Part 1: Design Master’s Teaching

Aphorisms of Design Part One

1

Student: Master, can design be summarized in just one sentence?

DesignMaster: No.

Student: Why?

DesignMaster: Exactly. Now go practice.

 

2

DesignMaster: Design is neither right nor wrong.

Student: But I can surely tell good design from bad one.

DesignMaster: Until you create it.

 

3

Student: I want to do social good through design. How should I start?

DesignMaster: Go become a politician and claim yourself a designer.

 

4

One day DesignMaster feels nostalgic: When I was young, I had an archenemy MasterDesigner who laughed off my works. I’m so glad he cared.

 

5

Student: Please enlighten me about the ultimate meaning of UX.

DesignMaster: That I know not, because the user is not like me.

 

6

Wanna-be designer: I want to be a famous designer.

DesignMaster: Famous or designer?

Wanna-be designer: Why not both?

DesignMaster: Then neither.

 

7

DesignMaster continues: To be a designer, you are; to be famous, go design a visually stunning and functionally acceptable citrus squeezer.

 

8

Student: Is service design just a hype?

DesignMaster: You saw it coming, and I saw it coming, we all saw it coming, and we still bought it.

 

9

Student: Is there Tao or Zen of Design?

DesignMaster: There’s Tao and there’s Zen, but not of design; there was, however, design of both.

 

10

Student: Can interactions be designed?

DesignMaster: Can I say yes?

Student: And UX?

DesignMaster: Can I say no?

Student: Why?

DesignMaster: Such so.

 

11

DesignMaster: When design beckons, follow him, though hard and steep. When his thinking enfold, yield to him, though it may wound you.

 

12

Student: Can design be realized as a form of pure art?

DesignMaster: What is design but creativity tortured by the users’ wants and needs?

 

13

Student: Can all problems be solved by design?

Design Master: The problem and the design are one, even as the user and the designer are one.

 

14

Design Master: You design for problem and for need; would that you design also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of creativity.

 

15

Student: How much design is enough?

Design Master: Ever has it been that you know not your work’s depth until the hour of user interaction.

 

16

(This entry is missing.)

 

17

Design Master: When users speak to you listen to them, though their nonsense may shatter your designs as the north wind lays waste the garden.

 

18

Student: Is design liberal?

Design Master: Even as design empowers you so shall it limit you; even as it’s for growth so is it for your pruning.

 

19

Design Master tells Student: When you design you should not say, ‘creativity is in my flow,’ but rather, ‘I am in the flow of creativity.’

 

20

Student: Is design a form of art or vice versa?

Design Master: Art is creativity unmasked; but design your mere shallow grab of user need unmasked.

 

21

Design Master: As design ascends to your creativity and enables your best work, so shall it shake your beliefs in their clinging to the ego.

 

22

Design Master: Think not you can direct the course of design, for design, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Designee would you be.

 

23

Design Master: Like sheaves of corn design gathers you unto it. It threshes you to make you empathetic. It sifts you to free you from your perspectives.

 

24

Design Master continues: It grinds you to your clarity. It kneads you until you are reflective.

 

To be continued…

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