Emotional MAP OF MY LIFE

As a warm-up exercise to our first Design Studio assignment, Jan asked us to map our path to DMI. Inspired by the Yasin Bey, né Mos (Def ) / Massive Attack collaboration I against I, a song that conveys the story of the duality of man, I designed an emotional map of my life that compared the emotional influence that my positive and negative selves have had during each year of my life.

I included this project as a foreword in my thesis because it foreshadowed the eventual direction of my work at DMI. My instinct to map my life emotionally was no accident, and over the course of two years I  learned to follow that instinct, developing a range of work that attempted to map the emotional experience of our lives. It is my opinion that a designer must trust his instinct. To be clear, doing so is not simply a choice. To remove assumptions or inhibitions takes practice. During this mapping exercise I gave in to my motivation to be open to the possibility that the small acts in my life mean something — that they make a difference.

My thesis work covered a wide gamut of concepts from a number of disciplines including design, psychoanalysis, sociology, and narrative. Admittedly, the subject matter can be difficult to grasp at times but at the heart of it all I want my users to do two things — listen to their selves, and don’t take anything for granted. 

In Pixar’s Ratatouille — the movie in which Remy the rat takes a role as head chef to successfully revive the reputation of a French restaurant — Chef Gusteau wisely says, “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” Although Gusteau’s mantra refers to artists, we can extrapolate the metaphor to explain an approach to the creative process as well. Not all ideas are great, but a great idea can come from anywhere. For me, this project is my Remy the rat — an unexpected shot in the dark that inspired a revolution in my approach to creativity.