20 Apr 2007

planning department's door sign

pic from here.

another quote

I'm in the slightly alarming position of hosting weekly so-called "creative meetings" for my colleagues at Oricum (as part of the brand new organization that we've more or less started to implement). Since this position is more than challenging, i've been spending some time lately thinking about how to develop the meetings. And then i came across this, and realised that it might actually be far easier than i anticipated :).

pic from here.


pic from here.

19 Apr 2007


is shiny, shiny actually a trap ?

i am a huge fan of Sharon Sarmiento's blog, because it's not only one of the most inspirational blogs i know, but also one of those blogs that really brighten your day, no matter how badly you thought things were going.

One of her latest posts advises us to avoid the "shiny, shiny trap" when it comes to productivity tools and not lie to ourselves that the prettiness of our organizational tools is going to make us more productive. But the truth is that i have been thinking about this and i tend to disagree, at least as far as i am concerned.
Both my office desk and my home desk are usually full of colourful, maybe silly stuff and experience tells me that they're not there just to make sure that my sight is happy, but they also help me get more ideas. I choose most of them for their story, or for their potential of becoming inspiration enhancers.

For example, i have a National Geographic pencil holder, because i read and watch very many things developed by National Geographic. And it happened many times, while thinking about work projects, to get a glimpse of the small giraffe pencil holder and remember a very interesting fact i had previously came across on NG, and twist and turn it into an idea for the precise work project. It fairly works like the famous Proust cake. And so does my current Justice League pencilbox, also enhanced with astronomy data for kids.

Then, I always choose my notebooks, not only according to cuteness, but also according to what they stand for, and the story behind them. Just for fun, i might say that whoever read books such as Paul Auster's Oracle Night knows that a lot of intricate ideas can come from the story of a particular notebook. I currently write in a Kukuxumusu notebook. Kukuxumusu is a very cool company from Spain, which specialises in a particular type of product and shirts design, and whose name means "flea's kiss" in Basque. The company was actually started by three friends who made t-shirts as souvenirs of the bull-running and bull fights at Pamplona's San Fermín festival of 1989. It further grew sticking to a very attracting and funny design. If i buy a pencil with random stickers/images on it, i try to figure out the story linking the images, and that's a creative exercise and so on. I have a Perfect Cows desk wardrobe, and the cows' faces are so cute, that they inevitably make me smile, and i am obviously more productive when confronted with good mood inducers. And the list could go on with many other examples, but i think you got the picture.

What i'm trying to say is that inspirational objects around me actually make a difference when it comes to my productivity, and while i cannot extend this as a fact to the others, i sure think that being surrounded by such stimuli will help one's creativity in ways in which simple, common blank stationery and accessories will not. In the same way in which the smallest detail or idea can sometimes make the biggest difference.
pic from here.

18 Apr 2007

the first two weeks

the first two weeks in a new place are simply horrible for me. i wake up full of life, and i whistle happily on my way to work, cause i have that feeling of fresh challenge. but as soon as i get there, i get a sort of an "adapting fobia" - i'm almost terrified of opening my mouth in public, i feel numb and stupid, i make silly mistakes that make me hate myself, and, on the overall, i look at everything with awe, while i feel good for nothing. all i want is for the dreaful first two weeks to pass. If i had a little bit more talent, i'd probably draw what's going on, just like Gwen brilliantly does. But when i get home and think about the day, what turns up on my sketch notebook is more like in a Czech animation that i totally love - Maria Prochazkova's „Oreion“, where a little girl is trapped in bed, cause she's sick, and she looks at the world in a cute manner and develops a collage-diary. And the only constant thought that i get while playing with images and sticking them in notebooks is that i should simply blog more.
Image taken from this great site, found via Gavin.

16 Apr 2007

design conspiracy podcast

Doercast episode 6 out now with Ben and Kingsley about whom i've spoken a lot recently. An enticing talk about design in general and The Design Conspiracy in particular. I hope you enjoy it !

