While attending SenseMaker Dialogs for their second event I was quite impressed with Richard Saul Wurman, the first of the two speakers last night. The term speaker is probably not the correct term to describe him though. As I walked in fifteen minutes early he was already on stage having a conversation with the audience that was there. That conversation continued until he stopped just before 8pm. His fluid approach as a conversationalist as opposed to lecturing was quite refreshing.
I probably wouldn’t do justice to his talk by trying to relive the whole conversation in a post though a couple points and observations did stand out for me. He strongly suggested that listening is a skill to strengthen at all times and to hold of on writing stuff down. That’s a contrast for me because I’ve always thought it was best to write something down as I’m more likely going to remember it. In terms of concepts he talked about the interplay between familiar and strange and the inverse of strange and familiar. Recognizing those patterns often lead to insights that in turn be acted upon.
Here’s my 140 tweet review of Richard…
Following Richard’s talk there was a brief introduction of the SenseMaker Dialogs series and their speaker format of inviting two guests to present for forty five minutes each a couple times a year. While they have a Facebook page I hope they launch a normal site for SEO purposes. As far as I can imagine they have no way to check the analytics to see who’s visiting the site, who’s pointing to them or what’s being said outside of Facebook.
After that introduction Garry K. VanPatter talked about Humantific’s approach to design. I winced at seeing the concept of design mashed together with numbers like 3.0 or 4.0 because it felt forced. I think we’re passed the versioning thing. With that said there were a lot of points that I could consider as I continue to design. I’m just not a fan of someone on stage suggest that they’ve been at the forefront of a generalized concept of design for the last ten years and now everyone is ripping him off. The most fascinating part of his talk for me was the sketched design processes of a number of different types of people—students, to designers to business people. He could have easily just talked about that for the entire time and would have kept people interested.