Wednesday, 29 September 2010

not all whistles and bells

Professor Colin Burns from Martach visited last monday for a session entitled 'Social aptitude: conversations with real people.'
Colin spoke about the role of designers and the epiphany he had while watching Jamie Oliver’s school dinners TV programme – if ‘untrained’ people can design and make change, what use is a designer?  He suggested that since a designer makes the intangible visible and real, then we can give people the skills to manifest their ideas.  He showed us various methods and techniques to harness the knowledge and understanding that we have (we can never know everything because the world is changing faster than we can learn) and turn this into something tangible and useful. 
We watched a really interesting short video about IDEO (where he worked for 15 years)
which showed a multi disciplinary team working on redesigning the shopping trolley.  What was interesting was their approach which embodied the IDEO commandments of: 1. defer judgement  2. promote wild ideas  3. quantity of quality  4. build on others ideas 5. be visual.  What came across was that innovation comes from playfulness – when it is a given that no idea is a bad idea, people have the freedom to really go for it, and this can seed some really great ideas.  We had the opportunity to put this into practice in the afternoon and I found it really inspiring to see such a rapid progreesion from observations – ideas – prototypes.  As he said better to be quick, dirty and wrong than slow, perfect and late.
Oh and we had some amazing food at lunch…


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