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Link’spiration™ April 2nd – Context is King

Link'spiration Engage LearnersLink’spiration – A chance to be surprised and inspired by unexpected connections

Context (n)*: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

Mobile devices have elevated the status of context in the design world. We are excited about the seemingly endless opportunities for learning, but we have to recognize that endless doesn’t mean without constraint. Context alludes to constraint and opportunity in the same breath.

Recently, a colleague at Allen said, “Getting a course to ‘work everywhere’ is not just a technology issue. It is a design issue.” This comment sparked lively conversation (and a great prank, but that’s another story), so we want to bring you in on what we’ve been talking about.

We’ve been admiring Alex Lisefski’s tiny house, a great example of how to design for mobile (put it on wheels!) The beautiful images showcase how intentional we can be when we don’t have a pixel to spare.
Tiny House Project

That led us to The Keret House, “an art installation that is also a fully-functional home in Warsaw, Poland.” The house was built in the gap between two buildings, every inch designed in response to its context and circumstance. We’re not saying we want to build a summer home there, but the creativity is inspiring.
3-Foot Wide House in Alleyway

Sometimes it’s easier to see the significance of design when the more blatant mobile context is removed. This cheeky demonstration of the abuse and misuse of PowerPoint makes a clear case for intentionality in design.

And finally, here’s a letter from deaf and blind Helen Keller, describing what she saw and heard from the top of the Empire State Building. Be amazed at how context inspired her imagination.
The Empire State Building – Helen Keller

What inspires you? What context challenges have you overcome? Join our conversation below.