25 May 2011


the good thing about designers is that we're fearless. we take on problems like we have nothing to lose and we come up with innovative solutions. not a lot of other disciplines are fearless... most disciplines focus on knowing a lot about something in particular... they need to prove that they are experts in their area so they spend a long time in their area proving that they are experts in it ... they don't feel comfortable jumping to other areas because they don't know them too well. since designers tend to seat in the middle of multiple areas we assume that we know enough in those areas to start jumping from discipline to discipline. that process allows us to make connections that are integrated and unique.

the bad thing about designers is that we're fearless. too many times we end up proposing solutions without really understanding their consequences. we're so excited about making new, innovative connections that we forget to sit down to think about them long enough. at the end of the day, i think the good outweights the bad and i sleep better at night thinking that there are a bunch of fearless designers out there thinking about (among other things) how people can sleep better at night.

16 May 2011

good stories

last night i was watching this documentary about pixar... pretty cool stuff. the highlight of it (at least to me) came when someone said that pixar's success has little to do with computer animation... it's mostly about creating great stories.  yes, they push technology... but they do it with a purpose. they explained that most of the time spent in each project is devoted to developing the story. good design is the same thing.  is not about creating a product... is about creating an experience.... about connecting. i always have a hard time explaining students that they should focus more time on developing a concept rather than on skills... many of them misinterpret this as an opportunity for mediocrity.  a concept is so much more important... it's what sets the good apart from the rest. if someone wants good skills, they can go to coroflot.com and will find thousands of great examples.... if someone is looking for great concepts, for great design stories, then they will have to look deeper.  i'm not saying that skills are not important... they are crucial! pixar wouldn't be a success story without their beautiful output. but focusing only on skills is not enough.  i always have strong reservations about resumes that only focus on skills... and I always think that job descriptions that focus only on skills lead to boring jobs that don't enable positive change in culture and society.  designers that create good stories are the ones worth looking for.