Designers need to be 3 People at the Same Time!

To be an industrial designers you have to be three people at the same time.
You have to be the crazy person.
Then you have to be the person who reviews those crazy ideas and says, “no, not that, and not that either”.
The third person has to be the observer who stands off to the side and managers that process.
If you fall in love with what you’re doing too soon in the process, you’re eliminating all the chances to come up with a different variation of the idea. There has to be a disinterested observer of the process.
You have to recognize your ego structure, and you have to be very humble and know that you should be sort of scared each time you start something new because it could go horribly awry.
~ Syd Mead, from a Concept Design interview in Axis Magazine, 6 June 2008, Vol. 133 (Note: I’ve broken down the original quote into paragraphs for a better read)

This fantastic quote from, Futurist and Industrial Designer, Syd Mead describes the mental challenges Industrial Designers need to take when they work through a design. It’s not easy having multiple personalties eh?

7 Comments
  • Kin

    August 1, 2008 at 7:45 pm Reply

    From a student perspective I laughed at the crazy person, understood the reviewer who cuts ideas and am need of creating a stronger faucet of the disinterested third person. Or more to the point, I need to get the disinterested person more interested in being the disinterested side observing manager of affairs. I like this way of thinking.

  • Paolo

    August 2, 2008 at 12:28 pm Reply

    Great quote and i think it applies to many different aspects of life and career as well. Subscribed.

  • DT

    August 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm Reply

    @kin Thanks for your comment, I did not quite get it at first, but after reading it a few times I kinda got it. Good Luck!
    @Paolo Thanks for subscribing, do stay tuned for more great stuff!

  • Quote Catcher Website Design

    August 5, 2008 at 5:18 am Reply

    Great article, I couldn’t agree more. Once your project has become your ‘baby’, your in trouble. I actually try to identify 3 things I don’t like about what I’m working on each time I look at it. This forces me to turn a critical eye and see things I may otherwise overlook.

  • Industrial Guru

    August 6, 2008 at 10:58 pm Reply

    Great post DT. It is very true, and very tiring! The dilemma of “objective self-analysis” is a bit tricky to get around.. which is why they invented red bull ūüėõ
    -I.G.

  • links for 2008-08-06 | Nofi dot org

    August 7, 2008 at 1:26 am Reply

    […] Designers need to be 3 People at the Same Time! […]

  • DT

    August 7, 2008 at 10:00 am Reply

    @quotecatcher and @industrial guru, thanks for stopping by and please keeping in touch.

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