Design as observation.

The difference between opinion and perspective is ‘observation’.

One of the greatest virtues of a good designer is EMPATHY. Simply put, putting oneself in others’ shoes before responding to any situation or design problem. Empathy is the highest form of knowledge, against its antonym- Opinion.

A persons degree of empathy is always higher when they make themselves the part of the zillions of interconnected ecosystems and understands them (at least try to do so) by sensorially surrendering oneself to the surroundings.

This idea of sensorial surrender goes in sync with the theory of affordances. Affordance in layman terms implies “uses of an object apart from its primary use” (though the definition is not limited to this).

Consider a ‘pen’. Now a perceived preconceived action for anyone would be ‘to write’. But if you disassociate the term pen from that writing instrument, and perceive it just as an object with characteristics like- a handy slick form, a sharp tip, a metal/plastic tube, etc. then you’ll realize that there actually are myriad of actions possible from that object so called ‘pen’.

The sharp tip can be used as a defense weapon (only if you know how to use it that way), it can help you itch your head and back, the empty plastic case acts as a temporary test tube. Because of its slick, handy and elongated form, it can be used as a stick to tie bun.

We could only think about such uses of objects when we keenly observe things around us. And rather than perceiving them as individual objects, perceive them as an inter-connected family. Only then we would be able to make the best use of resources we have while dealing with situations.

Just try and visit a home in any slum area. Where dearth of resources is an everyday phenomenon and still the people in this habitat are accommodating everything of NEED in their tiny spaces by working out multiple affordances of individual objects.

With the blind of WANT over our eyes, we tend to miss or rather overlook the true meaning of things and people around us.

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