I’ve met designers from many different backgrounds who each work in their own way.  But one thing they share in common is the fact that they are optimists.

In a recent re-read of Kees Dorst’s fantastic Understanding Design it occurred to me that designers must be inherently optimistic because design is such a forward-looking, explorative activity.  Immersing yourself in ill-defined and constantly changing wicked problems is something that you can only really do if you believe that there is something better at the other end.  Its what gives you perseverance when you hit wall after wall and that rush when you finally nail it.  If you can’t look at something and think “Hmm, I could do that better” then maybe a design career isn’t for you.

One of the best things in the world is sitting in my favourite cafe (Brick Lane Coffee!) with my notebook turned to a blank page, a cappuccino in one hand and a pen in the other.  Few things give me as much excitement and anticipation as a blank page.  At least I’m easy to buy gifts for!

Coffee and a blank page

Coffee and a blank page

Designers also love to argue – but i’ll save that one for another post…

**Update**

I just came across this wallpaper as a part of the flickr “Design is…” pool.

Design is... wallpaper

Design is... wallpaper