先“除旧”再“创新”

译者按:春节马上就要到了。我们总说“除旧迎新”。在设计创新的过程中,“除旧”就显得尤为重要。本文阐述了作为工业设计师,我们如何经常性地铲除“旧”的思维定势,来腾出空间给未来创新设计。祝各位读者新春愉快!

我们的生活和设计创新都像是一个花园。他们都需要尽心培育和浇灌。把种子撒在土里不管不问,种子是不会茁壮生长的。健康的植物需要施肥,尽心呵护。铲除杂草是维护这个花园健康的重点之一。在设计创新中,需要我们有敏感的眼光和持续不断的清理杂质行动。我们在过往的创意过程中,给自己填进去很多创意想法和灵感,但是这些想法和灵感越积越多,我们很少花时间和精力去清理脑子里的这些残渣。我们怎么样才能去掉脑子里过时的东西,想法和俗套呢?

要“清理”思想应该先从自己的梦想开始。我们有没有看看是否我们的当年“梦想”现在看来还是那么重要?这里举一个我自己亲身的例子。当我还是青年设计师的时候,我的整个梦想就是坐进设计总监的大办公室。这是我那时候认为的所谓 “成功”。我觉得达到这个高度就是证明我的能力。我从此为我的梦想努力追逐。我记得我还研究了那些“高层”领导的办公室。他们都有宽大的办公桌,厚厚的地毯,舒服的椅子和古董画挂在墙上。所以,我记下来并梦想我的办公室就像那样。终于这一天来到了,我达到了我认为的事业目标-坐进了这样的大办公室。可是当我坐进办公室的第一感觉是很奇怪和别扭,开始我以为是需要整理一下办公室,也许是风水不对。我按照风水调整了办公室的摆设,但还是感觉别扭。最后明白了,作为设计师(或者设计管理者),这种豪华的总裁办公室根本不适合我。根本无法在这样的办公室里进行创意和设计。后来找到一个机会,我赶快处理掉这堆高档家具,搬回到我从前的宽松的设计办公环境。当我在追逐我的“梦想”的道路上, 我从未考虑过我的梦想是不是还很重要。我根本没有觉察到,我的实际需求和想要的东西其实早已经改变了。我只是盲目地追寻着一个没有太大意义的梦想。因此,我们需要经常地反思一下我们以前的梦想。是不是有更好的梦想来替换呢?就如花园一样, 时不时铲除杂草,让花园健康成长。

我的朋友,汉尼斯(Hannes Seeberg)是一个思考全面的设计师。他来自爱沙尼亚。他的创意如泉涌一般。他是一个很棒的策划和创意思考者。 我们经常交换思想来探索一些共同感兴趣的思考问题。他告诉我,在他为即将出生的女儿做准备的时候,他领悟到去除旧的东西是一种境界。他称为“减法创新”(Exnovation),越过增量创新到达了减量创新的状态。如果我们说创新是增加新东西,那么应该有一个过程叫去除和清理旧东西。这来自于他对拉丁词语的前缀后缀词的启示。他发现“减法”(EX)比“加法”(In) 在创新过程中更有意义。他还建议我们思考一个题目 “减法创新”(Exnovation)和它的意义。汉尼斯阐述“减法创新”(Exnovation)就是去除心灵杂质。就像清理壁橱一样。过一段时间,你需要打包或扔掉一些旧东西,给新的思想腾出空间。这就像佛家讲的“去除杂念”。我可以看到这是好的但是我自己还不能达到这种境界。我的杂念太多了。有时候我都恨自己。所以,清除杂念和那些先入为主的概念是让自己前进的关键之一。如果我不能卸除身体上包袱,也许我可以先去除心里的。

