Weekly Reflections (updated)

Week 1

Design Ethos and action. I was not sure what this class was exactly about. Even though I am a senior in design background, I think I was always focused on certain parts of the design, I did not have much time to think about different aspects of design. It was interesting to tackle design problems and think of the concept of ethos, pathos, and logos. From Tom DeBlasis’s lecture about Haiti, I was very impressed that Tom went to an actual place to understand the users’ problem by being an actual user. Also, we get to read about Feminism and because I did not have much knowledge of the concept of Feminism, therefore it was bit hard for me to understand the readings (TWF/ TOG), however I think I had an interesting experience of connecting Feminism to the idea of design, and learn about its history and try to come up with a suggestive solution through design.


It was a bit hard for me to choose what I should choose for A1 project. I listed down myself to see if there were any aspects of measuring for a week, and I realize that I tend to buy unnecessary things a lot and especially for groceries. I always end up getting rid of groceries because it was hard for me to buy right amount due to its package or I forget about those groceries.

I felt that Arnold Wasserman’s lecture was a good example of seeing how design thinking is developed throughout the history. I felt that some of the design aspects were not covered in his lecture.

Lastly, having a conversation with Dr. Kate Hamilton and other colleagues about feminism was quite interesting. Because I never thought and questioned myself that a lot of aspects were gender biased such as toys. it was a great opportunity to think about things that I never realized because I was unconsciously facing those gender biased elements.


We got to read the 1st chapter of Nathan Shedroff’s ‘Design is the problem’, and I really do agree to the point that sustainability needs to be interpreted in different aspects. Not only environmentally, but also socially. Also from ‘Slow Change Interaction Design’, I empathized about the fact that the actual process of a user doing or undergoing change is a really challenging task for the designers even though people are willing to change themselves.

So, based on those readings, I started to link these ideas to my project. While I was starting myself to track my own groceries, I was more likely to measure and decide whether it is sustainable or not only based on its contents, however, I expanded my thought to its process and its packaging. And some of the products aren’t sustainable because it was using unsustainable packages even though the contents were sustainable.


This week was tough but interesting week because I had to do interviews and do some field research to understand how people are currently managing their groceries. Because I questioned myself that this just might be my own problem, and maybe there is already a nice solution that others use to track their groceries I tried to ask people from a Giant eagle market district and Aldi in different age range. If was quite hard for me start the conversation, so I wore CMU hoodies and try to introduce myself as much as possible to make them feel suspicious toward this research activities. Since I started to track myself, I saw my own changes in behavior; I tend to watch over my fridge more often and tend to plan what to eat beforehand. I felt that giving a little motivation or a reason does really help me out to change my behavior.

Because I already took one of Tonkinwise’s lectures before, and that is probably when I started to consider about sustainability to my design ethos. I agree how he mentioned the Sun is a really important factor for different aspects of sustainability. Because I only thought the Sun as the environmental resource.

I put a further reflection about A1 presentation separately.

Week 6

From the last lecture that I had, I was shocked from Mechelina’s story about her experience at her work. Also, it was very surprising that all these issues that female confronts are also happening quite frequently in the United States. Because I was this normally happens in Asian countries. The topic of Feminism is currently a very huge issue in Korea because one girl got killed by a stranger just because she was a female. Due to its issue, there is an unseen tension between women and men, and sometimes it gets too violent. I personally did not experience (maybe I did but just didn’t realize) much with those issues, but through Jamie Edwards’ lecture, I got to learn how to confront these issues in real life.

Week 7/8

After the conversation with Peter about my presentation, instead of comparing different companies I start to focus on one of the sustainable movement (business model) of H&M and start to think what might be the best way to solve the current problem. So I chose H&M’s Conscious line and start to analyze how they are acting sustainably, and if this solution is working well for the customers.

It was a great time to hear about other brands that are sustainable and how they put effort to be sustainable in different aspects. I was quite impressed about Wegman’s food market, how they are carefully taking care of not only their products but also the workers. I have a further reflection about A2 presentation, and all the process can be seen in by blog. + It was nice to have a class with a bagel! Thank you.


Week 9

Garfield farm visit

This week we visited Garfield farms to see how the farm is operating crops. It was very interesting to see how they build the construction that keeps dKakaoTalk_Photo_2017-04-15-10-12-12_9ifferent kinds of plants and animals. Even though the building itself was old, I was impressed that they considered the path of the Sun and built a big window to keep the warm temperature(zone 9) without using any electricity. We met the pastor who is in charge with Garfield farms and we get to hear about different aspects of sustainability and it was impressing that how he applies his belief in sustainability into farming. Also, I found that his belief in sustainability has similarities with my design ethos. “Small changes can make a huge difference.”KakaoTalk_Photo_2017-04-15-10-12-11_16


I started off with the idea of the general issue from CMU campus, however after I talked to Michelina about my idea, and she advised me to narrow down the idea of design school.

Students at the school of design tend to spend quite a long time at the studio. So design students are frequently having either lunch or dinner at the studio.

There are some people who bring food on their own, but most of the students normally buy food on campus and bring food to the studio. It is pretty often to see students using disposable utensils that school provides. However from 4 years of life at here MM as an undergrad student, I saw a lot of unused disposable utensils were placed everywhere and end up thrown away.

