All posts for “constraints”


Thing Explainer: A New Book By Randall Munroe of xkcd

Posted by: leelefever on May 13, 2015- 11:40am

Topic: Book Review

Categories: book, constraints, language, rockets, science, up-goer, xkcd


What if you had to explain something very complex, like a rocket, and only use drawings and the 1000 most-used words in the English language?   That's the constraint that Randall Munroe made famous a while back when he explained a Saturn V rocket. For example, because the word "rocket" is not in the 1000 words, he called it an "up-goer" and that became the informal name for this kind of communication. You might remember a guest post by Sally James on this blog about the idea. Mr. Munroe, whose... Continue Reading

How Constraints Help Common Craft Videos

Posted by: leelefever on November 14, 2011- 4:12pm

Topic: Common Craft Style

Categories: constraints, creativity, science


  Since our first video, Common Craft style has been defined by a specific set of materials and processes. You could say we work within a set of constraints.  While the word “constraints” sounds limiting, we’ve always found them useful and, paradoxically, liberating. According to the article linked below, there’s now a scientific explanation.   Johan Lehrer recently wrote an article called Need to Create? Get a Constraint wherein he looks at the results of psychological experiments that show... Continue Reading