Looking versus seeing

This video about Inge Druckrey is touted by Fast Company as a 40-minute crash course in design thinking…For me it’s about the essence of being patient. We talk about the importance of a powerful research phase (we call it Examine) and how it’s essential to try to differentiate it from a synthesis or analysis phase (that we call Understand). In the very first moments of the video, Druckery says:

You really learn to look… and it pays off, that suddenly you begin to see wonderful things in your daily life you never noticed.

For me, that “seeing” as different from “looking” is the difference between talking to users and understanding a problem space. You can’t just start seeing…you have to start with looking.

It’s worth your time, to be sure. In case you need more convincing, here’s a gem mentioned by the FastCo article:

A particularly thoughtful sequence, one that brings to life Druckrey’s dictum about seeing wonderful things you never noticed, has her narrating a student’s attempt at developing a typeface. Severny lets the student’s capital letter R take up the whole screen, fading from one version to the next as Druckrey narrates the refinements taking place before our eyes. For those who don’t think much about type on a daily basis, it’s a two-minute crash course in “really learning to look” at letters, a glimpse into the interdependent system of angles, connections, and stroke weights that make some typefaces just feel right.

Daniel Stillman

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