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You might be a designer if...

Scene 1

You have decided to spend more money than usual on a pen that you will use for important documents at your desk. This will be that special "one pen" that no one else may use, and that you hope to keep forever. You have found three pens that interest you.

  • Pen A is a real work of art, comes with a decorative holder that you can use for display on your desk. You can also have it monogrammed at no additional cost. It produces the same line as the others, and you would be proud to own it.

  • Pen B is a really good buy, and costs less than half what the other two cost. It produces the same line as the others, and is the best value for the dollar spent.

  • Pen C feels the best in your hand. You like the weight, grip, texture and ease of use. It produces the same quality line as the others.

If you choose Pen A, you might be an artist, but you might not be a designer.

If you choose Pen B, you might be doing what most everyone else would do.

If you choose Pen C, you might be a designer!

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Scene 2

You and your friend are hanging out in your friend's room. Your friend loves martial arts and over time has added posters and Tai Chi Chuan magazine covers to the walls as well as Chinese artifacts and symbols. The most recent addition to the walls is John Travolta posing in his white suit with his arms extended to the song Staying Alive.

When thinking about how this poster fits with the collection, you decide one of the following:

  • It doesn't make sense to you at all and you think "what a nerd."

  • You think it makes perfect sense.

  • You ask your friend why this one and decide everything has to be re-arranged in order that the form and colors of the collections are better arranged.

If it's just too bizarre to you, you might be like a lot of people.

If it makes perfect sense to you, you might be an artist, but not a designer.

If you decide to find out the meaning of the poster from your friend's perspective and want to add a visual balance to the arrangements that reflects this, you might be a designer.

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Scene 3

You decide you want a companion dog of your very own, one that is really special and that will share your home for a decade or more. You attend some dog shows to get an idea of different breeds of dogs. You select a breed, and start visiting kennels to buy a puppy. At one kennel, a healthy little guy crawls into your lap, licks your face, and wins your heart. You think this might be the one for you!

So, you:

  • Buy the puppy. It was love at first sight, and besides, he picked YOU!
  • You ask to see the puppy's parents. They were both looked healthy and acted well-socialized and friendly, so you buy the puppy.
  • You throw a stick to the puppy's sire, and the dog races to retrieve it. You noticed that he didn't seem to float through the air like that dog you saw at the show. You looked at the puppy's dam, and she gazed back sweetly, though she didn't have a square frame like that dog at the show. You don't buy the puppy.

If you buy the puppy that picks you, you are likely doing what most everyone else does.

If you ask to see the parents, and they both were friendly and healthy, and you bought the puppy, you are a very responsible dog owner and you educated yourself well.

If you passed on that puppy because his sire's movement wasn't what you'd hoped for, and his dam's frame wasn't square, you might be a designer!

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Scene 4

You have collected stamps ever since you were little, but never attended a stamp exhibition. You go to a stamp show, and are amazed about the winning boards, because they all looked dull and drab to you, and you realize that no one exhibits stamps in the way you collect them. Your stamp collection is like one of the following:

  • By Country: For as long as you can remember, you've been collecting every stamp you could possibly find from a country that no longer exists. Recently, you realized you can't afford the remaining twelve or so stamps to complete your collection, so you begin collecting different postmarks from that country. Your next purchase will be of a postmark from a city you don't already have in your collection.

  • Cats: You adore cats and you buy any stamp with a cat on it, regardless of quality or price. Your next purchase will be the very next cat you see.

  • Fit: You have an album you've made yourself, and each page is laid out taking into consideration the shape, color, size, ink quality and paper quality of the stamp. Your next purchase will be completing the layout on a page you've already begun.

If your next purchase is that unique postmark, you are well on your way to having a winning exhibition, and it's probably just going to cost you more money than you've afforded up to now. You are a true philatelist.

If your next purchase is the very next cat, you really love to look at cats! You probably have shelves full of cat figurines. Someone else could probably turn this collection into an exhibit, but why bother? You are a cat lover.

If your next purchase completes that certain layout you've been trying to achieve, you might be a designer!

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Scene 5

You and your romantic partner are spending a little extra on a special meal at a restaurant. The lighting and d?or seemed perfect, the music was just right, and the menu was exciting. You ordered things you'd never tried before, and they all were delicious and presented well. However, the service was slow and inefficient. On the way home, your partner said you overtipped. You thought the waiter looked hardworking and conscientious, but you had to agree that the service was less than you expected.

When thinking about who most to blame for the bad service, you decide one of the following.

  • Your partner was right, and the Waiter was to blame. While he seemed friendly and courteous, he must have been all talk and no action.

  • The Manager/Owner was to blame. If the management handled her employees properly, they would be working more efficiently.

  • The Layout was to blame. You noticed that the spatial arrangement of the room was a real problem to the waiters, causing traffic jams in critical areas, and wasted steps in others.

If you generally blame the waiter for bad service, you might be like most everyone else.

If you generally blame the management for bad services, you might have been a waiter or manager once yourself.

If you generally blame the physical space for bad service, you might be a designer!

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Scene 6

You are invited to a cool party. The hostess has peculiar tastes, and plans unusual parties with lots of decoration for a theme. You have met her, and like her, but have never been to her place. You were afraid you might not fit in. When you arrived, you were in awe of the use of color in the d?or. You saw several unusual collages and sculptures, including homemade furniture that were like works of art. The atmosphere of the party was wild, the conversations were above you, and you comforted yourself by focusing on having good food for the first time in your life. When you got home, you knew you'd had a good time, but you felt more tired than usual. You wondered why.

  • You decided that you did have a lot of fun, but that you had done too much that week.

  • You decided that you had probably strained your brain trying to keep up with the avant-garde conversation.

  • You realized you couldn't find a comfortable place to sit down all evening.

If you decided stress was your problem, you are probably like a lot of people in new situations.

If you decided you'd been thinking too hard, you are probably like most everyone else at the end of a day.

If you realized you'd never found a place to sit down comfortably, and no space to rest the eye, you might be a designer.

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Scene 7

You enroll in a night class at the local university. You use a wheelchair. You arrive late, can't find adequate parking, and have raced uphill to the building where your class is held. You arrive there, only to find a grand staircase at the front entry, and a below grade staircase to the basement at the side entry. You head around to the rear, and are blocked by raised curbs all along the service drive to the rear of the building. By now, you are really late, tired, disappointed and angry. You say to yourself,

  • "Damned university! There ought to be a law! Wait a minute, there IS a law! Now I need a lawyer."

  • "Damned building! We should tear it down and start over! This is the 21st century! Now I need a wrecking ball."

  • "Damned entries! There must be a better way."

With good reason, you might say all of the above.

If your first thought is the first, that might be the quickest route to get things changed there, and it might be the best thought in the long haul. You might be a good activist.

If your first thought is the second, you are rightfully angry and it's difficult to see past that. You might go looking for a better university, or you might just give up for now. You might be too angry to think creatively right now.

If your first thought is the last, you probably forget about the class that night, and spend your time exploring the rest of the campus and the building, trying different ways of getting there, and planning alternative routes you can take, and thinking of quick solutions the university might build. You just might be a designer.

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