(design) ‘real'(e)’state’


Have you ever sat and watched your children climb?  Have you watched them… real’ly watched them… just… run?  Children don’t worry about distance or height.  They don’t worry about the hurdles they have overcome on the path or how much ground they have already leveraged.  They don’t preface their minds with their fitness levels and weaken themselves slightly at the starting line.  Children don’t concern themselves with their abilities (or lack of abilities) or “tolerances”.  They don’t worry about HOW they are going to get “down”.

Children think about one thing… Ok, perhaps two things:

1.) They think about their destination (their goal) and 

2.) They think about who they are competing against to attain it

This is just novel to me.  This is what we are learning (and hopefully doing) as we brand ourselves, but by (this) theory, it is exactly what we once already knew…

For children, courage is core.  As much as they question, it is never themselves.  It is never their capabilities.  It is never their greatness.  Via life’s design, our children are transformed from (innately) courageous to fearful.  Perhaps this is why they are  considered our (off)”spring”?

From The BOOK of AWAKENING by Mark Nepo:

image1 (1)



According to businessdictionary.com, realestate, by definition is land and anything fixed, immovable, or permanently attached to it such as appurtenances, buildings, fences, fixtures, improvements, roads, shrubs and trees (but not growing crops), sewers, structures, utility systems, and walls.

So, by definition here, it is clarified that growing crops are not fixed, not permanent, not ‘real’estate?  In ‘real’ity though, nothing is more ‘real’ than a child’s ‘state’ and it is this ‘real’(e)‘state’ that we, as parents and design professionals, should return to for “seedlings” of inspiration, as often as possible.

Being “fixed” doesn’t deem you ‘reel’

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If we instill this courage and fearlessness we are inspired by in our (off)”spring” into our design work, we would find the immediate limitations we place on ourselves would be nonexistent.

We are taught in design school and in our careers, early on, to “push” (design) boundaries.

We know that a line cast too far out into water can always be ‘reel’ed back in (and sometimes will need to be due to ‘fixed’ design constraints) but you can’t give the same initial momentum behind the same cast once it is thrown.

Like Kahn’s “sun”, we must (re)find our greatness.  We must reinvent ourselves, our concepts, our content, our ideas.  Unlike our children, we must leverage what we have learned on our paths, on our climbs.  This distance is our professional ‘real’(e)‘state’.  The journey is what has ‘fixed’ us.  The path is what has rendered us experts.  The steps to the destination have erected credibility, established credentials and validated (design) wisdom.  We are products of the process and it is the respect and instillation of the process and principles that set us apart (from DIY Suzie).

(design) is Within Reach

My challenge to you, as design professionals, is to crack, to commit, to Crack ALL THE WAY.  Climb heights and don’t worry about how you will get back down until you “reach” your limitless destination.



In Memory of Frank ‘Papa’ Lyttle April 30, 1933 – April 3, 2018


Wishing you eternal peace in your new ‘real'(e)’state’


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