asters and goldenrods: my design philosophy

just finished the episode of onbeing with robin wall kimmerer. one story in the episode resonated strongly with me.

when robin was a freshman, the way asters and goldenrods grew together fascinated her. when she asked her science teachers why they did this, they told her that this was not a question for science. they said if she wanted to answer this, she should study art.

as she proceeded as a scientist, she eventually DID find a biophysical reason for their cohabitation. the combination of the purple and gold together attract more pollinators than either plant would on its own. so the plants have evolved to support each other’s growth. kimmerer calls this “a matter of aesthetics and a matter of ecology.”

in many ways, this explains my design philosophy. good design (particularly good graphic design), is about finding solutions so elegant that they attract more than that same content would have otherwise. good design improves the functionality of everything involved.

i’m not there yet, but i strive towards this ideal in every design project i take on.