inspiration time.

I do enjoy working with my hands – and the most consistent insight I have had while woodworking or welding or sculpting is that – this takes too much time! I rarely have the time to put into doing a project properly. For wood or metal, there is usually extensive planning – since the materials are expensive, and labor time-intensive. Minor mistakes can make major setbacks, and improper planning can be disastrous.

The same can be true for work in design. How do you get inspiration when you have a deadline? Be inspired…..NOW! Too often I have had great inspiration for a project – weeks after it was finished. Too late. The message is that the design process is not as important as just making something by a certain day.

Or, you might have great inspiration early on in the project, but to carry out your plans would take too much time – and design sacrifices must be made. But wait, the deadline is extended –  you have time! But now there are some other stakeholders…..and they aren’t really sure they like what you have. [this is a great point to be able to communicate your process and inspiration to build support] If you can’t convince them of going with your idea, they will most likely pick the pre-design sketch that you hated the most. Once they pick a new color that clashes with the theme, and put text all around it, you can finally appreciate your “work”.

Point being – there is not usually enough time taken, or care given to commercial design. Without this, the “best option”, is hardly ever taken. This was one of my inspirations continuing my education – so that I would have tim….4:40! I have to post this and leave….

How is process important in being able to “articulate” a design experience; how does it help make sense of what we look at (and make)?

Articulation of Inspiration:

The question, “Where did you come up with this?” never lends itself to an easy answer. Inspiration for me rarely comes from one place – and “aha!” moments usually are the synthesis of several sources. True explanation of inspiration requires intense documentation and self-examination to be more than just a subjective rendering of your thought process. Even with these limitations, it is still important to express an answer to this question – to put some structure of thought behind the design, and  to illustrate the inspiration for design.

Evolution of Craft:

Capturing the steps from inspiration through design and ultimate completion of a project can provide for innovations of practice. By documenting precisely what you are doing and why at each step of the process – you are forced to “think about the way you think”. This critical examination of craft is important in defining faults, identifying areas for improvement, and capturing failures and the reasons for them. With this knowledge a designer can address specific issues and progress their craft.

Documenting a process is not only important for the individual, but for the community of designers as well. It can be a means of teaching a skill or craft, promoting an idea, or provide inspiration.

Develop Understanding:

By explaining your processes and intentions to others – you are building in their heads a model of your experience. Without knowledge of process, looking at a finished design does not allow one to appreciate exactly what expertise, inspiration, and work went into the design. By expressing this – others can come to a more complete understanding of what went into the design, it’s aims, and intended interpretation. With this perspective we can see things more clearly – but more clearly reflect our inspiration in our design.


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