#4 Integrated Design Processes

1. I grew up in a very artistic household. Both my parents are artists: my mother a potter and painter, and my dad a woodworker and draftsman. Throughout my childhood, I learned a lot about design from analyzing their very different processes. My mother, when throwing on the pottery wheel, lets her practiced hands form the clay. Each pot is different, and she’s ok with the subtle differences. In the process of glazing and firing, there is little control over the result. Unruly factors such as the temperature of the kiln and humidity in the air can drastically change the outcome. She also has training in studio art and has a very loose and gestural style. She is not concerned with the details so much as she is concerned with the overall emotion, impression, and form. My dad on the other hand, is almost neurotic in his approach. As a draftsman, he worked designing guitars. His process is similar to that of an architect, with acute attention to the mathematical details. In his personal art, he is a pointillist. He creates large drawings with pen on paper solely out of dots. I love to watch him start from a single dot and grow forms into intricate, highly detailed designs. Through these influences, I’ve grown my own design style. I have appreciation for detail, but understand that sometimes it is important to take a step back to remember the loose form: the bigger picture. From my mom, I know that it is important to be gestural, and to throw ideas out there with the knowledge that they might not work out. In the context of this project, I think it is especially important to draw inspiration from real people. Hearing real stories is imperative to telling a story that is authentic and powerful. With this in mind, attention to detail as well as allowing for adaptability is how I will proceed with the process.

2. As our research progresses, I understand fully that there is no single answer to the problem of motherhood mortality. There is nothing that can be engineered that will solve every aspect of the multifaceted problem. We have a unique opportunity as filmmakers to tell a story, to inspire, and to educate. While I won’t argue that one film will make everything better, we do have the opportunity to spark a conversation that might result in change.

3. Our project will directly engage with communities, so it is very important that we approach these people’s stories ethically. As documentarians, we have a responsibility to protect their vulnerabilities and respect their individual privacies. Building relationships is essential in this project. My personal philosophy when working with communities is to have a shared vulnerability to make the relationship respectful and mutual. Awareness of your interviewee’s vulnerability also makes them feel more comfortable in sharing.

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