Thursday, January 17, 2013


I got this email today. One of the students working on an upcoming show wanted to set up a meeting with me to evaluate the work done to date. I do these meetings for all of the shows, and timing the review is typically difficult. We don't want to have the meet when the work is so complete that if there is a problem they have to go backwards, but we also can't have the meeting so early that the work isn't formative enough to gauge.

Because of this difficulty, the student had lit me up a little early and was suggesting that he wanted to set the meeting even though he knew he had a little more work to do before he'd be ready. To indicate this he said:

"I still have some details to flush out."

Being a college professor has too many of these moments, times when you look at the screen and say "just how jerky do I feel today?" Today I felt pretty jerky, and so I sent back:

"Flesh out, not flush out." Maybe you saw the tweet.

Anyway, since my knee-jerk douchey response I have been considering what he wrote and how I answered. I think I might have been to quick to respond. See I know that I have heard Design Professors say "Good design is taking away." So maybe "flush" is the right word. Maybe one would "flesh" out a concept but then "flush" out a design - wash away all the unneeded elements.

I'm glad I had this opportunity to flush out this thought.

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