My notebook in the Cloud

Just the other day I found a personal treasure: a couple (more than a couple, really) of notebooks of mine, filled with the typical sketches, observations, ideas and so on.
Nothing new here.

What was cool about this find was that it showed me how I have been increasing the scope of my projects and how it reflected actual changes in the practice of the profession.
If in the beginning, I used to focus on physical design aspects, now I’ve learned to devote at least as much energy in figuring out the less tangible consequences of what I work on.
And for a while, I was somehow confused on what I was doing, as my interests were all over the place and not really tied to a somehow traditional practice of design [1].

While I was not sure what kind of designer I was, I took the simple step of taking a look at all the things that make me tick (people, arts, technology and the backstage of life) and derive my definition from there.
I’m a designer that likes these things and will study them for a long time. Simple.

So I read about these topics, I talk about them with friends and in general I spend a good time studying them. In practice, I’m consciously building up knowledge and skills for my profession. It would be inefficient not to tell people about what I learn and care about, especially if I already devote so much time to it. Notebooks, while great for expression, are more difficult to share. Blogs, on the other hand, were made for this.

With the cloud being all the rage (I’m a big fan of google docs, Dropbox and SugarSync), it made all the sense to put my observations up in here.

We know the world is changing, we know it is happening fast and we know it carries plenty of momentum. Paying attention to this seems the smart thing to do.

[1] In hindsight, perhaps I had a too historically bound vision of product design. I realize today that despite the marketing and the buzz words, the profession probably did not change its essence, but merely its toolbox, so to say. But that’s another discussion.