Changing the lens (literally)

In class we often talk about the notion of shifting the lens through which you look at the world.  We do this in a number of ways, often (when people are involved) centered around empathy.  I think we have all developed frameworks of sorts to get out of our routines and approach situations from multiple viewpoints.  This ability is central to the problem (identifiers) solvers skill set.

Yesterday, I changed the lens through which I see quite literally.  I bought a new camera.

I have lots of cameras, small ones, big ones, old ones, plastic ones, metal ones, film ones, digital ones…  but this is the first new one I’ve bought in ages.  What’s interesting is that I’m suddenly overcome by the notion to go outside and start shooting with it.  My mind is wandering down the alleys of Austin, snapping pictures left and right.  So, the purchase of a physical object is making me want to go out into the world and ‘see’ new things.  The object, just sitting on my desk, is begging me to change pace, to ditch the routine, to move…. to move!

How can we capture these types of feelings in other products and services we create?  What are some other examples of products that give you these types of feelings?

How can we do this without having to purchase a product?  I mentioned earlier that I have certain frameworks that I use to try to do this mentally, but how do we make these frameworks more readily accessible, so they can sit on my desk and inspire me to go look at the same building I walk by everyday but see it for the first time?

And finally, how can we make these feelings last?  This camera will inspire me for a while… but the truth is that at some point down the road, it’ll be just another object I toss in my bag, it will go unnoticed sitting on my desk, or when I go out I’ll simply forget it at home.  How can we capture that emotion and stretch it to the life of the product, and beyond?


Love it. Let’s talk about Malcolm and John Collier tonight in class. Also, check out for even more inspiration.

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