Video: Inventing on Principle

February 23, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in CMU IxD.

Saw this video last weekend and thought it was very inspiring, especially for the kind of thesis work I’d like to do concerning tools and how they can foster or hinder creative thinking. Bret Victor was a “Human Interface Inventor” for Apple and was instrumental in helping them design the input methods we see in tablets like the iPad today. Highly recommended for anyone who creates things for a living. It’s an hour-long talk, which I thought initially I’d just listen to and multitask along with but found myself paying more and more attention to what was going on in the video and watching the entire thing. The last half is the real gem, where Bret explains to a room full of hopeful software engineering students that you can master your craft and get very good at doing what you went to school for (the craftsman route), or you can choose to use your skills for your own personal crusade—to be an activist or a champion using your craft, based on what you believe in. For Bret, his frustration stemmed from seeing ideas being trapped by the tools (for coding, drawing circuit diagrams, or animating) that prevented the creator or designer from seeing what he or she was doing, from not getting the type of immediate feedback that a sculptor might have with a block of clay.

I feel the same way too, which is why this video was so instrumental in validating thoughts I’ve been having for my thesis. Still in the middle of discussions in finding a thesis advisor, so I’ll update more as soon as I know what direction I’m really headed in for thesis.

Leave a comment


Leave feedback or comments, get in touch, or just say hi.