Posts Tagged ‘talk’

Exploring Imagination

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

I requested a day off work and spent a long weekend down in London. I took the opportunity to attend one of the free talks organised by the School of Life at Selfridges as part of the Festival of Imagination. This festival comprises a series of talks and workshops that encourage creative thought and exploration of the imagination. The lunch time talk I attended was given by the creative development team, Vitamins, who discussed three of the amazing projects that they have worked on and developed. From a folding wheelchair wheel to a wall calendar, their main focus is solving problems through beautiful and thoughtful design.

My favourite project that they spoke about was a simplified user manual for smart phones. The original brief was from Samsung to find out how to make smart phones more accessible to older users. They developed a beautiful hard covered book which you place the new phone into and that provides you with straightforward, easy to follow instructions on how to install, set up and use the phone. As I watched the talk I imagined my grandmother being presented with this manual and being confident enough to set up her own phone. The research they undertook to get to the final product was fantastic – interviewing and conducting product tests with people of various ages to discover what made smart phones so difficult for older users. The final user manual is beautiful and practical – as all good products should be. You should look at their video for the user manual on their website – genius.

The talk was very inspirational – seeing three young people with such creative ideas and so much enthusiasm for their work was wonderful to see.

“Good Things Come Out of Incomprehension”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Today I discovered Maira Kalman, an illustrator and author who has a carefree and positive aspect on life, work and happiness. I watched her give a TED talk and felt particularly inspired by her easy and simple way of working. Her comment, “Good things come out of incomprehension” stuck with me as I often feel myself feeling particularly stupid and lacking knowledge when really it isn’t necessarily my fault that I don’t know the political history of a certain country or the entire work collection of an 18th century author. Her illustrations are funny yet reflective of the real world. You should check her out.

Inspiration

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

When my brother was visiting me in Paris, we went and saw a Stefan Sagmeister exhibition at the Les Arts Decoratifs gallery. This is one of my favourite galleries in Paris as the exhibitions focus on contemporary movements in fashion, media and art – areas of great interest to me.

Stefan Sagmeister is an Austrian designer who pushes and explores the use of design in some fascinating ways. He has gained a good enough reputation that he is able to really pursue his love for design in ways that many other people dream of doing. He is also a very intelligent and thoughtful guy and has presented numerous times for TED – a series of talks from people of various backgrounds on a wide variety of topics. One of Sagmeister’s talks was about a year-long sabbatical that he took in Bali where he stopped working for a year and focussed purely on idea development and exploring new design concepts. The personal and professional benefits that he gained from this sabbatical are quite amazing and it has made me think about how I am spending my time in Paris.

This past year was a bit of a sabbatical for myself – I didn’t work and I attempted to explore new avenues of creativity. However I ran into a problem that Sagmeister experienced himself; he had taken a sabbatical a few years prior and had felt it a failure as he went into it without a plan. He thought having all of the free time in the world would instantly provide him with the freedom to create new ideas and yet it turned out not to be the case. This is a problem that I have been experiencing and I am thinking of following Sagmeister’s lead and developing a structure for my time so that I actually achieve things in the next year. I am a person who loves structure and boundaries and I think this way of working would suit me well. While I love being able to do things whenever I want, I also find myself craving routine and regularity. Setting myself a timetable for when I focus on writing, when I make sock creatures, when I develop new ideas, would provide me with the basic structure I need to get things done. With this in place, who knows what great things I will develop in 2012. Perhaps that award winning book I keep talking about…