再分享一个有意思的故事。如果我和达芬奇可以对话,我会问他什么是文艺复兴。他也许会给我这样一个故事。© 设计在线.中国

你在一艘船上,带着所有的家当。船要沉了。你怎么办?你必须开始扔掉船上的东西。但是,船还在继续下沉。还需要扔掉更多的东西。但是,船继续下沉。这时候,你就开始考虑什么东西对你来说重要,但同时船继续下沉。最后你扔掉所有东西,只留下对你来说最有价值的。但是,你还是要扔掉这些最有价值的东西,否则船还要沉掉。达芬奇会说:“这就是文艺复兴。”所以,想象这船上的东西就是我们既往的旧的想法。时不时的我们需要来一次清理和重新开始。这就是东方哲学里称的“顿悟”-一种去除旧的想法,开始产生新的想法的瞬间。从这个时候开始,我们达到了一个新的境界。全新的阶段开始了。因此,要达到新的思想境界,我们需要去除旧的包袱。

另一个例子是我的朋友和同事,Frank告诉我的。这个特别适合我居住的美国佛罗里达。为了保持游泳池的水质,我们定期的往泳池内添加化学药剂来平衡水质。但是,他说:“你不断的往游泳池里倒化学药水来平衡水质,终究有一天,你要把这些被化学药水调配了无数次的“脏”水都排掉啊。”

顿问带来的快感把你达到一个新的境界。所有以前的思维里的包袱都清楚干净。瞬间,我们享受这种兴奋的体验同时扫除掉以前旧的思维定势。

细心培育思想的“花园”是一个设计创新的关键但是经常被人们忽略。它包括减法创新。去除旧的东西。它还包括反向推理。预测下面要发生的。用你现有的和所知的东西,来预知接下来要做的。没有事情是孤立的。万事存在联系。探索每个解决方案会催生出新的想法和机会。然后我们周而复始的在探索中发现新东西。

希望我们回到或者到达一个新的境界。这个过程在自我重复的过程。当我接到一个设计项目,我会问自己对于这个项目,接下来是什么?想象一下,就像一个赛车手,全速驾驶进入弯道。他总是在预测接下他会面对的状况是什么。所以的刹车和减档 (摈除以前的思想)的操作必须在进入弯道以前完成。当达到弯道转弯的顶点的时候,立即全速推进。当冲出弯道的一刹那,刺激和急速冲出的加速感让你兴奋不已。如果没做好,那就倒霉啦!同样设计创新也是一样。清楚地知道什么在你的前面,并细心照料创新思想是非常重要的。在去除旧东西之后,才有多余的空间给你创新的空间。这就是我说的,“除旧”后再“创新”。

最后,一些建议:© www.dolcn.com

  1. 时不时的去掉一些旧的思维。向前进行,不断更新你的目标。
  2. 倒空脑袋里的旧创意。倒掉旧的精神包袱。
  3. 注意接下来要发生的。
  4. 总是 往前看什么在你的面前。
  5. 不断前进。(笑话)如果最近没有什么新想法产生,看看你自己还有没有心跳,也许你已经死掉了。

作者:柯雷斯顿 (Bruce Claxton) 翻译:葛卫华 (Weihua Ge)


Innovation and Nurturing Ideas

By Bruce Claxton
Translated by Weihua Ge

Our lives, ideas and creativity are like gardens. They all require nurturing. Things don’t grow when planted and then left to their own. Healthy plants need fertilizer, and care. Removing weeds are critical to the good health of the garden. It takes a watchful eye and constant monitoring to avoid weeds from taking over. There needs to be constant removal of stuff that gets blown in from the air around us. A lot of time is spent on the feeding of ideas and inspiration, less on clearing out mental debris! How do we get rid of outdated thinking and expectations? Did we check recently on whether our dreams are relevant?

Here’s an experience I’d like to share. As a young professional, I was enamored by the achievement of a big corner office. That was success. I knew that those that arrived at that level had proven themselves to be leaders. I went about pursuing that dream. I would study the offices we would meet in with senior leaders. They all have the big wooden desk, deep carpet, nice chairs, and art on the wall. So, I noted that and went about working towards achieving that goal of being in an office like that as a result of achievement. One day I had arrived at that point in my career where I was entitled to the big corner office, with the nice desk, chairs and artwork. At first the office felt strange, I thought it was poorly organized and lacked feng shui that would be appropriate for me. I re arranged the office according to the guidelines of feng shui. It still wasn’t working for me. It was because the entire executive office wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t useful or functional the way I worked! When I got the opportunity, I obsoleted the furniture and went to a flexible office plan with rolling tables, white boards and a more functionally creative space. It became a design playground, much more useful and fun.

