Saturday, May 5, 2012

the icebox door

Parts of my philosophy are embodied in 3 haiku by Jack Kerouac...

Missing a kick
at the icebox door
it closed anyway

Straining at the padlock
the garage door 
at noon


In my medicine cabinet
the winter fly
has died of old age

These haiku are loaded with symbolic imagery. I leave it to you to decode meaning. I felt since the name of this blog is derived from these that I would share them.

So here I am starting a new outlet for myself. My life is rooted deeply in visual communication as well as user-experience and interaction design. It's an exciting and somewhat terrifying time for design and particularly for graphic design. Living and working in a world where the spaces we create and inhabit are increasing in complexity at an enormous rate, design stands at an historic crossroads. I believe in part that our future lies in finding, defining and magnifying our roles in inter-disciplinary teams.

In Design Integrations, Kees Dorst writes, “In real collaborative design, the position of “the designer” disappears into a team effort of many different parties: prospective users, stakeholders, and other specialists” (Design Integrations 2009, 288). Dorst notes that the designer-artist came into being in the late 1800’s as a result in part of the industrial revolution. We now find ourselves in the throes of the next major evolutionary step. We, as designers, in the sense that we have come to know and love ourselves, are at a historical point where we are about to be assimilated into the teams required to produce the complex projects at hand. It’s an exciting time but we need to have our game plans in order as we have finally been given a seat at the table.

The intent of this outlet is for me to share thoughts, observations and inquiries on design related topics. I hope that in this blog I might not just be sharing my own thoughts and activities -- but, that I might also spark dialog.


  1. Looking forward to reading this. I miss the dialogue from grad school. Hopefully we can recapture some of that through modes like this. Best wishes!

  2. Hey Liese, thanks for the support. I too miss the grad school dialog. Hopefully a little of that will spill into this. I look forward to your future comments.

  3. Hello Gary nice post. I love what you are doing here. This is perfect for some collaboration.

    When I was reading your post above I couldn't help but think about participatory design. By the way I have now ordered one of his books "Design Thinking." I hadn't heard of him but seems like I should have. Anyway, my question is what would Dorst say about participatory design in light of the fact that so much of what we do is team based. And naturally because of this factor the designers work tends to become background noise kind of a forgotten element as others take over and crowd out that designers work ultimately diluting our work in a way that lends it little credo. So how do we keep our seat at the table essentially. So my thoughts drifted to something I learned about Eratoshenes of Cyrene about beta pentathlos. Essentially the jack of all trades master of none type deal. Essentially we are forced to wear hats. Some say we are working as this. Today I am working as a business man. Tomorrow I am working as a designer. The day after I am working as a financier. I think more and more as these multi-disciplinary teams come together to work on these projects we will see overlap and not uncommon now people that typically did not have formal training in a particular field will be required to wear that hat per say. Anyway I love the post and it made me think specifically about how we have won a seat at the table but now how do we keep it? Maybe we don't have to prove the the worth of design? Or do we? Love the post Gary.

    1. Hey Brendon -- Thanks for the kind words. Your comment has reminded me of an article I read some time ago on Seed Magazines site...

      My opinion however is that it should be less about thoroughly learning multiple disciplines and more about learning how to work effectively within multidisciplinary teams. Perhaps education geared towards specialization within a discipline could shift to include education designed to equip students for working with a particular set of specialists from other disciplines.