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Age of Entanglement and addressing Knotty Problems
March 24, 2016, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Innovation, Service Design | Tags:

  
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.

A video archive of the entire summit is available here.

Happy chewing!

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how to find things worth making
March 18, 2016, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Innovation, Service Design | Tags:


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



Fireside stories
March 7, 2016, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, Experience, Innovation, Service Design

  
Found this useful frame work on the Katie Dreke’s fab tumblr obsessivecompulsive 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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…
  4. Identify the barriers. Create drama by introducing new sources of conflict and explaining what’s stopping the organization from achieving its goals.
  5. 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.
  6. Build excitement as you expose the creative solutions. Unveil your ideas and clearly illustrate how they will get you closer to the big vision.
  7. 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. 

  • Start now! Carve out a budget – what can 5% achieve? How about 25%? Write a plan.


      1. the Inigo Montoya problem
        February 23, 2016, 4:37 pm
        Filed under: Get Activist, Innovation, Service Design | Tags:

          

        Well, good folk, there’s nothing on earth 

        Like a genuine, 

        Bona fide, 

        Billion dollar, 

        Ideas boom.

        Innovation!

        What’d I say? 

        Innovation!

        What’s it called? 

        Innovation!

        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! 

        All: Innovation!

        What’s it called? 

        All: Innovation!

        Once again… 

        All: Innovation!

        But your  pathway seems seems quite frail and broken… 

        Sorry, ma’am, the mob has spoken! 

        Innovation! Innovation! Innovation!

        [big finish] 

        Innovation!

        Homer:Inno… D’oh!



        Transforming Sydney
        May 15, 2015, 6:17 pm
        Filed under: Experience, Service Design, Zeitgeist | Tags:

              

          

        I’ve been privileged to be part of the team working with the NSW government on the urban regeneration of the Bays Precinct area.  This weekend, the 16th and 17th of May there will be a summit that we’ve designed with a purpose of generating public awareness and input on one of the world’s biggest urban transformation project of its kind.

        Love you to come, bring the kids and your neighbours. Lovely coffee, lush juices and fresh goodness to eat, and just so many opportunities to hear and co create what the future of this waterway district at the edge of the CBD will be.

         Registration

        The program and content will be made up of a series of short talks, ‘discovery’ displays and consultation exercises designed to be staggered throughout the day, allowing people to come and go as they wish.

         This is a free event taking place at Australian Technology Park:

        http://www.thebayssydney.com.au/events/sydneysiders-summit-16-17-may-2015.aspx

         Background 

        In November 2014, Jack Morton worked with the NSW Executive Committee to conceive and develop The Bays Precinct Sydney International Summit.  It was a unique undertaking, which brought together a broad range of local and international urban transformation practitioners, academics and policymakers, as well as community and not-for-profit representatives.  The purpose for the Summit was simple; to create an environment for leading people in their fields to think, hear, discuss, and learn about what is possible and how.  With a focus on forging relationships that will enable ongoing collaboration for both this and future urban transformation work.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fipa7o8gnWY#t=309




        the pattern of collaboration
        May 4, 2015, 5:53 pm
        Filed under: Experience, Service Design | Tags:

        I’m looking at pattens at the moment and how they are formed and what meaning can be ascribed to them.

        I loved coming across kintsugi and the notion that repair can be a process of adding both strength and beauty. It’s interesting that cracks themselves are openings that form in materials to relieve stress…the pattern of cracks indicates whether the material is elastic or not. A true break means tha the materials have failed under the strain.

        I think elasticity, being able to change and adapt, is fundamental. And change is never going to be a one off, so perhaps plasticity is a more useful term to explore.Kintsugi can repair breakages- but you need gold, literally gold, to get the best results out of the process.

        What about a golden notion though- one that allows an object to change and grow an adpt and self organise

        The Golden Ratio is a universal law “…in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form.”

        Adolf Zeising, 1854

        The Golden Ratio, is very important in nature. Converted to an angle (as a proportion of one – =360 degrees – full turn), it equals 137.507764 degrees. Turns out that plants often use this angle to arrange leaves around the stem. This just happens to minimise the shading of leaves lower down the stem by leaves higher up so each leaf gets as much sunlight as possible (more than with other arrangements anyway).

        Visually, the series typically appears as a spiral.

        From the point of view of physics, spirals are lowest-energy configurations which emerge spontaneously through self-organizing processes in dynamic systems. From a biological perspective, arranging leaves as far apart as possible in any given space is favoured by natural selection as it maximises access to resources, especially sunlight for photosynthesis.

        I really like these notions that systems just known when to turn, how to share and maximise the distribution of resources and grow in a way that is both strong and astheically pleasing.

        Be wonderful to create these kind of self organising principles- I wonder if the trick is to bring propotion and a sense of proportion into the environment so that it can be easly seen and acted on.



        cracks and kintsugi
        April 9, 2015, 3:49 pm
        Filed under: Experience, Great Stuff, Service Design

        Tea bowl with #kintsugi

        Forget your perfect offering
        There is a crack, a crack in everything
        That’s how the light gets in.

        Leonard Cohen, Anthem

        Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

        Part of service design is describing and inspiring people about the real challenges of change, the need to to fix things, to look at something broken and believe that not only can it be brought back to life but be both  more beautiful and more valuable while retaining history and integrity.

        I find it useful it to explore Mr Cohen’s insight that cracks provide illumination and how it intersects with this ceramic practice of renewal.

        Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject.

        —Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

        Mostly what this notion can tell us is that it’s ok. It’s ok to break, to have cracks and weaknesses. It’s natural and part of life and growth and of interacting with people. Even more than that, when you pick up the pieces, you can transform into something stronger, more resilient, utterly unique and desirable.