It is a human trait to organize things into categories. Inventing categories creates an illusion that there is an overriding rationale in the way that the world works.
Surfaces that are "easy to clean" also show dirt more. In reality a surface that camouflages dirt is much more practical than one that is easy to clean.
Maintenance takes time and energy that can sometimes impede other forms or progress such as learning about new things.
All materials ultimately deteriorate and show signs of wear. It is therefore important to create designs that will look better after years of distress.
A perfect filling system can sometimes decrease efficiency. For instance, when letters and bills are filed away too quickly, it is easy to forget to respond to them.
Many "progressive" designs actually hark back towards a lost idea of nature or a more "original form."
Ambiguity in visual design ultimately leads to a greater variety of functions than designs that are functionally fixed.
No matter how many options there are, it is human nature to always narrow things down to two polar, yet inextricably linked choices.
The creation of rules is more creative than the destruction of them. Creation demands a higher level of reasoning and draws connections between cause and effect. The best rules are never stable or permanent, but evolve, naturally according to content or need.
What makes us feel liberated is not total freedom, but rather living in a set of limitations that we have created and prescribed for ourselves.
Things that we think are liberating can ultimately become restrictive, and things that we initially think are controlling can sometimes give us a sense of comfort and security.
Ideas seem to gestate best in a void--- when that void is filled, it is more difficult to access them. In our consumption-driven society, almost all voids are filled, blocking moments of greater clarity and creativity. Things that block voids are called "avoids."
Sometimes if you can't change a situation, you just have to change the way you think about the situation.
People are most happy when they are moving towards something not quite yet attained (I also wonder if this extends as well to the sensation of physical motion in space. I believe that I am happier when I am in a plane or car because I am moving towards an identifiable and attainable goal.)
What you own, owns you.
Personal truths are often perceived as universal truths. For instance it is easy to imagine that a system or design works well for oneself will work for everyone else.
He also points out that today, as we’re drowning in information, “context” is critical. “When you get an answer on Google, the notion of that answer coming from an authoritative base no longer matters that much—because there are so many authorities,” he says. “To use <author> David Weinberger’s phrase, there is ‘too much to know’—and so what really matters is your ability to triangulate, to look at something from multiple sources, and construct your own warrants for what you want to believe.” And that may involve “asking all kinds of peripheral questions,” Brown notes, such as, What is the agenda behind this information? Can it be trusted? Is it current, and still relevant? How does it connect with other information I’m finding? To use Brown’s words, “the context dominates the content.”
Rephrase the problem.
Expose and challenge assumptions.
Consider a broader or narrower version of the problem.
Rewrite your problem statement from the perspective of different stakeholders.
Assume there’s more than one possible solution.
Use language to frame the problem in a more exciting way.
Reverse the problem and think about what you would do to generate an opposite intended result.
Ask yourself questions about the problem. Do research.
California is a terraformed space. I think we have accidentally become terraformers, but of course we are not gods. We don’t actually know enough about ecology, or even about bacteria, to do what we want to do here. We could make environmental changes that could do damage that we can’t recover from, so it’s dangerous. We’re more like the sorcerer’s apprentice. We can do amazing things on this planet, out of hubris, and partial ignorance, and yet we are without the powers to jerk the system back to health if we wreck it. If ocean acidification occurs, we don’t have a chance to shift that back. So we’ve accidentally cast ourselves into this role by our scientific successes, but we don’t have the power to do what we need to do, so we need to negotiate our situation with the environment. The idea that we’re living in the Anthropocene is correct. We are the biggest geological impact now; human beings are doing more to change the planet than any other force, from bedrock up to the top of the troposphere. Of course if you consider twenty million years and plate tectonics, we’re never going to match that kind of movement. It’s only in our own temporal scale that we look like lords of the Earth; when you consider a longer temporality, you suddenly realize we’re more like ants on the back of an elephant. By no means do we have godlike powers on this planet. We have a biological system we can mess up, a thin wrap on the planet’s surface, like cellophane wrapping a basketball. But there is so much we don’t know. You can do cosmology with more certainty than ecology.