Good design focuses on people at its core, it is empathetic, educated and personalised. All of these elements are part of what makes it attractive, once you’ve got them as the base, you have your direction, your aesthetic and your solution – all are inspired by people.
My name is Alija, and I am a Year 12 Design student at Glasshouse Christian college. The assessment I completed last term focused entirely on Human Centred Design. Our purpose was to create a design that effectively considered the attitudes, expectations, motivations and experiences of our First Nations people (Indigenous Australians), as well as the need for their cultures to be sustained. In addition to this, we had to ensure that our designs presented the First Nation Peoples respectively and facilitated the beauty of their culture by incorporating that beauty into the rest of our design in a way that was attractive.
I chose a project closer to home, re-designing the interior decor of the front Administration Office at Glasshouse Christian College. I thought a good way to incorporate local Indigenous culture and encourage respect and inclusivity as a nation of people, was to start with the first place everyone walks into – the Office. As a school that is culturally diverse, I felt in my heart that it was important to represent the culture of the Nations First People who first lived on the soil we now call our school.
I presented my ideas, plans and my final design to my stakeholder, Mrs Bronwyn Harrison, who provided information and guidance to my decision-making throughout the design process. Little did I know that even after the submission date, my assignment wasn’t done yet. Mrs Harrison heartily took the design idea on board. Thanks to Mr Curtis’ approval, my design idea came alive.
We now have an authentic piece of artwork in honour of our First Nations. When you desire to put people at the centre of your design, you are required to do so with respect, dignity and I believe a love that comes from the heart of God, our Father. This love recognises that everyone deserves dignity, respect and compassion. This type of love is selfless and is a fruit of the Spirit.
Throughout the process of this task, I had to view Indigenous experiences with fresh eyes, to understand better their history and culture and this made the task deeply meaningful, challenging and enjoyable.
Alija Caust, Year 12 student