Today was the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) montly #futrchat. I'm currently a student member (but soon to go full Pro) and I love being a part of this community of professional futurists. Earlier this year, Cindy F (@urbanverse) and Jennifer Jarratt (@jenjarratt) started hosting the #futrchats, an hour on twitter where anyone who wants, can join in on the conversation. There is topic for discussion, like the Future of Money, or Disasters or today's: The Future of Design.
I don't focus too much on (visual) design, because there are already so many people doing it and although I'm a visual person, I don't create visual things. So I never really considered myself a designer - but this #futrchat changed all that.
I very quickly became aware of a very big assumption: that by design, I was meaning visual design. I don't do that. I don't do graphic design or make pretty pictures. But I do design experiences. I design my life. I shape and re-shape. So the moment I released my pre-conceived definitions of design a whole new definition of design just flowed out: the non-visual designer. Maree Conway asked me to define this further, so I did: (from my tweetstream)
"As a non-visual designer, I design experiences to shift mental mindsets, the way people see the world.
Sometimes the non-visual design is expressed in a user-interface that includes visual design, sometimes it is theatre. "
When I think back to the events I've co-created (barcamp, geek dinners, cacophony events, mash-up performances, zombies without borders) they have all been to shift the mental mindset of not only the participants/performers, but especially the "audience." For a while I even described what I did as "unforgettable ephemeral experiences." I know, a bit flowery, eh?
So much of what I do, who I am, the life I live has been consciously designed, created with specific experiences in mind.
How did I do this?
I took my professional experience as an Internet/Software product manager and applied the methods/processes I used to define, build, manage, launch and market internet products to myself as a product. Heathervescent, the product of me. My life, the product of me. Heathervescent, the brand of me. I wasn't content to let my life happen to me. Life's too short and I want to do too much. It's not about expressing/developing ONE potential - but to explore, express the many possibilities of potential. The Expression of Possibilities.
Uthur Doul's possibility sword deeply changed the way I thought about the world - and myself. After seeing him master the possibilities (in my mind's eye) I was no longer content living a limited linear life. I became aware of my possible lives - some predestined, some experienced, parallel lives, echoes from the past, foreshadowing future lives. Here, in this one, this reality, I try as much as I can, to leave the possibilities behind and with utmost intention, create, express, a life that never existed before, that can not be copied. A life that diverges from the expressed possibilities, because this one weaves pieces from those worlds (talvez donos de barcos no Caribe, meu amigos do passado no Fortaleza), creating, sometimes patiently, sometimes explosively a life impossible. A life that could only be created with conscious (self) design.