This week I have become a critic and I am fully aware what an annoying role that is. But I also think it does have its uses. In the last week I have mostly written about what I do not like about current projects in technology and dementia. I have written about a lack of interaction and user engagement, a tendency to focus on the symptoms of dementia rather than a user based approach and related to this a lack to focus in caregivers needs or a lack of awareness of distinction between the two of them.
Well, isn’t this typical? There comes a PhD student, takes everything apart and thinks they can do better. Point taken, but isn’t this the point of a PhD? So, while I do not feel comfortable to be in a position where I question other projects without having anything better to offer, I think it important at this stage. It will hopefully enable me to generate a new point of view and add a new voice to the discussion.
It leaves me at a challenging position. I come from a design background and I feel tempted to apply the methods I have learned there and make something from the information taken in so far. For me this feels like a natural way to respond. And much more comfortable than steppuing further behind and asking deeper into the why things they are as they are.
I am very much out of my comfort zone and I can feel how easy it would be to step back and make this a design project. But this is where my criticism comes in and stops me. I have been critizing others for doing exactly that, so I want my PhD to be different. Have possibly a different scope. A different aim. Design to inform, not only inform to design.
I have read more about design methods around artifacts, such as design probes or critique as a concept and I think this could be a good way to get me back into my comfort zone. It may be a way of making something after all. The materials I am developing for the workshop at CCC may be a first step into this direction.
It is something I will focus on in the next days, developing and hopefully testing ideas with others as the deadline is fast approaching next week. I have three ideas I like, but I either need to find a way to bring them together or make a decision which one to chose – which is my weak point. As always I want to make everything. Now.