Our Love of How Stuffs

Jetty in the mist

It has taken me a while to work out what type of book I am writing. I thought it was the New Practice of Design, which is still its working title, though I realise now I am not writing a book about ‘doing practice’. I am writing a book about ‘being practice’ and how it relates to the act of creating something in the real world.

The awareness I have now is for our love and adoration of ‘how stuffs’. How stuffs are things that describes how we act and do. They are methods, tools and activities, tangible and noticeable in our physical realities. The reason we love how stuffs is because we love our physical realities.

I was forcing my book into something it isn’t as the current paradigm we value is one of doing and action. And of course I want my book to be valued. I know of great books that describe the doing and making of design. Even the ones that are called ‘thinking’ books, are really still describing how stuffs.

The backdrop sitting behind how stuffs quietly directs and informs the doing. The backdrop is made of being and thinking. It is thinking that is not asking how it should be done, but why it should be done. It’s being that is not about efficiency and control, but about deep insight and empathy. My book is about the ever present backdrop of the act creating things.

And I’ve also decided not to make it about design. Because design today is becoming very exclusive. I hear people who have been working as human centred designers for many years start to say things like, “but I’m not a real designer”. So to avoid that I’m referring to things as traditions of creation instead. Science is a tradition of creation. Engineering is a tradition of creation. Leadership is a tradition of creation. This way we can all connect with the backdrop enabling us to meaningfully and deliberately create our own realities.

And then hopefully, one day, some day, we’ll realise that those realities are shared ones, by every living being on this planet.