This essay proposes a map for four domains of creative exploration—Science, Engineering, Design and Art—in an attempt to represent the antidisciplinary hypothesis: that knowledge can no longer be ascribed to, or produced within, disciplinary boundaries, but is entirely entangled.
It’s deliberately hard work to read, but asks cracking questions:
- Can a scientist invent better solutions than an engineer?
- Is an artist’s mindset really all that different from a scientist’s?
- Are they simply two ways of operating in the world that are complementary and intertwined?
It’s chock full of dense high nutrition nuggets:
- an intriguing assertion by Savas Dimopoulos on the connection between Art and Science: “The things that are least important for our survival are the very things that make us human.” Both Art and Science can be understood as human needs to express the world around us. Both require suspension of disbelief, offering speculations about our physical and immaterial reality prior to proof.
- The role of Science is to explain and predict the world around us; it ‘converts’ information into knowledge. The role of Engineering is to apply scientific knowledge to the development of solutions for empirical problems; it ‘converts’ knowledge into utility. The role of Design is to produce embodiments of solutions that maximize function and augment human experience; it ‘converts’ utility into behavior. The role of Art is to question human behavior and create awareness of the world around us; it ‘converts’ behavior into new perceptions of information
- Science produces knowledge that is used by engineers. Engineering produces utility that is used by designers. Designers produce changes in behavior that are perceived by artists. Art produces new perceptions of the world, thereby granting access to new information in and about it, and inspiring new scientific inquiry.
I love how this map is used to both understand and address Knotty Problems.
MIT Media Lab Summit devoted a summit to Knotty Objects that gathered designers, scientists, engineers, makers, writers, curators, and scholars around the discussion of four complex and omnipresent objects, along with the rich stories they can tell. The objects–brick, bitcoin, steak, and phone–became lenses through which the transdisciplinary nature of contemporary design was examined.
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Innovation, Service Design | Tags: Innovation
Lovely thinking about the role of research, the scaffolding of teams with structure and principles, the necessity of focussing on adding value and the whole shebang being an iterative process
Link here: https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/adamconnor/design-thinking-finding-problems-worth-solving-in-health
Lovely find @markpollard
Filed under: Experience, Get Friendly, The Rules, Zeitgeist | Tags: generosity, psychology
Wonderful interview with the organizational psychologist Adam Grant, who many know from his New York Times columns, describes three human orientations, of which we are all capable: the givers, the takers, and the matchers. These also influence whether organizations are joyful or toxic for human beings. His studies are dispelling a conventional wisdom that selfish takers are the most likely to succeed professionally. And, he is wise about practicing generosity in organizational life — what he calls making “microloans of our knowledge, our skills, our connections to other people” — in a way that is transformative for others, ourselves, and our places of work.
50 minutes well spent
Found this useful frame work on the Katie Dreke’s fab tumblr obsessivecompulsive
- Start with conflict. Tolstoy once remarked, “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town”—and he knows a thing or two about narrative. Without a change in the status quo, there is no story, so make sure people understand the current situation and why it’s untenable.
- Explain your progress thus far. Your team may have been working on this problem for some time, but it will be new to your audience. Show the results from your customer research and competitive analysis; using quotes or images from real people for greater impact.
- Propose your grand ambition. Despite the challenges, reassure the audience that there’s reason to hope—and, in fact, a great opportunity for those willing to seize it. Lay out your team’s vision for the future, but then…
- Identify the barriers. Create drama by introducing new sources of conflict and explaining what’s stopping the organization from achieving its goals.
- Explain how to overcome those barriers. Make the audience the protagonists by explaining why their help is needed. If they feel like they are part of the solution, they will become powerful brand ambassadors for the new changes.
- Build excitement as you expose the creative solutions. Unveil your ideas and clearly illustrate how they will get you closer to the big vision.
- End smoothly with timing, costs, and next steps. Our last presentation tip now that the story is ending, is to take action. Translate the vision into tactical goals and clear responsibilities so that people can bring it to life.
Super. I’m a gonna use it now….
I was lucky enough to be in the audience at the Google Firestarters gig that Neil Perkin puts on all over the world. Great line up: Faris Yakob (founder Genius Steals), Angela Morris (Exec Planning Director, JWT Australia), Graeme Wood (Head of Strategy, M2M Australia) and a provocation about the intersection of data and creativity.
There was so much great stuff and interestingness. Effective too-it’s really got me thinking about where I think the sweet spots lie in the use of the digital discipline in the role of growing brands and business.
1. Start with conflict.
- Is digital storytelling content or experience?
- Where paid media is experiencing 84% avoidance and banners have a 0.06% CTR and 1 in 5 ad block it’s easy to say that the problem lies in the audience- that fantasitc ‘attention span of a goldfish’ 8 second span thing
- But we’re in a golden age of TV where long form content is king and people will watch an entire 13 hour series in one sitting
- Gamer’s sessions average over an hour
- Is it that audiences have less ability to focus, or that they’ve increased their ability to filter?
- Digital is a more effective cultural medium than an advertising context
- Our aim should be to get people off the couch
- The opportunity is to think broader than media property, bigger than passive content consumption and to start to play in culture.
