Habits

We have our habits—good or bad. As humans we are pattern seekers as well as pattern behaving creatures. We are slaves to our habits. After all, we need predictability in our lives in order to survive as a species. We need to know that certain actions cause certain results—when we are hungry, we find something to eat. It’s all about patterns and habits. These are hardwired into our brains from repeated actions and results from child to adult.

Hardwiring consists of physical neural connections. Because of this hardwiring aspect of habits, it becomes very hard to break those habits. The more we do a habit, the more our body reacts in the same way. This is why addictions are so hard to break.

When I look for new forms to keep my design solutions fresh, I’m constantly drawing the same things—my own hardwiring at work. It’s my addiction I strive to break every day of my design life.

To overcome this, I have to create a new neural connection—a new addiction. Maybe I use a new pencil, pen (or stylus), or paper (or iPad). I can’t break an old habit, so I have to replace it with a new one. I have to create a new neural connection. Maybe I’ll start drawing with my off hand. Or, to really go conceptual, maybe we redefine what drawing is. That’s another topic.

That old adage, you can’t teach an old dog a new trick has some physiological truth. Old habits do die hard. But, we can create new ones. It’s time we trick our brains and “Think Different.”

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Doors

We are defined by many things. We are multifaceted creatures—we have opinions; we have views; we react to various stimuli; we belong to many cultures; etc…

Another way we can be defined is by our daily behaviors—one of which, is the doors and doorways that we go in and out of everyday. If we can observe these patterns, we can get incredible insight into demographics.

What are the chronological sequences of doors that we go through? What type of doors do we go through? How much time we spend in entered spaces?… and what are the spaces that we enter and exit from? From doors and doorways in our homes to our cars… shopping, work, restaurants, etc… these transitions from one space to another can give us tremendous amounts of information?

As a researcher, at times, the information we find from transitions are more important than the actual data we glean from traditional methods.

Pay attention to the doorways you use, figuratively and metaphorically, you could get some incredible insight about yourself and others.

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