A Whole New Mind – Design

posted January 15th, 2010 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

I promised to share some of the collection of tools, exercises and further reading materials which Dan Pink provided in his book A Whole New Mind to send us on our way to developing each of the six essential aptitudes — what he calls the six senses on which professional and personal satisfaction increasingly will depend. One of the six senses is Design and Pink outlined a number of tools, exercises and reading materials which one might pursue to develop this sense. The following selection resonated with me.


1.     Read Design Magazines

Pink says: “Professional designers read (and obsess over) design magazines. So should you (except for the obsess part). Reading design magazines — or just leafing through them — can sharpen your eye and inspire your mind.” These eight are on Pink’s must-read list: Ambidextrous, Dwell, HOW, iD, Metropolis, O Magazine, Print, Real Simple.



2.     Be Like Karim

Karim Rashid is “one of the world’s most versatile, prolific and celebrated designers.” Pink says: “In response to my request for advice on how those of us who aren’t professional designers can incorporate a design sensibility into our lives, Karim Rashid sent him his “Karimanifesto”, a fifty point guide to life and design. Here are some excerpts:
1. Don’t specialize
5. Before giving birth to anything physical, ask yourself if you have created an original idea, an original concept, if there is any real value in what you disseminate.
6. Know everything about the history of your profession and then forget it all when you design something new.
7. Never say “I could have done that” because you didn’t.
24. Consume experiences, not things.
33. Normal is not good.
38. There are three types of beings — those who create culture, those who buy culture, and those who don’t give a sh-t about culture. Move between the first two.
40. Think extensively, not intensively.
43. Experience is the most important part of living, and the exchange of ideas and human contact is all life really is. Space and objects can encourage increased experiences or distract from our experiences.
50. Here and now is all we got.


3.     Visit a Design Museum
Pink says: “Several large cities now boast museums devoted to industrial, graphic, interior, and architectural design. These museums, rich with examples and explanations, offer a great way to deepen your design sensibility. Here are ten of the best.” Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (New York), Design Exchange (Toronto), Design Museum (London), Eames House (Los Angeles), Herbert Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography (New York), Museum of Modern Art, Architecture and Design Department (New York), National Building Museum (Washington), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein, Germany) and William F. Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).”

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