A Kaleidoscope, the Atom, Expression, and Resilience: Why Design?

Imagine you had a toolbox and held within it was:

A kaleidoscope that allowed you to see from any point of view. What would you do with it? What perspectives would you take? Who would you try to serve with it?

When I look through the design lens I explore what creates community, culture, identity, and how we have the capacity to come together or pull apart — the friction spaces that create the pain and tension of our experience. In bodywork I learned the concept of the “hedonic point” in relation to trigger points, it’s just the right amount of pressure to get the tension to release, located at the edge of pain tolerance that still results in a pleasurable healing response. Social impact design to me is seeking the hedonic point in the human condition and releasing the pain for a positive healing result within the person/community.

I personally believe we’re only as strong as the weakest among us and design has the ability to create resilience within our livelihoods, cultural, and social systems by understanding the patterns of pain points and imagining new systems for prosperous development.

The atom, and access to nearly any material and process available in the world. Which materials or processes would you explore? Why would you want to work with them? What metaphors could you create through them that expressed deeper meaning within the work?

We don’t tend to think about objects as having a life, but material is an essential mastery of the design process. Design allows us to ask intelligent questions about supply chains, needs, reuse, recyclability and how we can even create products that live beyond the original intention. We can design reuse and environmental stewardship into our work to mitigate resource depletion and environmental exploitation. Good design considers the human need being filled and environmental protection. Design sustains our ability to thrive.

Expression, through every symbol, color, metaphor, and media used throughout time to convey ideas. What would you say? Who are you trying to communicate with? How would you try to get their attention?

In order to share your big idea with the world, you need masters of communication strategy. The visual storytellers who connect with our heart’s desires and compels us to act through adept use of various languages, and narrative devices. Design has the power to create a culture of innovative thought and expression.

The blueprints to use these items in any combination to shape reality. How would you use it in the service of life? How would you use this creative power to serve our world to reduce the injustice of bias, humanize and lend a voice to those in need, follow the passion of your heart to create a better and more sustainable world?

This is what design is to me, the mindset of manifesting. It begs us to question what are we creating with our lives, and how are we serving the lives of others. Through design we bring the abstract space of thought into the reality of form by way of intentional practice.

I seek out every opportunity time, life, and my community offer to explore what it means to live, I record the moments full of love or wisdom found within, and then in turn create objects, experiences, and ideas with stories to tell and memories to cherish, reminding us we’re all connected to ourselves and each other.

So,why design?

Design has the capacity to objectively see what causes pain points, personal strife, and risk, while possessing the creative confidence to find a solution to remove our obstacles to joy, stability, and abundance. Design has the power to make life on Earth better for every life on earth, that’s why.