Back in the previous case study, I made the point that techniques always come late in the design process. When you build models to make an impact – as a message – techniques should always be dictated by your overall goal. If you build your model to be very LEGO-like, why should you care to get rid of the studs?
Mainman and Memory cleverly pointed out to me that within our medium, this order can seem paradoxal. Many of us create models “by accident” when we stumble upon a cool piece combination. And I admit: I do so myself.
When I fiddled around with the new speed racer windscreens (image courtesy of Legovaughan), I tried different combinations in order to create an interestingly shaped canopy. I came a long way – I managed to build a structure that kept them mirrored on top of each other, so as to create a convex window. However, the structure was too fragile, and didn’t hold. It broke.
And in the pieces on the table I saw a new shape.
I quickly readjusted the structure I had built, added some new pieces, fiddled a bit more, and wound up with a giant eye. Not knowing what to use it for, I kept it around for a few days. And I had an epiphany when I saw a movie with a very inspiring phrase – and then I instantly knew in what model the eye was meant to be.
Sometimes techniques do comes first. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go back and think about context later to make sure your techniques fit your goal. If there’s something wrong – adjust one of them to the other.