Sunday, June 07, 2015

maker think...

Prevailing assumptions: The "designer" is one who comes up with ideas for others to make. The maker simply makes.... for the heck and the hell of it.

On the other hand, the maker may also be the designer, or the "designer" may not be an individual person, as the "design" may actually have arisen through a process of cultural growth over hundreds of years as is the case with the Scandinavian bent wood box shown below.

The word "designer" has a certain cachet. The idea however, of being elevated somewhat apart from the maker is somewhat cachetic. The prevailing assumption is that the designer is the smart one, and that the maker simply goes through motions mindlessly, which is very often not the case.

This interesting illustration is from a design blog, attempting to illuminate the process of "design thinking". You'll notice that it goes somewhat astray in that it suggests the development of a model at the midpoint of the process, but then leaps backward to presenting "your idea to others for feedback," as though the model itself and its relationship to the problem it is intended to solve is no longer a concern in the design process. The maker, (perhaps not the designer?) would present his "model" for testing against the problem, not the "idea" of it.

So where does "Maker Think" come  into the creative process? I prefer it to the egotism inherent in "design". It suggests that making is not a thoughtless process, and that the maker and making are integral to the design process.

In educational Sloyd, it was recognized that the integrated processes of making and design, were means through which the character of the individual and the character of the nation were formed. In the meantime, efficiencies of manufacturing led to marginalizing the value of skilled hands and cut the value of their efforts from the bottom line.

Observe the character of our communities and the numbers of folks we have failed, left uncreative, unfulfilled and dependent, with any number of sociological and psychological problems in addition to poverty and ask how our ignorance of the value of educational Sloyd has been working for us of late.

The tine shown in the photo is a favorite of those I have designed and made. It conveys a sense of fanciness, yet is inspired by actual Scandinavian designs and processes of an earlier time.

I hope to make another similar one, as lovely as I can, during my ESSA class this next week.

Make, fix and create...

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