Nature has lots of ideas. Most don’t work and soon die.
The few that work stick around and have babies.

Evolution is a saga of variation and elimination: for every species that exists today there are thousands of alternative versions consigned to the fossil record. (There have been up to 17 different species of human; today there’s just us).

We’ve developed tools in much the same way. We fiddle and tinker until we find a better way. And then we stick with it until something better comes along.

unnatural selection

You could time-travel anytime between the Neolithic Period and yesterday and still recognise a hammer, a tool that’s changed very little because it has no need to.

The same can’t be said for women’s shoes, which have undergone constant reinvention for centuries, not because we are yet to discover their ideal form … but because shoes (unlike tools) are subject to whims of fashion.

It’s very likely that at some point in history someone produced a shoe that achieved an exquisite balance of practicality, comfort and fabulousness and just as likely that it was quickly discarded in favour of something utterly ridiculous.

Evolution rejects the absurd and selects the viable. Fashion does the exact opposite.

And it’s not just shoes. It’s cars and chairs and buildings and appliances; wherever it goes, fashion drives bad design. It offers the illusion of innovation without the benefit.

Fashion is change without progress, variation without evolution.
As ideas go, it’s one of our worst.

Avatar photo

Written by Jason Clarke

Twitter LinkedIn

Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.