Interview and feature image by Anna Day
Everyone has a story. Humans of UniSA is a deep dive into the lives of our fellow students to unravel the threads of their personal history, quiet ambitions, and their hopes, worries, and joys. Take a fleeting glance into the vivid lives we pass by each day in the hallways and classrooms of UniSA.
Bachelor of Design (Product Design)
Welcome to my office. What do you want to know? Tell you about me. I am male…this isn’t going to work if you laugh the whole time. So tell you about me. I am a male. I am 22 years old and I study product design at UniSA and I’m in my third and last year of that. My hobbies include procrastinating, and not doing uni work whatsoever. I don’t know how I’m going to pass this year. This COVID-19 thing is really doing me up the arse as well, which is fun.
Ah…because when it came to selecting uni subjects when we were in year 12, my parents did it for me and thought that I’d be good at this so they did all my preferences and this is what I—I just rocked up. I was like ‘oh!’, you know. Mum and dad: ‘oh yeah, you got enrolled in this, congratulations.’ You beauty, sign me up. I’ll get on the bus and just rock up and here I am. Only five years later.
I feel like this isn’t anything to do with the interview. Um… Do my parents make a lot of life choices for me? Well, yeah I guess up until the age of, I don’t know, like, ten mum still dressed me. I think that’s probably when she stopped. At 11 I decided that I’d choose my own clothes.
I like product design…why do I like product design? The fact that I understand on a philosophical level what being a designer is and I think that helps me understand, like, the work better. So I think that design is mostly about a process—things don’t just happen. I think most people understand that but if you understand your process as a designer then that’s how you become a better designer and that includes being able to resonate with clients or empathise with the target audience or end user. So firstly, you have to understand that you completely strip down that you don’t know anything about whatever you’re—WHAT?… What?…the fuck? Yes. I’m doing an interview—Are you going to put in how much you’re laughing as well?
As I was saying, you know, Sydney Swans are a really good football team.
So for me it’s like—we are actually currently doing a subject called Design Cultures and Societies, which is looking in detail at this. But if I was to approach it I would firstly read the brief 10 million trillion times and even then you won’t understand the brief so you have to then identify—you have to ask yourself a bunch of questions like: who, what, when, where, why, how, sort of stuff. And then you actually have to go out and ask the people who are the ‘who.’ Right so, if I’m designing a toothbrush for a five-year-old, I’d have to go and ask five-year-olds what they want in a toothbrush.
Well, I don’t know. That’s exactly the point. So, the design process is saying I don’t know anything about the toothbrush anymore and then going out and finding—because everyone’s got preconceptions about everything, right? But you don’t—well this is what you will find is that you run into dead ends if you just design on what you think everything is. So the design process, I feel, it starts with being able to make yourself vulnerable and say ‘I don’t know anything about something’ which is whatever you are wanting to design, and going and finding out what the actual user wants, how they operate and how they interact with the existing products. So in terms of design process, I think from there you have to maintain the user and that experience in your mind when you rinse and repeat everything. But it’s about having your stable building blocks, which is research and understanding, which I think I’m pretty good at. Not blowing my own horn or anything.
You know, I really like anal. Don’t put that in. No! That’s a lie, you can’t put lies in. Hey, what am I claiming?—I’ll sue you.
What else do I like? I like computer games, and I like surfing and I like music. I like doing those things on repeat for hours on end and that’s about it. Hanging out with my friends, playing sport, loving my girlfriend so, so much. Oh, I buy her chocolates every Tuesday, I bring her flowers every Friday and we have sex once a year.
Well see, I’ll paint a picture: sex swing—actually, I feel uncomfortable in this interview talking about my sexual prowess.
Well, surfing I just watch a lot of surfing videos and hope that I then dream about surfing so then it’s like I’m kind of actually surfing. Well, the other night I met Kelly Slater, two nights ago I met Fisher the DJ and we surfed and hung out all day so that was kind of cool. What are other dreams I’ve been having recently…? But yeah mostly I think COVID-19 is making me appreciate my dreams a lot more and I try and like, you know, watch something on Instagram or whatever and then immediately go to sleep afterwards and hope that I dream about whatever I’ve been looking at. So that then I kind of live through like a virtual reality but it’s like a dream.
Actually, can I talk about the wholesomeness that I had on Saturday night? Okay. So, me and the lads decided that we were going to Zoom. Zoom call. I’m sure everyone is familiar with Zoom now—thanks a lot COVID. We were going to Zoom and we were each going to drink six beers and it was a race to drink six beers the quickest. And you know, lots of shenanigans ensued. One of my mates passed out at his computer with the light on and woke up and wondered what had happened and I had to fill him in and yeah it was just an all round great time. It was weird—I sort of felt like they were there with me even though I was just drunk in my bedroom all alone. It felt like I had a real connection with them. So that was something that was wholesome.
This interview was originally published in Edition 33 of Verse. View the original piece via ISSUU.
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