Thursday, December 8, 2011

Whats next?

Now that life in institute is over.. what comes next? 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why exactly?

WHY? everything comes down to these stupid questions which start with "W". If you been following this blog from before then you would know this is not the first time that I have encountered this question. There have been many more "W"s in my life. What? When? these things keep bothering you.
Recently read somewhere that the key to be a good designer is to be curious and find answers  to your doubts. Its not something one can force themselves to do. It comes to you depending on your surrounding. Some people are like zombies, who take in anything without questioning. While some are like these curiosity freaks who spend hours and hours just trying to understand why there are 12 stars on some coin they just saw. Being curious has its own advantage. You might not accomplish the task you doing but you'll end up knowing a lot more.

All you need to do is try to ask yourself, WHY? 

This could be relating to anything around you. Why is there always a dot on the "F" and "J" key on keyboard? Why in mobile phones the same dot is on "5" button? Why do they use a certain font?

Ask yourself everything but avoid asking yourself "why am I asking so many questions? Why am so curious to know things?" cos there are 2 directions from here, one is you might appreciate your curiosity while other one will just disturb you as you might realize that you know nothing.

We say we know so many things. I know I know things, but is there any end to knowledge? There is SO much to learn in this world and we have so little time. How can one person who is hungry for knowledge ever be satisfied? I can be a good designer if I keep asking myself lot of questions, but will i ever be a perfect designer? as there is always something more to know. The information is never ending and is growing every micro seconds. Today they are about to prove Einstein wrong by finding a particle which is faster than the speed of light.Tomorrow someone else will prove something wrong. A day will come when someone will just prove that laws of physics are just crap. When will one exactly know everything.

This reminds me of a theory by a good friend. about 4 kind of people
1. People who know that they know.
2. People who don't know that they know.
3. People who know that they don't know.
4. People who don't know that they don't know.

Interesting theory. I never knew what section would I come under. So I just prefer to put myself in 3rd, People who know that they don't know.

I keep telling some people to be curious and try to know as much as you can. Just look around you there is so much information. With Internet that information is available right here. All you need to do is be curious enough to actually search for it. Like now I know that there is no specific reason for 12 stars on Euro coin, It came from Euro zone flag, which has it for no specific reason but just cos 12 is the number common to lot of cultures and there are 12 hours on a watch. Similar is the 24 spokes on chakra in Indian flag. It represents 24 hours in a day. What it has to do with a country? nothing they just copied it from the Ashoka chakra.

Things like these take most of my days time. Do i need to worry about it? Apparently not. as the key to being a good designer is in being curious. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Einstein has his own theory which deals with physics.. I am not talk about that(mostly because I don't have sufficient knowledge about it). Lets start with the concept of scale. Humans felt the need to define things. in this process they realized that nothing can be defined as an individual by itself. it has to be compared to something else so as one can relate it to his experience and then get familiar with it. This is how the dictionary works. You look at certain word they will break it into a sentence. If you know the meaning of the words in that sentence then you will know the meaning of the first word you were looking for. So this is how the human experience links one experience to other and then conclude. To do this there had to be certain constants. If nothing is constant then nothing will be defined. So humans very conveniently defined the constants. These are things like time, distance, colors etc. Oh the entire science is based on these constants which are defined by humans to define other things.

Why I speak of this?

When trying to understand what one wants from life, the goal, THE aim in life, I always wondered how can one be so sure of what he wants. I could never tell that I wanna do this and this and that. Then after thinking bit(bit is general term and changes meaning according to people, used intentionally here.) more I got back to relativity in things. As in the scale we perceive things at. For some life is the life they have lived till date. For few life will be next 2 years. For some life will be all the time to come in future. For a very few, Life will be every moment as it happens(this i have seen only in movies). So the answer of what one want from life usually depends on the scale he looks at life as. the smaller the time period, more chances of having materialistic goals like winning an award or putting on some weight etc. This happens mostly because there is a fixed timeline and then setting goals is easy. Time though it might be a human defined parameter, it matters a lot in the way we think. but this again is because we are born in era where time was defined and well in use.

If you came here looking for design advice and couldn't figure out the link yet, then let me explain this again in terms of design. Every designer works on a design brief(mostly). This brief comes as an interpretation of what the client wants. That is his way of looking at things. You(designer) will take that brief and try to make sense of it in your own words and define it your own way. This is what you think the client wants. Then you will call this the specific problem statement. Some designers will look at what the users of the client want. You will do your research and then re-define the problem. This will be the your version of what you think the users of the client think they want from the client. Wow! that is confusing and yes in all this confusion no one ever understands what was exactly to be done. A way to designing a very effective, functioning product is to have a very focused user group.

