A look in the dictionary reveals that freedom means being able to choose among various options without coercion. This requires more than a variety of options; it mainly demands that we are able to appraise things.
We can do this using a system of criteria, rules and principles. It’s this multitude of systems that allows us to make decisions 20,000 times a day. The time, the figures, language and writing, DIN standards: all of these bring order to the chaos of infinite options.
If choosing is actually a free act, doesn’t making a choice among the options given represent a limitation, because the chooser is forced into compromising? After all, how likely is it that chooser will find the ideal product which perfectly matches what they have in mind?
Theoretically, there would have to be an infinite number of options for us to find the one perfect option each time. Producing thousands or millions of different versions would be unaffordable, however, and there would never be time to appraise all of them.
Infinity is therefore neither reasonable nor practical. If we flip the equation around and move the appraisal criteria from the end of the process to the beginning—as the parameters with which each of the optional varieties are configured—then the freedom of choice turns into the freedom of design. Applying this system change, we no longer tailor our planning to predefined products but rather we give our individual wishes a shape.