Reflection and Mindfulness

Could we incorporate them into our design practices…please?

The studio atmosphere Lisa Grocott and Roger Manix created in their studio, Transforming Mindsets, is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced in my practice. In grad school, our Wednesdays existed for us to spend a considerable amount of time transforming our own mindsets, this by experimenting with reflection tools. From writing, to play, to group case studies, to co-designing evaluation tools, we studied ourselves in relation to the social space that surrounds us. It was truly magical.

One visible and tangible measure of success of this work was the result of a collaborative design project we worked on in the Transforming Mindsets studio. My three teamates and I were able to work in sync, I believe because of the emotional openness that was permitted in this class. Fear of being judged was no longer a burden because we discussed our internal issues together. Embracing uncertainties and jumping into unfamiliar territories together became enjoyable rather than a burden.

Now, from a distance, I better understand the positive effects of this work. Mostly because of the mental shift I’ve had since I started working with a new group of designers. It seems like something is missing…it seems like there is a lack of self-reflection in the work we’re doing…a lack of consideration for the importance of group dynamics and how they directly affect the success of a design project. My post-Transforming Mindsets self is living a big re-ajustment period! Could I say the current situation is regression? I don’t want to be a pessimist. How might I then begin to integrate these practices in my new team? I have voiced my concerns and offered opportunities for reflection, but I’m starting to believe my voice isn’t listened. There is a possibility that it might simply not be understood, which gives my a glimpse of hope.

Looking back, I am so very proud of the work we’ve accomplished working on the Archipelago of Possibilities. I am confident that practicing reflection and mindfulness in a collaborative setting could open up new gateways and potential.