While the projects and techniques in “The Anarchist’s Design Book” are the backbone of the work, I quite enjoy writing the chapters that are woven between the projects. For the forthcoming expansion of the book I’ve written a bushel of these interstitial essays on design, self-doubt and chair comfort.
My guess is about half of these peckings will make it into the book and half will end up in the ether.
That’s typical for the way I write. I might tap out 2,000 words in a typical day; about half are usable. The other half are misfires, exercises in self-loathing or quarter-baked ideas. But they’re all saved in the cloud so that when I die, Lucy can read them and be reminded of what an odd dufus I was. Before deleting them.
This essay, however, will make it in the book so I thought I’d share it here. It’s about the crappy prototypes that led to the finished designs in the book. There were hundreds of sketches (two sketchbooks full). Dozens of prototypes. And a lot of staring, trying to figure out how to improve the next iteration.
The point of the chapter is to show you how bad or misguided designs can lead to good designs. You just have to study them a bit, instead of destroying them immediately.
As with the other advance chapters for the expanded edition, this download is offered on the honor system to people who have already purchased “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” If you haven’t purchased the book, don’t download the file. Simple.
- This is a rough draft that will get edited by professionals. There are typos in the pdf. If you see one, feel free to point it out in the comments.
- If you feel compelled to rip the designs shown in the chapter, then you have missed the point of the chapter. Think again.
- There are stool jokes in this chapter. And a dancing frog simile. I know some of you are sensitive to the occasional playground jest. If this is you, I’d absolutely positively avoid this chapter.
— Christopher Schwarz