Tonight I was talking with some of the other exchange students about politics, because I had mentioned that earlier I was figuring out how to complete an absentee ballot for the upcoming election. They were saying that if they could vote in America, they would. I was stunned that they were so enthusiastic about it, but they gave me a new perspective as to how America's influences their smaller home countries.
One of my professors lent me a book made by an Israeli student, Nitsan Debbi, who had previously taken his class. The book explores different ways to redesign an apple. She talks about how design should raise people's daily awareness of their surroundings and force them to ask more questions.
"The role of the designer is to observe, to reflect, to understand and finally, to act and present in front of people the possibilities facing them."
“One of design’s most fundamental tests is to help people deal with change. Designers stand between revolutions and everyday life... Designers have the ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and social mores and to covert them into objects and ideas that people can understand and use...Without a visual design transition, many fundamental concepts - such as the scope of the human genome or its comparison with that of other primates - would remain ungraspable by most.” — Paola Antonelli (MoMA)
This is fascinating to think about within Japan because it's a place that doesn't welcome change, yet I see good design often. The good designs I see, however, answer questions rather than ask them. I'm way more interested in asking the question.
New York has the MTA. Tokyo basically has six different types of the MTA. At this point, I think I've experienced all six, but I noticed I was on new one when I heard a different announcer's voice.