Top image: Stanisław Horno-Popławski
Michelangelo, granite, 1980, National Museum of Art, Gdańsk, Poland


A few weeks ago I wrote how David Schacter, a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University describes neural networks in our brain and the connection between TeamFit’s Skill Graph. For some reason, when I think about a network, I immediately make a connection to 3D models. Perhaps it is my relationship with Architecture, or merely the word network brings visualization models to mind. Schacter uses term “engram” to describe those systems. The most exciting part is how we can correlate concepts, thoughts, and ideas to enrich our memories.

Recently I came across an article by Brad Stulberg with an intriguing title “A Proven Method to Get More Out of Your Reading – Make it an active and ongoing process.” The way he explained his process resonated with me. The act of writing comments on a small piece of paper helps to synthesize the core concept and also helps to memorize it. The book itself is changing its form with a bunch of colourful notes sticking out. In a way, those records become a summary of thoughts associated with the subject matter – they also work as a pathway to concepts found in other books. I think this can be well visualized in a 3-dimensional form.

Since the beginning of time, people treasured memories and wanted to save what they have experienced. With our smartphones, digital photography, and online tools our memory archives are growing at light speed. The array of tools available in the past was limited. One of the most advanced artforms was sculpture. From the high importance place in the ancient Greece and Rome, it gradually lost its position in the modern art scene. It is, however, in recent decades that we see the most significant decline in the interest around the sculpture. Would you purchase one for your home? It is much simpler to decide on a poster or a painting. But sculpture? It is like inviting someone to live with you, especially if the art depicts a human form.

If you want to fully experience sculpture you have to look at it from all angles. Slowly walk around examining how it is revealing itself in the light. My Grandfather was a sculptor. The earliest memories I have of visiting his studio are how he guided me around the piece he was working on. I remember trying to stand on my tippytoes to have my eyes on the same level as his. One of the distinct aspects of a sculpture is the fact that it is probably the only form of art you can, and should touch (just don’t try it at a museum). It allows forming an intimate relationship with the past captured by the artist. It is a shame that the majority of exhibited sculpture can be seen only from one viewpoint. We are missing a lot. The late Dame Zaha Hadid commented on architecture, which is in a way an extreme form of sculpture: “There are 360 degrees, so why to stick to one?”

Nowadays, we form intimate relationships with our smartphones, and probably touch is responsible for this. It is the connection between you and the hidden world of apps that support the idea of doing something in another dimension. It is much harder to accomplish this using a mouse. The interface is the gateway to a personal space occupied by a vast network of connected entities, from music and photos to tweets, comments and pathways to other people. Mobile-first approach or rather, an interaction-first approach, is a way to build something that people will find pleasure in using. While the phone screen seems to occupy every designer’s drawing boards, we have to remember that in our connected world, it is the seamless experience between the devices, people and the benefit of sharing that win the game.

Every experience matters, and every pathway matters. Not only as a memory record but also as a trigger to open up a new connection – to a person, a project or a role. Claiming a skill is a forceful action. Keep in mind that stand-alone skills are just building blocks that only came to life when connected to a network and its multidimensional nature helps to sculpt your skill portrait.

Gregory Ronczewski leads the design of the TeamFit platform – view his profile on TeamFit