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Entries in Polar Opposites (4)

Sunday
Sep142008

Cranbrook / IIT Smackdown, II


A pair of slides from yesterday's presentation by Cranbrook's Scott Klinker and IIT's Jeremy Alexis. Above, IIT aims to root out inefficiencies in process, while Cranbrook asks, "But what will it look and feel like?



Above, radical craft: genetic code-generated silverware. At this point in the presentation, the discussion turned toward what we might call digital baroque.

I found the presentation compelling, with both sides—IIT's down-to-earth approach and Cranbrook's "things with attitude"—represented well. The result confirmed what I've believed all along: it's not either / or, and we can stop the name-calling. There is a valid place for both.

Sunday
Sep142008

Cranbrook / IIT Smackdown



This morning, Cranbrook's Scott Klinker (above, wrapped in Eames' Design Q & A diagram) and IIT's Jeremy Alexis revisited a debate between the institutions' dueling ideologies that had occurred between Michael McCoy and Chuck Owen some years ago in ID Magazine. Very thought provoking. Fuel for many upcoming discussions, to be sure, with my students. A few aspects of the debate:

things with attitude : strategies that transform organizations
exploring personal voice : improving organizational performance
cultural innovation : business innovation
patrons : clients
social value : value to the organization

I know this is cryptic, but it's late. More later.

Saturday
Sep132008

Mobility Vision Integration Process Workshop


Today at Polar Opposites Geoff Wardle presented the Mobility Vision Integration Process, a method developed by Lloyd Walker, Geoff, Andy Ogden, Heidrun Mumper-Drum and David Muyers at Art Center. It's a way to run futures scenarios brainstorming workshops using a set of cards that they have developed. This video was shot at Art Center's Sustainability Summit this past Spring, where the mVIP cards were rolled out for the first time. In it, Lloyd Walker describes the mVIP process and you can see how we used the cards.

In today's workshop, a team looks over the "hand" of cards they've been dealt that describes the future world. The team gets an understanding of this world for a few minutes and considers the implications of the scenario. 

Left to right: Ron Pierce in the black shirt, Peter Treadway, standing, and Mark Dziersk, at far right. My apologies to the other two designers! I've forgotten who you are!


Next, four cards are dealt that describe the enterprise the team works for, the enterprise's axiom, the customer, and a constraint. The team considers all cards and brainstorms design solutions that address the circumstances set out in the cards.


Finally, one member of the team (in this case, Los Angeles designer Max Beach) presents the design solution to the rest of the teams.

We always have a good time running this workshop. It's a break from the tedium of PowerPoint, and provides a great networking opportunity. When we ran it this Spring, we broke the entire conference out into groups. It was great.

I talked to a number of educators who wanted to check out the cards as a brainstorming and team-building tool for their students.

Be sure to check out the Flash demo we have on line. You can deal yourself (or your students) a "hand," print it out on a letter-sized sheet (using the button at the top right), and have a hard-copy for reference during the exercise. You can deal yourself a random hand or you can select the cards.

Check it out—try it with your team, your firm, or your students, and let us know what you think!

Saturday
Sep132008

Top o the Morning



Toasting the morning sun with the only liquid that makes sense in the desert—water—in my new Kor hydration vessel, courtesy of the folks at Eastman. They had presented the Kor story at Art Center a few months ago and told an abridged version here at Polar Opposites Thursday morning. We run materials-based explorations in our Color, Materials, and Trends Exploration Lab (CMTEL), and are scheming up a plan to do one with Eastman soon. More later... I've got to meet Geoff Wardle (whom you saw flying a screaming monkey in the previous post) to help him run a workshop later today with a tool we've developed in Grad ID that enables anyone to run a futures scenario workshop, the deck of mVIP cards. More about that later, too.