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Design Like DaVinci


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In this talk, you will learn about five sketching secrets of Leonardo Da Vinci, four rules for generating ideas, and four rules for refining ideas. I call these lessons from Leonardo. You might find a few stories about Leonardo Da Vinci that you did not know.

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Published in: Design

Design Like DaVinci

  1. “Beyond this place there be dragons.”
  2. In Instanbul (1502)…
  3. A Strange Request is Made
  4. Golden Horn Bridge Sketch
  5. Da Vinci Details the Design
  6. Da Vinci’s Bridge to Nowhere
  7. In 1991, It’s Built in Norway
  8. Why Da Vinci?
  9. Hi, my name is Brian Sullivan. @bigdesign@BrianKSullivan #davinci
  10. My Friends and I run the Big Design Conference.
  11. Top 10 Thinkers of All-Time 1. Leonardo Da Vinci 2. William Shakespeare 3. The Pyramid Builders 4. Johanne Wolfgang van Goethe 5. Michelangelo 6. Sir Isaac Newton 7. Thomas Jefferson 8. Alexander the Great 9. Phidias (the Architect of Rome) 10. Albert Einstein source: Tony Buzan’s Book of Genius (1994)
  12. 7 Steps to Everyday Genius1. Be curious. You should be constantly learning.2. Test knowledge. Learn from your mistakes.3. Improve your own experience. Make it multi-sensory.4. Embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.5. Whole-brain thinking (science/art, logic/emotion).6. Know the physical world (grace, dexterity, fitness).7. Use system-thinking. See interconnections.Every designer should have these characteristics(and every problem-solver).
  13. • Content
  14. UX Sketch Books Published
  15. UX Sketch Paper Created• A3 and A4 Sketching Paper• Four Dots Per Inch A4 Paper• iPhone Wireframe Sheets• Android Application Sheets• 4 Cell Storyboard Paper• ZURB Sketch Sheets• 6-UP Sketch Sheets
  16. Sketch Software Released• Sketch Flow • Basalmiq
  17. UX Sketching: Design Studio • Participants produce several sketches. • Discuss and critique, then re-sketch. • Merge ideas into one design concept.
  18. Generate, Refine...RepeatYou use the creative and evaluate sidesof your brain in Design Studios.
  19. Can Da Vinci Apply to UX?
  20. Da Vinci’sTrue Legacy
  21. The Last Supper (1495-98)
  22. Mona Lisa (1503-05)
  23. Only 30 Finished Paintings
  24. Sketches: Greatest Legacy
  25. He Was a Prolific Sketcher 13,000 pages
  26. 13,000 Pages Equates To… Harry Potter Series 4,100+ Chronicles of Narnia 768+ Lord of the Rings Trilogy 1,011+ Hunger Games Trilogy 1,155+ Game of Thrones Series 4,197+ 9/11 Commission Report 1,181+ NIV Bible 585 Total Pages 12,997
  27. 6,000 Storyboards for Brave Source: Mashable (2012)
  28. Under a Painting is a Sketch
  29. Lots of Sketches Per Page• Vitruvian Man = 2• Shoulders = 7• Flowers = 20• Spike Ladder = 7• Glider = 8• Tank = 3He is the most prolificsketcher ever.
  30. 5 Sketching Secrets
  31. Da Vinci’s Sketching Method1. Sketch by hand on sheets of paper.2. Do initial sketches alone.3. Review with others, later.4. Use annotations, arrows, and labels.5. Save and re-visit earlier sketches.
  32. 1. Use Separate Pages Codex Atlanticus (over 1,000 individual sketches)
  33. No iPad
  34. No Field Notes/Moleskine Bound pages are too constraining.
  35. Separate Pages
  36. Leonardo Lessons:Sketch by Hand:1. No constraints.2. Quick and cheap.3. No special skills.On Separate Pages:1. Portable.2. Re-organized.3. Grouped.
  37. 2. Do Initial Sketches AloneDa Vinci dissected 10 cadavers for hisover 750 sketches on human anatomy.
  38. Da Vinci Sketched AloneHe would initially sketch alone. Then, adoctor reviewed for technical accuracy.
  39. “Cause of a Sweet Death” Da Vinci asked an old man if he could him dissect him when he died. The old man accepted. Leonardo held the old man when he died. He started dissecting within a few minutes.
