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Creative Problem Solving while Holding on for Dear Life!

by sarah • July 26

Every once in a while you have to do something completely different to shake things up and get the creative gears turning. This weekend I had my first exposure to the sport of Wall Climbing at the fantastic Brooklyn Boulders gym. Physical endurance was only the beginning as I began to experiment with different pathways up the wall. It’s truly a sport that relies on your ability to problem-solve and be creative in mid-air.

A multitude of different color grips adorn the wall— they come in many shapes (baby doll heads to brains), and sizes (bulbous to pebble-sized). Beyond the visual stimulation of it, you have to make quick decisions on how to progress and keep your momentum— visualizing the big picture of your path up the wall and the individual moves it takes to get there. You are also asked to rely on your body in new ways—twisting your foot in a new position to get better leverage, believing that your fingers will continue to hold on while propelling yourself upwards.  You also need the communication of your pals to spot the next grip or foothold. It’s trusting that they have the big picture view while your face is smacked up against the wall.

So why is this a great metaphor for the design process?

What is the grand vision? We have to visualize success and see the end goal.

What are the necessary steps along the way to help us progress smartly?

Investing the proper time and energy while not spinning our wheels before fatigue sets in.

What can others see from their point of view that will help us make smart choices?

Good communication and trust are a must.