Design Methodologies Weekly Journal

Ali Perry
7 min readMay 14, 2021

Week 1

Completely switching gears this week. I am excited to get into a new school semester after doing a 9–5. The thought of picking a capstone topic seems very, very daunting, but I think I am excited by the level of freedom we have. I am unsure of what route I will go in, but I am excited to figure it out.

Things I saw Week 1 5/10–5/16

  • people working out at the gym
  • blue skies as i sat outside
  • my friends
  • my computer screen during class
  • green grass
  • traffic lights
  • the grocery store
  • a person walking their dog
  • two friends sharing a pretzel and drinking beer
  • people laughing
  • people holding hands
  • the water in the shower
  • lizards
  • cool buildings
  • clifton trash floating in the street
  • the highway

Things I did Week 1 5/10–5/16

  • dinner with friends
  • exercised every day
  • drank a margarita
  • made dinner
  • attended class
  • took a walk
  • drove 5 hours from Pittsburgh
  • talked to my mom on the phone
  • journaled
  • read a book
  • woke up early
  • did laundry

Week 2

This week felt like a lot. There was a lot of school work and a lot of other things. I am getting excited for these upcoming classes but am still struggling with the idea of having the same project for such a long period of time. Seems scary! But I also am excited by the level of research that I will get to put into Capstone. As my roommates and I were driving by the mechanic, we were discussing how cool it would be to do a job that was actually physical labor rather than just always working on a computer. Which then got me thinking of one of my capstone ideas. I have no clue where the idea of researching female mechanics would take me or how I could do it, but it does seem like a cool idea.

Things I did this week: exercised in the gym, went to the library a few times, did work for my internship, went to dinner, went to Murphys, had a good nights sleep, worked at my restaurant job, read my book, went on a long walk and talked to my mom on the phone.

Things I saw this week: Clifton lizards, my roommates, the gym, broccoli I was cooking, blue skies, the highway, the mechanic, shopping bags, a very messy room, a very clean room, freshly washed sheets.

Overall, I am still holding onto a positive attitude.

Week 3

This week was more stressful to me than most. I sat down to write this yesterday and was feeling slightly in over my head. School can seem very hard somedays. Today seems more clear. Capstone has been something that has been hanging over our shoulders since our orientation before freshman year started. After my team meeting on Wednesday, I began to get very, very excited about Capstone. My group gave provided an energy that is sometimes hard to find yourself! That spirit has returned more today. It is important to recognize that some days are not great days………..

Week 4

This week I am awaiting my feedback from the faculty review. I feel excited to get this project off the ground and moving. I know that my research will lead me in the direction of my solution, so I am trying to not put too much pressure on myself yet. I want to lean into the physical space the gym holds. How can I re-invent this space in order for it to become a more friendly, judgement free environment? I think the long mirrors allow you to look around at the people around you. I am trying to notice things like this on my trips to the gym.

This week I am on a trip with my family. This has been a great reset for me.

I got to kayak, hike, go in the ocean, spend time with my siblings and parents, and take some time to not worry about school. Which was much needed.

Week 4

This week I had my faculty review. I was very excited by the feedback I received. I am excited for this next step. I plan to begin researching by just finding everything I can on the topic so far.

I am looking forward to the interviews as well.

Week 5

Beginning to plan my research:

Primary Research

  • Who are you planning to talk to/survey about your project? My peers; those who use the gym and those who do not use the gym.
  • Are they experts? or potential users? Yes! Potential users! Those who use the gym frequently would be considered experts to me.

Secondary Research

  • What resources will provide the most clarity on your project? online studies of similar topics; gender roles in the gym
  • What additional resources do you need to identify to move your project forward? as many articles/books as possible to gain a large scope

Week 6

In this week, I started my surveys.

Here are key words that stood out:

Week 7

This week we did round robins. They were incredibly productive and I feel inspired.

Week 8

Capstone is moving along well. I just met with Susan and had a conversation that sparked more curiosity about the history of women in fitness. I am excited to research further and develop a visual aspect of this.

It is very interesting to me to think about how fitness for women started out. It makes me consider how body image changed in society as well. I was talking to my mom who said the 80’s convinced everyone they had to be a size 0, or it was completely unacceptable. Then, I began to think about how hard it would be to escape that mindset. Growing up now, kid have tik tok and instagram. There they see models with huge butts and little waists and no stomach. It is really scary to think about. I think I will also explore how social media has affected body types.

Week 9

So far I have done around 6 interviews. Each interview further validates the things I thought. Here are some things that stood out from one interview.

In this particular interview, it left me feeling sad. In one part of the interview she said “I don’t feel comfortable moving around in the gym because I don’t want men staring at me.” How sad is that? This was coming from a 19 year old. It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth that has also inspired me to really, really dig deep dip in this project.

I am excited to continue to explore and interpret these articles in this form.

Week 10

Been doing a lot of social media research this week. If you look hard enough, and follow the right people, you can really find the good stuff.

Social media and body image do not ever separate. In most cases, the way you view your body, depends on what you saw online that day. If I go on instagram and see someone smaller than me, it usually will send me into a shame spiral. “I can not believe you just ate that Ali!” In reading Katie Sturino’s book Body Talk I am learning to reframe my mindset, which is really exciting.

Week 11

In these interviews, I hear more key information. These were both very beneficial.

Week 12

comparing gyms:

female only gyms


I was reading reviews of gyms online and was horrified. “super clean gym with really good looking girls.” REALLY?