My dad passed a few months ago, and as it often does my subconscious keeps serving up memories of us at seemingly random moments. One of them led me down a train of thought that connected quite deep into the work we do at Greywing, and where we're going.
As a kid, one of my favorite things to do with my dad was to be his assistant. He was an engineer who spent his time repairing, building and putting things together to shape his universe. I loved that he could change his world because he wanted to, and as a four-year-old the best thing I could do was to help.
Years later, we would have a conversation about assistance, and about how it's often harder than doing the thing itself. He ran an R&D lab, training students and mentoring quite a few engineers. I remember him telling me that there were two eventual settling points for helping someone.
One of them was to understand everything that was needed - all the tools, the accoutrements, the crimped wires - and to prepare them in reach of the person performing the action. This was a sort of mise en place (or mise en scene) that took a higher startup cost, but left the helper free to relax or let his mind wander, having set the scene for the work to happen.