I’d like to think I am a risk taker. Most of us do really, I think. Risks are exciting. Risks expose our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Risks challenge us. Taking risks also gives us the incredible opportunity to grow, through trial and much error.
As designers we take risks every day. As students we make calculated decisions, but essential our choices are risks. The classes we take, the networking we participating in, the seminars and conferences we choose to attend or not attend are all choices and therefor risks.
Risks are scary. Taking risks does not make sense. Risks defy. Risks challenge the traditional way of thinking. I like risks.
This semester I and a group of design students have decided to take a big risk. We are venturing out on our own and pursuing an independent study in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We have decided to do this for numerous reasons. We want to do this for reasons personal, ethical, professional, and academic. We are accompanied by a faculty member who will guide, steer, and advise.
Our task for the semester will be to work as researchers and advisers within and to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So far our defined goal is to look at anthropogenic (human based) sources of pollution (cars, waste, etc.) and how these affect the ecology. Our focus will be less about the science and more about planning and design. We will move back and forth between researcher and advisor, scientist and designer, student and professional.
We are like many adventurers who have set out into the unknown. Risk-takers. Don’t mistake me for being dramatic or dreamy. We are aware of our doubts, fears, and hesitancies. But we will meet them head on. And we will finish our goals.
We are creating our paths and asking others to follow us.
Join us this semester as we chronicle our journey on this blog.