Exploring the untapped potential of embracing possibility in design and beyond.
Dear Reader, thank you for joining me on this journey into the world of <SIGHT SIDE>. As we embark on the first issue of this series, I would like to take a moment to share with you the genesis of this project.
The start of this series can be traced back to a small notebook where I jotted down countless musings. As an industrial designer, I always carry a handy idea notebook with me. Those who aren’t designers might assume that it’s full of sketches and drawings, but it actually contains a lot of text, even though I’m not an author. The notebook is mainly focused on design projects, but it also includes any thoughts or ideas related to design, and more. I believe it’s a common habit among designers to keep such notebooks. Then, I had a sudden realisation that it would be intriguing to share my unfiltered thoughts with others. And so, that was the beginning of the beginning of this series.
<SIGHT SIDE> is a collection of unfiltered thoughts that will be shared on Medium. Each issue of this series will center around a single word, with the aim of exploring related thoughts and ideas. While <SIGHT SIDE> is rooted in the world of design, it is not exclusively for designers. I invite readers from all backgrounds to join me on this journey. I promise it will be an enjoyable ride. So, let’s leave the introductions behind and dive straight into the first issue: “Deep Dive into Possibility.”
At the outset of any design project, when we receive the project brief, we are confronted with countless paths that we can take. As we start generating ideas and begin to develop them, we are faced with an overwhelming number of possibilities, making it difficult to narrow down to just one. In my opinion, ‘possibility’ is a concept that we encounter every day, and it often presents us with tough decisions to make. However, I also believe that at some point, embracing possibility can elevate our ideas to the next level.
There are times when I experience a gut feeling that something is amiss. Even when my team members have made a tentative arrangement, I find myself unconvinced. In these moments, I am unsure whether I am genuinely missing out on something or if it is just my perception. During these moments, my inner voice often poses the question,
“Isn’t this strange? Have you noticed anything unusual?”
As a result, I often become restless, with my heart racing and sweat pouring down my face. The most challenging aspect of this feeling is that I am uncertain when it will subside. It’s a moment that reminds me of Neville Longbottom’s experience in the Harry Potter series when he was holding his Remembrall.
Through a series of experiences, I have identified some potential causes for these strange sensations. They are as follows:
- A project brief that is unclear or lacking in detail
- Making progress without a clear vision or direction for the project
- Feeling unsure about whether the team is asking the right questions
- Wanting to make a decent decision, but lacking strong ideas to choose
- Something that are uncertain or difficult to pinpoint
Many designers have said that users don’t know what they really need. However, I think that designers themselves encounter similar problems when developing ideas. It can be challenging to convince ourselves that a certain process is the right one or that an idea is truly fitting for the project brief. At times, we may even find ourselves unsure about what exactly we should design.
The design process can often feel like a dimly burning flame shrouded in a thick fog, with the project key looming through the mist like an elusive target.
Suddenly, as we approached the exit, the word “possibility” seemed to boom into our minds. Possibilities can either lead us deeper into another maze of uncertainty or take us to the long-awaited exit that we’ve been hoping for.
I believe that possibility holds the key to discovering potential shortcuts. It’s important to remember that there is always potential in the project brief, and that there is always something to be learned from ideas that were not ultimately selected.
In an era where great ideas and tools are already plentiful, I believe that we should focus more on exploring the potential areas. This applies not only to design projects, but to all aspects of life. We all use the same search boxes and tools like ChatGPT, but not everyone is able to come up with great answers. This highlights the increasing importance of knowing what to think and what to ask. It is a meaningful exercise to contemplate the possibilities, as they may serve as a tool for some and a new framework for others.
<SIGHT SIDE> definition:
Possibility[n] 1. an inseparable companion in the design process 2. a key to access potential areas
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