I had a few rough days at work recently, all of which culminated with a teary-eyed lunch at Chipotle with J. Design, and the world of design, can be a tricky place. There’s a fine line between “collaboration” and “being a jerk while trying to tell other people how to do their thing”. I’ve been caught in that trap many times throughout my design education—both in undergrad and grad school alike.
I don’t claim to be an expert in design, and I certainly make many mistakes and constantly refine my style and personal preferences. (See the bedroom artwork post for the most recent example.) But sometimes, creating a good design requires some pushing from another person. And sometimes, that “pushing” can just get to be too much.
After the rough day, one of the bossmans (I have seven that I could hypothetically directly report to) took me aside and rained down some wisdom all over me. He’s been designing buildings and spaces for over 30 years now, so he definitely has some clout. He said when he was in school, a professor once told him… “be a duck.” Take that to mean… there are lots of times when you should just let those opinions roll right off your back. Like a duck would.
So I made this little guy, hung him right next to my computer, and am constantly reminded to… be a duck.