Monday, February 28, 2011

Legacy is...


Walking amongst phantoms, feeling their vaporous touch and sensing their ghostly vectors.

I’m locked in perpetual conflict with “legacy”;
don’t reinvent the wheel - respond in a unique way; walk your own path - pay attention to precedent. From a design perspective the nature of this conflict isn’t so much a battle, as a dance - like the Tango.


Occasionally I meet a legacy that can REALLY dance and I’m seduced into forcing complex solutions onto simple problems. When this happens it’s a sign that I’ve fabricated some obligation; either to preserve the memory of those “who’ve been there, and done that”, or to erase and lay waste to history. Fortunately, while the dance is sweet it eventually comes to an end. Whichever fabrication’s in place at the end of the dance, it’s a mold I find I just can’t pour into.

Faced with this I’m inclined to “break the mold.” I try not to do so out of self-conscious rebelliousness; it’s not resistance for resistance’s sake. I simply have a desire, indeed a need to discover through design, the most fit solution, to a given problem, with respect for currency. Design solutions are rarely everlasting - How many things are perfect the instant they’re produced without need, nor possibility for improvement? I believe that legacies are manifestations of obsolescence, and that breaking them is good (creative even). Erosion (aka sitting idle, slowly fading from memory and existence) is just a waste.


Breaking a legacy is one thing. Discarding the fragments is another; because It just so happens that legacy fragments make an excellent foundation for the construction of new ones. Here’s a movie, about a bunch of movies, as proof (everyone knows that if it’s in the movies it’s true). “Part 2” of this web video series focuses film, but the gist of it applies here:

Ultimately, whatever legacy I manage to create will become obsolete. When that happens I hope someone breaks it, grinds the fragments to dust, and uses it to make their own. Even if that
someone is just my future self.

There’s a roster of #letsblogoff posts below that lists other participants. Go read their stuff too.
Don’t forget to leave a comment.