From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 11|No 1|September|2001

More Assembly

The first section of ladder is ready. By accident, the new pieces are laid upside down on top of the posts below. A good accident? A lucky design change?

© 2001, J. McKenzie

As we work on ideas and proposals, sometimes we discover new angles and new possibilities almost by accident, just as the discovery of penicillin is said to have followed the surprise discovery of spores that had grown overnight.

The inventor and thinker learns to welcome and encourage these kinds of surprises, maintaining an open mind and a playful spirit, relaxing enough to see how things might be different if we reversed some element or replaced it with its opposite or turned it upside down or inside out.

The key element in all of this inventing is the dynamic and organic nature of ideas. While we might strive to constrain and control and shape ideas to match our wishes and preconceptions, this often proves dangerous and self-defeating as we cut ourselves off from a discovery process that might be highly magical and inspiring.

Logical analysis has its place, but it can be a blunt, counter-productive instrument incapable of infuencing growth in a harmonious manner.

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Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.

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