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Are we the best of all creatures?

We as humans like to believe we are limitless, believe we can do and achieve anything we demand. But is that truly possible? As designers, or future designers, we like to believe we can make the world a better place. Designing a product to help humanity in any sort, or offering a service to improve satisfaction in our users’ lives. Do we actually believe that we as designers are limitless to shape the world around us in the best way known to us?

Whether you are in favour of free will or determinism, you must accept there are things in life that are out of our control. Some call these uncontrollable events an act of God, some call it “that's how the universe works“, but to not label it, there are things we wished we could have controlled, things we wished we could have changed and we are desperately trying to find a way to always be in control. Most often people find themselves struggling to see the border between “ I am in control of my life “ and “well..that just happened”.

We are told we are limitless, we can achieve whatever we put our mind to, and if you disagree, you will be convinced by tons of articles naming individuals who made the impossible possible and controlled what we thought was out of human hand. This way of thinking has brought a load of responsibilities to humankind. Tackling the subject of being a perfectionist, perfectionism combined with the thought of being capable of doing whatever we want can bring a lot of pressure into our lives.

We as designers try to identify the problems in society and solve them. Many designers describe themselves as “problem solvers”. Nevertheless it can get frustrating when we identify an issue but after months of endeavour, can't find the proper solution. "Didn't they say we are limitless? There has to be a solution, there has to be a way to overcome the challenge!" We address the problem from different perspectives but don't reach the desired outcome. “ Maybe I just haven't tried hard enough, maybe I am not enough, therefore I can never… .” It is ridiculously easy to get stuck in an overthinking loop and destroy our confidence and question our ability over and over again without realizing that it is okay! It is okay if we don't find a solution, maybe it's not the right time to tackle this issue. Maybe in the future, it will be easier to solve or maybe it's just out of our control! The acceptance of the fact that we are limited to so many things and we are not always in charge takes a lot of courage to admit but needs to be taught to young designers and everybody else since this matter is not limited to designers only. It's a developing human crisis to all and the truth is, we are all designers, we design who we are every single day. We need to acknowledge that even though it's in our nature to believe we are limitless, we are limited. Knowing that fact, every individual should remember they are still capable of many changes, still powerful enough to see through the fog, and still worthy as a human. Admitting we don't have God-given powers to turn darkness into light does not reduce human values and most certainly doesn't mean we should give up immediately when facing a problem but rather understand ourselves, get to know the true self, and try to see there is a thin line between confidence and “I am limitless “.

I have interacted with too many students trying to prove a point to university or society about them being the best which has driven them into but not limited to depression and anxiety. We learn how to live our lives step by step and it's fine to stay where you are to figure out what is happening with you and your mind. I am most certainly not forcing my opinion about the humans’ capabilities on you, but rather the point of this article was for you to, during your busy day of struggling with everyday life problems, take a moment off from that mess and think "do I know myself as a person? Have I defined myself as a designer and if not, take the time to have a moment of thinking to figure out if I am stuck in the loop of repeating I am limitless and follow what others do without thinking."

Feel free to discuss what you have discovered with me.

Maedeh Khademi


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