By now you know that I love Hudson, NY–the antiques and vintage Mecca of the Northeast. On June 10th I took a day off to go exploring and was gifted with a gorgeous, sunny, warm day perfect to be outside walking the streets. Usually I go with some specific goal, however, on this particular day, I decided to photograph whatever object was appealing without considering where it might go, what its price, or what bathroom would benefit from its purchase.
So as you will see, my choices were random and nothing I photographed was “precious”. They were objects that in my mind were good design. I responded to color, shape, and finish and not to pedigree. I had the opportunity to observe a piece and re-imagine it; if one part had been changed, would it have become “better” instead of “good”? Then I asked myself if I was looking at the right problem to solve. It was all in good fun since I was neither buying nor changing the piece. The exercise is one that I use every day when designing new products.
So instead of thinking about my trip to Hudson as one for shopping, I changed its direction to one of “design thinking”. Design is of course a process or a protocol for solving problems and discovering new opportunities. One has to be observant and ask relentless questions. When designing a product you have to target the right problem to solve. Even when we think we have the right answer, we create three-dimensional models to make sure that we have not missed a part or a dimension.
That is why my learning journeys are so essential to what I do every day. I call these expeditions “design tests”. Did I find a cool object? Could I identify the essential elements that made it appealing?
Weigh in and tell me what you think about my found objects. Thanks.