Weeknote 19/41

I'm a little behind with these notes. Fridays are too busy, weekends are too precious, so I often start writing these post during the following week. Sometimes I get interrupted, so the unfinished text sits a few more days in the writing app of my choice until it appears here on this site. So, here’s week 41 (published at the end of 44 ¹).

As I said in the previous post, there’s a lot on my mind, especially regarding Project Beryl. I jumped (got thrown?) in at the deep end, and for the first two weeks, it was tough mental work. Not just because of the complexity of the issue. No, the arduous part was unlearning.

Having worked so long and intensely on enfore, I got used to a special way of thinking, working, talking. And while I was eager to bring exactly this experience to another challenge, I have to let go of my “expert mind”.

Because even though the task at Beryl is somewhat similar to what we did at enfore – helping to shape a platform for digital products – the environment in which it is happening is so radically different, that it requires a completely different approach. And while my experience will certainly be helpful, it can also get in the way, especially at these early stages.

But keeping your mind open is probably one of the hardest things. Watching over your thoughts and realizing when preconceptions get in the way requires a lot of effort. But it’s one of the most important qualities for a designer (or human in general), I think.

Of course there is something to practice exactly that: meditation. I wonder if meditation or similar techniques will be part of a design students curriculum, like learning about typography or gestalt principles. Johannes Itten offered his students at the Bauhaus to sit with him 100 years ago ², maybe it will be standard practice in design universities in another 100 years.

Time to hit the cushion.

  1. As you might have noticed, the  date above is not the real publishing date. But I decided to use the date when the note was supposed to go live, because that way it’s easier to follow the timeline.
  1. As a disciple of the Mazdaznan religion, he not just introduced meditation to his students but also practices which seem kind of weird, not to mention a repugnant racist ideology.