A designer’s natural habitat

07.10.2009 http://www.dotkite.eu/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/treehouse1.jpg

I believe designers were born with a particular genetic makeup. In case you have not noticed we are a unique breed. It is amazing to observe designers in their natural habitat, tackle a challenge, like an animal on the hunt, placing on the cap of ‘expert’, flooding pages and pages of thoughts, ideations and vigorous effort until that glorious “aha” moment happens or when the design is, dare I say it? Finished.

It is the observation of these fine, creative creatures that has made me ponder the thought of our creative ‘habitat’-our design world. Just how large is it? I am sure everyone has at least one designer in the office that has a similar, bizarre example of knowing one designer, who just happened to be working with another, who studied at the same university, drank coffee and learned with the first designer. We can all be connected, if you take a moment to see, forming contacts again and again, expanding our business and social networks. We are limitless in our ability to create and inspire, but like any revolving system we are all somehow equally connected. Our physical world is not as big as we think.

It appears the longer designers exist, the more absorbed we become in cross-communication via twittering, facebooking, etc. We connectively exist not only in a technological environment, but also among a physical one. But have we forgotten? It is the most primitive and simple. Just as a handwritten note or card may evoke a more emotional response over e-mails and online status updates, nothing can replace the first impression of a firm handshake. Of course, like any good cup of cappuccino, it is all about balance. How can we possibly expect to be the sharpest tacks if we denounce our technological networks? Likewise, we might as well call ourselves hermits if we do not expose ourselves in a physical sense. One should never outweigh the other.

I see the strength the design community has and it is certainly an exciting time to be a part of it. We are expanding not only physically in numbers but also in social, online communities. Networks of individuals popping up in a variety of locations and our design habitat had evolved from simply a workshop bench and hand tools. I ask the design community, where shall our next habitat reside?

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