Communication: The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. Understanding the importance of communication is the only way you can get things done. Communication can best be summarised as the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver in an understandable manner.
One of the most important aspects of any project is communication. Learning how to communicate your ideas, thought and feelings played an important part in my learning process. From working together in groups to visualising ideas on paper, involved understanding how to communicate with not only my audience but my fellow students.
Communication by itself is a skill that everyone requires to practice in everyday life, it also allows you to exchange information and gain knowledge. As a designer we know that one of main focuses of a good design is how we visually communicate our ideas. In theory, verbal communication is no different; the aim is to get your idea across or provide a response.
Throughout my degree I’ve worked on a variety of group projects that have been extremely challenging. Various views on what “good design” means and what are the best approaches to take on a task often resulted in lengthy discussions and back and forth debates with fellow students who often had opposing opinions. Therefore I always seem to struggle with the idea of working in groups, I believed doing things by myself I would be better off. Regardless of the disagreements, all in the groups did share the same expectation, the aim to create a solid body of work and achieve a good grade.
Nonetheless, communication is not the only attribute required to a successful project. Understanding the project aims and answering simple questions helped to create a project outline.
- What are the major deliverables?
- How will we get to those deliverables and the deadline?
- Who is on the project team and what roles will they play in those deliverables?
- When will the team meet milestones, and when will other members of the ream play a role in contributing to or providing feedback on those deliverables?
Asking myself these questions helped to inform the planning for the exhibition. By creating a brief overview using the Who, What and Where guidelines made it easier to understand how to go about curating this project.
About the project
The students of Spatial Design Year 3 of the University of the Arts London want to create a design show to illustrate their progress of their final major project.
The students aim to generate feedback on their work to inform the progression of their individual projects. They would like to achieve the following goals:
Display models and images of work.
Create opportunities for interaction.
Make connections within the design industries.
The third year students are made up of over 60 students who are keen on showcasing their work professionally. They will be solely responsible for creating the event and all content for the show.
To pull this off in such a short time, required great communication and strict deadlines. As mentioned previously I found it hard to communicate my feelings within a group. Something I was aware I needed to work on in this project was my communication skills, allowing myself to adequately communicate my thoughts and opinions while acknowledging others and finding a middle-ground involving everyone’s opinions and ideas. I am aware that my expectations are high but this is because I believe by constantly challenging yourself you can improve your skills and knowledge.
By understanding this I know now that in previous group projects the expectations and level of work was varied. Having had other group experiences while being at university gave me ample knowledge in how to divide groups and ensure people where working on a particular area of the project what played to their strengths, opposed to their weaknesses.