Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reinventing the Wheel

There's nothing like raising a child-- watching it progress from a squirmy little bundle of nerve endings and crying to a thinking, talking, plotting human being-- to recharge your wonder and frustration in the world.

One of the most bizarre realizations I remember having was when my son was about 10 months old and started showing a clear preference for anything with wheels. Why wheels?, I thought. (Is this mystery, perhaps, etched on the Y chromosome?)

Since then, we've gone through love affairs with every be-wheeled thing that touches the earth with its magical orbs. Each has been named, counted, described. Routes have been altered to see the absolute most of them we can see in a given drive.

Yet their magic is difficult for me to feel vicariously, the same way, for instance, I revel in every new word and word combination expressed. (This weekend he woke up insisting "Book store. Book store." Boy are we in trouble!)

Yet the image above, taken from this wonderful article from the NYTimes (where else), captures for me the amazement of wheels. This article talks about a design show in NY which is focused on low-cost design solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. It features this water containter, in the shape of a wheel, which can be pulled even by a young child.


What a beautiful form! What a beautiful function!

I would like to start a practice where I take maybe one hour a week to generate new ideas. I invite you to join me. They could be ideas from your own realm of work, or they can be far afield. Take one hour a week (doesn't friday seem the best day for this?) to actively daydream and see what you come up with.

More to come...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too funny! Yeah - we should be able to find a way to market not just the love affair with wheels, but the ability to make motor sounds and build a construction site out of anything.