Philosophy Tuesday

January 6, 2015

This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Creating from intentions is a powerful tool. And I don’t think it’s something we do often enough.

I’d say that usually our default, automatic, way of designing things comes from a place governed by our ideology, our viewpoint, and by what we “know”. This is the right way to do things… this is the best way to do things… this is the way my tribe thinks we should do… or just plainly this is how it’s done, or this is how it has been done, so, that’s the way we should do it. We may not even realize we have “starting points” that have already largely limited the area we can play and invent in – this is that infamous “box” that is so often buzzworded. The best we can do is to tweak what we already have/know.

But if we instead put the intentions up on the wall and then invite ways to meet those intentions, real solutions can come about. New ideas. Combining ideas. Ideas informed by, but not burdened by the past and “how it’s done.” Evaluation is possible. Even ideas from our opponents that we would normally dismiss.

And therein I think lies the real beauty of this: even opposing sides can usually agree on a set of intentions. It does not mean that there still won’t be compromise and disagreements, but it is a great aid to generating discourse. Every idea can get measured and extrapolated as to how they meet the intentions.   The conversation can become focused around the intended outcomes, rather than on the external concerns we may be trying to protect, or our addiction to being right.

In the world of intentions, new possibilities open up.


  1. […] that, both from a design standpoint as well as from a courage standpoint. I’m an advocate for Design from Intention(s), and it is something they take to heart. They have a program, they have a site, and they have […]

  2. […] if I were to start from first principles – from intentions – then I would state my view this […]

  3. […] someone is coming from creates new windows and new possibilities.  We can discover our common intentions, and come from there.  It lets us share our own views and positions more effectively. […]

  4. […] When we roll our eyes at work for some perceived inanity we have to deal with, it’s birth was no different than the unseen and unexamined inanities we hold and act out in our own lives.  When we see them, we can slap an expiration date sticker on them, let them phase out, take stock of all aspects, and create anew from intentions. […]

  5. […] foregoing a specific outcome and specific paths to get there.  Possibilities live in the world of intents, recognizing the broader avenues of […]

  6. […] seed our intentions, […]

  7. […] Replace them.  Transform them.  We needn’t get caught up in blame or shame or fault.  We can step up with intention, create from first principles, and be mindful of and design towards all the desired […]

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