Short Sharp Circuits Of Working Practice

john v willshire
Sep 5, 2016 · 2 min read

We’re going to try a new thing at Smithery as an ongoing part of how we work. We’re calling it The Hundreds.

Each week, we’re going to do three things:

  1. Read a hundred pages
  2. Write a hundred words
  3. Make for a hundred minutes

Reading new things means you regularly form reactions to the new input. A lot of the time, we find ourselves doing that on Twitter or the like; reading things from screen, or at the very least half-reading them and packing them off on a one-way trip to a place we’ll never visit later on.

There’s something different about reading a hundred pages of a book. It requires, or suggests, more focus, attention, dedication. There’s also something about structuring a library of physical books, thinking about what’s between the covers, but not on the pages. 100 pages means exploring that library in fast blasts, rather than whole books.

Writing is a habit we used to have, but perhaps lost somewhere. Perhaps it was sometime around the fall of Google Reader, and subsequent slow death of RSS. I ran out of the energy and impetus to explore ideas regularly in written form. “Dance like nobody’s watching” they say. Yes, that’s all very well, but it’s hard to write like nobody’s reading.

Short, sharp, 100 word explorations, summations, encapsulations. The things we see, or react to, or just want to mark as a THING.

Making is thinking, as Sennett points out. Finding the time and the ways to occupy the fingers and the eyes and the brain, that holy trinity of what we see and feel in the world, as part of work, and not merely a hobbyist’s fancy in the evenings and weekends. What does it mean to make, and how do we make what we mean?

Anyway, welcome to The Hundreds.

By my count, I’m a third of the way there…

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Want to try it too? Just tag a post on Medium with thehundreds, we’d love to see what you get up to… (thanks Tim for the idea)

smithery

Writings from Smithery, a Strategic Design Unit in London. We think, talk and work on strategy, design, prototyping, culture and innovation. More at http://smithery.co

john v willshire

Written by

Runs Smithery. Makes Artefact Cards. Said 'Make Things People Want' > 'Make People Want Things'.

smithery

smithery

Writings from Smithery, a Strategic Design Unit in London. We think, talk and work on strategy, design, prototyping, culture and innovation. More at http://smithery.co

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