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The value of design

I was listening to the audiobook “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink recently and one of the many great ideas I got out of this book was to learn more about the fundamentals of design. Pink says that studying Design allows an individual to further appreciate the world around him and inspires creativity. Design can be appreciated in many ways including architecture, drawings, art and of course the design of tangible items.

One of the tools that Pink recommends is called the IDEO Method Cards. The IDEO Method Cards were developed by the international design firm of the same name. This 51 card deck has a series of exercises and examples that can be used as tools to further your design ability.

While the physical card deck is a whopping $49 at William Stout Architecture Books I found a cheaper alternative in the form of an Iphone app. The IDEO Method Card app available for Ipod touch and Iphone includes all 51 cards in digital form for a steal at just $4.99 on the Itunes store.

After purchasing this app, I have to say my favorite card is the one on behavioral mapping. On the front, it shows an image of a floor plan with colored lines running all over the place. On the back, the description reads:

Behavioral Mapping

HOW: Track the positions and movements of people within a space over time.

WHY: Recording the pathways and traffic patterns of occupants of a space helps to define zones of different spatial behaviors.

Tracking the paths of visitors helped designers to identify the traffic spots and the vacant, underused areas of a museum lobby.

As both a valuable design tool and fun conversation piece, the IDEO Method Cards are a great way to train your brain and expand your appreciation of design!