Unwittingly, I had pursued a dream and never questioned it along the way to see if it was still relevant.

My needs and desires had changed, and I hadn’t checked in on it. I blindly pursued a worn out dream.

Did anything change along the way to consider replacing earlier dreams with even better ones? How do our gardens grow? Watch them and update your aspirations as you go. Check in on yourself from time to time.

Hannes Seeberg is a very thoughtful designer from Estonia. He oozes creativity! He is an amazing thinker about strategy and innovation. We exchange ideas from time to time and stretch our mutual thinking. As he prepared for the birth of his daughter, he wondered about cleaning out old stuff that was in the way and he made the jump to innovation and exnovation. If innovation was about adding what’s new, then there should be a component of taking away and clearing out old stuff. This came from a brief journey he took into latin prefixes and suffixes. He found the prefix ‘ex’ as compared to ‘in’ when discussing innovation. He suggests we think about the title, Exnovation and what that means.

Exnovation according to him is about clearing out mental debris. It’s like cleaning a closet. Every once in awhile you need to throw away old clutter and baggage in order to allow room for new ideas and opportunities. This is like the beauty of Buddhist monks living a very basic life with minimal clutter. I can see the elegance in that but can’t bring myself to go there. My background is way too wrapped around the physical. Sometimes I hate that. So, clearing the brain and preconceived notions is very necessary in order to move on. If I can’t get there with my physical stuff, maybe I can be more diligent with the mind!

There’s an interesting story that I’d like to share.

Imagine I could have a talk with Leonardo da Vinci. I would ask him what a renaissance is. He would tell the following story;

You’re in a boat with all your life’s possessions. The boats is sinking. What do you do? You begin to throw things overboard. The boat is still sinking. More things go over the side. The boat continues to sink. Now you’re getting to things that really matter to you… and the boat continues to go down. Finally you’re down to the end of ‘stuff’ that is the most valued to you. The boat will sink unless you throw them over as well. They have to go. Everything. Leonardo would say, “Thats a renaissance!” So imagine those are our preconceived ideas in life. From time to time we need to clear out the mental baggage and start over. It’s also a Satori. The moment when all preconceived ideas are washed away and new coding begins. From there on, we create an entirely new reality. It’s fresh and exciting.

So, to get to a brand new place of thought, we need to clear all of our old baggage.

Another way of putting it was from one of my younger colleagues and friends, Frank Tyneski and this fits Florida very well. He said, “You keep putting chemicals in the pool over and over trying to balance the chemistry, and finally at times you just have to drain that sucker!”

Having a Satori is to enjoy the euphoric thrill of having your thinking go to a new place. All previous mental baggage has been cleared. For just a moment, we have an exciting aha experience. It comes with excitement and insight wiping away all previous mental code on a topic.

Nurturing is a key piece of creativity and innovation that is not discussed too often. It includes exnovation. Weed out the old stuff. It includes abductive reasoning; anticipating what’s next. Take what you have just completed and what you know, and have a clear view of what to do next. Nothing stands alone. Everything we do is on a continuum. Every solution breeds another pass at an opportunity. Then we return to a discovery phase all over again.

Hopefully we return or arrive at this place with all new vision. The process repeats itself. When I’m working on a project, I ask what’s next. Race car driving is like that. You look out ahead and down the road past the curve. You anticipate what is beyond what is in front of you. All of your braking ( getting rid of previous thinking ) and down shifting is done before the curve. When you hit the apex of the curve you should be in full throttle! What excitement and a rush to have the feel of all the acceleration working for you as you come out of the turn or changes in your life! You screw this up, you die. It’s the same with innovation. Knowing what’s beyond and nurturing it is very critical. Removing excess before all this happens gives you the room for what’s new. Exnovate then innovate!

Some guidelines.

  1. From time to time get rid of old thinking. Move on. Refresh your goals.
  2. Empty the pool from time to time. Clear out old mental baggage!
  3. Watch out for what’s next.
  4. Look beyond what is right in front of you.
  5. Keep moving. It has been said that if you haven’t had a new idea recently, check your pulse, you might be dead.