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Taking a Wider View
No. 4 | A piece of advice from one of my favorite shoe designers serves as inspiration for a simple way to differentiated yourself from the sea of sameness.
What I think is important for people to understand is that, if you want to be a good shoe designer, you have to be able to design a car or a building or furniture. Expand your mind beyond shoes and then, when you get back around to doing a good shoe that performs well for an athlete, that’s also beautiful or interesting, you have more richness and depth to work from because you’ve learned other things. There are more schools now that are thinking along the lines of including shoe design in their industrial design programs. If I was teaching right now, that would be one of the biggest subjects. You’re in a shoe design class, but the first thing you’re going to design is a chair. Let’s learn about solving problems on a wider spectrum.
This advice isn’t just applicable to the world of design and creative problem solving. It’s solid advice for becoming great at anything and setting yourself apart from everyone else in your field. When you study a wider range of subjects, you start to look at your own craft in new ways and take it to places you otherwise never would have thought to explore.
To set yourself apart from a crowd of people studying the same things to do the same thing you do, take a wider view of the world.
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