But that is not what I wanted to say when I started writing this post. Confused soul I am.
Oh the answer to this problem is defined in this post itself, I don't define things within a frame of reference and that is why I end up writing about everything but not about what I thought I would.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Connection error

"Happiness is real only when shared - Into the wild"

A movie, song, person, or even few words make such a difference in the kind of person we are. What are we? Nothing different than a lump of mud on potters wheel and each experience we have mold us into the person we are. The same conversations i remember having with someone trying to tell them how you cant force a change in the kind of person you are you will never be what you wish to be. They tried.. I think they failed or just gave up, or even forgot about it. This time am not talking about people. Instead i am looking at my self in mirror (no not literally as that will just remind me that I need to shave and cut my hair) and trying to understand what all might have changed since I last wrote which happens to be almost one year back on Sept 12 2010. Well writing after one year is not easy. Though i wrote a 13 page colloquium paper on what is design and yet failed to find answer as usual the task to write is difficult not because there is nothing to write but there is too much and you don't know where to start. A friend, now in Indian Navy calls it "the piggy bank effect". Very creative theory he has. Thoughts in mind are like coins in a piggy back, if the piggy bank is full it is difficult to remove one thought without breaking it open. If there are very few coins then you can manage to remove it very easily(kids do not try this at home, its possible trust me.. that's all you need to know if you curios). Same is  with thoughts. Too many thoughts in your head, you cant think where to start. Same thing happens when you start your blog, so many things to say that you don't write at all for few days. but then comes a day when you forget everything and write.

There is a chain of thoughts running in your head. If you cant stick to it and don't shift from one thought then maybe you would still be writing about what you started off with. but that is not the case with Mr. Cuboid. I forget about what i was writing and go in to a topic totally different. Maybe that is why i could never understand what design is even after writing that colloquium and also thinking about it for years. Now i have a slight hint though about what design could be. If to define what is design now, I would say "design is everything.. at the same time design is nothing." Yes i can define design like that because I have written a paper on it. You have not. Design is the most prettiest thing you can think of, and design is the bullsh*t someone made you pay a bomb for. If you ever in a situation where someone asks you, "What is design?" Then take my advise and practice this in front of mirror(here literally mirror). First look that person in the eye and make them feel that you are wise, then give a sly smile and walk off. Yes! that is exactly what design is. Now that we know exactly what design could be we can analyse things like designers(oh so cool they are) do. 

Advantage MITID, The Design Process
Not really. More than design process its the interaction design course that helped in thinking like this called mind mapping. Named this section the design process just because it looks nice with bold serif font like a heading for some news paper. So what is this mind mapping? its exactly what I been doing whenever i write but never realized. You start at one point and then you follow your chain of thoughts and keep writing things till you run out of time or there is no space left on paper. This helps you map your thoughts and also shows you the problems that lie deep within which you would never realize. It helped me realize the connection between 'people in my institute not interacting and not being inspired' and 'dogs in the institute'. Yes mind map helps you analyse things in a way nothing else does. This is why designers get to be in italics, design is about looking at things differently. 

So why did i talk about this mind map while i started with talking about change in one year and not able to write? 

I was trying to understand what could be the reason that I cant(now couldn't) write. I came to a possibility. MUSIC. Oh music is much more awesome than designers so it gets all caps. So what is the connection between the music you listen to and writing blog? Here is an experiment you can try. Listen to some different music for few days and then see if you think in the same way as you did before. Music with lyrics(if you can understand them) is much more effective. Songs like people communicate to us. It molds us in the person we are. Some say people should not judge you by the kind of music  you listen to but then you ARE what you listen to. Likes and dislikes also depend on people we interact with. Everything in this world is so connected to each other. The butterfly effect is/can not be a myth. On thinking I saw that there was a huge change in the kind of music I listened to and the people I was close to in past one year. The whole thought process has changed. The approach to same situation is different. Tiny things which we never think about change us as a person. Small things get stuck in your head forever. Today itself I remembered one such thing which I saw when i was probably 5 or 6 year old. It stays in your head. If I do a mind map i might be able to understand the link between decisions I took till now and that tiny thing which was nothing but 4 mirrors as inside of a cube. 

I am about to graduate soon from this institute. The last semester which is industrial project is going on. After  this the society waits for me. Searching jobs and living a corporate life. that is the future not too far. I am not worried about it. That shall happen. I will be a designer. Was it the right choice to do design? Yes nothing else would be better. Design has not just given me possibility for bread and butter but also given the opportunity to think and analyse things(life included) at micro level without being called crazy. I can always say its occupational hazard. Design gave ability to link things. It also gave me the strength to face world and also gave some of the most awesome people i will ever know in my life.

where am I?

So anyway, this is what I was saying. I had lost connection with myself and I kind of realized maybe it is because I haven't written for long time. Then for past one week I tried to write but just could not get in this flow. Then i tried to understand what went wrong and this is what this post was about if you skipped the long post and jumped to the end para to get the essence of it. Now you can lie to me and say you read the post. 

I also illustrate and have a new liking for typography these days.

I've got this life
I'll be around to grow
Who I was before
I cannot recall
                     -Eddie Vedder (Long nights, Into the Wild)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011