Architecting Curiosity and Designing Wonder

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We might have all heard that curiosity killed the cat. But as with all stories, the reality of that statement is a bit more complicated. It turns out that the initial version of that phrase referred to how excessive worry or concern for others killed the cat, and that is a concept we can all relate to. Curiosity, on the other hand, did not cause harm to the cat, and may in fact have improved its life. Afterall, curiosity is one of the things that we see in babies as they explore their environments, children when they go off to school, or for anyone who is exploring a new environment.

Where then, does curiosity go in our lives? It seems that as we get older, or more settled, or more busy and preoccupied, curiosity feels more like an obligation than an opportunity. How might we reinvigorate that sense of curiosity in our lives and ourselves? How can we integrate curiosity to make it once again part of who we are? And how can we have curiosity with care and intentionality, being aimed at a positive end that we are directing?

Today on Experience by Design we Monica Canfield-Lenfest and Pim Schachtschabel from Architecting Curiosity. They describe their company as a community and school to practice and train your natural muscle of inquiry. That curiosity is part of our natural self is central to their work, and how they work with clients to tap back into it and exercise it. Like all muscles, curiosity can atrophy from lack of use. The good news is that Architecting Curiosity are like curiosity therapists, working with people who want to reinvigorate their inquisitive self.

We talk to Pim and Monica about their work and how it started. We discuss the “Huh” moment when that first noticing becomes a pathway to explore new worlds. They take us through their framework to guide their clients back into curiosity and discovery. Ultimately their work is to help people go beyond the limitations they have created for themselves, freeing their minds to explore and discover.

We also learn what is served at parties in the Netherlands.

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