15 Apr 2007

old times

I've always been fascinated by history (especially ancient history), but, unfortunately, when highschool ended, for one reason or another, i kind of stopped reading history books or watching too many history documentaries. Of course, watching movies took me to historical references more than once, and so did plenty of articles related to politics or anthropology. It's just that i didn't feel like i had a coherent contact with the subject anymore, i felt like i was gathering more random information than gaining actual knowledge and i forgot significant dates and details, and it was overall frustrating to feel like i'm losing touch with something i love so much.

That was until recently, when i came across a Pierre Boulle book called "L'archéologue et le mystère de Nefertiti" and i started reading it. Being pure fiction, the book made me angry enough at myself to realise that it would have been much more indicated to read a Zahi Hawass book on the matter instead, just as it would be much more appropriate to start reading serious history books like i used to. Said and done. And i'm so happy cause all the passion came back. I'm currently reading a National Geographic book called "Visual History of the World", which is a very good guideline, a perfect reminder and refresher of previuos knowledge, as well as a very enticing invitation to find out more and more interesting aspects of each period. Discovery Civilization also provides some nice daily insight, especially due to the links between modern methods and old mysteries. And there are also history and archaeology blogs, something i've been only recently emerging into.

Well, and since everybody says i cannot say anything without referring to some animations as well, here's one i particularly liked, because it gives life to the Bayeux Tapestry (via bread and circuses):

ego moment

Apparently my profile is featured in this week's Metropotam series of profiles. And i want to use this post to thank Gina for having had so much patience with my annoying lack of pictures and of willingness to appear in any. In the end, however, i did find a couple of pics, so now i'm all there into the open. The article is in Romanian.

11 Apr 2007

lonely music

crazy people

this weekend i watched and totally loved a 1990 movie called Crazy people. The movie is a comedy about advertising. A very insightful one, i think. Cause it speaks about honesty and common sense when thinking about and expressing a brand, rather than the regular overpromises and "shouting" that so much advertising still practices. And there's another great point in the movie: if we spend more time in the office, knowing the "people formerly known as the audience" only from research papers, and never actually from real life, and if we stay away from the actual interaction tht takes place between people and the brands we're trying to communicate, in the end we're very likely not to be able to find a single word expressing a powerful, honest approach. while a small bunch of crazy folks, who haven't been previously brainwashed by "boardroom meetings" and "advertising office hours" and hundreds of pages of research and all that are more likely to twist and turn a simple brand truth, maybe also use a relevant consumer insight and actually make a difference.

5 Apr 2007

APG Romania

i must admit i was really nervous before the planner meeting we had last night. very excited, but also nervous. cause i was not very sure about how things would turn out. But they turned out great. I think it was by far the most constructive meeting we've had until now, and it was also the meeting with most people showing up. And, with a little bit of luck and implication, we'll have a local APG running at the end of May.

Stefan proved to be a great moderator, while Razvan kept on answering all sorts of questions related to administrative and legal issues. Which helped us finish quite quickly with the logistics-related details. We're going to have to collect some money and Razvan has already set up a bank account where each of us can "supply funds" (i'll make sure the data reaches everyone present last night). And Razvan will also help us with other such formalities, while the social headquarters will be Bogdana's place. Since we agreed on the end of May being the deadline for the formal birth of the association, each person interested is supposed to read the status of APG London until our next meeting, when we will discuss how to adapt it.

We further shared some ideas about how this APG Romania is going to help local planning and planners - hopefully, we're going to have monthly meetings with an established agenda (planning-related topics, that is), we're going to share case studies, methods, presentations, create content and so on. In other words, i think it will be about getting to know each other and discuss and learn from each other. So we can even further organize breakthrough trainings, pompous events, creative planning awards, as well as set up an APGR fashion-wear line :)).

Until we get there however, i'm really glad people made it last night and i hope things work out as we planned :). Bogdana wrote about the meeting here, and, as she says, in case you're interested in becoming a member, just drop a word. And thanks to Razvan for helping us out with the location.