Over on the Core77 boards Richard Kuchinsky, boards moderator and "Directive Creator" of The Directive Collective design consultancy, has posted an interesting topic: What ten things should every designer do, at least once during their career? Writes Kuchinsky,
Been thinking lately about what life experiences would make the best designer (skills aside).
A not too serious list, for discussion (in no particular order)-
1. Make/Fix something for your own use
2. Get fired
3. Bring a product to market, with your own money
4. Start your own consultancy
5. Pitch/sell an idea to investors
6. Work corporate
7. Work in a consultancy
8. Live/Work in a different country
10. Work on a royalty or equity basis
Thoughts? These are just off the top of my head, nothing too serious or meant to be all encompassing. I can't say I've done all myself, and not sure how many designers have, but think at the very least it's an interesting thought experiment and maybe a start of a life guide for designers to consider how those experiences other than the usual skills/jobs can affect a designer's outlook.
Presented with a list like this, the inclination of some is to tally how many they've got under their belt, while others have added their own suggestions for must-do items. My favorite add-on is Michael DiTullo's assertion that "all designers should go to visit an Asian factory. Going to the factories 3–5 times a year for 8 years taught me so much. It is one thing to intellectually understand a manufacturing process, and another to observe it in person. Also to understand the labor that goes into finishing and assembly." Obviously the "Asian" part is interchangeable depending on where you intend to produce--Chris Anderson, who recently quit his post as Editor of Wired to go into consumer drone production full-time, manufactures in Mexico—but the merits behind DiTullo's thinking are clear, and much echoed in the subsequent posts.
Down the line, by the way, Kuchinsky adds a ballsier item to the list: "Fire a client." The pleasure center in my brain is lighting up at the thought...
So, what are your add-ons?