A Time for Mess

A manifesto for the maker at the dawn of the Marie Kondo era

Inspiration strikes!

You’re in your office or garage. You grab a sketchpad or a tablet. You’re ready to go. A couple minutes in and you realize you don’t have a pencil. Did you bring the scissors? Oh shoot, did you ever buy more scotch tape?! You wander aimlessly in circles, and that spark of inspiration flickers, then it sputters, and it’s diminished to a barely pulsing tiny ember.

Folks, your creative flow has been disrupted.

Prinda Wanakule, The Tech’s Director of Experience Development and Prototyping

Our Director of Experience Development and Prototyping, Prinda Wanakule, uses this as an example of what she works hard to avoid when creating activities.

At the top of the list is plenty of inspiration fuel, which means an excess of stuff. Her team actually calculates that for every one person, there’s enough material for them to build 10 devices.

“This way, they can take all the materials that they may think about using, take it back to their workstation and create their mess,” she explains. Giving kids easy access to all the materials they might want, will help keep them in that creative state of flow.

Prinda acknowledges that these messes may appear chaotic to parents; however, she’s confident in the positive benefits when the progress of a young individual is tracked.

A guest participating in the Solve the Fall activity in Tech Studio.

She’s committed to teaching parents the value of the full process, “there’s a time for a mess … then we’ll clean it up afterwards!”

Ensuring easy access to materials is worth the temporary living room disaster. When the scene starts to cause you inevitable stress, just massage your temples and quietly repeat this mantra to yourself: the mess is where the magic happens.


These quotes were taken from a panel held by Infosys Foundation. Check out the full video here.