Over the past few weeks, I’ve really opened my eyes and my thinking to new forms of process work. There have been a variety of styles of process that we’ve discussed, but there are two that really stay with me, Kelli Anderson’s Disruptive Wonder and Graham Wallas’ idea of Incubation, which in an odd way are some what similar.
Anderson’s Disruptive Wonder challenges the designer to see things not as they are expected to be, but how they really are, then turn those expectations on their head. Since viewing that talk, I’ve regularly asked myself the question: Is that what’s expected? If so, how can I flip this on it’s head to create something different, unique and reflective of me and my aesthetic. I find, for me, it’s a question that I need to ask myself regularly. What can I bring to this that’s “me” but more so, can I bring something to this that no one would expect? I find it keeps me challenged and in “fighting form” so to speak!
I’ve also been fascinated by Walls’ notion of incubation. It’s something that I think I’ve inherently done for years, but didn’t really know or understand how that could fit into the process. It’s something that when and where possible I like to fit into my process. While sometimes I feel it’s a luxury, I have found that at times, the project itself forces me to allow an incubation period. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I find that when I’m “creatively blocked” I find that’s the project telling to take a break and let the ideas “stew’ and incubate. As designers we tend to focus heavily on the idea of “powering through” the problem, but we are creative people and creativity isn’t mechanical. It’s organic. As such it needs to rest, breathe and grow like any other organic element. If I take some time from the project and give it a breather, the work will be stronger, which is ALWAYS the goal!