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A products design features depend on the user; SOP for masters in industrial design


catie0501 1 / -  
Jan 4, 2010   #1
Any feedback would be most excellent!!!
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Ecologists understand the deliberateness of nature in the way that designers understand that same quality in good design. Depending on the ecosystem in which they participate, different species develop traits in order to compete and survive. Similarly, a products design features depend on the user. A mismatch between a new product and its intended consumer results in marketplace failure. My own work in environmental studies and design has generated a constant detection of parallels between design and evolutionary adaptations. During my undergraduate degree, I focused on deciphering the complex, contemporary interaction between society and nature. As I pursue design, I focus on the interaction between society and its tools. The more I understand these design relationships, the more I feel intellectually awakened. Ultimately, I hope to combine my undergraduate knowledge with my design knowledge, using bio-mimicry to incorporate nature's designs into my own. However, I feel my undergraduate studies must be matched with a Design program that can advance my design abilities to a professional and leading level. Because I was a student in ____ CCPS ID graduate prep classes, I fully understand the rigor, intensity, professionalism, and strength of the graduate program. These qualities offer an ideal education and opportunity for my industrial design ambitions. My three most prominent experiences that have prepared me for graduate study in industrial design are my undergraduate studies, a design apprenticeship, and graduate prep classes.

Undergraduate Studies

At ______, I designed my own interdisciplinary major. I combined three existing departments, economics, political science, and environmental science, and tackled top-level classes in all of these disciplines to create a major called "environmental studies." In my second year, I read and became extremely influenced by the book Cradle-to-Cradle. From that moment on, I found it impossible to remove my design "goggles." My mind was awakened with a new understanding and appreciation of the ways we could re-design our world to improve our relationship with nature.

In environmental classes I sought out experiences that would develop my design insight. For example, in my "Environmental Policy of the Global Commons" class, I discovered that other countries were implementing product lifecycle management strategies, making manufactures take responsibility for their products total lifecycle. This often led to a complete re-design of their product. For my final paper in "Environmental Synthesis," I researched and reported on five of the top green-building materials. I wanted to know which materials where simply "green-washed" (made to look sustainable by media and advertising, though in reality unsustainable) and which materials were viable sustainable options. My thesis was invaluable because it allowed me to conduct first hand research abroad by contacting and scheduling interviews with the central actors to my topic. After months of research, and over one hundred pages of writing, I gained a deeper understanding ways of the ways culture and politics influence scientific data and I determined my own political recommendations.

Design Apprenticeship

After receiving my bachelor's degree and spending the summer as a woodworker's assistant, I decided to embark on adventure to a foreign country and learn about design from another perspective. I became an apprentice in product development, design, and production for Designo Patagonia, the best Argentine sustainable industrial designers. They used reclaimed and local materials in their products reflecting the spirituality of Patagonia in their designs. I learned the ways that sustainable choices can be made in every step of the design process. For example, examining how to use off-cuts in chair production led to the development of a toy car. As we continued the development of a toy car, we looked for a non-toxic natural paint. In the United States many options already exist for non-toxic paints, however, this type of paint market is not as strong in Argentina. Instead, I began to develop paint for our project, using berries from a tree that grew next to the shop. In all of the projects I developed with Designo Patagonia, the designers taught me to use these restrictions, like the unavailability of non-toxic paint, as an advantage, as fuel for innovation. Though they used traditional design methods such as ideation drawing and model building, the argentine designers non-traditional approaches opened my mind to the possible ways the design process can unfold.

________ Classes

My recent classes at ______ in product design and drawing are the most formal design training I have had. The classes deepened my understanding of the design process and the role a designer plays in society. I now appreciate the ways a design education and a more traditional, formal, design process fundamentally trains mind to innovate and problem solve. I looked forward to applying hard skills, such as model building with blue-foam and creating industrial design presentation drawings in graduate school. Additionally, the soft skills, like innovation and ideation exercises, that we practiced helped me when faced with barriers in the design process. I found the ____ design community welcoming and talented. I thrived in the design classroom setting, both with the constant critique and feedback of professors, and the exchange of ideas and encouragement with fellow aspiring-designer classmates.

Before I can achieve my goals as an ecological Industrial Designer, I need a strong design education. The program at ____ provides a perfect opportunity for me to achieve these goals. If accepted, I hope to use this degree to become a designer specialized in bio-mimicry and hopefully continue with more academic pursuits to one day teach interdisciplinary design courses.

Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jan 4, 2010   #2
Ecologists understand the deliberateness of nature in the way that designers understand that same quality in good design. Depending on the ecosystem in which they participate, different species develop traits in order to compete and survive. Similarly, a products design features depend on the user. A mismatch between a new product and its intended consumer results in marketplace failure.

^You can remove this. This is just factual and boring information, which fails to convey any real information about yourself as a candidate (apart from the fact that you understand the basics. Which naturally, all applicants should)
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Jan 14, 2010   #3
I am struggling with the word deliberateness. It is an important word in the essay, because of the way you are using it to compare, but is it the best word? Maybe it is indeed the best word and simply needs a little more explanation: stakeholders must act in a deliberate way because of their understanding of the _______(?) that is inherent in both design and nature.

Or maybe it is just my inexperience with this subject that makes it confusing to me.

:-)

This sentence is not too bad, but it is not technically correct. I am pretty sure it is not corect, even though we commonly structure sentences this way. Still, I would suggest a restructuring:

As my understanding of these design relationships grows, I feel intellectually awakened.


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