Friday, May 14, 2010

Squishy Stuff. Story. Delight.

Last night I joined the creative masses heading downtown to Ace Hotel's venue space, The Cleaners, for another installment of AIGA's Designspeaks series. This time with Frank Chimero.

Instead of telling us his story, in his presentation called The Shape of Design, Frank told us about the idea of story, squishy stuff and delight. Here are just a few thought nuggets from these three categories. (He talked about other things, too, but these were my favorite.)

Let's start with the squishy stuff:
  • Design is not logical. Design is illogical. Because people are illogical. We are "emotional and squishy".
  • People are imitating the wrong stuff. Everything is homogenous. "It's all so damn slick."  You can't even tell that a person made it. "Squishy > (is greater than) Slick."
Moving on to story:
  • We say we're visual communicators, right!? Story is the oldest instance of how we communicate. It's in our bones. So shouldn't we visual communicators know how to tell a story?
  • Story bonds us. Story helps us understand each other.
And finally, delight:
  • Success in design can equal three things: Persuade, Inform, Delight.
  • Delight is the teeny tip of the Design Nobility Pyramid - it's success in design in it's highest form, according to Frank.
  • Where surprise and clarity convene, you find delight.
  • Delight is a designer's super power. We can make someone feel.
  • And when we think of it that way, our mindset changes from thinking of ourselves as communicators to believing that we are gift-givers.
"Be skillful. Be vulnerable. Be thoughtful. Be HUMAN." 
- Frank Chimero

You can view some of the slides from this evening hereRead about previous Designspeaks events here and here.


  1. That was great. Wish I could have been there. Thanks for taking the time to put this on your blog!