Björn Rust (he/him) is a post-industrial designer cum researcher, innovator and educator, developing context-sensitive innovation practices for people, planet and beyond.

Recent writings

  1. Opportunity hoarding
  2. Doing away with bullshit
  3. The course of my life, so far

There’s more than one of you in there

It seems few people don’t have at minimum some doubts about their trajectory through life. And while most are rather adept at navigating their way from one opportunity to another, few understand that wayfinding is not simply determining which path to take, it is also realising that there might be more than one destination.

The more crippling question is where those destinations might be. This is not all that different to being charged with the task of designing a new product. It is impossible to design something before the problems have been identified. Stanford lecturer Dave Evens, shares his experiences to that effect from his time as lead engineer of the mouse team at Apple, »before problem-solving there must be problem finding«, he says. But Evens goes a step further by explaining that in life we face two kinds of problems, tame problems and wicked problems.

A tame problem is one you know how to solve. A wicked problem is one where the criteria are changing all the time, even if you come up with a solution you don’t get to reuse it over and over again, the status of what you are working on changes constantly and is never stable.

Evens believes that, »wicked problems are particularly good for the method of design thinking. Because design relies on the empirical process of iterating multiple ideas with prototypes«. He suggests this process of testing and iterating on practical ideas can apply to life. »There’s more than one of you in there«, he tells his students. Rather than searching for optimal outcome, try some experiments and learn from them.

Inspired by: Hidden Brain: Getting Unstuck


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