Celeste DeCis 


Uncertainity, Design Process & Balance 

(3x words to sum up my research question at the moment


A word can only have a negative connotation if you let it, otherwise it’s another word. Divorce is normally associated with the idea that a disagreement has occurred. Two individuals have come to the conclusion that they must part ways. Many perceive this parting as a form of failure, others see it as necessary change. Even though divorce has become an increasingly common situation, the negative stigma attached to it still remains.

The idealism of marriage has haunted our civilisation for centuries. The disillusion that marriage is the end goal and that once you’ve obtained it your existence is filled with endless happiness. This idea can easily be believed due to it being constantly exposed to us, through perfume commercials to simply scrolling through our social media. An achievement worthy of being celebrated and documented. Subconsciously you can understand why people are quick to associate divorce as a negative outcome.

Apart from society amplifying the devastation of divorce, the physical gesture of it doesn’t help either. The visual notion of a divorce contributes to the negative stigma associated with it. The idea of two people parting suggest the possibility of isolation, another word with a strong negative connotation. Whereas two individuals uniting, symbolises strength and security. Naturally something that we would prefer. With this initial moment being constantly used are a visual marketing tool, we started to lose subjective perception and forget the journey attached to it.

The negative interpretation of divorce can’t solely be blamed on mass media. With any decision change will occur and therefore the unknown. Divorce comes with no formula and no formula could mean chaos. Therefore, an undesirable situation. However, sometimes for there to be order there must be some form of chaos. What needs to be understood is that chaos doesn’t mean defeat but can symbolise change and growth.

As far as the human race is concern, divorce has become increasingly common in the past decade and has potentially led to a more open perspective. Statistically it is believed that 50% of marriages will end in divorce. Even though our constant exposer to mass media hasn’t helped people’s initial thoughts, people are recognising that divorce isn’t failure. If anything it is making a change for the better. It’s recognising that something isn’t working and that it could be better. For not only the two parties involved but for the people surrounding them. Encouraging us to see divorce as less of a black and white situation and somewhat greyer situation. 

‘Don’t try to be original. Just try to be good.’

Paul Rand.

When starting as a new aspiring designer it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of originality. To be original is to be noticed, it is to be unique and to potentially be the best. All of these strong associations with originality is what people naturally aspire to; we all want to be the best. But this journey to success requires self-development and self-development is something that is usually overlooked.

When sourcing inspirations naturally the finish product is displayed. Not everyone wants to see the creative journey behind the finish product. If there is description of the creative thought process, it is usual beautifully and crisply defined for their audience to understand. When little is discussed on the creative process it is easy to believe that the product came out of thin air and that no difficulties were encountered.

Leading me to understand why aspiring designer’s expectations don’t always align with their reality. With their exposer to Pinterest, Behance and other creative platforms it’s easy to see why originality becomes a conflicting thought. With everything being posted and shared across the internet, there is no escaping the possibility of being compared and analysed. Sometimes our relationship with the internet can create an isolating experience that causes us to create unrealistic expectations of ourselves. Leading us to loose perspective and see our mistakes as failures and not learning curves.

With this constant exposer are aspiring designers being set up to fail? Or are designers in industry experience the same creative difficulties? Are designers and the public failing to see that only one person invented the wheel and since then people have simply defined, improved or twerked. Is there anything wrong with that? We forget that we aren’t taught to be original.

Society’s understanding of the creativity industry, no doubt has significantly improved over the years, unfortunately it still can be argued that it has a while to go. The value of design in terms of money is still questioned. The creative subjects within the VCE curriculum are still marked down due to them being deemed as, “easy”, subjects. These examples are just a couple of few that still exist today, highlighting why young designers would get disheartened. In the curial early development of an aspiring designers journey they have already been told that there is no significant financial value and that their career is considered a, ‘cop out.’

From day dot the pressure is present and the need to strive for originality in what has been projected as an enviable pathway. Leading pressure to compromise the essence of what it is to be a designer, which is to experiment, trial, and observe the world around them. These pressures compromising creativity is also compromising the possibility of originality. So how do we stop this cycle?




Contribution to the 1st Archive_
Not that I haven’t had readings to share but my topic would seem to have taken the most random path since our last class or literally the start of semester. Considering it was only a week ago. I’ll try and make as much sense as possible. So my contribution to the archive is a brief summary of this week’s journey or a reflection of the journey thesis far.

