As part of our thesis prep with Liz, we paid a visit to IDEO. I played cool the mix of excitement and mild heartache from past memories.
Ideo was my college idol. I remember one summer, on a long plane ride back to school, I read through their book on innovation. As a young designer, I was mesmerized by their design thinking process. User empathy and wise insights led to innovation that made sense. This was when there weren’t many of them that were like them were around. I desperately wanted to be an intern there. I was a 19 year old college sophomore.
It was in at the time to come up with clever ways to send(paper mails!) your portfolio samples. I probably had spent days just to come up with the idea to send my work samples. I finally printed 3-4 different work samples on colorful postits, titled all of them, “stick me at ideo" and sent it along with neatly folded resume.
I didn’t hear anything from them.
On a wednesday evening, we were invited to IDEO. Located in soho, their space was fun, and people there had good hair and cool jeans. We heard great lecture on using observation as inspiration, having empathic experiences with the users, learning from the extreme fans and looking (way) outside for inspirations.
30 years old, many years since that internship resume, I had been exposed to many beautiful designs. Thinking and preparing for thesis next year, I too am mining through what I’ve been consistently drawn to in all my design career and exposure.
What was precious about the visit to IDEO was that it helped me to see clearer what I was interested in as a young designer had lasted even after 11 years.
I am passionate about designing for the user.
As simple as it sounds, that’s all I want to achieve as a designer. Looking at things from their perspective, inspiring them with how things could be, and knowing when to cut out my design ego for what really works for them.
With only 2 weeks in, my mind is filled with anticipation what my thesis would turn out to be. I’m kind of dreading the creative birth process, but I’m ever so grateful and crazily in awe of the support system I have to pursue this opportunity..