“But songs trump singing all day long. Anybody can sing, especially in this auto-tune era. But being able to write a great song, one that grabs fans lyrically and melodically, that’s truly tough. And Taylor Swift has accomplished that.”

Bob Lefsetz wrote this at the end of a blog post about a conversation he had with Taylor Swift. I was really struck by this paragraph.

First, I thought about all the things that computers can fix now. Spelling. Our memory about the meaning of a word. Acne (if you are on the cover of Cosmo).

Whether it is ‘i’ before ‘e’ or a flawless complexion, these correction routines mean more people can do more things better. Dan Pink in A Whole New Mind told us to watch out for abundance, Asia, and auto-tuning (he actually said automation). And Pink said we should work on design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning.

Create and connect.


A parti is the central idea or concept of a building

A parti [par-TEE] can be expressed several ways but is most often expressed by a diagram depicting the general floor-plan organization of a building and, by implication, its experience and aesthetic sensibility. A parti diagram can describe massing, entrance, spatial hierarchy, site relationships, core location, interior circulation, public/private zoning, solidity/transparency, and many other concerns. The proportion of attention given to each factor varies from project to project.

[…] It is unlikely, if not impossible, to successfully carry a parti from an old project to a new project. The design process is the struggle to create a uniquely appropriate parti for a project.

Some will argue that an ideal parti is wholly inclusive—that it informs every aspect of a building from its overall configuration and structural system to the shape of the doorknobs. Others believe that a perfect parti is neither attainable or desirable.

– No. 15 from 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Fredrick

The Robie House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; parti and photo

The Cut

Jesse from the Put This On1 blog was answering a question the other day from a reader who wanted to know what could be do to alter a vintage suit he had bought. The first sentence from his answer stuck with me:

Pants fashion should be (and largely is) about cut, not size.

This is certainly what Clinton and Stacey from What Not To Wear have been telling us for years, but hearing it said that way made me think beyond fashion for a minute.

I started to think about how it might be the same for all ideas. It is hard to tailor ideas that don’t correspond with the circumstances. Consider Grant McCracken’s prognosis for Dollhouse. The protagonist Echo is imprinted each episode with a new identity and culturally, McCracken argues, we don’t like to see forced transformations each week. There is a problem with “the cut” that a new actress or different script can fix.

1 – Check out Put This On. As Mark at Index MB puts it – “Esquire or GQ should have launched a show like this in 2006.” They are raising money to produce six more episodes over at Kickstarter. Go pitch in a few bucks.