Unit 6, Entry 1: Disruptive Wonder

Banksy's "flower thrower" - a good example of an idea with a 'twist' to make it work.

Reflect on your experiences with disruptive wonder, as described by Kelli Anderson in the video “Kelli Anderson: Disruptive Wonder for a Change.” Are you open to creating disruptive wonder? Is the notion new to you?

During our course unit, we reviewed Kelli Anderson’s TED presentation Design to Change Reality in which she describes her quest to “make things better by making them more absurd.” The first example she provides is entitled “the empty gesture,” in which she explores the notion of receiving holiday cards which are often sent and received as empty gestures – as a result, she designs a holiday card that folds into a four-frame narrative of what it looks like to receive a holiday card. In essence, “a holiday card about itself.”

Her point is that in order for us to make sense of the world surrounding us in a creative manner, we need to question and approach things from completely unexpected points of view. In a manner of speaking, to turn things on their heads.

Since watching Anderson’s talk, I have attempted to look at my own design challenges from differing perspectives – perhaps not as radically as she suggests, but enough that I am discovering new and uncharted avenues that I feel would not have been possible had I stuck to my ‘normal’ process. And while this kind of process may not always uncover appropriate solutions to the design challenge at hand, it certainly allows for creative exploration that could otherwise (and often) end up in just another expected solution. And who wants to deliver expected solutions?! Not I.