RingComm is often considered a cult, and a lot of the decision-making process is swathed beneath layers of secrecy. For those who are interested, these reflections are one human's take on what goes on behind those closed doors...

... but, why?

Every so often a thing happens which I want to record. A time of personal growth, of trial and tribulation, or, of celebration. If this portfolio site is as much a journal of my design process as a collection of projects, then these reflections are an actual journal of the way that design, and RingComm in particular, has changed me as a person. I put them here in recognition that anyone can read them, and judge them, perhaps also judge me. Nonetheless, I strongly believe in the value of honesty, and a record of any journey is incomplete if it does not mention the twists and turns of the path.


I am obliged to warn you though, a lot of this will be dreadfully cliché.


Now, maybe I overthought the whole situation — it's more than likely that I did. Having come from, a rather competitive academic background, it was tricky for me to figure out the dynamics of our team at first. In other groups, particularly at MIT, I had been able to find a niche because I was the only one who actually had skill in design software, graphic design, and the like. Realising I would have to share this niche with other people was new ground for me. My belief that people are intrinsically good and willing to collaborate suddenly faltered, as it clashed with the deep, primal fear that I would be rendered obsolete.

It was over the course of designing this logo, and particularly in making the final decisions, that I recognised that my unease was entirely unfounded. It sounds cliché and obvious now, and the fact that I've said this a lot in the past probably demonstrates some hypocrisy on my part, but the design process is collaborative. The moment I let down my barriers and allowed myself to trust the others in my team, to not only take in their feedback but to truly trust them, was the moment that I realised I had nothing to fear.

Because if collaboration lies at the heart of design, then trust lies at the heart of collaboration. Our work is stronger when we are a team, when we ask for each other's thoughts and advice. It's not a competition, I have told myself time and time again since starting college. But only that evening did I truly started believing it.

I want to thank my friends for giving me the chance I needed to realise that. A weight fell from my shoulders the evening we made the final decision about our logo. In its place, I learnt an invalueable lesson, and I'll carry it with me for a long time yet.