• Process
  • Philosophy


Human beings are unique as the only entity upon this planet, that sculpts the world around them according to their conception of reality. This is true of all cultures in the vast history of creativity, innovation and utility of instigating change in the environment around us.

Taking complete ownership of this process, as a creative practitioner when I use my abilities to manifest the abstract into existence.

In this act I consciously condensed the principles of Sambanda, ~ Knowledge of Relationships, Abhideyya ~ the means of attainment and Projana ~ the ultimate goal, into my process of design.

These principles can be used to navigate any scenario and built upon an subjective understanding experience of life, allowing the designer to step outside bodily or cultural identification and into true empathy for the audience experiencing the design.

The knowledge of relationships, the parts of a problem to be solved, the landscape of challenge and the aspiration beyond will defined the desired goal. Collating this knowledge will deduce a strategy on how to attain that goal.

Testing this hypothesis in the field of action will give a further understanding to the knowledge of relationships that will create more fidelity of the ideal goal.

This again informs the process of how to attain that goal, in an cyclic flow of continuous gradual improvement.

The utility of this provides a pathway of transforming chaos into harmony, iteration after iteration. A process that allows the dynamic transposition of these principles can create a fulcrum of beauty in the forge of reality.

Design – Conception to Reality

Quality design takes time.

To make great products requires a great process that can condense friction into its most clearest path to connect with the needs and desire of the audience. To gain clarity a macroscopic vision is required and to make space to find an overview effect that can see across all aspects and touchpoints.

The beauty of finding the overview effect can transform a business from a churn and burn honeypot into a sophisticated thoughtful work of art.

Having a framework and a guided system gives the discipline of focus and the freedom from the noise to nurture the creative process. Designers use various matrices to collate feedback and information to find the underlying pattern of relationships.

Over time I have created a system of matrices that consolidate the design process across the customer journey and bring this focus into a collaborative ideation framework for key project stakeholders.

The first goal of this process is developing knowledge of relationships and defining the aspirational goal. This lays the foundation of the underlying ideal and intention of a venture. The nature and qualities of this Paragon will be infused in the mood and qualities of relationships across all aspects of the venture.

Over the course of the design process, this higher level intent can be a core road block that needs review and reframing to unlock lower level friction points such as a simple UI element or thematic colours.

Next is an empathy and mapping process of envisioning a customer and their journey across the stages of Discovery, Inquiry, Engagement, Delivery, Retaining, and Advocacy. Defining and focusing upon the critical touch points needed for the customer.

What are their wants and needs, dreams and desires?
How to best craft the story telling for connection?
What experiences and systems need to created to support their Journey?

This essential in uncovering the constraining factors and how to apply adaptive, crafted solutions for success. Armed with this knowledge and market research a content strategy can be formed to work within the budget and resources of the venture.

Product – Form to Experience

A common adage in the design process is that “Form follows function” but this can be enhance with an more conscious approach that actively considers the interactions of the personalities interacting and engaging with the experience of the function.

It is of vital importance when designing any product to conceive the experiences they are meant to enhance. The dance of the theatrics of the reveal, the subliminal pathways of the natural actions created by unobtrusive design.

What are the tools or systems needed to create the end product and experiance?

How to reduce friction in the process of deliver and the customer experience?

How to make the production costs justify the investment?

Different products and will required a unique approach due to the variance in medium and the desired experience of the customer. By following an underlying structure that utilises a dynamic framework connected to the big picture can save the process getting lost into the Tinkerhole.

A useful analogy is the process of design as a comparison to collecting carbon from the fabric of reality. Through concentration and focus this basic building block of the world around us can be fused into a raw gem. This rough form can then over iterations of design and testing, design and testing be cut into a beautiful gem that reveals the beauty of form inside. Though each gem is unique and may need to be cut in different ways the essential geometry of the substance is inherent.

Over time this process and understanding of the inherent nature can be standardised but the trade off may be a loss of individuality in the search for a cost effective conformity. But the stability of conformity can also give a foundation for creativity as these forms can become the new building blocks of fresh expressions and experiences of beauty and delight.

Culture – Story to Community

Story telling from start to finish.

Stories are made to be shared and a great story will live with its own power.

A healthy and dynamic business venture will seek to create a culture and a community around it’s products and services, where it’s story telling lives in the hearts and mind of it’s customers. It’s message connects to their dreams and search for joy in such a way that it gives new language and expression. Not mindlessly repeating fads or cultural cliche’s but bringing new light and fresh ideas into reality.

This is the real purpose of a substantial brand and design language, to create stories that the customer and culture can take to heart. The business owners real purpose meets uplifts the lives of their customers. The product and experiences of a business are just touchpoints of connection in this deeper conversation.

It is imperative that this the brand narrative be conceived as a separate entity outside the founders. This allows the languages of design have a life of its own, in service to the ideals of the venture envisioned in it’s paragon.

