Three months ago, I wasn’t in a good place. I was distraught when I look at the work I’m doing and will embark on in the future. I felt paralyzed by the enormity of the problems in this world.
Honestly to say, I’m not completely satisfied with the amount of my output. To what I did this semester: I explored making small experiences that encourage people to connect themselves to some of the biggest wicked problems we’re facing at a chaotic time.
I had a chance to look at a diverse set of inspiring work, among which I also wanted to highlight Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy, a book that propelled me to rethink my impact in this world. It resonated with Gil Friend’s conversation with Nora Bateson. As Adrienne said, “what we practice at the small scales sets the patterns for the whole system.” To recognize my contribution, I have to see my relationships with the world and the patterns beyond the direct influence of my behaviors.
This is a lesson I had to take as a designer. I learned that to find my way out, I have to be resilient against the frustration that I can’t immediately change, be conscious of the patterns I could create around me, and find my voice in this world.
In the next five years, I wish I could continue being this way: stay conscious, but hopeful.
Go back to what I wanted to do the most: building tools that help us organize information and form knowledge.