I Love Boring Things
Updating your CV
Being kept on hold
Waiting for a delivery
Doctor waiting rooms
Other people’s family trees
Washing the dishes
Most Boring things in the world according to The Daily Mirror (2015)
I love boring things. Or rather, I do not believe that anything can actually be truly boring. When I am kept on hold, I enjoy listening to the jingle and analyzing the style of music. Long queues are great opportunities to talk to new people, or simply observe them. Also, I love advertisement breaks! Apart from scrutinizing them for their underlying messages, I get to find out which company bothered to pay that much money to appear on my screen. The list goes on. I believe in the attitude of wonder and discontent. I believe that everything and anything can be a learning experience if we are curious enough. This is the manifestation of diverse curiosity.
If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.
— John Cage
Diverse curiosity is the attraction to anything and everything novel. Diverse, unplanned, short-lived and constantly changing. It is essential to our exploring mind; it opens our eyes to the new and undiscovered, encouraging us to seek out new experiences and meet new people. But unless it’s allowed to deepen and mature it can become a futile waste of energy and time, dragging us from one object of attention to another without reaping insight from any.
As a graphic designer, diverse curiosity often leads us to find interest in mundane, overlooked and ordinary, building up and strengthening our visual library. in short, I guess you could say that it is the art of looking — not just glancing but really looking. The accumulation of these visual elements makes up our creative ‘raw materials’ that we can draw from for new ideas and inspiration. These can come in various forms like colours schemes, font pairings, materials, texture, lighting, framing, etc. The more we look around, question and critique things around us, the more curated our visual library will be.
When someone gets interested or bored we tend to praise or blame the object which interests or bores them. But some people are just better than others at ‘making interest’ in the world. The art of ‘making interest’ grooms us to be a better designer. We making boring things interesting, we make mundane information more enjoyable to digest. The more existing ideas we have in our heads, the more varied and richer our novel combinations of them would be! We just got to keep looking.
If something is boring, look harder, and you will see.
This post is a snippet of a research document that I've recently put together on curiosity and the designer. This document is available upon request.