A friend of mine sent me this entry form. Simple, friendly and original. See it at Moof.com.
It might well be that having Game Designer Katie Salen as my Parsons MFA teacher has contributed decisively to this, but I’ve always felt that designers from all domains can learn a great deal from game design. When I was at Interaction’09 in Vancouver, last February, I really enjoyed Nadya Direkova’s presentation on this topic. Nadya Direkova works as a Senior Information Architect in Razorfish, San Francisco, where she leads the gaming practice for the company’s UX team. Her presentation focused on how game design thinking provides new tools for the design of non-game products, campaigns, and an overall richer experience.
On the last day at TED Global, in Oxford last week, Chris Anderson warned about the famous “TED crash” - a recurrent feeling after 4 days of dopamine and lack of sleep. I was certainly feeling the “crash” on the train home from Oxford, having got used to being ignited by so many mind-blowing talks, ideas and discussions. The conference had a great start with Alain de Boton and Gordon Brown, leading to 3 more days of an intellectual marathon.
Here are some of the highlights:
Learning from Nature
It was interesting to see how Janine Benyus‘ research on Biomimicry had apparently contaminated many of the designers and architects at TED Global. Janine’s talk was awe-inspiring, showing many examples where researchers and scientists went to Nature in search of innovation and problem-solving. Later on, designers Ross Lovegrove and Mathieu Lehanneur showed us a great variety of projects inspired by natural shapes and behaviors.
Anthropologist Stefana Broadbent and Food Urbanist Carolyn Steel reflected on the social and urban consequences of the industrial revolution on modern society. Carolyn proposed o new sustainable urban model, which she calls Sitopia, while Eric Sanderson, from the Mannahatta project, showed many views of a lost Manhattan but also a balanced vision for the future. But the most interesting thing was to see how many of these ideas in urban agriculture and local resilience were put into practice by Architect Bjarke Ingels, who delivered an outstanding presentation.
Measure results, not time
Just as Daniel Pink described how many companies are now realizing that employees should not be measured by how many hours they work but by the results of their work (apparently obvious, but not quite), it reminded me of Stefan Sagmeister’s talk on the very first day. Sagmeister explained how every 7 years he closes his design studio and takes a 1-year sabbatical and that most of his ideas come from that period. Very enticing…
The Power of Narrative
Emmanuel Jal and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivered powerful stories from a continent that tends to be highly neglected and misunderstood. Emmanuel’s war child story was emocional and extreme, but his message went beyond a personal testimony, making a wide appeal to the TED community: “The importance of education for me is what I’m willing to die for, because I know what it can do for my people. You’re killing a whole generation by just giving aid. If you want to help, give education”. Besides receiving a standing ovation from the audience, Emmanuel was later that day awarded with €10,000 for his education initiative. I was truly impressed by TED promptness in supporting such an incredible cause. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talked on the last night of TED Global, in the beautiful Sheldonian Theatre, addressing the African stereotype as the result of a narrow westernized view, where one story is many times taken as the whole story.
Impressive photography by Taryn Simon.
I recently returned from Oxford, after speaking at TED Global. The experience was memorable and exhilarating. Here are a few reviews and write-ups of my talk:
The talk should be up on the TED website within a few weeks.
I will be in mid-august in San Sebastian (Spain) for a workshop, part of the EGOVIZ event. Spread over the course of 2 weeks, EGOVIZ will be directed by Bestiario and include participants Ángela Zoss, Fabien Girardin, Marcos Weskamp and myself. The Call for Projects has recently been extended, so feel free to submit yours.
The objective of this workshop is to connect scientific vision with artistic expression via the visualisation of data. In present-day society we live with an overabundance of information. However, obtaining meaningful analysis or relevant reflection can be an especially hard task. Organising information, offering different perspectives, encouraging analysis or bringing that which seemed hidden to light, with the aim of catalysing meaningful reflection are tasks often faced by the artist, at times in the guise of a private investigator and at others armed only with intuition. It seems appropriate, therefore, to provide conceptual and technical tools that enable the artist to tackle their investigations from other perspectives.
Read more @ Turbulence.