S2 EP1: Can We Design for Wonder at the Clap of a Hand?
‘It doesn’t take long for our feet to wear a rut born of habit in our daily, default path. But if we’re fortunate, during any given day, something surprising startles our heart long enough to arrest the bustle and disrupt our rut.’ The question is, do we have to wait for that something surprising to happen spontaneously? Or can we build the experience of awe into our daily lives? Can we design for wonder? Today, Jeffrey introduces us to his working premise for Season 2: Wonder is not an accident and designing for wonder is not only possible but necessary in our world of deteriorating trust. He walks us through the possible dawn of awe when our ancestors developed the ‘irresistible urge to gaze’ and defines wonder as the emotional experience of surprise that dissolves our biases. Jeffrey also previews the themes of this season by way of two stories, one of a company designing for wonder NOW via Instagram hashtags and another of the philosopher Descartes discovering wonder THEN, in 17th-century Denmark through the laughter of his daughter. Listen in for insight around the role of wonder in facilitating radically new solutions and join the growing alliance of Wonder Trackers who choose wonder over cynicism. Key Takeaways [0:04] The definition of wonder Irresistible urge to gaze, even praise (dawn of awe) Emotional experience of surprise that dissolves biases Central to human spirit and evolution of species [4:05] Jeffrey’s working premise for Season 2 Wonder not accidental Design for wonder possible, necessary Create culture of wonder together [5:37] The significance of choosing wonder over cynicism Rut born of ‘daily default’ breeds cynicism Startle heart long enough to disrupt status quo [8:58] What to expect this season on Tracking Wonder Top creatives, research in design experience + time shaping Original people who seek insight from diverse sources [11:44] The story of NOW Negative Instagram hashtags (i.e.: #sick, #mondayblues) Suja Juice shipped 6K bottles to change quality of days [12:56] The story of THEN Descartes planning trip to France in 1640 Daughter developed scarlet fever and died Shifted focus of work to questions about being human Concluded that wonder precedes all other passions [18:06] James Baldwin’s insight on wonder Fierce hope for human race despite prejudice faced Prove by example that ‘life is love and wonder’ Nation that penalizes citizens who wonder is doomed Connect with Jeffrey Tracking Wonder Tracking Wonder on Facebook Jeffrey on Twitter Jeffrey on Instagram Jeffrey on LinkedIn Resources Bay Area Discovery Museum MASS MoCA USC Annenberg Innovation Lab Suja Juice Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of Rene Descartes by Richard Watson Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason by Russell Shorto Chip Heath Chris Flink