1. Observe and Interact: By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation
So what does this mean in practical terms? In some ways it means – do nothing for a while, just watch and learn and gather information about the situation or issue you are trying to find a design solution for. Just wait, ponder, research, consider, discuss, share ideas, talk with others who have done it before. Don’t jump straight to solution!
Sometimes this is really hard to do, especially if you have self imposed a deadline for when you think something needs to be done. Worse if someone else has imposed the deadline! We, in the western world, and for myself having spent many years in the corporate world, are programmed to just act! Just do it! Let’s get on with it! Its the movers and shakers that always deliver that are valued!
Challenge yourself (I know I have to) to take some time and allow yourself the space to ponder, think, wonder, explore, research, and consider your options before jumping to a solution.
The brain is a wonderful thing which will bring up all kinds of solutions if only you let it!
Relax, ponder, think, observe, interact, trial a few things, see what works, see what doesn’t work before settling on a final design solution. It will make for much better design and a more practical solution.
To actually allow myself to do this I sometimes:
- go for a walk, to observe and interact
- research and read other blogs to find out what other people have done
- think about it in the shower – a place of great inspiration
- spend time in the garden which helps me think
- record results over time – on spreadsheets or with photos
Find something you do that allows your mind to freeflow and spend time doing that while you reflect on what you have observed. Or just spend time observing – what actually happens when this is perceived as a problem? How do those things truly interact? What behaviours can you see? Write it down if that helps your observations and reflections – it may also help you to write down the actual occurrence rather than just your memory or impression of it. Observe and interact in summer, autumn, winter and spring, across the seasons or the full range of a cycle. Observe in the morning, at midday, in the afternoon and again in the evening. Observe on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays etc. Observe and interacdt when it is hot and when it is cold.
Take some time to observe and interact.