The orchid and the dandelion

What are metaphor designers and how do they see the world?

This man shares his perspective on how to create metaphors that change people’s perceptions of the world. He talks about metaphors he has created that have worked really well (The idea of a key ring to conceptualize the activities of a municipal department of health) along with other metaphors that have not worked well.

One such “failed metaphor” that seemed promising but ultimately flopped is the that some kids are like orchids, which can thrive only in a narrow set of situations, while others are like dandelions, which can succeed in almost any kind of environment.  As it turned out, parents like orchids better than dandelions, so the whole metaphor ended up backfiring.

It is a compelling take on how language can subtly and unconsciously change people’s thinking.