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84 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 who does not fully appreciate or understand the idea and makes one question their own thinking and convictions. They are out there. Agreement 3 Agreement three is, in some ways, akin to agreement 2. The advice not to make assump- tions is not always easy to follow. If the design- er assumes that what they have put together can be built because they have designed it, they may fall into a trap. Circling back to last month's comments, the reality of manufactur- ing's capabilities may not meet with assump- tions designers make, and the project comes to a screeching halt. One way to avoid this is, again, design with manufacturing. Don't forget your assumptions completely, however, because they could be a future springboard to something important yet to come—a proverbial "aha!" moment. But more likely, it will be something seemingly un- momentous. The great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once sagely said, "The most ex- citing phrase to hear in science—the one that heralds new discoveries—is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" It is the seemingly mundane that can often yield the greatest surprise and reward. Making assumptions can rob one of such moments. Agreement 4 The final agreement is one that I think is perhaps the most important one: "Always do your best." No one should expect less than the best from themselves. I had a boss years ago that would flip out if he heard someone say something was "good enough." Good enough is never good enough; it is a capitulation to the mediocre. That said, the best that one can do may well vary from day to day. We all have on and off days. When the designer—or anyone, for that matter—stumbles and makes an error, they are human. We strive for perfection; hopefully, we get close or even achieve it from time to time. However, we ought not to beat ourselves up when we fall short; we simply need to resolve to make our best better in the future. Design- suggesting that designers adapt to design- ing for manufacturing, they should be design- ing with manufacturing. Designers, I argued, need to understand manufacturing before they can design effectively. Agreement 1 This brings us to the first agreement: "Be im- peccable with your word." Designers must be honest with themselves as to their knowledge and carry that knowledge shamelessly into any discussion with manufacturing. It is okay not to know something. The same requirements hold true for the manufacturer. There is a part- nership between design and manufacturing, and open and honest communication is re- quired—especially when something new is be- ing added to the mix. Bluff and bluster have no place at the table. If some design feature is beyond a designer's experience, set up expectations early on in the process. As stated earlier, mistakes are okay. That's how we learn and grow, but if the risks and costs are going to be high, they need to be known up front. Remember that you are a team, not adversaries. Agreement 2 "Don't take anything personally" is the sec- ond agreement, and it is also important. An individual's feelings can be potentially injured by others whose manners are less sensitive. Sometimes, criticisms are made that are well intended but can sting on occasion if delivered carelessly. I trust that all designers take pride in their work, and when others make what are intended to be constructive comments, it can undercut our self-esteem, but it should not and cannot. Don't react at the moment but ponder the event. If you step back for a moment, you may be able to better appreciate that the comments were not about the individual but about the product, which is separate from yourself. It also opens us to be more receptive to the mes- sage and potential improvement of the prod- uct. That said, one should also guard against being gaslighted by the occasional individual

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