Imagination at Work

What is your preferred way of leaving a meeting, by fireman pole or by slide? Companies that work in the realm of creative innovation have designed environments for their employees that encourage imagination, activity, and fun.

Lego’s Denmark office is such an example. The design of the open ground floor, scattered with couches and Lego displays, encourages interaction amongst designers during the creative process. And when business meetings must take place upstairs, the slide provides a quick get away.

Lego’s employment philosophy is intrinsically tied to their product, proclaiming that, “Creativity is at the heart of the LEGO Group. So we build it systematically into everything we do. In the same playful and highly imaginative way that children transform a pile of bricks into a jumbo jet or a fairytale palace, we bring imagination to work everyday – in the way we go about our jobs, our experience-based approach to learning and our inventive career development.”
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CKS works with Sam Pitroda and the NInC towards a Centre of Design Innovation

February 1, 2012. New Delhi. The National Innovation Council, headed by Sam Pitroda, is working on building twenty educational centers across India that focus on Design and Innovation. In order to accomplish this, they invited several relevant entities, of which CKS is one, to present their ideas and provide their expertise for constructing such a center. CKS presented its proposal for one of these centers today, and looks forward to knowing the outcome.

Fashion with a Breath of Fresh Air

We all wear them: Clothes. We use them to keep warm, exercise, define ourselves, make political statements, but can we also use them to clean up our environment? In an unlikely collaboration, successful fashion designer Helen Storey and polymer chemist Tony Ryan have collaborated to create the world’s first air purifying clothing.


 
 
 
The science has already been used to create self-cleaning windows and paints. When nanoparticles of titanium dioxide come into contact with ultraviolet light, it causes pollutants to break down. By applying this to clothing, this technology can clean the air as we move through it, especially in urban areas, where pollution can cause severe health problems.

 
 
 

What is innovative about Catalytic Clothing, however, is not just the science, but also the democracy of the idea. Rather than attaching the technology to a specific brand, Catalytic Clothing is working with Ecover, a company that makes ecologically friendly cleaning products, to be sold as a fabric softener. Instead of needing a new wardrobe, your existing clothes can be transformed into mobile air purifiers when they are washed. Professor Helen Storey told CNN, “We are empowering people’s existing wardrobes with a technology that will allow them to have a significant impact on the quality of air we breathe.”

the technology works particularly well on jeans

Catylitic Clothing expects to be on the market in the next two years, and is putting forth a series of cultural and artistic demonstrations, such as the “Field of Jeans,” above, to raise awareness about how science and fashion have collaborated to create environmental innovation.

ColourNext Themes: Crystal

‘Crystal’ was the final theme discussed at ColourNext Dialogues, led by a panel of M.P. Ranjan and Shimul Javeri Kadri. Shimul described the theme as ‘beautiful, elegant, and relevant,’ a theme that necessitates reflection, a requestioning of form, space and light. She also spoke of the subtlety inherent to theme, which was also reflected in the associated palette, consisting of colours that were variations in hue rather than highly contrasted. M.P. Ranjan picked up from this and talked about how this theme indicates quality, nuance, and the underlying structure of form, thought, and even colour. He spoke of the fractal shapes and geometrical configurations of the installation as imbibing the sophisticated but natural language of mathematics, which is the basic structure of all forms, objects, and possibly even perceptions.

Participants also discussed how each element of the installation and even the colour palette could stand alone as complex and interesting objects inviting deeper reflection, but that all the component elements also work together to create a harmonious whole. They spoke also of the quality of uniqueness of each element as being integral to the theme, in addition to the lightness and simplicity it managed to convey despite its many complexities.

Associated images along with a description of this trend are given below the fold.
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Designing for Change

That human society is now capable of altering the climate of our earth is broadly known, but how are these changes going to affect the structure of human society? The UK’s Hadley Center for Climate Prevention and Research at the Met Office recently released a report, Climate: Observations, Projections, and Impacts, detailing the predicted changes in weather patterns around the world and the effect those will have on the economy, geography, and pattern of society.


Higher levels of flooding, extreme heat, and water shortages, all predicted if climate change proceeds unchecked, meaning that more and more people will move from rural to urban areas in search of jobs and refuge from more extreme natural cycles. However, cities too will face challenges, and will need to design infrastructure to cope with the earth’s changes.

