Convention teaches us to be cautious of Ambiguity. The art of communication preaches about the dubious nature of Ambiguity. Dictionary defines Ambiguity as an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context, unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning. For example, "Lucy doesn't like dressing with her turkey, however she likes stuffing". Ambiguity is an enigma. Ambiguity is incertitude. Ambiguity is inconclusiveness, indefiniteness, indeterminateness. Ambiguity is obscurity. Ambiguity is vagueness. Given this baggage that Ambiguity is burdened with, I am of the unconventional opinion that Ambiguity lends plurality of meanings to an object or design; the possibility of being read or used in different ways. Smart phones are the tangible products of Ambiguity at its finest. Ambiguity enriches design and adds layers of probabilities in the viewer's mind. Ambiguity is the mistress of our complex minds.
How then, does Ambiguity heighten experiential marketing like trade shows? Here is where contradiction comes into play. The age old trade show marketing precept that you have 3 seconds to demonstrate who you are and what you do is being radically tested. In an age of hyper-competition the only way to distinguish from the masses is to build your own tribe. Once, that has been established Ambiguity becomes your ally. Use this spice to enhance the expression of your designs and you will treasure the results.
I started with Rumi. I end with Rumi.
He calls this ambiguous space "Zero Circle". I see this as a space of pure potential. Miracles happen in this space.
Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we're lying.
If we say No, we don't see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.
So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.