Daniel Pink’s ‘A Whole New Mind’ explores the relationship between the left and right sides of the brain. The chapter on ‘Symphony’, in particular, helped me to start thinking about how designers can be defined by their sketching and drawing skills. Pink starts out by stating he doesn’t really draw. He illustrates a clear picture of his first sketch, a self portrait, in a drawing class that shows his skills are unenviable.
In Pink’s portrait to the left the teacher shows Pink that he has only drawn the symbol for a pair of lips. Not his own lips, that he can see in the mirror. Pink recognises this by saying ‘I’ve merely written ‘Lips’ in modern Hieroglyphics.’ What he had drawn was a universal symbol for lips. He compares it to a popular lips logo. His teacher starts to get him to think about the relationship between shapes, lines and lighting. He asks Pink to start drawing himself from a picture but upside down so that he’s not thinking of stereotypes and what he might look like, but at the actual shapes and lines of his face.
Pink then goes on to talk about how designers are always creating metaphors and seeing the bigger picture of what is going on. He states, if you can see the relationship between metaphors and draw by seeing the relationships between lines and shapes, then when you are designing, you will be able to design/invent/make with symphony. Daniel Pink defines symphony as ‘the ability to put together the pieces.’ He believes it’s the same thing to draw well and design well as you are simply putting the pieces together and seeing the bigger picture. Pink has made quite a clear and strong argument about designers sketching skills being related to how they see the world and quality of their ideas.