From Now On
|Vol 11|No 1|September|2001|
One of the biggest failures of builders, architects, planners, thinkers and innovators is the neglect of context. Installation of new equipment, new buildings, new programs and new ideas can falter and fall short of expectations when abstractions are converted too rapidly into action plans and actual implementations that conflict with local conditions in ways not foreseen by the authors and thinkers.
Ivory towers, think tanks and incubators are all vulnerable to this trap. Removed from real conditions, the thinker may spin out the threads of dreams in ways that seem plausible and attractive in the conception phase but shrivel in the light of day.
Frequent, periodic reality testing is the antidote. New ideas must be subjected to pilot testing, peer review and examination in context.
Was the new arbor too tall? Should the next sections be just as tall? Would they block the view? Should they be shorter? Should the ladder section be eliminated? And how would it look once the grape vines rose to the top?
Some of this testing can occur in real space. Some might require imagination and simulation.
1. Looking for Plans & Conventional Wisdom 2. Adapting the Plans to Local Conditions 3. Collecting the Elements 4. Digging 5. Resting 6. Assembling and Cementing 7. Foundation Work 8. Assembly 9. Learning New Skills 10. Synthesis 11. Considering Context 12. More Assembly 13. Combination 14. Revision 15. Completion? 16. Extension? 17. Synthesis 18. Two More Sections 19. SCAMPER 20. Wondering 21. Looking Around 22. Growing the Idea
Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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