 

Traditionally, design for weather has not been a priority in urban planning compared to economic development and maintaining high standards of living. For example, coastal cities, which were established for their proximity to ports and waterways, have evolved with economic intention and have not been designed to face changing levels of flooding caused by these economic activities. While the original urban designs may be achieving their material goals, they do so while creating larger problems. Dr. David Dodman, from the International Institute for Environment and Development told CNN, “In places like Delhi, we’re seeing a growing middle class use their wealth to pay for electricity-hungry air-conditioning units, which contribute to global warming, and this of course creates a negative feedback loop.”

Cheonggyecheon River in Downtown Seoul, part of Seoul's Urban Renewal Project

Some cities are, however, redesigning their urban areas with climate change in mind. Seoul is a notable example, where urban designers have undone prior projects, bringing back to the surface an ancient river that had been buried during South Korea’s rapid economic advancement. Simon Reddy explains that, “This creates a wind corridor to it keep cool, and will also help drain water away in times of high rainfall.” Other urban redesign projects include rooftop gardens, which insulate buildings in the winter, keep them cool in the summer, and absorb rainfall, as well as being an oasis of green in an urban jungle.

Climate change, its immediate and secondary effects, require a redesign of urban spaces to accommodate more extreme weather patterns and subsequent migration and change in social patterns. Some cities have joined to create the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and are already working on projects to simultaneously counter and design for global climate change. The challenge of climate change will take forethought, innovation, and creativity to redesign our cities, our patterns of living, and our societal mentalities.

ColourNext 2012: The Process


ColourNext is an innovative trend forecasting initiative for Indian interiors, developed by Asian Paints and conducted in collaboration with the Center for Knowledge Societies. The ColourNext process includes gaining an understanding of emerging societal trends and changes in consumer behavior, and thereafter predicting their impact on design and décor choices. The resultant output includes an in-depth analysis of four prominent societal trends, along with information about relevant social events, media and brand associations, moods, emotions, and an expertly curated colour palette related to each trend.

ColourNext 2012 marks a decade of this work, which has been widely influential in defining colour choices in interior decor over the course of its evolution. This time around, however, certain changes were made to the process in order to make it a more wide-ranging trend forecasting, where the focus was not solely on colour and visual trends, but on larger societal trends.

The process began with preliminary secondary research of online sources, where researchers collected both textual and visual data of prominent changes and news from different industries. Alongside this, researchers also conducted a ‘visual scan,’ a comprehensive record of various kinds of visual data prevalent in everyday contexts, from magazines, newspapers, high fashion and design to hoardings and billboards. They then began to assimilate a realistic picture of what these various changes in society, technology, media, design and culture could mean for visual design and aesthetics.

Seven strong social trends emerged from this phase of data collection, which were then presented to experts during in-depth interviewed in order to validate and refine them. Visual design trends were correlated to these seven societal and lifestyle trend stories, garnered from a visual bank of over 1000 images. 700 of these were selected to be presented as stimuli during ‘creative studio workshops,’ where the team invited experts from a range of different backgrounds to collaboratively predict visual and design trends for the coming year, of which eleven were considered pertinent for the coming year.

This was followed by focused interviews with experts in different industries such as media, space design, architecture and interior decor in order to ground the trends in local happenings, whilst keep global influences in mind. Collaborative creative workshops were held to validate these, followed by a discussion on these trends by a panel consisting of seasoned sociologists and media experts in order to filter these down to the strongest trends.

Thereafter, workshops were held in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, engaging 32 experts and 60 students in various creative settings. These day-long intensive creative studio workshops created a vast pool of fresh visual themes, that were filtered down and fine-tuned to make up the final themes of ColourNext 2012. This happened in eight collaborative workshops where the Asian Paints and CKS teams worked together with colour consultants to cluster and filter the entire set of themes.

The information from all these sessions was collated and presented at Style Leader Workshops, where leaders and design thinkers from various industries like architecture, photography, art-direction, product design, apparel design, media and design education came together to decide upon the best possible thematic visual directions for the year 2012. Once the themes were voted upon during these workshops, the project teams from Asian Paints and CKS were able to finally crystallize all the information into the four major themes being revealed later today, at the ColourNext 2012 launch.

As a final step, the team collaborated with colour consultants to translate the final themes into colour and material palettes. These palettes sought to capture a critical part of the visual expression of every theme as well as the meanings, emotions and moods that themes are meant to express. The launch today will present installations on each of these themes, which will also be the subject of discussion for ColourNext Dialogues, to be held the following day, the 24th of January (see agenda).

