Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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More Connections Lead to Better Work

I know I’ve been talking about design a lot lately, but it’s a subject I can’t get off my mind. Beyond just dealing with it on a daily basis at work, by opening my eyes to it, I notice it in every aspect of my life. I like to think I don’t approach design like most people, though. I think of it as a holistic process, not a prettying device. I know I must be starting to sound like a broken record on this, but it’s a point I feel so certain about I feel like repeating it over and over again.

This time, though, the repetition is going to come in someone else’s voice. On Design Observer, Michael Bierut wrote about not writing about design on a design blog. I know it sounds awfully meta and geeky, but his point is one that needs to be made and I think extends well past just design. He wrote:

The great thing about graphic design is that it is almost always about something else. Corporate law. Professional football. Art. Politics. Robert Wilson. And if I can’t get excited about whatever that something else is, I really have trouble doing good work as a designer. To me, the conclusion is inescapable: the more things you’re interested in, the better your work will be.

I think that lesson is relevant whatever it is you do. The real visionaries and brilliant minds in this world are able to connect seemingly disparate topics with ease. The biggest innovations often come from finding meaning in what may at first look like a meaningless connection.

March 22, 2006