2. Explain progress thus far.
- Cultural institutions seem to be leading the way in utilising digital to mean more and grow
- Museums and art galleries are exploring their reasons to be, to inspire and educate, and be Cathedrals of the Imagination
- Have a look at this great stuff: the work of the Culturelabel team, Seb Chan’s extraordinary Pen project for the Smithsonian, MONA, what’s going on at music festivals….
- Experiences are being designed to create new audiences, increase desire and attendance, increase dwell times, link the online data, content and curation with the physical world, build communities, and prompt repeat visitation
- This is happening as a result of working within the culture of audiences. Understanding their behaviour and seeking to provide experiences that add (not are ads)
3. Propose your grand ambition.
- Digital storytelling is creating a narrative in culture, driven by a protagonist on their own hero’s journey.
4. Identify the barriers.
- Paid Media magic beans= easier to buy than build
- I’ve got a hammer= the answer to everthing is paid media and all problems are solved with attention/engagement/ awareness
- Over kill and undercooked= using creativity to only make advertising is kind of like using Nuclear Power to heat water to make electricity
5. Explain how to over come the barriers
- Grown up business cases for innovation
- Define ambitious outcomes beyond traditional media metrics
- Involve decision makers beyond marketing
6. Build excitement as you expose the creative solutions.
- Working at the C level of an organisation and introducing all kinds of people to new ideas needs a skill set to manage complex stakeholder environments and the ability to both change people’s minds and help them build the skills to champion new ideas. Education is how you sell innovation
7. End smoothly with timing, costs, and next steps.
It was Ansel Adams birthday this week. As a lover of stillness, ligh† and high places his photographs are potentially responsible for introducing the urban dwellers of the 20th Century to the truly sublime potential of National Parks.
Or maybe just this one.
This is the track down to the Fairy Bower in the Nattai Gorge, well out of range of data or voice, but still has the ability to connect you to things a little more powerful than your news feed.
Anyhoo. Thanks Ansel.
Well, good folk, there’s nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
What’d I say?
What’s it called?
That’s right! Innovation!
[crowd chants `Innovation’ softly and rhythmically]
I hear those things can make us proud
Don’t you build it in the cloud?
What about us brain-dead slobs?
You’ll be given cushy jobs.
Were you sent here by the devil?
No, good sir, I’m on the level.
I swear it’s Australia’s only choice…
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
What’s it called?
But your pathway seems seems quite frail and broken…
Sorry, ma’am, the mob has spoken!
Innovation! Innovation! Innovation!
There’s a notion I’m trying to catch in my trampoline mindscape of quotes and collectibles that’s hiding in the spaces between truth and trust. It was prompted by Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans
Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.
The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.
“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”
As a truth seeker and trust builder I find this both perplexing and intriguing.
Love Ken Burns. He tells the truth. His work makes me cry. Probably not the work you may think –The National Parks: America’s Best Idea makes me lose it. And I love it. The video above is a snippet from a short documentary about the craft of storytelling, where he explains his lifelong mission to wake the dead:
You know the common story is one plus one equals two, we get it. But all stories are really, the real genuine stories, are about one and one equaling three. That’s what I’m interested in.
We live in a rational world where absolutely we’re certain that one and one equals two, and it does. But the things that matter most to us, some people call it love, some people call it God, some people call it reason, is that other thing where the whole is greater than the some of its parts, and that’s the three.
Jean Luc Goddard said cinema is truth 24 times a second. Maybe. It’s lying 24 times a second too, all the time, all story is manipulation. Is there acceptable manipulation? You bet. People say oh boy, I was so moved to tears in your film. That’s a good thing? That was, I manipulated that. That’s part of storytelling. I didn’t do it dis-genuinely, I did it sincerely, I am moved by that too, that’s manipulation. Truth is we hope a byproduct of the best of our stories and yet there are many, many different kinds of truths and an emotional truth is something that you have to build.
This is the phrase that leapt out at me, the bit about how story can be a reassuring vehicle of truth and connection about one of the hardest things that we all have to deal with- our mortality:
We have to keep the wolf from the door, you know, we tell stories to continue ourselves. We all think an exception is going to be made in our case and we’re going to live forever, and being a human is actually arriving at the understanding that that’s not going to be, story is there to just remind us that it’s just okay.
My brain made a leap to this interaction from So long, and thanks for all the fish by Douglas Adams
“Do you want to have a good time?” said a voice from a doorway. “I have a very special service for rich people …”
“Oh yes?” said Ford, intrigued but careful. And what’s that?”
“I tell them it’s OK to be rich.”
I want to be a champion of enabling the ability to perceive the truth, to feel it, to be moved by it and to be transformed by it. I need to find a way to craft a “tell” so that my audiences can read the difference between “a truth” (story) and “the truth” (fact/proof). But mostly a signifier to say that it’s OK. It’s OK to trust. It’s OK it to change.
“You what?” he said. The girl laughed and stepped forward a little out of the shadow. She was tall, and had that kind of self-possessed shyness which is a great trick if you can do it.
“It’s my big number,” she said. “I have a Master’s degree in Social Economics, and can be very convincing. People love it. Especially in this city.”