Mixed Feelings

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That was my proudest moment this semester. The moment where we put it all together and our months of prototyping realized into a working product that brought a smile to Jeffrey’s face (not pictured). This was definitely the high point for the class.

But this class has also made me the most frustrated out of all my classes. Sometimes our group would work really hard on a design, and Jeffrey would dismiss it in a few sentences. That sucked. I’m not saying he was wrong to do so. He might not even realize how his words shape people’s feelings because it’s hard for him to really get feedback on how people react. But this class was really impactful because it was the first time I worked so closely and so extensively with a client.

Up until this point, I never really engaged in client work. Or even considered it, to be honest. My life filled with psets and other isolated problems, the idea of the client was idealized in my mind. The client provided a problem, and you solved it. In reality, the client provides a problem, and continues providing problems. Some explicit, such as the signature project, and some implicit, such as the tension created from his feedback. Sometimes, we felt like

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There were certainly a lot of frustrations along the way. At times we felt underappreciated, at times we felt brilliant. The problems we solved this semester were by far the messiest and most ill defined ones I’ve seen in my time at MIT. That is also probably why our final solution is the most tangible and practical one I’ve made here as well. I’d say this class was a good taste of real world work, but also occasionally a bitter baptism.

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