Agenda for ColourNext Dialogues 2012

As we mentioned in a post earlier this week, the Center for Knowledge Societies is collaborating with Asian Paints in organizing an event, ColourNext Dialogues 2012, a a first of its kind conclave on colour trends, forecasting and visual directions in Indian society. The conclave, to be held at a restored mill in Byculla, Mumbai on January 24th, 2012, will be an intensive half-day discussion on the visual significance of observed and predicted social trends.

Speakers will Include

gboy rencontre https://mummiesclub.co.uk/bilbord/3348 http://www.iclonerevolution.com/mamon/1967 why not try these out article source chinese american online dating site rencontre furtive cherche homme celibataire en france rencontre digne 04 cherche femme ile de france Shimul Javeri Kadri, Principal Architect, SJK Architects
M.P. Ranjan, Design Thinker and Independent Academic
Aparna Piramal Raje, Columnist, LiveMint
Nien Sao, Colour Specialist and HoD Fashion Dept., Pearl Academy
Wasim Khan, Director, Lemon Design
Valerie Bonnardel, Reader in Experimental Psychology, University of Winchester
Sarita Sundar, Partner, Trapezestudios

The event, moderated by Dr. Aditya Dev Sood, will begin with a walk through the installation spaces, in order to introduce the themes to participants. This will be followed by discussions on the visual, especially colour-related, significance of each of these themes. An agenda for the day is provided below:

10:30 – 11:00 Installation Space Walkthrough

11:00 – 11:10 Welcome address by Aditya Dev Sood

11:10 – 11:20 An Introduction to Colour Next and its Objectives by Mr. Joshua Karthik

11:20 – 11:40 A Dialogic Approach to Colour Trends

11:40 – 12:00 Presentations of Themes by Sneha Raman, CKS

12:00 – 12:30 Interactive Session on Themes

12:30 – 13:50 Panel Discussions on each Theme

13:50 – 14:00 Closing Note and Invitation to Lunch

Participation at ColourNext Dialogues is by invitation only. However, if you are interested in attending, please contact Vedika Khanna at cks@cks.in

On the Design of Politics

So often the intellectual disciplines of politics and design are categorized separately, into the realist and the whimsical, assuming policy design and structuring institutions are the only semi-creative outlets for a political scientist. But even in its most artistic meaning, what is the realm of politics without design? Do states not define themselves with visual images, symbolic of the ideals for which they stand?


Remember the successful propaganda of communist regimes in the USSR and Mao’s China. The very style of the art, typeface and color, is now associated with revolutionary struggle.

Paola Antonelli, for Seed Magazine wrote that “Whether we are aware of it or not, design is in everything around us. Every building, park, city, organization and social project is designed. For those who know how to use it, design can be a critical instrument for governance regimes to illustrate power through elegant, imposing monuments and the rebuilding of cities under new ideologies. Design holds the key to persuasion. Totalitarian regimes rely on design to achieve their objectives through sleek propaganda which is not subject to public accountability. A pluralistic Democracy on the other hand who’s mission isn’t to coerce often doesn’t employ a consistent philosophy on design.”

 

However, as she continues to say, even liberal democratic states are giving more attention to the design of their symbols and institutions (see for example The Hague Design and Government, based in the Netherlands). European Union currency, for example, was a modern adventure in the power of symbols and their implication. Unable to choose historical figures to stand for a united Europe, they settled finally with ambiguous bridges and buildings.

 
 
 
 
 

Design!publiC III asks about the changing relationship between the public and the polity. Can the designs of the public inform states in flux to the needs of the people? What can graffiti from the revolutions of the Arab Spring say about the desires of the people and the redesign of their states?

(source: Foreign Policy Magazine)

Design!publiC Panel Discussion 4: The Theory and Practice of Innovation

15:06 M.P. Ranjan talks about how good design or good innovation is not necessarily about money – it is a matter of thinking about solutions, with passion, empathy, responsibility and commitment. Gives an example of good design in the Daily Dump project by Srishti professor and designer.

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Design!publiC Panel Discussion 3: The Challenge of Start-up Innovation

12:59 Participant: In India, all over, there are so many entrepreneurs. What is interesting is that in India, at forums like this, you don’t see these kinds of entrepreneurs asking for money. Rather, you see startups asking for money.

12:55 Aditya M.: A lot of startups are not thinking about, or even aware of, the fact that they could be working for the public interest, working towards solving some of our grand challenges.

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