What is the 1HDC?

As I was going through this month’s 1HDC Super Soaker entries, I realized that I have never really explained what the 1HDC is for me. And, more importantly, what I hope it is for everyone who enters the challenges.

I started the 1HDC based on the premise that Design can be an extremely powerful tool. I have always found that a great way to make someone smile is to pick up a piece of paper and draw something from our conversation. When that happens, and there is a simple piece of magic that happens.

The 1HDC is about capturing that magic. While the name of the challenge is the 1 Hour Design Challenge. It is less about the time frame and more about the development of the rapid visualization skills that allow Designers to carry a bit of magic around in their pocket. Sitting down with pen and paper (and even CAD) and being able to pop out several pages of quick sketches that capture your thoughts, and then a similarly quick, albeit more detailed image that expands that thought is awesome when done well.

So, the 1 Hour aspect of this challenge is tool to keep you focused on the idea that a bunch of small ideas done in a short period of time, can quite often be greater than a single, overwrought concept that you pour hours into.

So, for the next challenge, sit down and set the timer for an hour and use that constraint to try and keep you loose. Allow the time to push you to open your mind to “bad ideas” so that you can quickly move on to the next idea.

Rapid visualization is a fantastic skill that takes time to hone. The 1HDC should be a safe, fun environment that allows everyone a chance to let loose for a short period of time. If it isn’t, let me know because otherwise…we’re doing it wrong.