Sun Jun 26 2011

No little plans

To me there are two main ways to look at the world: you either look at its surface, or you dig deep into it. Most people are tuned into the first way of looking at things - they go by consuming, admiring what’s around them. They mostly read instead of writing. There is no wrong in that, it’s just the way most people exist. But there’s this other way that a smaller few live in, where the superficial world is ultimately boring because it is also ultimately known. People tuned this way are the people who dig below the depths of everyday life and flip the switches, often making things more interesting for everyone else.

These are the people who design the buttons you click, who articulate the songs you hear, craft the homes and clothes you live in. They are different from you in no way except in how they connect to things, and problems, and these clothes and homes and buttons most of us enjoy. They do not have larger brains or sharper ears and eyes. But their eyes see differently. It is as if they see beyond what’s there, and focus on what can be made with it, or simply improved.

And the thing is: things are exciting, beyond the surface. That’s where the genius of Koolhaas or Blake, Ive or Jobs, Feynman or Rams actually lies. You see, all these people are different. But they all share this spark (for the lack of a better term) that makes them do things. Here’s a secret, though: what makes these people different is in you too. It’s probably just muted somehow.>“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.” - Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect.

So make no little plans. Maybe it is only because today’s a sunday and I’m particularly inspired, but I’m sure as hell committed to this idea.