The Structured Approach

My wife is a good cook and so I readily let her do most of the cooking and then I volunteer to do the washing up after. At first I thought I’d find it to be literally a chore to do this night after night but that hasn’t really been so. 

Each time I wash up I get the chance to figure how to stack the dishes in a way that they all get to drain properly. Or whether to start with the large pots and work my way down to the utensils or the other way around. Most people probably don’t analyse this problem as much as I do or delight in trying to find better ways to do this, night after night. But seriously why is it that I can never find a good way to stack soup bowls along side plates?

Maybe I’m strange but I really enjoy cleaning up dirty dishes and ending up with an organised  dish rack full of clean dishes and whatnots. Put it another way; I love creating order out of chaos.

Structure gives me security. This is something I’ve discovered about myself through my work, through interacting with my kids, even through marriage. I’m not very flexible when it comes to sudden random changes that force me to adapt. In fact not being able to predict reliably what will happen next can make me very stressed. Without support it can cause me to either become apathetic or to be filled with despair.

This doesn’t mean I abhor change.. hardly! I believe that change is good so long as it serves the purpose of replacing outdated methods or streamlining processes. There has to be a logic behind it. Change for the sake of change scares me especially when it cannot be rationalised. 

Whenever I’m stuck and don’t know what to do I look at processes that have been set up so that I know my boundaries. This is important as without them I don’t have any thing to anchor me down whilst I determine my next course of action. Putting this plainly, as a designer I need to be restricted by rules and regulations in order to establish my starting point; Without which I would be utterly and hopelessly lost. 

But all design is constrained by rules whether tangible or intangible. Hardly any client ever comes in without a brief or budget and even those who are rich will have some opinion about the look that they’re going for. I would hardly consider any designer who fails to deliver a product that caters to the wishes of the client a success. 

So I’m just saying, I like restrictions, I like structure, I enjoy being told what I can and cannot do because within these ‘do’s and ‘do nots’ I’m able to really tap on my creativity. And once I’ve churned out a design that fulfils said requirements, that’s when I know I’ve done my job well. 

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