How the elephant got his trunk: what evolution can teach us about complexity

Reminds me of Kaufmann’s mention that the adjacent possible is “historical”, in other words the culmination point, the result or outcome, of past events. In that sense, the past is both a constraint on the future (via the adjacent possible) and the source of what is possible in the adjacent possible.

The substratum of possibilities (with its own historical trajectory that shapes it) that things evolve out of can perhaps be better described as a constraint rather than a cause.

How the elephant got his trunk: what evolution can teach us about complexity

Categories, tags, and the mayonnaise problem

In one of our local grocery stores, mayonnaise is located in the aisle with salad dressing. In another, mayonnaise is located with condiments (such as ketchup and mustard).

According to Wikipedia, mayonnaise is a condiment. A variety of sources talk about mayonnaise as a base for, but not necessarily being, salad dressings of various sorts.

What intrigues me here is the decision making process of the store managers or, if there is such a thing, the “person who decides what products get placed on what shelf in which aisle” when evaluating where they should shelve mayonnaise in their store.

And, even more so, how they came to these different decisions.

Design Thinking misses a fourth circle. Ikigai comes to the rescue.

Sustainable Design Thinking inspired by the Ikigai Source : complexus.fr and @maga-lik
Sustainable Design Thinking inspired by the Ikigai Source : complexus.fr and @maga-lik

That being said, I’m here to argue that without integrating the needs of our ecological and social fabric, design thinking is obsolete. Not only does it generate less value, it also directly contradicts the “human-centered approach” that IDEO claims since its beginnings in 1978. I will go as far as saying that Tim Brown himself, consciously or not, knows it.

FXPasquier – Design Thinking misses a fourth circle. Ikigai comes to the rescue.

Understanding complexity: A prerequisite for sustainable design

The sciences of complexity are a variety of process-oriented areas of research exploring non- linear dynamics within complex systems. As I have mentioned before, the simplest definition for a complex system is any system with more than three interacting variables. Complexity is thus a common feature of the world we inhabit.

Daniel Christian Wahl – Understanding complexity: A prerequisite for sustainable design