So I wondered why this happens and what this circumstance means:

  1. Lack of necessary infrastructure in order to have sustainable eating habits
  2. And because the facilities are scattered this demotivates students to have sustainable eating habits
  3. Disputes the values of the school’s belief and instruction in sustainability

Week 10


In class, we had a conversation with Dr. Kate Hamilton based on our reading on Bourdieu’s Theory of practice as a theoretical framework. We get to share the idea of ‘Habitus’ which is created through social, economic and cultural influences. We discussed different themes/ events from our life. The one that I thought interesting was that people had a different point of view toward the concept of marriage. The majority of people thought marriage is a liminal period in our life and even though I am not married yet, however I think because marriage requires a lot of change in my life cycle (physically and mentally). I will be more responsible and I am assuming that marriage requires sacrifice. I mentioned about my experience on study abroad.


We get to draw out the possible scenario for our project. Because I was keep questioning if having the kitchen supplies would really encourage the students to obtain the sustainable eating habits. So I decided to create two different scenarios: one with the kitchen and one without the kitchen. I wanted to show how the kitchen naturally creates the circumstance to bring their own kitchen utensils.

Week 11

I created a draft in order to sort out my idea (process)

I categorized how Design classes are located and most of the studios are located on a second floor and most of the studios are fro undergrads.

There are 2 mini kitchens in School of Design department one is located in the design office and the other one is located in MDes studio. And both places are not accessible for undergrad students. They are only accessible for faculties and MDes students only. Even though the undergrad population is composed of the highest population, undergrad student does not have access to any of those facilities.

I had a conversation with 7 different people to see if mini kitchen actually motivates people to have sustainable eating habits. One master student mentioned that the kitchen itself did not motivate him enough to change his eating habits, however, once he had other motivation such as diet, it allows him and helps him to keep that motivation through using the mini kitchen.

I also asked one Ph.D. student who’s office is located in FMS building about his usage of kitchen, and since he became a Ph.D. student where he had a kitchen in his office, he said he started to bring his own mug cup to make his own coffee with a coffee machine that school provided.

A fridge that is located in our senior studio is always filled and they are not clean enough and it looks unorganized so some of the undergrad students mentioned this discourages them from bringing their own food. And the sink did not have any kitchen supplies and because it was a too small majority of the students ended up just going to the bathroom and wash them and thoroughly wash it again when they get home which means they need to wash them twice.

Because of the financial issue and it was hard for some of the studios to have a decent amount of space for mini kitchen, I thought open kitchen space would be ideal rather than having a kitchen for each studio.

I observed MM building and took photos of possible areas for the mini kitchen. I compared between first and second floor to find out which floor would work better, and through observation, 1st floor was too opened to other people such as people from other places and a lot of people are even using the first floor to pass by, so it gives chaotic atmosphere, On the other hand, second floor gives calm and quiet atmosphere so it gives the people to have comfortable feeling and can spend decent amount of time.

Moreover, because most of the studios where undergrad students spend most of their time are located on the second floor I thought having an open kitchen space on the second floor would be more appropriate.

So I found the empty space (2nd floor) where students normally spend time to chat or to wait for someone, and I thought this place works well because it still gives enough space to keep its original purpose and I saw an opportunity this place can even give more opportunity to communicate and build up relationships between undergrad students  even if they are in different major and class.

Week 12

Reflection for A3 project is included in the A3 process blog.

Our class did the interesting activity during the class. We get to pair up and list down what “I should do” and what “I must do”. Although it was pretty challenging for me to list down in a short time, however, it was a really nice for me to reflect myself and think and organize my thoughts. I found it interesting that things I mentioned in must were more personal and serious. This activity definitely helped me to think about my design ethos and my values. (which I never thought of)

I am looking forward that this project will be a great opportunity for me to think about my thoughts and to guide my future career.


Week 13

Our group had a discussion about “The design way” by Harold G. Nelson and “Character and the Arts and disciplines” by Richard McKeon. The concept of “the real”, “the ideal”, and “the true” was very challenging to understand however it was interesting that how these 3 different ideas are having different ideas even though they sound similar. When something is true, it has to be true in all cases and situations. They exist no matter what. Real is a result of the action and formed by intention. Ideal refers to the kind of inquiry devoted to the realm of norms and values.

Based on the reading I started to analyze myself and create a mattering map. I started to brainstorm things that I care. I have noticed that I do care a lot about people around me and I do care about my own career path. The overall keywords that I listed was based on my fear and things that make me nervous.

Week 14

Through different methods of reflection, I started to narrow down my values and started to question myself if I am really happy and satisfied what I am doing right now. And if not I started to think why am I not enjoying this and find if theres any similar features. I have noticed that I am afraid of a lot of things, and because I am preparing for a huge change in my life, I feel myself that I am in very unstablized phase. However after I was keep questioning myself, I started to find values that I did not think of.


Week 15

The presentation reflection is attached to the a4 process.

Listening to others belief and others’ point of view about themselves was a very special opportunity for me. I saw some of the students got really personal and emotional during the presentation and it really touched my heart. At the same time I respect that they are very brave to share their own stories. It was my pleasure to learn about different topics throughout this course especially the idea of Feminism and Sustainability. Although it was challenging for me to understand the readings especially if they are philosophical, I was able to learn new thoughts and ideas which I can apply to all the topics. I fel that his class was very special compare to other classes, because most of the assignments were suggesting me to have time to think, reflect, and apply based on my subjective thoughts rather than with facts based on what I have learned or even researches.

Dear Peter, Michelina and Kate,

Hello this is Jiyoung from DE&A class.
First of all thank you so much for the course I really had a great experience reflecting about myself and I really liked all the discussion we had through classes.
It was very interesting to learn about different point of view toward Feminism, different aspects of sustainability, and other social topics.
I had a really precious time spending time especially thinking about myself and my future.
Again thank you so much for this course and again thank you for your best wishes!

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