Searching for the unspecified

Producing the unexpected is the designer’s task according to many. We are asked to reach beyond the brief and develop innovative solutions. There are some strategies designers may employ to do this. An approach I use in my design practice is to review the task and look for what isn’t specified or the potential loop-holes. Briefs can be restrictive spaces, and this technique helps me establish an open mindset that can focus on possibilities rather than limitations. Seeking to find, understand and exploit the unspecified is often dependent on one’s original mindset. The surrounding conditions together with the right mindset means the clearly defined or ambiguous can generate impetus for questioning, exploration and experimentation. Using this strategy is by no means the magic bullet to developing innovative solutions, but it highlights what may be overlooked, provides greater clarity and motivates me personally — so in that sense it’s a win.

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