Media Theory — Weekly Reflection 5/4
During last week’s lecture with Sasha, someone asked how the pandemic can lead to positive changes in the design community, and this was a question that stuck with me. Sasha responded “in design processes, everything going remote has a real downfall,” although she also mentioned “there’s some ways companies have been able to expand design practices to design communities through the pandemic.” I decided to research this question brought up in class and found a page from Gensler titled “Design responds to a changing world.” This webpage contained several subpages of various ways services like school, transportation, and public businesses are trying to reimagine what they’ll look like and incorporate into society after Covid-19 virus dissipates.
One of the subpages was on “Accessible Design for All in the Post-COVID Workplace” and it mentioned how some of the post-pandemic technology can be beneficial for individuals with disabilities. An example they used is touchless entries to wider streets, allowing more accessibility for everyone in a particular town or city. It intrigues me to think how incorporating accessibility in cities and businesses will be looked at more after the pandemic ends, although it’s sad how certain people are only contemplating the idea of more accessible practices, such as wider streets, for social distancing measures. Another subpage talked about “Reimagining the Future of Cities as Healthy Cities,” where five suggestions they had were 1. Practice more polycentric planning; 2. Layer in more digital experiences; 3. Recommit to sustainable and resilient design solutions. The polycentric model made me curious because it talks about this idea of a “15 minute city” where everything is a short walk or bike ride from peoples’ homes, however, I wonder how this idea prevents the spread of germs and diseases. Now I realize it’s likely due to less travel in compacted spaces, although I also question the factors around this concept.
I also pondered the conversation we had about colleges’ nowadays after last week’s class. We talked about how now you go to college to buy a degree, which was similar to a conversation I had with my parents last night. My parents would always say “go to college, get the degree. Go to grad school, get that degree,” whereas that’s not really the case. College is about gaining professional and personal experience for yourself. What’s the point of spending a ton of money at a far away university for four years, just for a framed piece of paper and some additional type on your resume? College was my biggest growth period, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I just stayed at home and did school online, which is sadly the case for many individuals now. I had a bunch of amazing professional experiences in college such as taking creative classes, traveling around the country, and pursuing internships at places I used to never imagine I’d ever work at. I’m curious how colleges will be after the pandemic dissipates and I hope students get to have the same experience I did while I was in school.