - Workshop 9

Reflecting upon past experiences from childhood to find interests that have changed over time and how we view our past interests and likings today.

I find that I remember things that I dislike more than I like. I keep my bad experiences at the fore front of my mind so as to actively avoid repeating the error. Thinking back at my entire childhood, I feel I could not pick out an interest that has stood the test of time and remained with me till today. 

The exercise was not meaningless to me, however. 

Upon a deep reflection of my past hobbies and interests, I found a distinct pattern in the way I like to learn. Essentially, I love to get things wrong. I like to be corrected and introduced to new ideas and concepts that challenge my preexisting notions. A recent example would be my personal work in Astrophotography where I've had more failed shoots than successes. I've had made mistakes every time I've gone out for a shoot, some insignificant errors and some that have ruined the entire shoot. However, it's from these errors where I find myself learning and improving. This style of learning, since I was young, has seen my make MANY mistakes. But at the same time, I feel it allows me to gather a very unique and accurate perspective.

Essentially my entire life has been a reverse mind map. Where I start with an end goal and figure out what NOT to do in order to get there.

2017-05-01 - Workshop 8

Discussing Wicked problems.

Our group discussed the Wicked Problem of Drug Addiction. We spent most of the session simply trying to identify the scope of the problem. Brain storming the key areas on which drug addiction causes the most negative effects and who the type of people is affects. 

Essentially, we ran into the fundamental issue of a wicked problem, there was no solution without negatively affecting someone else. This is especially true with the drug addiction and the war on drugs. Yes, drug addiction effects many people negatively, but at the same time, the current efforts to fight drug trafficking has arguably caused more issues than it has fixed. 

Discussing the problem and possible solutions in detail gave me a greater appreciation of the concept of the "Wicked Problem". I thought I was fairly well informed the topic of the War on Drugs and Drug Addiction. However, the in depth discussions gave me a new perspective on the issue and made me realize there were many other aspects that I had no yet considered. 

 

The other activity we did was the trust exercise where we had to call out a students name before throwing them an item for them to catch. We did this with 2 objects, a tissue box and a metal flask. The goal of the activity was to call out to the person you were going to throw the object to which emphasized communication, trust and alertness. Thought I felt stressed out during the start of the activity, I did feel more comfortable with the activity towards the end when, I guess, everyone else started to feel more comfortable with each other. 

2017-04-24 - Workshop 7

Exploring business ideas.

The main exercise of the workshop was to think of an innovative idea for a business and pitch it to the right investors.

My group came up with the idea of a Drone Coffee Delivery system. Initially, we were excited about the idea and quickly came up with the features we thought were most important. We limited the scope of our product and figured out a target audience. We then went on to discuss the relevant industries our product would span across and who the likely investors would be. 

When it came down to the technical details and challenges however, the idea sort of broke down. Multiple factors stood in the way of our idea, mainly drone and privacy laws. As we tried to adapt our product to the current laws, it became less and less appealing as we had to compromised the features and services.

Overall, though flawed, our idea was an interesting thought experiment. Developing a product that would service multiple industries using emerging technologies is very exciting. 

2017-04-10 - Workshop 6

Mind map challenges.

Exploring mind mapping methods. Idea formulations versus Idea subtractions.

The biggest thing I took away from this tutorial is the different approach to mind mapping by using idea subtractions instead of trying to develop new ideas. Essentially thinking about what WILL NOT work as opposed to what MIGHT work.

I felt the idea was to categorize everything that you do not like and then finding the solutions for each category, getting to the root of them problem. 

Aside from the actual content of the tutorial. I feel a little frustrated by the disruptive behaviours of some of the students. There is a significant difference between someone who contributes badly and a disruptive person. I've come into this unit with an open mind, understanding that I'm here to learn and contribute.

The dismissive attitude towards units that one doesn't agree with is an attitude I use to have... And it clearly is the wrong attitude to have. 

2017-04-03 - Workshop 5

Analysis and Mental Gymnastics

Analysis and logical linkages are two of my greatest strengths. I get excited whenever I'm asked to mentally pull something a part into it's core components. This is my favourite way to learn. 

That being said, I did not seem to have to mental gymnastics capabilities to link a Felt Tip Marker to certain objects like a Candle and Spork. Instead, however, I was able to break the Marker Pen down into its core components and the plausible events that lead to its creation. 

