Type Tuesday

French Bulldog day was fun. We slept in, stuffed ourselves with cinnamon buns, played badminton, had a playdate, and got ready for the week. Oh and lots of HGTV. The kids are now planning future renovations on our house. "Mama, is this a support wall?" the seven-year old asks.

Alrighty. So it's Type Tuesday. As some of you know, I have had a lot of careers in my 41 years and in them I've picked up a variety of skills. If you ever need someone to value a media company, raise money for a charity, book you an airline ticket to Denver, and hire you a CFO who understands how to use the em dash, I'm your gal. One of the really cool things I can do is to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a very neat tool based on Jungian archetypes that gives you keen insight into your personality. Although I've used it more in a training and development environment, I thought, how cool would it be to be able to discuss how personality type influences design? In fact, one of the exercises that we did as part of the certification course is to break into type groups and discuss an ideal room. It was amazing how much type influenced this process.

So, for those of you who have never had your type done, here is a quick primer:

Introversion/Extraversion describes the way you get your energy. Do you get your energy from ideas, words and concepts? Then your preference is probably Introversion. Do you get your energy from being with people and putting things into action? Then you are showing a preference for Extraversion. You are assigned a letter I or E.

Sensing/iNtuition describes how you prefer to gather information. Do you like to gather lots of facts and details? You probably have a preference for Sensing. Do you prefer to look at the big picture and focus on patterns and relationships to give you an idea what is going on? You are likely expressing a preference for iNtuition. You are be assigned an S or an N.

Thinking/Feeling describes how you like to process information. If you like to make decisions based on logic - list the pros and cons, calculate the optimal solution given the data - you likely have a preference for Thinking. If you tend to look at how the decision will be accepted by others (you might even choose a less than perfect decision on paper if it makes the most sense for the group) you are likely a Feeling Type. You are a T or an F.

Judging/Perceiving describes how your preferences work when dealing with the outside world of people and activity. Those expressing a preference for Judging like to rely on the decision making function (Thinking or Feeling). They tend to prefer order and a sense of finality. Those with a preference for Perceiving like to continue gathering information - be it through Sensing or iNtuition. These types tend to like to keep things open ended and unscheduled. You are a J or a P.

The four letters together make up your type. So you can be an INTP or and ESTJ or an ENFP. You tend to keep your preferences for life.

So, how does it work with design?

Well, here is a photo of an organized craft room.

To some people, it's heaven on a plate. Totally organized. Everything where it is supposed to be. INTJs probably love it: a room of one's own speaks to the Introverted type's need to get away and re-energize, the logic applied to organizing the space speaks to the Thinker. And, see, no unfinished projects: that makes the J happy!

But an ISFP might think, "I can't see anything! How I am supposed to get inspired!" They might want a craft room that looks like this:

Everything is out. You can see it all. Sensors like details and seeing all of the materials laid out might inspire a project. There is lots of potential inspiration here. There are some paintings up that perhaps clients liked in the past. Feeling types like to know that the end project will appeal to others. And it all looks like a work in process with endless possibilities (appealing to the P.)

Of course, the extraverts in the crowd might want a craft room like this:

Just a little type joke! Extraverts do not spend all of their times in clubs, contrary to what introverts like me believe. But extraverts would be more likely to spend design dollars on a big kitchen, a media room, a pool, a big barbecue area, or other spaces that would draw friends and family into their homes since people and activity fuel them.

So, on Tuesdays, I'll be writing a little bit about how type theory can influence design choices. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of money to design a home that suits somebody else (your friends, your neighbours or a pushy designer.) Tuesday's type talk is all about finding a place to suit you!

xo Jen

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