Concretize your issues

I have a habit of thinking about something and then noticing how everything begins to relate to that question. I’m sure you do to. It’s the beauty of having a consciousness. Lately, I have of course been focused on coming up with titles for this blog around the issue of images and their impact on designing better living spaces.

I came across a video on Ted.com, a great place to find insight by the way, and over a bowl of home made pasta I watched Sheena Iyengar talk about choices. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing.html

In the video she describes the importance of using images in order to concretize issues, because only by making it feel more real are we able to grasp the real issue at hand.

This is of course nothing new, especially to anyone with experience with design. Drawing and taking pictures is just part of the process to make things feel more real. But we need to have the ability to choose the correct images for our projects. There is so much visual stimulus in our environments, that we filter out most of it. Show a picture of a starving kid, and some people will politely ignore your cry for help, because we’ve seen it all before. The shock factor alone is not enough to keep it going.

Choosing the right images is vital if we want to improve living spaces. Architects make really fancy renderings of new buildings, but they usually promise more than they deliver and they set us up for eventual disappointment when the building begins to fade.

I would like to get a seasoned marketing or brand creator veteran to comment on this, since they have made visual choices a million times over in their careers. Compare it to presenting data on something. Choosing the right numbers for the job can be difficult, and if you supply the wrong data in the wrong format, the consequences are disastrous.

It’s not enough to deliver images to concretize the issue. You have to have the ability to make it feel real.