Swans can walk on earth, swim in the sea and soar in the sky. These magnificent birds are often seen as a symbol of freedom, life, grace or purity. It is magical to watch their movements as the glide on the water with their graceful long necks. And just like yang and yin there are white as well as black swans.
On the seventh day of Christmas my try love sent to me
Seven Swans a-swimming
The Festive Season is a glittering, sparkling light show. We decorate our homes and gardens and fill them with pretty things. Dealing with beauty is not only important for our soul but can also be used as a framework when designing things and decorating our homes.Yet often our search for inspiration is limited to ideas in the shop windows.
Use swans as inspiration and design some Festive decorations, gifts, gift wrapping material. . .
According to a Dutch report, the number of people with intellectual disabilities getting paid care, increased between 1998 and 2011 fivefold (the figures for other Western countries will not be much different)
The large increase is not because more people have a disability, but because the diagnosis is now made more often by changing demands in society. This would be partly because more and more digital services, such as Internet banking and the smartcard, have becomm widely available. That someone has a mild intellectual disability is by that more likely to be noticed.
The number of people with intellectual disabilities getting paid care are increasing because more and more services become digital available.
It is normally assumed that (digital) technology will make our existence easier, yet large population groups are excluded from participation in society by using the same (digital) technology.
Instead they get paid off for their inconvenience, caused by a poor design of digital services.
Technology should be used to make things more simple. Techology that make thinks more complex is simple of a very poor design quality, even for not intelectual disabled.
Design something that changes behaviour.
Pick a habit or a behaviour and design something that controls that behaviour. For example, broad avenues where built Paris with the aim to better control riots and revolutionary uproars.
This design should embrace a positive approach to controlling and changing the behaviour. Also select another criteria that must be used in the design. Suggestions need to embrace ideas such as environmentally friendly, use solar power, can be used by young children. . .
Design thinking can be defined as the “transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones” (Herbert Simon, Sciences of the Artificial”). So in a way design thinking deals with improving something to make sure that our future is improved. This approach to thinking helps use redefine what an object is.
Does is sound tricky, well, it is not really that difficult.
Take a subject, and set yourself the task: Are there alternative ways to perform the function? Can it be improved?
Some suggestions for subjects:
Pick something in your kitchen such as the fridge, water tap, water kettle or washing machine. Something that functions excellently. Then improve it, design a better one.
Choose a transportation vehicle on your way to work – bicycle, car, train. Design a better one – faster, more comfortable, easier to use. . .
Choose something that annoys or irritates you, and design something that functions better. Computers and smart phones will do a good job here. But also problems at home for example, your neighbour has a private parking place on his land next to his house, but uses it as a basketball court, and parks his car instead in the street in front of your door; you don’t have a private parking, so you have to park your car in the street. But now the place is occupied by your neighbour’s car. Or maybe you have a trailer parked opposite your home in your street, but drunk pub-goers throw it in the creek next to the street. It happens all the time, whatever you do to prevent it – a new lock, making it heavier. . . so design a better solution.
If you have problems to decide on what item to do some design thinking, take an object from a random object generator. Take one object and stick to it till you can proudly announce your new invention.
I found some interesting designs that challenge our thinking. It is easy to hold a distinct view on how certain things should look, what the purpose it, who the item should be designed for. . . It is useful to give the creative muscles a workout by exploring underlying concepts in designs. What common rule has the designer tried to break free from.
Today, the importance of creativity is highlighted but many organizations provide few opportunities for people to explore new ideas and to train to become more creative. Somehow the great innovative ideas should just appear on demand. This is a great misconception and in order to get ideas that stand out, it is crucial to learn to twist ideas around and to see possibilities with new angles.
Ponder over these questions while you look at these pictures.
Define the main characteristics of a vase?
What is the main purpose of a vase?
What is the purpose of a fish tank?
Who is a fish tank for?
What is a carpet?
When does a carpet stop being a carpet?
What is the core idea of a t-shirt?
Does the humble t-shirt becomes more interesting when thousands of laser-cut polygons are used to create a t-shirt?
When we deliberately think about something, it is very important to have a precisely defined focus. What should be the outcome of the thinking? If we know what outcome we want, then it is not that difficult anymore to know what thinking steps to do.
To get a good focus, it is helpful to ask for ourselves what kind of thinking that should be done, what the context of the thinking is, or what the thinking situation is. In the image below some 30 thinking situations are shown.
Also is it possible to Google : tool < thinking situation >. F.e. “tool negotiation“
Chances are that you will be referred to Mindtools.com. The whole Mind Tools toolkit contains more than 900 management, career and thinking skills. Anther source for a variety of thinking techniques is Van Gundy’s Techniques of Structured Problem Solving. Despite dating from 1988 it is still current. The book also evaluates advantages and disadvantages of each technique based on available experience and efficacy studies. More than 100 techniques are classified according to the phase in the problem solving process:
Redefining and Analyzing the Problem
Evaluating and Selecting Ideas
However, it is far better to design your own thinking road map because it will help you to “get grips upon the thinking task”. Designing your thinking steps is essentially a Blue Hat Thinking task or a metacognitive task.