The following is an extract of a book I recently read called Change by Design, written by Tim Brown (CEO of IDEO, one of the foremost design firms in the world). The central theme is: “how design-thinking can be used to unlock creativity and innovation.” I especially appreciate how Brown boils down “design-thinking” to simple “how-to-level” concepts. “Open your Eyes” is one of these that makes design-thinking accessible to all of us.
“We spend most of our lives not noticing important things. The more familiar we are with a situation, the more we take for granted, which is why it usually takes a visiting relative to get us to visit Alcatraz or the Golden Gate Bridge, or spend a weekend in the Wine Country. (Tim Brown lives in CA)
My friend Tom Kelley (co-founder of IDEO) likes to point out that “Innovation begins with an Eye,” but I’d like to take this one step further. Good design thinkers observe. Great design thinkers observe the ordinary.
Make it a rule that at least once a day you will stop and think about an ordinary situation. Take a second look at some action or artifact that you would look at only once (or not at all) as if you were a police detective at a crime scene. Why are manhole covers round? Why is my teenager heading off to school dressed like that? How do I know how far back I should stand from the person in front of me in line? What would it be like to be color-blind?
If we immerse ourselves in what Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison have recently called ‘the Super-Normal,’ we can gain uncanny insights into the unwritten rules that guide us through life.”