Creation, Destruction, Reduction

Creation is the process by which we bring something new into existence. It may be derivative, it may even be a ripoff, but it’s still something new.

Destruction is the process by which we tear down something that already exists.

Reduction is the process by which we remove extraneous elements. While it often looks like destruction, it’s actually a critical part of the creation process. Pure, unfettered creation — that is, creation without editing — usually results in a tangled, bloated mess. Only by carving away at that mess do we create something focused.

As Blaise Pascal famously wrote: “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

Creation is more than just an additive process; skillful reduction is essential to the refinement of one’s work. Brevity is the soul of wit, and focus is the soul of great design.