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Our ability is dictated by our will to practice.
“Thinking Things” is an ever evolving set of tools designed to allow users to “make space”; space to question, space to hypothesis, space to reflect. These attributes are crucial milestones within any process of innovation, without them we are merely wandering blindly into the unknown.
Sustained innovation is a continuing journey that must be pushed and practiced, only then can we keep our skills sharp and refined.
There are practitioners who opt for the high ground – the easy path, devoted to an image of solid professional competence, fearful of entering a world in which they feel they do not know what they are doing, that they may not have all the answers, they choose to confine themselves to this narrow place.
There are those who choose the swampy lowlands. They deliberately involve themselves in messy but crucially important problems. When asked to describe their methods of enquiry, they speak of experience, trial and error, intuition and muddling through. They dare to challenge and aggravate the status quo.
Which one would you rather be?
A technique that I took part in at a workshop involved looking at an object to understand its full lifecycle and ecological implications.
- ‘Lenses’ (cards with a hole in with an image that related to a specific part of the lifecycle of the product)
- On the table, some paper with a circle drawn with spaces for notes on the various processes on the lifecycle split into two categories; what you do know about the object and the second what you don’t know.
Discuss the relationship between the object and the image displayed on the lense and fill in the template.
Thinking Things. Available at <www.thinkingthings.co.uk>. [Accessed March 2011].