Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Don't reveal all at once

Expect a new regular series of post. I’ve started studying a traditional Japanese art that I’ve always thought to be significant to (product) design -- and even more than that: to the beauty of human interaction.
So, as a kind of homework, I’d like to share an enlightening statement or observation from each lesson.

When I was there for the first time, attending a trial lesson, these words from the teacher caught my mind: Don’t reveal it all at once. If you explain everything straight away, all the pleasure and anticipation will be ruined.

Besides being an advice on how to create suspense, there is a deep sense of respect towards the audience in this statement.

Be it an object, an environment, or a performance -- when we give others some time to experience our work on their own, to perceive with their senses, we value their point of view, ideas and thoughts.

A hint might be helpful sometimes, in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable. But the more we initially explain, the more is the audience influenced by our interpretation, making them virtually blind, deaf and dumb.

By conveying our message gradually and in small doses, it can merge with the impression of the beholder into a unique whole.

Enough for now -- to go by this post’s title.


  1. Ho ho ho ho ho! When I read this one Bianca, I UNDERSTOOD. Now, I feel like I KNOW. You know, I talk to much and I can't keep secrets. I'm gonna practice this!

  2. Dear Duncan, thank you very much for your comment!
    Actually, I believe "Don't reveal all at once" is a real challenge to master. A balancing act, apt to cause impatience or misunderstanding.

    Anyway, let me prepare some tea for you.