Understanding by design. First in a series

In June, I attended 2009 Global Forum of the Business as an Agent for World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University. The conference centered around 3 themes: management as design; massive innovation; along with design education practices. Design is an interesting concept: painters contend with two-dimensional design, sculptors with three-dimensional design and architects with the virtual design of space. So in this series I want to explore different approaches to design: topics covered at the conference as well as from other sources. A recent column written about golf spurred me to begin this series–that’s right, golf. NY Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in “59 Is the New 30″ about Tom Watson’s historic performance at the British Open at age 59 who tied for lead for four rounds in a playoff to 36-year old Stewart Cink but ultimately lost unable to par on the last hole. What does it have to do with design? Well, Friedman notes how baseball, basketball and football are all played on flat surfaces designed to give true bounces. Not so with golf. The uneven surfaces instead pack surprises which Friedman likens to life. But it also likens to art and design. I am suspicious of artists or designers who “control” their process from start to finish and inhibit that “bounce” from entering their work. That is where the rubber meets the road on how well you can think on your feet, persevere, be surprised, be flexible, seize an opportunity, and see until now, “unseen” worlds. Watson was rueful afterward on the hard lesson of learning from defeat not victory. But as Friedman concluded, Watson gave all who watched an “incredible lesson in possibilities” and that is the mark not only of a gentleman golfer but a true artist-designer. Read Friedman’s column: http://bit.ly/XTJXL

Leave a comment

Filed under imaginement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s