What do empty milk jugs, pasta boxes, buttons, washers, pipe cleaners, and plastic cups have in common? They’re all key components of any good robot of course.
What I saw as trash only a few weeks ago, I now look at and think of robots. I know, strange huh, just stay with me here. My son Jonah, who is 5 yrs. old, has once again reminded me to stop and dream a little. To find new ways of seeing things. Recently he came to me out of nowhere and wanted me to help him round up “milk jugs, boxes, and old trash” as he called it. I laughed a little and asked why he wanted me to do that. Robots. He wanted to build robots out of “old junk”. Ok, then I was intrigued. We gathered items destined for the recycle bin, went to the garage and picked out various washers, bolts, springs, etc. We got out the sketchbook, dug out the tape, scissors, glue and pipe cleaners. Then he went to work. He came up with the design and I helped him with some of the construction.
I have no idea where this sudden fascination with building robots from “old junk” came from, but I have to say that I was kind of proud of his creativity. And, he’s helped me remember to pause and ask questions. To observe more closely. I was reminded of an article from the CEO of IDEO, Tim Brown. It’s great advice for all of us no matter what stage of life or industry we are in. He says: “Once a day, deeply observe the ordinary. Good design thinkers observe. Great design thinkers observe the ordinary.”
I did recently. I observed trash. And then a 5 yr. old helped me see robots.
is a Designer at Blue Pony