‘Listen. Listen. LISTEN.’
This one of the most important tool that I tell my students of architecture & design journalism to learn, and learn fast.
It’s not about the ‘hearing a little more’ aspect, but also about registering, understanding and hence being able to connect. As writers, this aspect of listening goes beyond the aural and into the other senses. It’s about observing through your eyes, touch, ears and to be able to assimilate all that mentally and emotionally with respect to feelings, actions, thoughts, interactions and context.
As designers, we need to be sensitive enough to listen. To the pulse of the people and market. To the basic need of the client/roject/. To the context of the space, time, money and ideation. To nuances, left out through actions. To silences, not heard due to the words. To words that are said and not necessarily meant, or vice versa. To a work culture, or a team effort. To our hearts and minds. As well as of others, so we can move beyond designing for the sake of doing so.
Listening is a very important tool a designer can have. And listening needs to have curiosity to know more and hence comprehend, respect for the person/events/fact and dedication for what you do.
Unfortunately what is more often seen now, and which is rapidly rising, is the hearing, more of one’s own voice and liking what one hears, obliterating the need to hear and hence listen to someone else. This being one of the reasons that most employers get frustrated, or clients feel they have not got what was expected.
Perhaps listening also amounts to sharing a responsibility, which possibly most people prefer not to have any more. Which reflects on the quality of work eventually.
Most important is the connect that listening allows for. it is that connect that sells brands, makes great team effort, brings forth an idea successfully, creates an impact and enhances expression, making an overall project work, and someone to be trusted. Eventually making for good design.
So, have you listened today?