This process of story telling, creates the business as personality, a deity of abundance of goodwill, held in custodianship, by its visionary founders and the sage like creatives who help manifest the persons of the living systems that support the customer experience.

As we ride rays of the cresting sun at the dawn of Ai assisted storytelling, conscious and ethical business persona building will become an essential human centred skill.


Condensing Reality

“The dharma of fire is to burn, the dharma of water is to be wet.”

Dharma is a word that has no definitive equivalent in other languages. It’s conceptual origins lies with the Sages and Rishi’s of the Vedic Culture in India, who detached themselves from worldly affairs to contemplate upon the deeper nature of reality around them.

The inquisitive mind looks for underlying patterns and influences in the world and constructs them into concepts that give insight and clarity to our place within the environment. For these Sages the distilling of reality around themselves revealed the concept of dharma and its application to create harmony in their place in the universe.

Dharma is considered inherent in the very nature of all things and all beings, the eternal law of the cosmos, the foundation of the substance of reality. Being an abstract concept, what is dharma and it’s application is open to interpretation based on cultural perspectives and worldviews of various schools of thought.

It is an in the moment test of one’s personal integrity of being in flow, of the great field before them.

Understanding dharma is to understand the underlying quintessential nature of the universe, while the object of design is to find, create and refine the most functional solution to a set of environmental variables that enhance our relationship with the environment and personalities around us.

Design Lesson: 1 of 1

In Andy Rutledge’s article of par excellence: The Design Lesson: 1 of 1, well deserving of its title, he explains the key understanding of being successful in creating visual design:In graphic design, nothing is what it actually is. Everything other than content is representative of something else. Additionally, much of the content is also merely representative of something other than what it actually is.

For the designer, a line is not a line. A box is not a box. A gradient is not a gradient. An arrow is not an arrow. A sharp or rounded corner is never simply that. And only in the most mundane and pedestrian circumstances is any color used in design actually representative of the color itself. In essence, nothing is what it would seem to be.

If you actually believe that designing content means you should add a line or a box or a gradient for its own sake, you’re no longer designing—you’re cluttering.

Andy Rutledge

He further elucidates the need to understand the elements you use in design in their most fundamental purpose.

A gradient is not a gradient. It is a directional mechanism, a dimensional metaphor, or an indication of some object or force not visible on the page.

Andy Rutledge

This compendious ability of the designer is crucial in reducing the friction that inhibits the functionality and purpose of what is being designed.

To reflect and distill the parts of a problem into its essential parts, then condensing that essence into a functional arrangement is the craft .

Good Design

The well regarded Dieter Rams having had an extensive career as a designer, contemplated upon the process of design.

Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him – “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design? As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important principles for what he considered was good design.

Cees W. de Jong

To paraphrase these Ten Principles of Good Design:

Good design is honest, unobtrusive, long-lasting, aesthetic, useful, innovative, understandable, and good design is as little design as possible

Contemplating the deeper essence of the meaning of each of these points, we can see correlations to the vedic sages idea’s of Dharma.

Good design is the process of revealing and not obstructing the inherent qualities of components of what is being designed. The outcome being a solution that is pure in it’s functionality and delight to use because of the frictionless quality of this quintessential substance.

Simplicity is the Iceberg of Chaos

There is a lot of dialogue about simplicity and minimalism as a global design atheistic takes shape. Simplicity in design, as in life is not without effort the is a mountain of rejection next to focal point of simplicity. The designers privilege is to hide this below the horizon line.

Simplicity is not created by placing the basic required elements of a design in a sparse arrangement, but is created by removing all unnecessary clutter elements until you get to a refined harmony that appears to be so obvious, natural that you can forget that it has been designed at all.

Take as an example the common t-shirt. Starting out as an undergarment and due to its simplicity, adaptability to unlimited body sizes, it is one of the most ambiguous pieces of clothing on the planet. There may be variations and gradual refinements over time but essentially the design is the same, two large pieces of fabric sewn up both sides with a hole cut in the top middle for the head and two loops of fabric attached at each side for the arms.

For the goal of dressing a human form it is a perfect design, so perfect is it forgettable and has become a blank canvas for ideas, style and aesthetics.

The design has found its essential nature, the Dharma of Design.

The dharma of design

The dharma of design is to condense the elements of design into their essential function, allowing the inherent qualities of the medium itself to express the purpose, feelings and ideas of a work. Some mediums and materials lend themselves to certain applications while others do not.
The Dharma of Design will reveal itself according to the understanding of the Designer. Good design will be so obvious and natural that the craft of the designer will become invisible.

I.B Das

Mining the Dharma of Design, the designer can then express personality and taste through their work. It becomes an medium of higher principles of intent, purpose and culture.

Iteration after iteration, to refined perfection, like cutting a gemstone until it refracts the light of their being.

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