This essay is not original.

October 3, 2022
Zareth Ramos
3 minutes

I have always tried to embrace the things I found in life, perceiving them as new, something incredible as if I was the first person in history ever to find them: songs, movies, art, and even people. That changed when I arrived, getting into a new world full of people that are genuinely original and in some way the same is something that, to be honest, I wasn’t really prepared to. You never expect that someone random that you just met doing laundry has the same favorite movie that you thought you only knew or that one of your neighbors has the same taste in music that in your mind was unique, or that your name is not as weird as you thought because there are some you can’t even pronounce.

The problem with originality starts when you try to have it only for yourself because when you realize that appreciation can be just as valuable, the perspective of the definition changes. I learned that by spending a whole class looking at Professor Goffredo’s sofas; it wasn’t really the designs that he showed us or the way his living room looked that impressed me, but the way he portrayed the love for art and not for brand.

In the short time I’ve been here my perception of design is been changing a lot, I can see a wholly different significance of the word originality and that’s because nothing really is. We live in a place where ideas come from everywhere and every single day there’s is something new to be amazed by, so is originality actually something individual? I believe that originality comes from a lot of factors, but on this occasion, I want to talk about two universal principles, Storytelling which is “Evoking imagery, emotions, and understanding through the presentations of events” (Lidwell, et al. p.130) and the IKEA Effect which is “The act of creating a thing increases the perceived value of that thing to the creator”. (Lidwell, et al. 73)

Starting with Storytelling, I think it’s a common factor that as humans, we have always tried to tell our story, to leave a mark in this world, from the hieroglyphs in ancient history to our Instagram story highlights nowadays. Where are you from? What’s your major? Why? The design of this campus, its education, and even of it’s people is created to tell the story of a multi-global community, and the process of actually living it and constructing it as we learn from our identity is what makes re-design truly special in NYUAD.

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Secondly, the IKEA effect is one of my favorites because I think it applies way beyond design. Enjoying the process of creating is by far more interesting than the actual result and seeing the results of your efforts provides more appreciation in the end. For me, this is very helpful when talking about originality because even if a group of people has the same ideas, just as our class wants to do journals and bookmarks; our method, just as our intention of creation is diverse.

I could bet that this essay is not original, I’m pretty sure there has been someone else before me that wrote the same ideas as I did, but my originality comes in my process. Because even if it’s not 21 pages of reflection, there is deepness and thought in every single word. Our connection with art should be enjoyed and respected because even if we don’t like it, we’re always gonna have the chance to re-design it.


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