Group 5&6: It’s identity.

As we did our reflection for today, I said something that apparently surprised Will. I thought of today to be ‘unexpected’.

I’ll be honest, I kind of dreaded today actually. On the previous day, we talked about the process of Discovery and Ideation and had loads of fun in thinking what could be and what we could make that would make our ‘persona’ happier in travelling in London.

Today was the Prototype Phase and I legitimately thought of all the possible things that were going to happen that would make today a really unproductive and well… bad experience.

From the first paragraph, you can well assume that I was misled.

Here are some of the prototypes that we made out of the short span of 1 hour:


And in the end, all of the ideas seem surprisingly feasible. But the most important thing, the prototypes felt that it could be very well be heavily used in society.

I think one of the advantages of using human-centred design is that you can actually see people using the products (which is essentially what we want in the first place!) instead of being just another product that is created for the sake of creation.

Okay, now you may be asking: How does this relate to identity?

Our decisions on how we use space, how we see space and how we live it in is all tied to the idea of identity.

One of the speakers, Judy (I’m so sorry but I’m really bad with names but she was super energetic for a 66-year-old) spoke something that resonated with me really well:

We love what we enjoy, we protect what we love

This sums up a lot of the things that was said from Day One up until now (at least that’s how I feel it). It explains what it means to be prosperous, it explains the actions that increases our wellbeing and it explains why it is important to use human-centred designs to develop ideas that improve wellbeing.

Your identity is tied to what you like doing or how comfortable you are in being the person that you are. It is based on what we view on ourselves and also (I think) our reactions on the views that were imposed on us.

How we choose to live is related with our identity which is essentially a social construct that determines really big issues in our life sometimes. It also determines on how we interact with the spaces whether to embrace it as our own or reject it as a threat to our livelihood. Ultimately, how we choose to live affects our wellbeing.

In short, I have made this little connection:


That’s one way of seeing it I guess. I could be wrong (I hope not) but so far this helped me in explaining the successes of policies, ideas and intervention. And I realised how important it is to have more interdisciplinary ventures especially in improving wellbeing and prosperity. I wouldn’t have thought of thinking like this stuck in the confines of my own paradigm.

I was brought up to think that having too many people in an issue complicates things and we get nothing done; as the saying goes “too many cooks spoil the broth”.  But that’s the wrong way of seeing it. Problems are complicated to begin with and every part of it should be a concern in the Discovery, Ideation and Prototyping process. Closing an ear or a view does not actually solve anything. The solution process begins by the act of coming together from different perspectives. The better or the best solutions don’t come easy although we would like that to be. But I would put in one requirement though for having conducive discussions:

– Everyone is orientated to achieve the common goal –

How fortunate it is for me to be surrounded by people who are as passionate if not more  in this programme. It matters not on whether we would fail or succeed, but the irony of setting that aside and attacking the problem in a creative and holistic way, more often than none, is actually bringing us closer to the solution that we dream of.  And that’s just simply mind-boggling for me! In the words of Emily Dickinson:

Madness is divinest sense

Again, I stand by with the word that describes my experience in the (Un)Urban strand; unexpected. In all the best possible ways.


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