Friday, September 9, 2011
In a lecture delivered in London in 2001 designer Milton Glaser, best know for his design of the I Love New York logo, talked of Ten Things He Had Learned. Number eight is that DOUBT IS BETTER THAN CERTAINTY. Glaser said this, and it's well worth remembering....
Everyone always talks about confidence in believing what you do. I remember once going to a class in yoga where the teacher said that, spirituality speaking, if you believed that you had achieved enlightenment you have merely arrived at your limitation. I think that is also true in a practical sense. Deeply held beliefs of any kind prevent you from being open to experience, which is why I find all firmly held ideological positions questionable. It makes me nervous when someone believes too deeply or too much. I think that being sceptical and questioning all deeply held beliefs is essential. Of course we must know the difference between scepticism and cynicism because cynicism is as much a restriction of one’s openness to the world as passionate belief is. They are sort of twins. And then in a very real way, solving any problem is more important than being right. There is a significant sense of self-righteousness in both the art and design world. Perhaps it begins at school. Art school often begins with the Ayn Rand model of the single personality resisting the ideas of the surrounding culture. The theory of the avant garde is that as an individual you can transform the world, which is true up to a point. One of the signs of a damaged ego is absolute certainty.
You can read the other nine points here: http://www.miltonglaser.com/pages/milton/essays/es3.html
Posted by Harvey's Blog at 10:21 AM