Friday, September 23, 2011

Why exactly?

WHY? everything comes down to these stupid questions which start with "W". If you been following this blog from before then you would know this is not the first time that I have encountered this question. There have been many more "W"s in my life. What? When? these things keep bothering you.
Recently read somewhere that the key to be a good designer is to be curious and find answers  to your doubts. Its not something one can force themselves to do. It comes to you depending on your surrounding. Some people are like zombies, who take in anything without questioning. While some are like these curiosity freaks who spend hours and hours just trying to understand why there are 12 stars on some coin they just saw. Being curious has its own advantage. You might not accomplish the task you doing but you'll end up knowing a lot more.

All you need to do is try to ask yourself, WHY? 

This could be relating to anything around you. Why is there always a dot on the "F" and "J" key on keyboard? Why in mobile phones the same dot is on "5" button? Why do they use a certain font?

Ask yourself everything but avoid asking yourself "why am I asking so many questions? Why am so curious to know things?" cos there are 2 directions from here, one is you might appreciate your curiosity while other one will just disturb you as you might realize that you know nothing.

We say we know so many things. I know I know things, but is there any end to knowledge? There is SO much to learn in this world and we have so little time. How can one person who is hungry for knowledge ever be satisfied? I can be a good designer if I keep asking myself lot of questions, but will i ever be a perfect designer? as there is always something more to know. The information is never ending and is growing every micro seconds. Today they are about to prove Einstein wrong by finding a particle which is faster than the speed of light.Tomorrow someone else will prove something wrong. A day will come when someone will just prove that laws of physics are just crap. When will one exactly know everything.

This reminds me of a theory by a good friend. about 4 kind of people
1. People who know that they know.
2. People who don't know that they know.
3. People who know that they don't know.
4. People who don't know that they don't know.

Interesting theory. I never knew what section would I come under. So I just prefer to put myself in 3rd, People who know that they don't know.

I keep telling some people to be curious and try to know as much as you can. Just look around you there is so much information. With Internet that information is available right here. All you need to do is be curious enough to actually search for it. Like now I know that there is no specific reason for 12 stars on Euro coin, It came from Euro zone flag, which has it for no specific reason but just cos 12 is the number common to lot of cultures and there are 12 hours on a watch. Similar is the 24 spokes on chakra in Indian flag. It represents 24 hours in a day. What it has to do with a country? nothing they just copied it from the Ashoka chakra.

Things like these take most of my days time. Do i need to worry about it? Apparently not. as the key to being a good designer is in being curious. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Einstein has his own theory which deals with physics.. I am not talk about that(mostly because I don't have sufficient knowledge about it). Lets start with the concept of scale. Humans felt the need to define things. in this process they realized that nothing can be defined as an individual by itself. it has to be compared to something else so as one can relate it to his experience and then get familiar with it. This is how the dictionary works. You look at certain word they will break it into a sentence. If you know the meaning of the words in that sentence then you will know the meaning of the first word you were looking for. So this is how the human experience links one experience to other and then conclude. To do this there had to be certain constants. If nothing is constant then nothing will be defined. So humans very conveniently defined the constants. These are things like time, distance, colors etc. Oh the entire science is based on these constants which are defined by humans to define other things.

Why I speak of this?

When trying to understand what one wants from life, the goal, THE aim in life, I always wondered how can one be so sure of what he wants. I could never tell that I wanna do this and this and that. Then after thinking bit(bit is general term and changes meaning according to people, used intentionally here.) more I got back to relativity in things. As in the scale we perceive things at. For some life is the life they have lived till date. For few life will be next 2 years. For some life will be all the time to come in future. For a very few, Life will be every moment as it happens(this i have seen only in movies). So the answer of what one want from life usually depends on the scale he looks at life as. the smaller the time period, more chances of having materialistic goals like winning an award or putting on some weight etc. This happens mostly because there is a fixed timeline and then setting goals is easy. Time though it might be a human defined parameter, it matters a lot in the way we think. but this again is because we are born in era where time was defined and well in use.

If you came here looking for design advice and couldn't figure out the link yet, then let me explain this again in terms of design. Every designer works on a design brief(mostly). This brief comes as an interpretation of what the client wants. That is his way of looking at things. You(designer) will take that brief and try to make sense of it in your own words and define it your own way. This is what you think the client wants. Then you will call this the specific problem statement. Some designers will look at what the users of the client want. You will do your research and then re-define the problem. This will be the your version of what you think the users of the client think they want from the client. Wow! that is confusing and yes in all this confusion no one ever understands what was exactly to be done. A way to designing a very effective, functioning product is to have a very focused user group.

But that is not what I wanted to say when I started writing this post. Confused soul I am.
Oh the answer to this problem is defined in this post itself, I don't define things within a frame of reference and that is why I end up writing about everything but not about what I thought I would.