My parents were masters of distraction in my youth. Crazy long line at Six Flags? Holiday shopping at the height of the season? I was immune to massive crowds and long lines because we were quite busy playing the alphabet game. They seemed to have a roster of games so it always felt like something new and exciting. Recently I was stuck in traffic and I remembered my all-time favorite game. Which I sometimes still play because I'm certain I'll never break the code. My dad, who is a retired art director, came up with it.
Dad would say: "Name one thing in the world that wasn't created by Mother Nature and wasn't created by an artist or designer." When the game was new and fresh I'm sure I spewed out answers. "The toilet? That signpost? My chair?" I remember him always calmly explaining what engineer, industrial designer, graphic designer, fashion designer, typesetter, etc. had a role in creating that object. It always left me stumped. Little did I know how much that game would influence my chosen career path.
Funny, because sometimes I get accused of thinking that design can change the world. Like that's a bad thing. But when you've been taught since your youth that design has made the world, it isn't such a stretch that design can change it.
A few links that keep me inspired:
The Designer Fund that helps designers raise money to make projects that will have an impact.
It would be amazing to be a part of the team that designed hearing implants and then see this 29-year-old's reaction to hearing for the first time.
A video profile of Michael Wolff that will just give you warm, fuzzy, designery-love feelings.