PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Beginning Constellation I hoped that it would open my views on the subject of art but also life itself, already the sound of ‘things can be otherwise’ intrigued me. I have always had a strong interest in philosophy, the meaning of life and how society and culture can cause and affect so much in our lives, many being unaware. I hoped to broaden my horizons in a general sense and to improve on my academic skills. I hoped to extend my knowledge further on the subject of philosophy as I have not really covered this discipline before and intend to have more than a basic understanding by the end of the year.
Constellation has helped me to discover and interpret so many new ideas and theories I perhaps would never have considered before. It has helped me gain ways of looking at life to find inspiration anywhere and to question the unquestionable. Why should something just exist? What is knowledge? Are we cyborg?
I have become much more open minded and have learnt to be more accepting of others beliefs however different to my own, to be able to find different ways of looking at life and everything that completes it. Many of us have been brought up having a certain set of norms, values and beliefs, usually heavily influenced and constructed through primary socialisation. This is where young people first learn and build their basis of becoming their own individual by the interactions and communications around them at a young age, this is usually the parents and other close family agents. The impact of this in early development stages usually shapes a person for the rest of their lives.
Starting on a blank slate when it came to philosophy was rather easy for me since I didn’t know a massive amount of information before hand and was eager to learn extensively. It meant having to let go of some control especially when it came to my own beliefs. I think it is very important to stick with what you believe in but perhaps more so in the design field as it is all about your own feelings and expression but on the other hand it is equally as important to take on board others opinions and beliefs to improve yourself as a designer. I think this is key as it is a transferable skill and trait to bring over into the design industry especially when working for a client to meet certain briefs even though you may not fully agree with the concept or similar.
Opening my mind allowed me to free myself from being completely engulfed in my own thoughts and opinions and take into consideration a multitude of other perspectives, having an outsiders point of view. Doing this meant occasionally I had to challenge myself against what I thought I already knew to be right or wrong.
Breaking the norms can be a good exercise especially when working with very contrasted and opinionated groups, group discussions definitely helped me to consider and evaluate others thought processes, with all their own individual set of norms, values and experiences probably very different to my own, it showed me how much an opinion can drastically differ when looked at from an alternate angle.
Experiencing change within a group dynamic allowed me to explore many new ideas and gave the opportunity to open my eyes and change how I view the world we live in.
A personal weakness is that sometimes I can be afraid to voice my own opinions especially if contrasted with others strong opinions, but I found in widening my view and beliefs, it allows you to think and speak more freely and become more understanding of both sides of the table.
I think that in order to experience and learn anything you have to accept your own opinions and peoples reaction to it, even if its to disagree, and grow as a person from this.
In one session we examined ‘using technology in moderation’. It was discussed and a contrasting view of opinions came into circulation of believing and accepting that this is just how the world is nowadays and we should stay in keeping with it, that we wouldn’t be able to function without it and the opposing thoughts of the fact we as Mankind are loosing our sense of humanity, everything is done through technology, emotionless and careless compared to real human contact and communication.
The importance of this is seeing how as Humans and as a part of society we are developing to be more and more dependant on technology and this can be transferred through to design. Deciding what materials to use, how to present it to the audience and what type of media to display it on can all be influenced by how much society are involved in the world of technology.
I found this subject to be really interesting and something I could fully engage with, it’s made me think about how influential art and design can be to society as much as technology on a certain level. Donna Haraway wrote about the Cyborg world in her book ‘A Cyborg Mannifesto’ 1984, where conceptualises that Cyborg is a rejection of all our norms and values and that it noticeably differentiates us from Man and animal but also Man and Machine.
Constellation has helped me gain different transferable skills that I can put to practise in Illustration. In the short term these skills will help me evaluate and interpret formatively and assumptively, to characterise and appraise art and design from different perspectives and how it can trigger different feelings and emotions.
In the long term I can use these skills in a work place as it has really helped with speaking out in a group and practise of this is key to confidence in the working environment.