Design for Chaos

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This way by for the most interesting article I read when research creative serendipity: DESIGNING FOR CHAOS, SERENDIPITY, AND A NOBEL PRIZE?

Not only did it influence the development of the publication but how I present it in our final show, and not to mention my personal practice.


  • Many of us the idea of designing specifically for chaos and serendipity makes us uneasy.
  • Workplaces continue to evolve, where the place is seen as a backdrop to new ways of working and new ways of thinking.
  • Might lead to not just greater collaboration and innovation.
  • Serendipity or chance encounters that lead to something are more likely in environments where things are not completely planned, where informal conversations are encouraged, and where the workspace design enables chance encounters.
  • “We need to be designing spaces that are not predictable and where there are unexpected, interesting things going on.” Professor Philip Follent, head of the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture at Bond.
  • Studies have shown that professionals get 80 percent of their ideas from casual interactions.

I’m thinking of doing this as a two page spread. First titles Design For Chaos/Chaos in workspace, then the second about Leon Heppel’s story.




Thinking about what else I do for The Big Idea, aside from the printed book and work-space, I thought I could do an e-book that you can download at the show. I don’t think it would be too hard and a nice addition, might even get my some followers. What I can do is get email address at the show, and send them a PDF to download after.

Now it’s time to work on the content of the book, which is something I’ve been avoiding, as writing isn’t my strong point.

Pages I need to write

  • Introduction: Why is serendipity important in creativity?
  • How to be more serendipitous: 3 types/pages – trying new things, talking to new people, and travel differently
  • How does Google embrace serendipity?:
  • Chaos in the workspace

TBI: Serendipity

I decided today that I’m going to put a few hour into my publication ‘Serendipity: A Designers Guide’.Reason being, I want to use it in my portfolio and for our final show, which are things we’re working on this FINAL semester. I’m actually enjoying this project a lot more than I expected, especially when I started because I thought I chose a dificult word. What I’ve enjoyed is creating this playful and creative publication, I’ve been able to be extremely experiment, and it’s been great.

Since we finished the project, my designs have developed a fair bit.


I had kept it simple, maybe too much, and well, I thought it was messy and tasteless. The original set of spreads had no colour scheme and I had stuck with quite generic fonts.

Tip spread 2

Google spread

First Re-visit

When I decided to re-visit this just before we broke up for Easter, I had decided on continuing with the publication, but starting from scratch.I had done the neccessary research, but, due to our dissertation overlapped this project, The final design outcomes had been rushed. I had discussed bring different styles and design methods into this experimental publication, because that what Serendipity is all about, and if I wanted to teach people of it in my guide, then I wanted the book to have qualities of inspiration.

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Today, when I went back to the collage spreads, I was inspired by bauhaus design and wanted to incorporate it into my publication. I also decided to mix up the colour scheme, retro colour combo. I’ve also reconsidered what fonts I’ve used, and have axed Pier San for the more versatile Avenir Next, using both the medium and heavy.

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The plan

To be experimental with the pages I have, and those I’m yet to create, and to decide how I want the cover to look.

Serendipity book

I spent today re-doing the pages I did for the publication I intend to produce for ‘The Big Idea’. I’ve also decided to change from working on a square format to a easier A5 one.

Inside front – page spread

I think this is pretty much done. I got the idea of displaying a collage on the inside front and back from learning about the connection between serendipity & juxtaposition. The first page I wanted to simply have to definition of the word Serendipity, but I then got the idea a design the page around the theme….so when I thought about it serendipity I thought about discovery, which gets me to the magnifying glass. Think it works pretty well.

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How to embrace serendipity – page spread

sticking with the colours scheme and typefaces

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I just decided to be experimental with this, and in fact it’s something I wanted to be with the whole publication, but to start with it was a little messy. I’ve still got the content to add, as I’ve used some of the google text, but that shouldn’t take long as the layout is pretty much done ready.

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Google – page spread

I decided to abandon the colour scheme for this page, although, I might create an alternative version to see what it’s like with the colours I’m working with.

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Inside back – page spread

This will be the collage that starts on the inside front cover. The opposite page with have a quote about Juxtaposition, in relation to serendipity that is. All the images I used where from  Pixabay, which is a royalty free website. Again, I’m happy with this.

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I’ve got the following spreads to finish:

  • The Map(which is a big one)
  • The Creative challenges
  • Additional spread – explain the connection between serendipity and creativity
  • Front cover
  • I also want to add quote through the book

The Big Idea

I decided to put the SSP project behind me for the meanwhile, and revisit ‘The Big Idea’. So today I went into uni, working at home had become very difficult for some reason, and instead of going on my mac I spent the first hour + sketching out my plans for the publication.

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I’d come to realised that my original spread designs for the publication weren’t very tasteful and messy, so I wanted to work on that, and after doing the SSP event guide I felt like I had a greater understand on uniforming a book.

I wanted to work on:

  • Style
  • Colour scheme
  • Typefaces
  • Necessary pages and info
  • Imagery

I was also considering the need for the digital platform. I think there could be, maybe, a digital side, even if it’s just a twitter account that could have all the necessary info, without having to design anything.

Re-visiting The Big Idea

As I want this to be one of my show pieces I’ve decided to spend a bit of time over easter developing it.


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This is what I was left with when I finished the project. I had created a simple website, a number of spreads for the publication, a cover design, app design.

One of the most noted piece of feedback was that that the simplicity of the website and the app, didn’t feel uniformed to the publication, which as the core of the project. For example

A spread from the publication

Tip spread

A page from the online site

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I’ve got to work out whether I work towards the website being more like the publication, or the other way around. The publication is mean’t to be more than just a book, I want it to be interactive, inspiring in it’s design and context, while the website, in proportion, is a lot smaller, say this because If I’m producing the book I needs to be sustainable and the website just need to be simple and user friendly. I think the icons are what need to connect the touch points, which leads me to another criticism….the design of the icons.

Since the project finished in February I did re-visit it once to develop, well experiment, with the cover design for the book.


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I felt like the cover wasn’t doing any justice to the book, and I know how important a book cover is in making a successful publication, I also wanted to integrate some flat-design into my work, so I thought I was worth experimenting with. So I thought about what my book mean’t, the meaning of the word and came to the conclusion that serendipity was to do with signs from the universe, which lead my to the idea of an image of earth. What I ideal want to do is bring in some elements associated with design, e.g. pencils, computers, books, etc.. which could circulate the earth. I’ve just been going through google and I got some ideas from these images:


Plan is to experiment with colour, text and imagery. I think I’ll do that tomorrow with some work for SSP.

Experimenting with flat-design

First play around with flat design

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Quite happy with this. Want to make it appear more mystical. After working on the background colours –

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Love the how the blue resonated from the earth. Think I need to work on the type, as it’s starting to look like a children’s book, and I’ve started adding graphic design symbols and items that are circulating the earth –

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The pencil spaceship

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Fineliner pen, but this needs some work. I will bring in a few more graphic symbols and hopefully compose a piece to replace the original design. Oh, and was looking online and found that some design had a hand around the earth, which I like and might bring in –

Happy with the progress. I understand that I might need to alter the books design to match this, but I think it could work, and shouldn’t be too time consuming.

Oh and a little mock-up to see it in context –

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👌 happy with this, although plenty to alter and develop, might even consider leaving the front cover title free, but the depends on what kind of book I produce, may not have a spine to work with. plus, that the purpose of the inside page?