Keith Haring — in praise of simplicity

By dmax3270 — Cropped from [], CC BY-SA 2.0,

Last night I watched the documantary ‘Keith Haring — Street Art Boy’ If you’re in the UK It’s on iPlayer for a few more months.

I can’t get over the fluidity of his line; it’s like he IS the brush. But the thing that really struck me was how important the simplicty of his work is.

His distillation of his visual language into the baby, the dog, the spaceship and so on, made it so powerful and communicate to so many people so clearly.

From this simplicity he created works of great complexity and scope.

I couldn’t help but relate it back to lean principals and why I think they work so well. Lean principals are simple enough to be expressed simply and without any jargon:

  • Why are we doing this? — Starting with the customer and pulling work in
  • How fast can we do this? — Measure Throughput and Cycle Time
  • What is going on right now? — Value stream mapping

From here we can dig deeper but again this can be done through simple means:

  • How much stuff are we doing at the same time? — Kanban boards
  • How much stuff are we trying to do at once — Managing Work in Progress
  • What should we do next? — Managing queues

Using these simple questions and methods we can create and manage work of great complexity. We can put in place simple rules which allow people to work together with autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Coming back to Haring, we can work in a way that is human. Haring’s work brims over with our shared humanity. Given how much time we spend at work I think we do well to put our humanity at the centre of our practice, what we have in common and what makes us different.

--

--

--

I'm the operator with my pocket calculator.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

What is a city but the people? ( Escaping to a VR World ) — Payette

Summary of my 2018: sketching for UX, online teaching and UX design

Estimate the Cost of Development for a Mobile App

WhatsApp Task

MUSIC256A: THE FIFTH!

How to Create a UX Designer Portfolio?

Checklist for Developing an Accessible Website in Oregon

Custom Closets in Purcellville from Bienal Closets

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Chris Young

Chris Young

I'm the operator with my pocket calculator.

More from Medium

Suffering from “meeting exasperation?” Design better meetings.

Running Remote Meetings That Work

What I learned from my team

Who the heck is that Service Delivery Manager?

Red banner with crown and a slogan keep calm and call your service delivery manager