Hello! It’s me :)

MDes Seminar One/ Context and Perspectives For Design in Flux

Hi! This is Angela Wang :) I drew out most of my fun facts in the diagram below. I also tried to visualize my story though the “my interests” section – take a look and I’ll elaborate more later in this post.

My family has a history of migration – grandparents from China to Burma, parents from Burma to Taiwan, and myself from Taiwan to America (so far). While I failed to pick up Burmese from my parents, I had a healthy exposure of multiculturalism through the form of food, art, music, and countless exciting and terrifying stories told by my immigrant parents. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that this unique background fueled my interest in people, specifically how people interact with their surroundings and how these interactions shape them.

Growing up, I was also obsessed with math. The clear and rational connection between questions and answers in math was attractive to me, and so was the sense of achievement I got from solving math problems. When I went to college, I thought architecture was the golden intersection of my interests in both people and problem solving. At the time, I wanted to create a spatial experience for people that was functional and beautiful. The experience in my mind was an single-direction one.

The space (dash line) influences (arrow) its tenant.

Year four in architecture was when I found that spatial design addresses only a small component of a person’s everyday experience. I turned to city planning to learn about how people’s lives were constrained or optimized by the evolving societal structure. As I practiced as an urban designer, however, I found myself substituting a thorough study of people’s needs with the “golden principles” (walkability, transit-oriented development, multi-modal connection, active-use, open space, etc.) in order to leave time for studies on regulations and environmental constraints.

The living place (dash line) is influenced by the external sources (regulations, environmental constraints) and the residents.

Eventually I was determined to re-center myself to my main interest – people. At CMU, I want to learn in depth about the interaction between people and their surroundings, specifically how individuals’ behaviors change when they have control over their interaction experience. In addition, I am curious about the kinds of societal shift that can happen with all the complex interactions happening amongst people.

Each Individual can shape his experience (dash line) through interaction. People are also impacting one another though the decisions they make in interactions.

That’s it for now! I hope to revisit this story throughout the course and I’ll make sure to document any changes of my “interest” as I move along!