The Box

February 12, 2018

Think Outside the Box

Ultimately, design is about solving problems within a set of constraints. Typical constraints include time, money, and personnel but technology, workspace, environment and other factors can become constraints as well.

Constraints can seem daunting and unworkable. When we approach a new problem, we really want to attach the problem with everything we have. We want to unleash our fullest creative potential and solve the problem in the exact right way. After all, many of us went to art school or we’re hackers or we just enjoy taking photographs on the weekend. Constraints put us in a box, and we want to think outside the box.

Constraints put pressure on the box, pushing it in, making the set of possibilities to solve a problem small. We get depressed with the solution because it’s boring and straightforward, and we just can’t implement the solution we really want to implement, the “right” solution. So the hell do we do with this?

Think Outside the Box, Inside the Box.

We have to use our creativity to grow the size of the box, we need to embrace constraints and use them to our advantage, we want to force a bigger box.

The more we embrace constraints and work within them, the larger the box grows. We find that we actually can do a lot with little time, money, and personnel. All of the sudden, we find that 5 people can do the work of 10 people if they simply focus on what’s important. We might uncover new methods of production that lead to better work delivered faster. We can do these things if we embrace constraints, work within them, and be creative.