  40. Two Artists, Same InterestDa Vinci and Michaelangelo dissectedhuman cadavers—socially repugnant.
  41. Sketch Alone
  42. Leonardo Lessons:Sketch Alone:1. No distractions.2. Generate faster.3. Incubate time.4. Reflect, inspire.5. Breathing room.6. Avoid group think.
  43. 3. Review with OthersMarcontonio della Torre reviewed thehuman anatomy sketches for accuracy.
  44. Reviewed by GeneralsDa Vinci reviewed sketches of weaponswith generals and soldiers.
  45. Review Together
  46. Leonardo Lessons:Review Together:1. Need expertise.2. Collaboration.3. Validation.4. Accuracy.5. Consensus.
  47. 4. Annotate, Arrows, LabelsDa Vinci’s sketches were wireframes:pictures with words, arrows, and labels.
  48. Dissecting a Da Vinci Sketch 1. Picture in center. 2. Label on top. 3. Annotate on side. 4. Arrows point to key content.
  49. Wireframe are the Same 1. Picture in center. 2. Label on top. 3. Annotate on side. 4. Arrows point to key content.Yes, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.Words with pictures equals clarity.
  50. Leonardo Lessons:Sketches Need:1. Picture2. Description3. Arrows4. Annotations5. Labels
  51. 5. Save and Re-visit LaterSome scholars think Da Vinci used anearly form of the Cornell Method.
  52. Da Vinci’s Shortcuts Main Questionscontent and area Keywords Summary Information
  53. Reorganized Sketches Codex Atlanticus (over 1,000 individual sketches)
  54. Grouped Weapon SketchesDa Vinci drew these sketches at differenttimes, but they are grouped together.
  55. Grouped Anatomy SketchesMarcontonio della Torre wanted to publishthis work, but he died of the Black Death.
  56. Technology Helps Us Group Evernote Fireworks Flickr Facebook
  57. Revisit Later
  58. Leonardo Lessons:Store & Re-visit:1. Don’t throw out.2. Store for later.3. Cluster together.4. Make findable.5. Revisit later.
  59. Generating Ideas
  60. 1. Strive for Quantity2. Defer Judgment3. Seek New Combinations4. Use Your Imagination
  61. 1. Strive for QuantityVitruvian Man is aniconic sketch ofhuman potential.The Greek scholar,Vitruvius, said a man’sbody could fit insidea circle and a square.
  62. 750 Anatomy Sketches
  63. Three MasterpiecesInnovation scholars predict that it takes3,000 raw ideas for 1 successful idea.• 13,000 sketches = 3 Masterpieces• 750 anatomy sketches = Vitruvian Man
  64. Leonardo Lessons:1. Quantity Leads to Quality.2. 13,000 sketches led to 3 classic masterpieces.
  65. 2. Defer Judgment“It is easier to resist in the beginning than at the end.” - Da VinciDefer positive andnegative judgment.
  66. Sketch of The Last Supper
  67. Jesus and Judas Problems
  68. Two Years Later…
  71. Leonardo Lessons:1. Positive judgment shuts you down.2. Negative judgment shuts you down.3. Your own judgment blocks you, too.4. Your sketch is a draft to re-visit.
  72. 3. New Combinations Da Vinci had a pet dragon.
  73. Leonardo’s Pet Dragon Da Vinci created a pet dragon by gluing other animal parts to a lizard. • He added fish scales.• • He gave it a bat ears. • He painted the lizard. • He added wings that flapped when it walked.
  74. • Da Vinci always looked to put things to another use.
  75. The First Automobile Using the existing tools of his day, he made the/ the first automobile. • Steering columns.• • Rack and pinions. • Wheels. • Cranks. • Springs.
  76. Leonardo Lessons:1. New combinations from existing parts.2. Put old things to a new uses.3. Take an element and make it bigger or smaller.
  77. 4. Use Your Imagination“Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?” - Da Vinci
  78. Common Response Zone
  79. Da Vinci’s Flying Machines
  80. Successful Glider TestIn 2006, scientists flew a Da Vinci Glider,using available material from his time.
  81. Leonardo Lessons:1. Avoid the common response zone.2. More ideas force you to use your imagination.3. Let ideas incubate. Re-visit with a new perspective.
