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Three Things I’ve Learned as a Designer

Steven Cook

Today, designers need to approach their work with an understanding of how mediums play with one anther. Many designers and tech-heads, however, seem to suffer from tunnel vision—getting caught up in one discipline, not thinking or caring about what someone else may be doing on the other side of the office. I’ve seen it, and it’s lead many down the path of unimaginative ideas and equally flat results.

Experience and an open mind is what design is all about. Clients hire us for those reasons, believing that we have a wider understanding of how an experience can be made. I have had the pleasure of working with three individuals who broke with convention and wrote new narratives in their field. I gathered my own experiences on the way, saw how unexpected uses of materials and mediums can change an industry, how being an outsider to classical norms can reshape conventions, and how not being a “yes man” can lead to a more satisfying career. These three lessons have fueled my approach to my work and my story. When life moves fast, we need to take the time to look around—because you never know what experience you can add to your next project.