The understanding behind divorce and design as separate topics, has significantly improved in the past decade; there is no denying that. However, with anything there can be a significant gap in people’s knowledge; if one has no knowledge in the field/situation. The only problem behind a lack of understanding is the birth of assumptions and those assumptions can only become toxic if one believes them to be fact. Which is a huge frustration of mine.

This concern took me down the path of, what pressures are designers dealing with when interacting with an audience with a poor understanding of design? As discussed in past classes, the value of our work in terms of money is definitely a struggle. The amount of effort and thought that goes behind the creative process is also another. The fact that I’m even questioning this, makes me wonder whether people’s understanding of design has actually improved.

-       Can’t imagine what this kind of pressure does to one’s creative development.

Which lead me to question originality in design and whether it was relevant. That a designer’s need for originality didn’t only come from our need to be different, but that originality correlated with success. With that success being mutually understood across all industry’s as their career being financially sustainable and elegit. When really originality or high achievements made in one’s industry should lead to a higher position/recognition; not prove whether their career is actually a career.

This amount of uncertainty within the design career, would implode my mind and doesn’t place any comfort within me. Leading me to wonder whether I have ever felt this pressure and the answer is, yes. Which is silly because if anything in this stage our creative development is a matter of learning and developing skills. Yet my understanding of originality in terms of what it could do for a designer’s career has led to a huge amount of pressure for myself and others who are aspiring designers. Is this imaginary pressure (because not everything feels this) impacting our creative development?

If so, how are we dealing with it? With the design industry constantly evolving and the ideas of what it means to be a designer changing as well?

(Even though is feels like a stretch, this is how I mentally moved from the topic of, ‘divorce’, to, ‘uncertainty’, within design. Now starting to look at uncertainty within the design process. However, my underlining motive is to help people cope and understanding my research question better).

Whilst there is a level of, ‘uncertainty’, attached to most professions, the requirement to embrace uncertainty is greater in design. Even though we are communicators not expressionists (artists), to creative innovative design requires us to step outside the formulas that make design what it is. How confusing?! To some degree we are artists because we want to leave at mark in the world (as everyone does) and contribute to society in a profound way (express our views). But we need to unlearn what we’ve learnt to get there?

Uncertainty can be perceived as a lack of knowledge when in fact there is no knowledge to be obtained. Uncertainty’s association is with the future and the future is something that can’t be predicted. When trying to make sense of it, uncertainty is based on observation and experience, not pure logic. It’s something that requires dedication to the process not the outcome. As most understand, design sometimes relies on uncertainty to help generate innovative work. Paul Austin, a designer from studio, ‘Made Thought’, at the agIdeas 2012, expressed that good design is generated by maintaining the balance of concept > style > function. Three key factors that make design the profession that it is. Trying to maintain this balance wouldn’t however, be accommodating to the potential of uncertainty.

People want explanations and answers, the idea of not knowing is not comforting. Understandably, surrendering to the unknown is confronting. But by embracing uncertainty as a positive experience people are encouraged to communicate and build a level of trust. With this emotive approach not always being embraced, could explain the disconnection sometimes felt between designer’s and their work. Just as the government have been trusted and seen as expertise’s in dealing with the uncertainties of a new underground train system, why aren’t designer given the same credit?



Conclusion of Literature Review_

Even though the understanding of uncertainty as a methodology is relatively new, its ability to innovate and help designers cope with the uncertainties of the design process is needed. With design being recognised as a practice heavily linked to its surroundings, it has opened up the idea that design is constantly evolving and inevitably changing. The need for uncertainty to be normalised as an essential methodology is crucial to the euphoric future we wish to envision and essentially must be adapted in a more commercial sense. Research such as Grocott’s (2006) Studio Anybody case study has shown designers the possibilities that come with engaging in a more speculative design process, which can then be applied to capitalistic projects. By accepting the fluidity of design and detaching the need for a systematic process, we can see that the priorities of the process lie in a designers social, political and cultural awareness.

Celeste DeCis
Monash University
Bachelor of Communication Design

Industry Experience
Junior Designer        

Trio Design/ Macdeon Rangers Council Youth Team

‘Elevate’ Macdeon Ranges’ 10 year Mental Health Plan 2018

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