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NaBloPoMo

3 Nov

November isn’t just about moustaches. Perhaps the female version, just because it’s associated with BlogHer, November is MaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month.

They  say daily habits are the source of creativity so I’m going to try it.

For now, this daily content creation is new to me so I’m going to introduce another project I started on working on, trying my hand at curation.

I started a digital birdhouse collection. It’s been interesting to see how narrow my tastes are, favouring wood, natural materials, and especially white ceramic forms.

It’s fun watching the collection grow, learning about the multitude of birdhouse designers out there, and cultivating the desire to make some of my own. I like it when digital beginnings lead to real world events! I look forward to more of that.

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The Next 100 Days

2 Nov

During the summer, I completed a Michael Beirut inspired design project, repeating the same creative act for 100 days. Celebrating the domesticated landscape around me, I took flower pictures and edited them with instagram.

As a result of the project, I became one of those people who couldn’t walk by flowers without stopping. It was rewarding to have the delicate details jump out in the midst of the overheated city.

Noe that fall is here, I am missing the summer weather and the project. Will have to embark on a new project for winter.

Here are my top 5 favourites of the collection. What will your project be?

 

Just Say Yes

20 Oct

 

Have you ever had a great idea of yours immediately rejected? Or do you find yourself shaking your head when faced with opinions or ideas you haven’t heard before? Researchers have found that people tend to react negatively to new ideas. Novelty can triggers feeling of uncertainty and discomfort. This “anti-creativity bias” often leads us to dismiss new and good ideas for tried and true solutions that we are comfortable with.

“Uncertainty also makes us less able to recognize creativity, perhaps when we need it most,” states the study. Yet we know we need innovation. Science and technology developments make lives better and easier while being highly profitable. We do embrace innovation eventually. For example, Steve Jobs had to become the CEO of Apple twice before achieving mainstream success.

So now that we recognize this reaction but that it is limiting, what do we do? So can we change this instinctive reaction to novelty? The Rules of Improv, as summarized by Tina Fey in Bossypants, provide a ready made solution. When engaging in an improvised dialogue, always being by responding affirmatively, then add something of your own. Not a question, but a statement. Finally, enjoy the process. There is no right or wrong, but my continuing happy accidents will occur.

1. Agree – Always agree and say yes

  • Respect what your partner has created
  • Start from an open-minded place

2. Yes, And – Agree, and add something of your own

  • Don’t be afraid to contribute
  • Always make sure to add something to the discussion

3. Make Statements – Whatever the problem, be part of the solution

  • Don’t ask questions all the time
  • Offer opinions and suggestions

4. There are no mistakes, only opportunities

  • Many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been beautiful, happy accidents

By following these steps, we can not only begin to embrace new ideas but begin to build on them. It is so much more rewarding to create and contribute than disagree and criticize. Let’s all be part of the solution, whatetever the proble.

image via Shepard Fairey

Sources:

Mueller, J. S., S. Melwani and J. A. Goncalo. 2011. The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas. In press at Psychological Science.

Catt, M. People are biased against creative ideas, studies find. Cornell University press release, August 25, 2011.

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Cleveland!

3 Aug

 

My source for this video remarked that it is

symbolic of how clueless certain people in Washington are.

If that is a commentary on inadequate and outdated social and economic policy, I agree.

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Human Geography

21 Feb

Mapping is a powerful tool for visualizing and understanding connections and context. I have shared maps that imitate life and life imitated my maps.

Beyond the apparent geography and proximity, maps expose a range of subterranean information. For example, creative uses of mapping to investigate social inclusion. 

Adding a beauty to the complexity of maps, Matthew Cusick uses maps as source material for collages. Inspired by topography, he likes to “catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it.”

The textured and intricate assemblages highlight the intangible aspects of maps. Seeing freeway maps take on their three-dimensional form brings to the forefront the influence infrastructure has on our cities and our lives. For me, Geronimo, is the most thought-provoking of the works, directly addressing issues that are still raw and unresolved. 

via Jason Hilgefort via oddity central

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Fake Plastic Trees

13 Jan

 

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Pop-up Restaurant

11 Jan

An enterprising restauranteur has turned the impending demolishing of a building into an opportunity. John Fraser is taking advantage of reduced rent to create an unconventional pop-up restaurant. The temporary nature of the project necessitates frugality and creativity so the operation has been stripped down to the essentials and focuses on the purpose of a restaurant – getting food on the table. Some uncommon solutions include having diners reset tables for the next party, a monthly menu and decor overhaul and backing through Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects. It will be interesting to see What Happens When.

This convergence of creativity, collective investment and entrepreneurship may be the hallmarks of current economic reality. This model can be applied to other businesses as well. While starting an officeless business is one approach, temporary sites also present unique opportunities, especially to test ideas. As stated by Frank Bruni

Obligatory resourcefulness has given way to revolutionary thoughts.

What Happens When is located at 25 Cleveland Place (Kenmare Street), NYC.