The meeting itself was very interesting. It gave me a better light as to how the students are able to go through the design process individually. While I’ll never say it is better than teamwork, having this conversation (and ones like these) prove that with some support from fellow classmates and advisors and dedication from the student, it is possible to go through the design process in a more individual basis. While working in teams teaches students how to interact with others, working individually forces more confidence in individual ideas.
However, what struck out to me the most was when Inge referred to me as a natural at user centered design. The exact quote was that “UCD is in my DNA”! How complimentary and assertive! She referred all UCD questions to me and encouraged the students to use me as a resource. I really enjoyed giving them feedback and talking to them about their projects, but this made me think… when did I become the expert in user centered design? I’m only a junior in college. I then realized the power of what Olin does. Not only does Olin teach you different skills, but it changes the order of how things are taught. We are taught to design and think about our users before the fundamental math and physics courses. This means our brains have been trained to think about UCD before the calculations, which is a very different experience from what the engineers at KU Leuven get. I do believe that for this reason I am so comfortable with design and working with users.