# How to Think Like a Generative Designer

Problems can never be solved at the level they were created — Albert Einstein

I will never forget remember as a young child being taught how to draw a tree. I was naturally gifted at drawing even at a young age, and was able to faithfully recreate anything that I looked at. Like most learning curves I eventually hit a point with in which I became stumped. My landscapes looked colorful alright, the rivers were dynamic and free flowing, but the trees just kinda looked like…blobs.

I’ll never forget the lesson that came next. A teacher sat down next to me with a piece of paper and drew a simple line with a V on top. Simple enough. She then proceeded to give me something that up until that point I did not possess, the *formula*. She proceeded to draw a 2 V’s on top of the exiting V’s, and then again, and again, and again. Each time the branches became smaller and smaller until eventually the rough shape of a tree emerged.

Through that simple piece of information, this teacher had not just taught me how to draw a tree, I could now draw any tree. It was both the formula for the underlying structure but it also defined the behavior of trees. Splintering and finding their way toward sunlight in the most effective way possible.