I wrote this article for la ciudad viva months ago, which was very helpful for me to establish the foundations of thinkbig lab and to begin with this blog-collaborative agency, that is why it has the honour to be the first post. I have said to establish the foundations, but i hope that they will be always changing.
As Debord said in The Society of the Spectacle, only the moments of change are real, the rest is frozen history. All of us begin to assimilate that we are living in a time of huge changes. The economic situation has led to an ideological crisis and new (or not so new) technologies are leading to an excellent context to try to transform our reality and improve it.
I decided to write on this subject after seeing this TED by Tim Brown, which try to come round the designers to think big, to set aside the “cool” and ergonomics and turn to the really important issues.
Creativity has recovered a very important position in society, and as architects we should focus our skills to new challenges, whether they are related to the construction or not. The design or architecture thinking may be applicable to other problems. Not only deal with form and space but give formal and spacial solutions for services, experiences and organizations. Health services, education, mobility in the cities, emergency architecture, reverse innovation, organizational design, etc. The speed of change is forcing us to look not only to new ways to solve problems but to new problems to solve.
Talking about all this with a friend, he asked me (copied directly from the gmail chat):
How can we explain design thinking or architectural thinking not to seem a show off of the architect? Is it actually valid? Why? What is architectural thinking? What differentiates it from other ways to think? What does it make worth just now? Is not because we have no work?
I think we need to respond adequately all these questions otherwise with one question they will make you collapse.
For now it is very difficult to answer all these questions, but must be done as we go along while we carry out projects in this direction. Right now, we can mention a couple of ideas, knowledge and manage creative processes, and be a professional amateur:
+ Creative processes.
¨… the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the both models, but is superior to each…consider the problems as a whole rather than split them and try to resolve in individual fractions¨ definition by Roger Martin (Dean of the Rotman School of Management) on the integrative thinking.
Brainstorming, prototyping, or think with the hands, visual thinking, empathy, optimism, experimentation, collaboration and integrated thinking are concepts and basic tools to deal with the problems from new perspectives. Issues which never have been faced with a firm approach from this methodology.
+ Professional amateur.
“…This hollistic perspective also needs a lateral vision. As great ideas can be discovered in diverse and unexpected places, we need to collaborate in new and surprising ways. We believe that the best ideas come from crashing, combining and contrasting disciplines and perspectives, and technology is enabling us to do this in very different ways. At IDEO, we often involve disperse and eclectic networks of consumers and experts in creating and evaluating ideas. The effect is sometimes fusion, and sometimes fision, but the result is always valuable…” The Future of Innovation is Hollistic and Networked. Tom Hulme (IDEO)
As non-specialists or professionals amateurs we are empowered to act in very different situations, jumping between scales and disciplines.
I close the post with this video where Uffe Elbaek, founder of The Kaospilot, explains how he realized that he must set up a business school based on creativity. As he emphasizes that signs of change, both in society and in us, are weak. What we have to do is stay alert.
samples and references:
Ideas4all. Building The Global Brain.
Disonancias@ADVA.TV3: Zoomind Maps
IDEO | A Design and Innovation Consulting Firm
Uffe Elbaek: Be the Best for the World
Liberal Arts and the Bottom Line – Business – The Atlantic
Design Thinking – Articles – News – IDEO
Reverse innovation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The Future Of Innovation is Holistic And Networked” by Mr Tom Hulme
Why Design Matters – BusinessWeek
What is Design Thinking Anyway? : Observatory: Design Observer
Reinventing the MBA: 4 Reasons to Mix Business With Design Thinking | Fast Company
Tim Brown urges designers to think big | Video on TED.com
Juan freire: El valor de la diversidad: consenso y conflicto para la innovación
The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm . Tom Kelley, Jonathan Littman, Tom Peters.
Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value. Thomas Lockwood .
Change by Design. Tim Brown.
Translated by Ran Chen
[...] THINKBIG LAB has been launched a few days ago with a very with a very interesting post called simply “think big”, originally published in La Ciudad Viva. The following is a passage from that article: [...]