Part 1: Design Master’s Teaching

Aphorisms of Design Part One


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

DesignMaster: No.

Student: Why?

DesignMaster: Exactly. Now go practice.



DesignMaster: Design is neither right nor wrong.

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

DesignMaster: Until you create it.



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

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



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.



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

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



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

DesignMaster: Famous or designer?

Wanna-be designer: Why not both?

DesignMaster: Then neither.



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



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.



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.



Student: Can interactions be designed?

DesignMaster: Can I say yes?

Student: And UX?

DesignMaster: Can I say no?

Student: Why?

DesignMaster: Such so.



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



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

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



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.



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.



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.



(This entry is missing.)



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.



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.



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.’



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.



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.



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.



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.



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


To be continued…

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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