Even the smartest of the smart cannot spreadsheet their way to success or chart a straight path to the future. Data points without context and understanding only get you so far. To navigate to the next takes curiosity, daring, an appreciation of the past, boatloads of imagination and all of our senses—the ones we know about and others operating on the periphery of awareness.
That's what good designers bring to the table whether, as with Collins, they work with commercial brands and exhibit design (the Muppets fergoshsakes!), or in architecture, product development or urban planning. Taken together the videos provide a sort of mini-masterclass on the disciplined alchemy of the design process and also on how design can make a tangible difference—not just in terms of corporate bottom lines but in our experience of the world at large.
"You can look at your life as being the result of the past or as a cause of the future," notes Collins sitting in the time capsule of the book-and-stuff-filled library at the heart of his Greenwich Village studio. The past isn't prologue. It's raw material.
• COLLINS studio
• Design Matters interview with Debbie Millman
• Hat Tip to Rob Wolcott and 3 Billion Seconds.