Her: Tell me when you’ve worked out what it is.
Me: No, that’s kinda the point. I want to tell you so I can work out what it is.
James Burke says we ‘abhor complexity, and seek to simplify things whenever we can by whatever means we have at hand.’ I agree.
He also says ‘through fear of chaos we impose system on it’. I agree, again.
And we talk about the these kind of systems a lot. We heroicise them. Because the output – the system, the solution, the boxed product – is mainly what we set our sights on. And get paid for (as designers). And cry wank over with our peers.
I have no problem with this. It’s good, and worthwhile and it gets us somewhere comfortable and often meaningful.
But the last few days, to me, seem to have been less about the end and more about the getting there. Tom’s celebration of toying epitomised this for me. So did the glorious working parts of Maker Faire. And the various provocations of SF.
The divergent bit of design – where everything is half-formed, and possibly wrong, and likely to embarrass – is often forgotten. Mainly because it’s not at the end. But also because it doesn’t make for a shiny press release. Or a cohesive presentation. Or a 10 tips on how to do this better blog post.
I want to find a way of making these things more evident and more discursive. Exposing ideas at their most fertile moment, when they’re ripe for change and would benefit from nurture.
James’ Happenstance work does some of this. I love the idea of people being able to walk through the problem and see the debris of design (before it gets swept away). And eventually start to play with it themselves or just talk about it.