My thought process on how a Felt Tip Marker was invented:

It all started with the need to record and document critical information such as water holes and hunting grounds during ancient times. The discovery of an ink-like material could well have been an accident with the most likely material being powered-rock. Cave paintings by the Aboriginals have been dated back some 10000 years with the process of painting being well documented. Essentially using a hollow stick to blow the powered-rock onto the cave walls. This gave them a ink source and a method of delivery.

From there, the idea of painting, drawing and writing would have taken over due innate creativity in human beings. Small blow pipes and more finely powered rock mixed with water or other chemicals to give liquid ink would have emerged to create finer and more detailed paintings. The idea of "drawing" would have taken over and people would have experimented with different delivery methods before deciding that a feather would be an ideal "pen". Thus the Quill was invented..

The obvious problem with the Quill is the multiple components required for it to work. We have the Quill tip, a sharp metal point which scratches the ink on the parchment, we need a large sturdy feather to connect the Quill tip, we have the ink container and finally the ink. Four major components needed in order to write. This was inefficient and efficiency is a key motivator for innovation. 

Combining all the individual components on the Quill and Ink into a single device resulted in the Pen. A tube-like container with an internal housing to hold liquid ink, delivered by a sharp metal tip with a small opening to release the ink.

 

2017-03-27 - Workshop 4

SCAMPER

Creative thinking with mind maps. 

I find mind maps less useful than they should be. A salad of words vaguely representing an idea that is difficult for anyone to read but the author. Instead of mind maps, a new technique was introduced. The SCAMPER technique.

SCAMPER seems to be a quite a easy technique to produce a different idea, although within very rigid guidelines. Using the SCAMPER technique, one could almost predict the ideas that would arise with a given input. 

In my group, we were tasked with SCAMPERing a paper clip. Because the SCAMPER method is very structured, the ideas generated were very uniformed and predictable.

That being said, the application of SCAMPER is very broad and could be very useful for my personal studies in photography where idea manipulation plays a very important role.

 

Substitute
Combine
Adapt
Magnify, Maximize, Minimize
Put to other uses
Elimate
Reverse/rearrange

2017-03-06 - Workshop 2

The workshop started with an exercise which we drew an "ideal" mirror. This was a little difficult for me as most of my ideal wall-hangings are frameless. I appreciate clean, minimalistic designs which focuses the attention on the subject in question. I almost felt embarrassed to voice my opinion on clean design when most of the people around me started off with intricate and complex designs. 

We were then instructed to draw three facades of ourselves that not many people know and we discussed them, first in pairs, then in groups of sixes. I found this activity to be very fun, interactive and enjoyable and proceeded to participate without any resistance. 

The tutor encouraged us to be as curious as possible. To ask each other questions on the minute details of their drawings. 

I was particularly intrigued by one drawing in my group. (Sorry, I've forgotten his name). Three drawings of triangular polygons which represented his thought process to show how he uses iterative techniques to improve his memory. He said that his interests were to figure out formulas and patterns in order to help him recall advanced concepts, making me believe that he genuinely loves "systems" and how things work at the base layer. I was thoroughly impressed at such a thought process.

 

2017-02-27 - Workshop 1

BRD 209 Reflective Blog

Week 1 Workshop – Ice Breaker games.:

The bulk of the workshop revolved around interactive activities in attempts to break the ice commonly found at the start of the semester.

I have been away from University for over 2 years now, attempting to hone my skills as a photographer while I was away. The freedom and lack of structure in my personal photography adventures have been both a blessing and a curse. In one sense, I have learnt a great deal in the last 2 years trying to figure out the art of photography by myself through trial and error. However, the lack of structure and guidance have lead me to return to Murdoch University to get my proper qualifications and turn my photography into a job.

What struck me most during the workshop was the broad range of answers given to me whenever I asked “what is your ideal job?”. From what I could gather from the people I spoke to, very few people have an “Ideal Job”. Most, however, have a rough idea of what field they want to work in but very few had a defined goal or a dream job. I personally found this surprising mainly because I am a person that works through plans. I have to meticulously plan things out in detail before I dare embark on the activity.

I feel this will change a lot during this semester.