What I signed up for

As designers, we should commit to embracing uncertainty


You are inside one of the many rooms of a really big house, and you can’t wait to explore them all. This one has three doors and, for some reason, you know what’s behind two of them – something seems familiar. You are designing.

You open the third door and there is a new room, and this time you see five doors. Two of them are close together and look very similar. You grab both handles and pull at the same time. You are designing. Two rooms appear in front of you and you are comparing them. You are designing and you know what to look for: the light that comes from the windows and how it impacts the beds, the patterns on the wallpaper and how high the ceiling is on each room — you wonder if you could reach it if you jumped on the bed.

You make a decision and you go for the room with the geometrical patterned paper on its walls. You will spend the night there, waiting for more doors to appear. Maybe a gateway to places you have never visited.

There it is, now you are at the beach and you are making sand castles. Now there are no doors, yet you know you are still designing. Sure, you have got a bucket, and it feels nice to use it sometimes, but that is not why you signed up for the beach trip, that’s definitely not why you signed up for design.

Each day at the beach is different, and there are not blueprints for your moat, your drawbridge, or the dike that will hold back the tide. That’s what you signed up for.