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Cognition

Exploration

We’ve written 6 blog posts about Exploration. View all topics »

  1. Looking forward, looking back

    It’s a new year, and yup! you’ve guessed it: I’ve got some goals. The goal spanning my personal and professional life is to learn more about art history in hopes of developing this into a lifelong habit. As I continue to deepen my understanding of art and design history, decisions I make in my professional work will become more informed. I always loved my art history classes in school. They were a departure from my other classes since the coursework didn’t require me to solve anything, just study visual patterns over the course of history. I found that whenever I had an art history class on my schedule, my concurrent creative work got a lot better. The subject matter covered in my art history classes varied quite a bit, but always gave me an existing art movement or piece of art to relate to in a fresh way and take into other aspects of my work. Even if I didn’t particularly like an artifact or era, it brought something of value to my work.

  2. Back to the Basics: Experiment and Get Real Weird

    In our industry there is pressure to always be posting and sharing our work: full projects, design snippets, writing, photos, tiny thoughts, and conversations. Each of these mediums come with their own degree of expected polish.

  3. Leaving the Nest

    A few months ago I was asked to assist leading some moderated qualitative usability testing sessions. I’ll be honest: I had little-to-no experience speaking with users, so at the start of the project I didn’t feel like I was fully equipped for the task. The idea of being in a room with someone I didn’t know for an hour and guiding them through a handful of scenarios to validate our design didn’t sound as good as one of my typical design days. However, I knew it would be a good learning experience and said I’d help out.

  4. For Shame.

    Our profession’s affection for public shaming is well-documented.

    Following morning exercises atop the Bauhaus, Johannes Itten lined his students at rooftop’s edge, held aloft their previous day’s work, and, before a gathered crowd, publicly humiliated each of his young students. While students showed significant improvement and other instructors adopted Itten’s pedagogy, the practice came to an official end in 1928. Tragically, a student stepped over the edge when Itten, still storming through a particularly scathing admonishment, thundered that the boy “lacked contrast of soul.”

  5. Expanding The Box

    10/18/12

    by Mark Huot

    4 Responses

    I always hear stories of managers pushing employees to “think outside the box“—to go beyond their day-to-day and find that idea that is unlike anything else. This is a tall order and maybe even a bit unrealistic. If our comfort zone is A, B, and C, how can we expect to find X without first understanding D–W? Because of this, I like to think in terms of “expanding the box” instead of jumping entirely outside of it.

  6. One Small Step

    On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. A few hours later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface—the first time humans set foot on another planetary body. The astronauts were explorers. Yet, if they did not share their experiences, their expedition would have provided no meaningful benefits to anyone but themselves. True exploration isn’t just going somewhere or doing something new; it is experiencing something new and communicating that back to those who care.