Listen to Me

Discursive Design, 2019

“...So what do you want to talk to your mum?”


“I don’t want to go to school anymore.” He said, looking at me with tentative and frustrated eyes, and even some tears that seem to be performed or real. “Should I just talk to her directly? It can’t work.”

I think I have encountered a difficult problem, I do solve problems sometimes as a designer, but I have never solved this kind of problem. At this time, squatting in front of this 10-year-old boy, I felt that his desires and needs were so obvious and even moved me deeply.

So appreciate to the design education through these years, some words quickly come to my mind, strategic thinking, design psychology, human-centered design, designed for children... The first thing should be doing some research and getting the real needs from the target group... Wait, the boy, my target user, do not want to go to school anymore, What can a designer do for him?

“Maybe you should just talk to your mum, the truth, your real feelings.” In desperation, I am like a caring sister, advising him with the educational attitude that an adult should have. I think I sympathize with him very much, because this is what I thought when I was a child. Not wanting to go to school is what every child feels!

Reality is the reality because of its predictability to a certain extent, and it is reasonable to imagine based on people’s life experiences. So as I expected, the boy’s mother tenderly rejected him and put a delicate schoolbag in his hand.


“Now go to school, my good boy.” What a gentle mum.

If our most powerful means of communication, talk, loses its ability, what should we do?
When communicating with mothers, we find it difficult.
In expressing our emotions, we find it difficult.
In trying to get others to understand us, we find it difficult.
In the pursuit of equality on the road, we find it difficult.
What should we do?

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“If your bag with a long strap, you have to wrap the strap around you. So you can't move, and it's even less likely to go to school.”

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“Only-one-book bag seems to say, look! There are too many books.”

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“Sometimes you may try a special way, like hide your books.

Flowerpot should be a good choice.”