Friday, February 17, 2012

Textile Friday: Wisdom and knowledge

"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
English preacher (1834 - 1892)


           Today we're talking about why and how. One of the biggest mistakes I tend to make is getting caught up in the how something is created and missing the why I am creating the item in the first place. Going over the books this past week as we unpack the new space, I've been struck by the fact that knowledge is not the same thing as wisdom at all. As the business has grown, I'm forced to look at the difference between knowing how an object is constructed, and being wise enough to see if the overall project is actually something worth doing. It's something I still fail at. As a consummate tinkerer there's few things I love more than someone stopping me and asking if I have 5 min to go over an idea with them. Little happy bells of possibility go off in my head.
          Designers are paid to see trends and possibilities. To look beyond what is and see the past and future. Success is marrying this possible future or product to the everyday realities. It's not easy, we all make mistakes. I've got a host of tossed designs that have never seen the light of day, or did and flopped. Take Pieceables, my next great invention in modular fabric...that no one wanted to buy. One of the best pieces of advice I got from an established designer was, "Art that is wearable sells."
         It was one of the simplest pieces of advice I've been given and a standard to live by.

It is also advice I have to work to stick to. The details are easy to get caught up in. You can watch the TED talk here of someone saying this much better than I can. Have a great weekend and see you back on Monday.

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