ANNA PENG

Learning to See

Every day we’re given the chance to bring empathy to the table. We’ve always had it, because it’s not something that we grow overnight. Every day gives us a chance to see the world from the other side.

We have the chance to feel sorry for those who live in fear, in constant anger, who honestly don’t know better because there’s no way they would know what’s better.

We also have the chance to feel happy for those who reach personal milestones, who celebrate moments in life where it’s worth celebrating.

It’s easy to live for yourself and to see the world from your own perspective as you did yesterday and the day before. But, trying to adopt a different viewpoint without regard to your own is what might make us a more resilient community.

We need generosity, we need kindness, and we need to understand as the world is relentlessly shaken, that the abundance some of us enjoy isn’t spread evenly around the table.

So again, every day we’re given the chance to see the world from another side. If you’re willing to, the world needs needs you to. And if the world is too big and hairy, then your neighbourhood, your family, and your friends need you to (and if that’s still too daunting, then do it for yourself. Empathy is not a fixed set, but is developed overtime).


Presenting Your Work

3 ways to present your work during a design critique. 

1. You can pin it on the wall and let the audience do all the talking. This method gives you zero control of the feedback you want to receive, because the audience will be too busy making guesses about what’s important about your work. At it’s worst, it will be about unnecessary visual tweaks or providing direction that doesn’t relate to the brief at all.

2. You can state the context of the brief as you present. This gives the audience a more well-rounded, structured understanding of how you arrived to your design conclusion, and you’ll also receive feedback that is tailored towards your goals. It’s straightforward and project-centred.

3. The last method is to say something your audience can relate to. You can talk about your way in, revealing how you got here. Taking your audience through your challenges, telling them your experience of coming to the project more than the project itself. This one is hard especially if you don’t like presenting. It takes more thought to tell a story that might resonate than to throw something out there in hopes you’ll get the feedback you need. 


Doing the work only gets you halfway there. The other half is how you present, which will determine the results you receive from your audience.

The bottom line is, we can choose whether or not we want our audience to resonate with the work by choosing the way we present.


Human Beings, Not Machines

Productivity hacks, ways to reduce inefficiencies, attempts to develop our own processes that do it all, just so we can produce work faster, easier, and cheaper. Machines already do all of these. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of the human and what humans can offer to the table. 

We traded in things like personal emotional management for chances to make more money.

Self awareness for tireless labor. 

An appreciation for life in exchange for any way to keep the national GDP going. 

As a result, there comes a dire need for honest, emotional help. 

This is where you come in and offer what you can, from one human to another. 

Rather than do what the machine sets out to do, which is make things faster, easier, and cheaper, we can choose resilience, kindness, and connection.

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