  82. 1. Strive for Quantity2. Defer Judgment3. Seek New Combinations4. Use Your Imagination
  83. Refining Ideas
  84. 1. Use Positive Judgment2. Consider Novelty3. Stay Focused4. Redirect Yourself
  85. 1. Use Positive Judgment“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” - Da Vinci
  86. 65,000 thoughts per day.65% are negative, roughly 42,000.
  87. He Struggled Personally
  89. Leonardo Lessons:1. Use positive judgment first.2. Explore for value and benefit.3. Avoid the natural tendency to think initially negative.
  90. 2. Consider Novelty“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.” - Da Vinci
  91. The City of Venice called one ofDa Vinci’s inventions “impractical”.
  92. Pope Leo X Bans AutopsiesDa Vinci’s dissectionsof cadavers was seenas disgusting. It wasoutlawed by the Pope.
  93. Sultan Rejected His Bridge “Swoop and poop! The executive seagull maneuver.” - Jared Spool
  94. Leonardo Lesson:1. Don’t dismiss novel ideas immediately.2. Novel ideas might lead to innovations.3. Many of Leonardo’s ideas were rejected.4. Your idea may be ahead of its time.
  95. 3. Stay Focused“As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.” - Da Vinci
  96. Perfectionist & Procrastinator
  97. Break Lunch BreakYou will lose focus from time to time.Take a break. Go for a walk. Re-focus.
  98. The Da Vinci DilemmaToo many talents, not enough time.• Mathematician• Scientist• Anatomist• Military Strategist• Civil Engineer• Artist• Sketcher
  99. A Death Bed Confession“I have offended God and mankind because my work didnt reach the quality it should have.” - Da Vinci
  100. Leonardo Lessons:1. Stay focused on what’s important.2. Take breaks or walks to re-focus.3. Focus on one thing at a time.4. Don’t procrastinate.5. Perfectionism kills productivity.
  101. 4. Redirect Yourself
  102. Cesar Borgia, Short Bio• Son of a Pope• Cardinal by age 17• Killed his brother• Dictator in his land• Survived poisoning• Killed many followers• Died in war• Patron of Da Vinci for a short time
  103. Machiavelli, Short Bio • Politician for 14 years • Head of Florence militia • Wrote The Prince • “Ends justify the means.” • “Better to be feared than loved.” • “Too much freedom can lead to the souls decay.”
  104. Borgia: Machiavelli’s Prince
  105. Da Vinci Caught in Middle
  106. Suffered Severe TraumaDa Vinci had "a profoundpsychological change . . .as a result of his terrifyingexperiences“ with Borgia.source: Paul Strathern (2010)
  107. Da Vinci Built Maps
  108. Improved Borgia’s FortressIt had rounded walls to counter thedirect impact of a cannonball. Interiorwalls led to fortified positions.
  109. Designed a Movable Bridge
  110. Da Vinci’s “Grotesque Error”Imagine what Borgiawould done with:• Glider• Crossbow• Tank• Cluster Bomb• Machine Gun• Helicopter• Hand-crank catapult
  111. Da Vinci Redirects His WorkDa Vinci gives Borgiadefensive items:• Map of Milan• Map of Imola• Hedometer• Movable Bridges• Improved Ladder• Fortress Redesign
  112. Da Vinci Redirects His Work“I will not publish, nor divulge such things because of the evil nature of men.” - Da Vinci
  113. Stores Them in a Codex Codex Atlanticus (most of his military sketches)
  114. “I have wasted my hours.” Final words of Da Vinci
  115. Leonardo Lessons:1. You cannot avoid politics.2. Maintain your own values, to the end.3. Design can be done under duress.4. Re-direct yourself to positive things.
  116. Final Thoughts
  117. 5 Sketching Secrets1. Sketch by hand. Use sheets of paper.2. Do initial sketches alone.3. Review with others, later.4. Use annotations, arrows, and labels.5. Save and re-visit earlier sketches.
  118. • Content
  119. 1. Strive for Quantity2. Defer Judgment3. Seek New Combinations4. Use Your Imagination
  120. 1. Use Positive Judgment2. Consider Novelty3. Stay Focused4. Redirect Yourself
  121. 1. Strive for Quantity 1. Use Positive Judgment2. Defer Judgment 2. Consider Novelty3. Seek New Combinations 3. Stay Focused4. Use Your Imagination 4. Redirect Yourself