January 28, 2010

How To Think

In response to the article How to Think by Ed Boyden:

Always be making notes and always be connecting thoughts and projects together. This is great, not just as a habit to have in design, but a habit to carry through everything. It's amazing how often independent subjects can relate to each other if you connect the dots between them. He talks about collaboration and documentation too, which are things that are already stressed over and over again in studio.
What interested me most in this article was the logarithmic time planning in which as goals become closer, you must map out you plans for them more specifically. Always evolving and becoming more exact, these schedules allow for maximum productivity. The only thing I'd question about planning out your day so obsessively is that it might not allow time for mistakes, which will always happen. Also, this is REALLY machine-like. While it's a great way to manage time, it seems like you're also trapping yourself into these schedules and routines; is it really necessary to make your whole life a micro-managed day planner to get everything done?
Mistakes are another How to Think problem. The key to mistakes is to document them, remember what you learned from them, but move on quickly. While there's a lot to learn from mistakes, there's probably more to learn about what is past them.
Overall this article has a lot of really great points to it, but it also seems awfully mechanical. I understand the point of record-keeping, skill development, and long-term planning are all important to both design and life in general. But in the context the author presents it in, his rules seem a little over the top. I'll keep the general idea of this article in mind as I continue to work, but don't want to become quite so involved as this author seems to be.

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