Parkour Thinking in the Office
My Stanford Adventurous Thinking workshop concludes with Parkour, the last of the Five Ways thinking tools and definitely the most extreme. Parcours: ‘l’art du replacement’ is about getting from A to be in the most efficient way possible. Most importantly it's about never looking backwards, and never doing what's conventionally been done.In Adventurous Thinking terms that means turning a genre on its head. Taking the cliches and norms of a scenario and completely inverting them. The immediate results of inverting a norm feel gimmicky and easy to dismiss, but working hard, against your better judgement, to see an inversion through can deliver innovative leaps and bounds. As Jacques Derrida said of his disruptive deconstructionist philosophies, "If this work seems so threatening..this is because it isn't simply eccentric or strange, incomprehensible or exotic (which would allow them to dispose of it easily), but...competent, rigorously argued, and carrying conviction in its re-examination of the fundamental norms and premises of a number of dominant discourses..". Phew. OK - let me show you how my current students broke that into solutions for two real-life work issues.
1. Making the Transition from Restauranteur to Techie. Students suggested the conventional route would be to find highlight any tech-worthy experience within the subject's past, as well as interning and finding contacts within the desired tech field. Inverted, the advice became:
the office parkour from BanjaMdf on Vimeo.
This David Hockney artwork has hung over my desk for five years now. Pearblossom Hwy uses collaged photos in a modern cubist technique to express the wandering eye of the passenger on a long road trip. Unlike the driver, the passenger is not bound to watch the road. Bored, distracted, they can stare into the horizon or hone intently on some roadside detail. If ever an image captured a restless, curious mind this is it!
I am always inspired by the movement of this piece and the way it captures a multifarious perspective. That's why I've chosen Pearblossom Highway as the focus for my first foray into interactive media via thinglink.
At my workshops and speaking gigs this year students and audience members have asked me to send out regular posts with hints and exercises in Adventurous Thinking and the Five Ways. Problem is, I couldn't work out how to convert that circular Five Ways perspective into a 2D blog format. Until thinglink.
The hearts represent exercises, great articles and a bit of surprise and delight. There's tons of room for improvement and I would really like my own icons, but I think I've discovered how a multifarious perspective can be express regularly on a screen. What do you think?
Virgin Australia's Voyeur Magazine
This month my feature on the Future of Design runs in Voyeur magazine. Read it here!
Some images from our WEEK 1 Negative Space group brainstorm. This quick project asked each person to consider how they commuted every day, and find the physical, longitudinal and mental "negative space" in that experience. Then, each person nominated an activity they absolutely loved, and the Design Challenge was to integrate the essence of that activity into the negative space of a commute. First individually, then as a group. Interestingly - especially considering that the driver aids make driver concentration less and less essential and the driverless car has an imminent launch date - many of the projects were car-based although there was also a bus that offered a sense of community to the regular crowd with projected coupons and crowd-sourcing projects, and a bike that used sensors to send a translation of its daily motion as artwork to the computer of the user and their friends.
Below are the car-based projects including devices around the driver to make music, record music and share with fellow drivers and a wider global audience, and an immersive "ocean swim" experience that includes projectors, sea spray, scents and possibly a UV light.....
a great start to 2015!
Blue Angels in San Francisco
the mastermind behind perplexus
In my upcoming interview with multifarian and toy guru Dan Klitsner we discuss the production of the fabulous Perplexus maze games which were designed in conjunction with sculptor and art teacher Michael McGinnis. I don't want to give away too much content but here are a couple of Michael's sketches for the original perplexes game as well as one of the original balsa concept models.. As you can see he, like so many multifarians, is a hand sketcher.
I headed out to the Farallon Islands last weekend to spot seals, humpback whales, sea lions and potentially sharks (well we saw them on the radar anyway...). An incredible landscape.
We've completed the third interview in my Multifarians series, this last with serial toy inventor Dan Klitsner. What a legend! Who WOULDNT want the job that involves playing all day? Here is a snippet of what we have coming....and in a fascinating insight...Dan revealed that his dream job (wait - toy design is not the endgame??!!) is to travel to exotic locations and journal the experience for the other travelers. WOW. Didn't see that one coming....but Im going to share just one of Dan's journal drawings and you will see how his sketchy future is looking bright!
Jay Shuster on Ralph MCQUARRIE
During my interview with Jay last week he was talking about the huge influence Ralph McQuarrie's drawings have on his own work. I was curious - hadn't realized that the artwork I had seen was pre movie...just assumed it was generated FROM the scenes....Ralph was a designer at Boeing and you can certainly see his understanding of mechanics and engineering in these masterful, inspirational images. You can find a snippet from the interview here.
A constantly curious multi-award-winning multifarian, Sally delights in positive disruption, advocating for adventurous thinking, creating more T-shaped people and STEAM.