The Birth of Awareness

IMG_1835.JPGI believe the poetic of design is awareness, is a philosophy of mind. Being aware of the sign and trace is hidden in every design: the handle of the door which suggests the functionality and how people should interact with it, the giant hand pointing to the start button on the subway ticket machine’s monitor. Being aware of the detail: the texture of the material, the seam that indicates how an object was made, the “belly button” of everything. Being aware of our own existence and consciousness: the way we perceive the world, how our mind manipulates our action and behaviour, the think- ing flow and “how do I think I think”.

During the course Poetic of Design, I learned to dig into the detail and really think about of the thing we were so used to that we don’t even notice, and choice we made unconsciously and intuitively.


From the first day of class, we were assigned to draw a mind map to illustrate “how do I think I think”. Instead of focusing the final product of my brain activity, I got the chance to open up my mind to think about the way I sensing the world and gathering information, and how does my brain analysis and process those messages and finally form an idea. By doing this exercise, I observed my thinking pattern closely. And the most important is, I learned to be honest with myself.

Writing was always the hardest part since I was young, the weekly assignment of writing diaries was a torture to me. I felt uncomfortable to express my mind and exposing my feelings and emotions to other people, even to myself. Comparing with narrative prose, I was more willing to write an argumentative paper. In which way I could make a conclusion and list truths to support my arguments without putting myself in the position. And this feature has been affecting my design practice. I tend to make a project which is self-explained and also open for interpretation, therefore I could get rid of showing up my thinking process.

But when I was standing in front of the huge silhouette of myself, I understand that
I really need to put my mind and consciousness under the spotlight, unpack it and read it closely. Be honest to every trace of my thinking flow, the emotion, the physical perception, and the struggle.

Be aware of my awareness.

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