Weapons of Choice

4 Mar

Design tools, methods, ‘weapons’.. whatever.. I’m getting a bit obsessed with them.

During last semester I was working on a freelance logo project that didn’t work out. My contact was going back to a committee and then feeding information back to me; but it seems that things were being lost in translation.. and I was never hitting the nail on the head. So they pulled the job.

I’d never had that happen before.

During this time we were looking at Design methods with Tom Inns. I had an idea for getting to the ‘heart’ of the design brief by interviewing the client using my design tool – ‘Body of Work’. It was part inspired by  process I had been through on the NESTA/CEO Starter For Six project but my version was characterised through an illustration of a person… arms, legs, head, heart, lungs, etc… each element represented a part of the project and therefore helped form the brief.

Long story short (you can view it below) ‘Body of Work’ got incorporated into a Tom Inns deliverable and then resurfaced last month in a Lauren Currie workshop. While I had been designed to evaluate ‘projects’ it seemed that the ‘heart’ of the tool was actually evaluating ‘people’.. and being a ‘body’ that seemed most appropriate. I’ll modified the ‘guide’ in due course to accommodate more clearly the tool’s more rounded purpose.

Knowledge Swatches

So, then today I’ve been wrapping up my variation of the ‘knowledge swatch‘ idea. Knowledge swatches are inspired by ‘colour swatches’ but with tasters of information. I wanted mine to be open to collaboration.. I was also inspired by Colin Burns‘ characterisation of the designer being the ‘explorer’ and whether you’re Alan Whicker or Indiana Jones, you nee a good map.. so my knowledge swatches are called ‘WikiMaps‘.

I’ve styled them around the Ordinance Survey map; they contain my own content with enough room for others to contribute and I’ve arranged them into colour coded categories for swift access. All the MDes’ers are in the studio on Monday to talk about their swatches approach so I’ll document more, with images, Monday afternoon.


And finally, GameStorming arrived today and after only five minutes with it I’m really excited by it’s content. It seems to be the converging of everything I’m researching and interested in at the moment… methods, games, narrative and learning.

But while I might be interested in what it has to offer the only real test for a book like this is to put it into practice…

DJCAD, Mdes 2011.. you have been warned!!!

My posts have been getting quite long, and so in the spirit of all that is playful and fun I feel that I should offer another token of appreciation and oasis of respite through the benefaction of YouTube. My selection today is for obvious reasons… but besides the title, it’s a master class in playful entertainment, from Christopher Walken, Spike Jones and Fat Boy Slim.
Embedding has been disabled on this vid so you’ll have to click here!

One Response to “Weapons of Choice”


  1. Wiki Maps « MysteryBoxes - March 7, 2011

    […] mentioned here, i’ve been working on my Knowledge Swatches… and I decided on a ‘Map’ theme […]

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