Shopping Cart

Your Cart is currently empty. view / checkout / account / login

Open Manifesto

Patterns that connect.

A visual essay by P.H.

{20th of April 2009}


Only context gives meaning.

Hence it is important to remember that the following is to be viewed with the context of ‘Identity in design’ in mind.

I have no intention of offering a definition of either ‘identity’ or ‘design’ but rather, I offer a series of ‘collections, concepts, and connections’* that together suggest one possible perception within this context.



A ‘context’ sets the stage, ‘collections’ are a series of events that together form a story, ‘context’ are key elements in the plot, and ‘connections’ are the sequence of actions that form the drama.

A ‘context’ is a landscape, ‘collections’ are possible ways to travel, ‘concepts’ are possible roads to travel on, and ‘connections’ are the movements you make through the landscape.

A ‘context’ offers a frame of meaning, ‘collections’ are a series of random ideas, ‘concepts’ are possible anchor points that are extracted from the ideas, and ‘connections’ form a flow of possible logic as we place the concepts side-by-side.


(The rest of this article is available, in print, in Open Manifesto #5)


Paul Hughes is based in Amsterdam where he is a strategic director and partner of Lava graphic studios and since 2005 he has consulted with Design Machine in New York.


Hughes is also a speaker & trainer on the subject of Unpacking the Creative Process. Creative processes need not be haphazard or questionable procedures; rather, creativity can become deliberate and effective procedures. This deliberate approach to creativity and innovation is captured in what he calls Design Thinking.


Additionally, Hughes speaks on the subject of what makes Dutch Design so unique. He believes that it is not individual designers nor their productions that makes Dutch Design unique but rather it is the connections between them. This interconnected approach is captured in what Hughes calls Design Ecology.