Frank Gehry Image via Wikipedia
Recently I began reading an excellent blog, UX Magazine, that talks about design, web design and user interface. The posts are comparable in quality to Frog Design, the best blog on design that I have found so far. My fascination with design as a means to better understand entrepreneurship and innovation is briefly explained here and a quick search of SF shows 40 posts on design.
"Over and over again you see this persistent iterative discipline within his works. In his exhaustive explorations of new materials and his highly collaborative critiques, each step in the process reveals new strengths and weaknesses that can be added to, taken away, or left alone—a continuous cycle of exploration, critique, and iteration that constantly challenges the interpretation of the product."
"Ultimately, iteration is one’s ability to know what to throw away and what to keep in order to move closer to one’s goal."
This last quote particularly caught my attention. This is a re-statement of one of my favorite approaches to innovation--relax the assumption. In the "relax the assumption" approach to problem solving one identifies a key assumption and then relaxes that assumption. For example, software applications resident on PCs. Relax the assumption about the app resident on the computer and you might get cloud computing, software-as-a-service, video distribution, browser-based applications, etc. More on this method is here.
Now that I can cite Frank Gehry for "relax the assumption" I feel even better about this concept.
The UX article goes into Gehry's design methodology in much greater detail and discusses three principles in all his work. Well worth reading if you design anything or are interested in how world class thinkers approach problems. Remember, as Marvin Minsky says, when you see a great idea understand the process that produced the idea.