I’ve been reading a lot about human-centred design these days and one of the “mindsets” of HCD is to have creative confidence. To help achieve this, experts advise that we should venture out of our comfort zone, including learning about and immersing ourselves in other fields of study and different experiences, in order to stay creative. It’s helped me to keep thinking about my place in the world recently, and has kept me attuned to staying open to participating in new experiences and learning from them.

I suppose this is part of the reason why I found myself reading an e-book lately called Quilts Made Modern. I’m not a quilter and haven’t had much interest in quilting but when I saw “modern” and “quilt” together in a book title I was intrigued.

I was so interested to read a section about having a vision when creating a quilt:

For now, the most important aspect of design is having a vision or source of inspiration. Sometimes that vision is what we refer to as ‘The Big Idea’ – an idea, a memory, or a metaphor that serves as the inspiration for your quilt.

As a learning designer, I thought about this advice and how having a vision or a “big idea” (love that phrase) could apply to designing workshops and courses as well as quilting. If I had been able to put the words to it a couple of weeks ago, my vision for my recent conference workshop could have been “behind the curtain” or “meta level”. And often my vision is “participatory” or “interactive”. Other times it has likely been “motivation”, or “foundational” or “culture”. And sometimes it has been “diversity” or “learning styles” or some other guiding theme.

Having a vision about our learning events helps us to think about the age-old question: If we don’t know where we are going, how will we know if we get there? Thanks, quilting field, for the creative inspiration!

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