Themes for more purposeful design explorations (Design Process)

In December 2017, I started thinking about some themes that interest me based on my previous explorations in my career so far and I also put some open questions next to them. It’s been a long time since I did something like this, I thought I’d share it openly this time.

As a designer, I feel like there are a lot of things I could focus on in my creative life. It helps me to ground my multitude of interests in some sort of framework for context. If you want to create something deeper than a little dent, you have to approach it with a deeper understanding, questions are a good starting point on that journey. Let’s say I’m thinking about designing a unique camera app, the essence of that for me, and my starting point for doing interesting things with it would be one of the first themes below.

  • Capture
  • Mark Making
  • Imperfection
  • Charm
  • Resilience
  • Omniscience

Capture

What are we recording for?

  • To preserve
  • To travel through time
  • To forget

How will we be recording in the future? 
How will we curate, present and mine this information in the future?

Vandalised bus stop, glinting in the midwinter sun.

Mark Making

Etch, Mark, Score, Spill.
What is it that compels us to make a mark on the blank canvas?

To inform.

  • To express design intention.
  • To signify artistic intent.
  • To personalise

What makes up an expressive and enjoyable way of making a mark?

  • Effort vs Reward
  • Utility / Precision / Uniformity / Randomness / Artistic Expression

Mark Making is at the heart of invention.

A fake glitch.

Imperfection

Humans are analogue and messy but we use digital tools. A Glitch humanises our technology by giving us a glimpse of own familiar imperfection.

A collection of methods and artifacts are documented and much has been written about the Glitch as it’s own visual and sonic art genre.

What hasn’t been explored as much in this area?

  • The sculptural form
  • The nature of complexity in relation to the glitch
Merino Wool.

Charm

Etch, Mark, Score, Spill.
What is it that compels us to make a mark on a blank canvas?

  • To inform
  • To express design intention.
  • To signify artistic intent.
  • To personalise.

What makes up an expressive and enjoyable way of making a mark?

  • Effort vs Reward
  • Utility / Precision / Uniformity / Randomness / Artistic Expression

Is mark making the heart of invention?

a rock where I first tried meditation on, in Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria.

Resilience

Resilience is a form of elasticity, in a human context, we want more of it, we want a swift recovery! It is the definition of what makes us stronger and better as individuals.

How is our modern life and our way of thinking affecting our resilience. How is the constant pull to share, to curate, to wait on approval affecting our ability to recover from lapses
 
What can we learn from the past and how can we harness technology to improve our resilience?

Omniscience

Near omniscience is what we feel we have right now. An answer is milliseconds away from thinking it. Your information is served whenever and wherever.

Things that aren’t easily find-able become rare and interesting.

What have we lost in gaining this superpower?
Is it necessary to know answers before formulating questions?