7 Oct 2008
4 Oct 2008
As childhood gaming faded away and the responsibility of endless secondary school homework took over most of our spare time, we’d often find ourselves in unfortunate circumstances of Math exercises and Geography lessons eroding our relationship with the Lego pieces.
This way, by the time we reached 14, the amazing pieces that challenged our imagination were long forgotten. And they stayed that way until last week, when I spent quite some hours evaluating items in the children’s department of a big retail store.
The long hours of close examination made me draw two main conclusions.
One (and I know I’ve thought about this before, but it just seemed so much more striking): it really is no wonder that kids are getting smarter and smarter, and that’s not exclusively due to computers. It also has a lot to do with the intriguing games one can find nowadays in children’s stores. Games that invite you to discover the world in its various forms and aspects, games that stimulate your ability to form complex constructions and structures, games that challenge your imagination and invite you to make the most out of your creativity. Games that have been developed by physics institutes and art labs and all sorts of other pretentious structures.
Two: my passion for using Lego bricks is slowly finding its way back into my life. Therefore, I couldn’t help buying myself a great Ferrari Lego from the Racers collection, which was followed by several Bionicle acquisitions. And I keep on finding reasons to go check out the Lego shelves almost daily. Anyway.
The thing is that reexamining my own Lego memories obviously made me curious in some different ways: am I the only Lego nostalgic around? was Lego a significant part in more nineties childhoods? are there other 20+ Romanians who have found the joy of Lego once again? or some who’ve never lost it ? is there a local community of Lego-builders? and I could go on and on, but I guess the point is made.
Happily, browsing local blogs and forums started answering my questions. As well as revealing some rather neat realities. It seems that many 20+ (and even 30+) guys have great childhood recollections concerning Lego sets, which they’d mix and recombine and use and reuse according to the free will of their imagination. Moreover, discussions around Lego apparently not only wake up memories, but also stimulate the parental instincts of these people, who are pretty much keen to pass on the Lego flame, rituals and secrets to their kids.
One very pleasant surprise was to come across a young guy in Cluj-Napoca, who is a Lego guru and who is making great efforts to build a strong local community of Lego embracers (he set up a Lego forum here, and you also google numerous other topics opened by him on other ro forums). His name is Adrian Florea, and his own creations are interesting and ingenious enough to have brought him several prizes, interviews, as well as an admirable position of Lego ambassador. the photo below is taken from boingboing.
Until I get to reach great Lego achievements, I must also link to an ArtLab research project that used the bricks as a means of expression and exploration.
3 Oct 2008
one of the workshops, however, had a particular impact on me. it was an ethnography workshop, introducing some general aspects of traditional life and culture. my mind made a lot of connections, some of my old passionate interests reactivated, and i decided i wanted to dig further on.
So, starting this October, i also am a student in Ethnology (University of Bucharest), as well as hopefully involved in other related stuff. I have no idea where this new thing will take me, but it surely seems like an interesting and challenging path. Especially since the professors that I’ve met so far seem really passionate about sharing their expertise, as well as to listening to our ideas.
12 Aug 2008
11 Aug 2008
5 Aug 2008
31 Jul 2008
29 Jul 2008
6 May 2008
pic from here.
14 Apr 2008
8 Apr 2008
31 Mar 2008
30 Mar 2008
29 Mar 2008
24 Mar 2008
19 Mar 2008
12 Mar 2008
- ideas need to be pushed and pulled, that's what makes them eventually work
- companies are like jelly: they like the concept of "innovation", because it's a buzz word, they spend endless hours in meeting and workshops discussing how to innovate, and yet, they sometimes completely fail to change, because they prove so reluctant to change after all (this sounded awfully familiar)
- innovation is rarely about a "big idea", but about a series of small ideas brought together in a new and original way
- crucible event (that's why observing people in their homes makes a lot of sense - design is about making things better, and most times those things it needs to fix or take into consideration are purely intuitive, therefore people will not be able to rationalize them within focus groups) -> knowledge (if we ask a 5 year old to design us the car of the future, his imagination has no limits, and he's very likely to come up with something with lots of wheels and engines and stuff, because he doesn't have the knowledge to know it won't work) -> idea -> belief -> embodiment
- a brief is a collection of client prejudices
- design is about making things better in a relevant and functional way, which is why designers are interested in everything, and scoping society, science and economy is vital to gain little insights, as well as big pictures
- look rather than see
- anthropology comes before technology, because people and more important than things
- the product is where the brand keeps its promises (a brand manifests itself through much more than just communication and packaging)
- it's essential to learn how to deal with how others manipulate your brand (coke versus mentos example, dove camapign for real beauty example)
- if we solve all these small problems we've identified, we're gonna have a very successful product, even though it means harder work
- "problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created" (einstein)
- you see things and you ask "why?"; but a designer dreams of things that never were and asks "why not?"
11 Mar 2008
10 Mar 2008
9 Mar 2008
7 Mar 2008
Another thing that impressed me were the recollections from the beginning of her career, when she used to go together with her theater group on tour a lot, in order to play on the stages of village cultural chambers. So they were supposed to act in famous plays in front of peasants who were eating seeds and commenting all the time. Which she thought to be a very good experience. Because keeping such an audience engaged meant developing very powerful performances, and improving her communication skills a lot. She did not take it as an ordeal (although it sometimes was), but as a challenge, because those people were not stupid, but simply uneducated.
Oh, and she has this theory that each audience receives the show it deserves, because the artists on stage unconsciously react to the vibes they receive from the audience. Which means that people in the audience are always an important part of the show, even if the show is not necessarily interactive. This only comes as a further argument to support my earlier point about live performances and their audience, and what brands should learn from it.
6 Mar 2008
13 Feb 2008
- fuzzy logics
- Plato's Theaetetus
- possible worlds
- how to make the most of the "how to listen to music" brilliant workshop i'm attending
- getting back in great mental shape
- turning this blog into an explorations blog
and other stuff, of course :)
24 Jan 2008
21 Jan 2008
17 Jan 2008
16 Jan 2008
- people who talk about what "the consumer" thinks and wants, although the only thing they ever do in order to find that out is to read the ppt developed by the research agency.
- people who think that "the consumers" are a sort of weird creatures kept in bottles, and not human beings who are blatantly similar to them.
- non-bloggers who are afraid of bloggers, because they never had the curiosity to at lest try to understand how the latter work
- people who still ask if publishing something a post on a public blog means making that something public and available for everybody (?!?)
- people who don't want to listen to any complaint about the brand they manage
- people who don't understand what teamwork means and how that functions (by the way, it's very easy to spot people who've never done any competitive sport in their life from)
- continuous lack of sleep
10 Jan 2008
8 Jan 2008
Sometimes it just happens: you get into something, and you slowly drift away from yourself and what you're really passionate about, by complying with crappy places, crappy people, crappy situations. But it's crazy and stupid and against everything i believe in and stand for. Cause i cannot really change the world if i complain more and more and don't even change what's crappy around myself.