In product design this semester, we chose a location that mattered to us and made a lightbox to honor the place.
I chose the Golden Gate Bridge since it was one of my favorite locations.
My biggest success was that I was able to actually get the layers to fit together first try. Since I finished my adobe layers extra early, I was able to print it out on paper to test instead of drawing it out, which was kind of cool.
My biggest obstacle was that my layers were too wide, which meant that my faceplate wouldn’t fit in perfectly. I guess I’ve learned over the 12 limited years of my life that 1, practice makes perfect… (it’s really “practice makes progress”, and not “perfect”… progress is better the perfection anyway) this is like my 2nd time working with a laser-cutter, so my skills and planning aren’t that great, but will get better over time. 2, that perfect is the opposite of good… Since nothing is really perfect, I guess I’ll settle for good enough, though I’ll work harder to get better, and will learn the accept some flaws that may come with it. After I sanded the layers down, it fits together a bit better (good enough for me), but honestly still faces the same problem, just not as bad. If I really want to, I could just glue it down, but I LIKE IT this way, and I don’t think anyone’s going to really kill me for keeping it this way (edit: I actually got it to fit in the class after I first wrote this). That said, next time, I’d like to better plan the thickness of my layers, so that it fits even better together, which just so happens to be a piece of feedback I’ve gotten on my lightbox.
Skills I’ve developed during this quarter include Painting, Planning, and Problem Solving. Our scratch-off cards taught us the basics of how to paint, while presenting possible challenges and problems we may face while painting our lightboxes. Oh, and remember, when there’s not enough paint, you can always add more. But when there’s too much… nothing except your report card would really change :). Next, our planning skills were crucial since 1, we were using a laser-cutter that shoots lasers everywhere and cuts things, and 2, we want to save our sacred materials and save the planet (which makes using wood in the first place debatable) so we don’t want to redo things like 20000 times. Lastly, I improved my problem-solving skills by solving the millions of problems that came up. I mean come on, there are barely any cases in which everything goes according to your plan. Like you may forget that it’s basically impossible to use white glue on wood, or that you don’t have a limited amount of time to do things, or that the baby has a gun (hopefully that doesn’t EVER happen). But the only constant in the world is change. So we need to change the changed or adapt to it. Or in this case, do both. My sanding problems in the previous paragraph would have told you so. These skills aren’t only important in design, they’re important in our everyday lives. For example, you’ll have to problem solve when a baby has a gun. You’ll have to make sure they don’t pull the trigger. Then somehow take it away. OR, you could just not let the baby have the gun in the first place… which goes back to planning. See? Everything fits together perfectly, which goes back to my previous paragraph that states that nothing is perfect, so let’s just say it fits together well.
Something I learned about myself during this project is that I’m not as hot-headed as I though I was. Turns out that I didn’t panic when found a problem with my lightbox, and instead just thought about solutions instead of sulking about how awful life is and how the whole world is against me. Turns out, the world was never against me, it just never sided with me. ANYWAY, I now feel better doing projects knowing that I won’t crack under pressure, give up, or sulk, and instead would focus on the problem at hand first.
One piece of advice I’d give a future student doing this project would be to actually plan everything since this isn’t your pencil on paper writing, it’s sort of permanent in a way. So try and plan everything out, and adapt and change your design along the way if and when needed. Overall, I think my lightbox was a success because success is subjective, and my view on success is that you tried your best and ended up with something that you like and would enjoy using and looking at.
Hopefully, you didn’t skip anything when reading this humongous philosophy essay but, uh, thanks for reading, I guess?