there is a book called designing your life, written by the founders of the stanford d-school, which i read recently and decided i should teach as an undergraduate design course. we’ll see whether that happens or not, but meanwhile, one of their suggestions is to make a mind map of what you think your interests are and how they might be applied in the real world. then you take that to a second iteration. then you take that second iteration, and make a third iteration, and by the time you get to that point, you have begun to imagine some interesting possibilities. in the case of this photo, first i stepped on a dried leaf, then i tried carefully to separate the fragments into something more interesting, and then, finally, i blew on them, and suddenly things got interesting.
dried smoketree leaf, shattered