"It's a Bird... It's a Plane..."
"What's this?" A fun game my family and I played growing up. My grandfather would make a shape with his table-napkin and place it on his head — suddenly it transformed into a hat. Then he would place it in front of his mouth and it became a megaphone. Whether it was a salt-shaker, a pencil or any other odd object on hand, we would all shout out options until we ran out. Sometimes the game would go on for ages until dinner came to the table or it was time for bed.
I am reminded of that game often in my professional life. My grandpa primed me to take something ordinary and come up with creative solutions to make it seem more realistic. We only believed it was a hat when it was carefully constructed and shaped, not just draped over. We were not blindly stretching our imaginations. What I learned at an early age is what designers do on a daily basis -- we take basic information and transform it into more meaningful results.
I have always admired Christoph Niemann and his Ordinary Objects. He inspires me to carry this game forward into everyday life.
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