How To Get to the Essence of Your Idea

This week, I’m hanging out with people who live and die by the quality of their ideas–designers. I’m in Philly to scout DesignPhiladelphia. It’s an 11-day banquet of events showcasing designers and design-based companies in Philly.

Wednesday evening, I heard a talk by Todd Bracher, sponsored by DuPont’s Corian brand. (I’ll share more about the very cool Corian design center later.) Bracher was awarded Designer of the Year in 2008. He talked about getting to the “essence” of a design. He starts with something natural—the spine of a dead fish, a bug, or Cindy Crawford’s birthmark. Next, he adds necessary elements until the structure is sound.

Once he giveth, he taketh away. Bracher then strips the design down to its barest essentials, creating a simple essence. “I want the point. Just one single point of inspiration to shine through.” Cindy Crawford’s birthmark inspired Bracher’s top-selling coffee table. It’s a great design—pure and simple.

Bracher is on to something. Think about it. How often do we work something into a frenzy of over expression? I plan on trying it. Say less…mean more.