Much has been written, re-written and spoken about the ‘design process’ and the interpretations, discussions and opinions about it are as diverse as they are long-winded and non-conclusive. I think we as designers love that intellectual grey-area, the space between two opposing poles that holds so much possibility and choice. It is the reason why nothing in our profession is well-defined or written in stone. This induces everybody to be a part of the discourse around the subject and feel significant in their own little ways, like me, when I'm writing this piece.
From the time I stepped into the design world as a student, a good 7 years ago, I have been led to believe that everything that we do should have streamlined process, each step leading into the other, seamlessly integrating into a final solution which is supported on an unyielding foundation of research, logic and precedent studies.
My conditioning has been such that if something comes easily to me, just popping into my head after I read a brief, I disregard it for I know it’s lacking in any sort of rational reasoning thought or study. But increasingly I have felt that some of the better things I have done, happened by accident, or when I just decided to go with the flow. It’s the age old conflict between intuition and rationale, between the left and right brain, or whatever other polar opposites one can think of.
So is it a case of me being overtly critical of anything I do, or design just isn't meant to be learnt at all? Considering that there is no “right” way to do things, a system in place which one can fall back on, how can experience ever be helpful? Every single time one is involved in a project, it might take a course so radically dissimilar than the previous one, that you have to learn and deliver on the go. Make mistakes each time, and not be afraid of them. Be a student of the subject forever, open to thoughts, processes and opinions that change and shift form like an amorphous multi-faceted being, living and evolving continuously.
Ironical as it may sound., it is this shift in perspectives, this constant questioning and analysis of what I do and why I do it that makes me believe in the validity of my choice.