I went to an installment of the lecture series, engaging the object last night. The seminars are on different aspects of design, and how it exists in our world…pretty much making it a must-see for product design types like me.

This most recent lecture was with bill moggridge, one of the co-creators of IDEO, and best known for creating the laptop. His talk, entitled “in search of a future for design”, was interesting; and from which I learned more about his philosophy of design. He basically stated that, “people are at the center”, and that cross-disciplinary input is not only helpful, but necessary in good design. It’s fine for the mechanical engineer to detail the design, but in the conceptual phase, the 1st-year marketing intern has just as valid of an input. He put it a little more directly by saying, “team members need to check their disciplines at the door.”

Another thing occurred to me, while looking around the auditorium at what was, undoubtedly, mostly comprised of graduate student’s of Stanford’s product design department. These people were not my peers.

As I’ve aged, I’ve realized academically that I was getting older; but I have yet to really take that to heart. Sitting in that lecture-hall, though, I realized that I had been out of this world for about 4 years; and, being a product designer, I was most likely (at least partially) the thing that the rest of these people wanted to become. I wasn’t their peer anymore, I was instead the end of their short-term goals. So yeah, it was weird. This didn’t help me at all, of course, with my social misfitism (I made a word!), as I was positive that everyone there was looking at me with inner thoughts of, “infidel! you don’t belong here! we know you’re not a student! begone, yon heathen!”

Fun time, though, and I’ll be there next week…

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