Monday, February 02, 2009

PSFK Good Ideas Salon

I went to this. It made parts of my brain start whirring, which was nice. It also bored the hell out of me at times. Here's some of my notes with links:

Mark Earles did a good talk that resulted in me writing down this:
Book: Why most things fail
Another book: Everything's an offer
A photographer can tell which shot is 'the shot' instinctively. Partly because it feels familiar. Relating to the thinking in Dave Ingvar's Memory of the future.

Good Ideas from London.
Wasn't that many good ideas unfortunately. Although I liked the bit about London having a culture of interested people gathering to discuss ideas. And how we can take for granted how easy it is to reserve a space above a pub for free. Something you don't get in say New York.
Need to check out the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road.

Eva from Troika
She was good and Troika's work is great. Although I had seen most of it before.
I liked the story of a guy selling hot dogs who used a public art installation where you could text messages to be spoken by a computer to advertise his merchandise.

Good ideas in Design
Cameron made me really want to go to Matter. Speakers in the floor so you feel the music around you and in you.
Coralie Bickford-Smith introduced a project to LCC students called 'Stop designing, start playing'. The intention was to change focus from the end product to the process. Which I think is a very smart approach for anyone. Thinking about the end product of something you're just starting is, by definition, impossible, so you therefore think of other end products and already you're thinking unoriginally.
Kate Moross was very smart. No nuggets, but she definitely 'gets it'.
And Nik's beard was looking excellent. He also tried to reframe the discussion, because the word 'design' is fairly leading. His argument was that we tend to think of design as a visual thing, whereas often design is simply problem solving that sometimes manifests itself visually.

Richard Banks form Microsoft was very good. He talked about digital heirlooms, which have ambivalent thoughts towards so won't say anything yet. But I shall follow his blog because I like his brain.

Christian Nold's Biomapping work is great. Mood/emotion mapping basically. But I'd seen it before. A theme in his work was technology's relevant/unnecessary role as a mediator for human emotion. Blurry lines.

The mobile and youth panels were pretty awful. There were some decent, bright people on them, but the 'debates' were framed in completely the wrong way leading to very uninteresting conversations. 'Youth' is a mindset. Technology changes things but we're still driven by the same things we always have been. I wanted to burst during this one. Fortunately Matt Jones was amusing enough to lighten the mobile one and Paul Graham was speaking some sense in challenging the use of the word youth. Eesh.

Colin from Punch Drunk was great. If you haven't seen Punch Drunk's work, you MUST. Not online, in words and flat pictures. But in the flesh. In fact I'm not even going to link to it. You have to work a little to appreciate the experiences they put on. ok, here's one link to something I wrote about one of their things. Also check out Tin Horse theatre.

OK, I'm about done. There was some other stuff too, but my fingers are tired. Simon Waldman showed that the Guardian - who were hosting the event - definitely know what they're talking about. Their plans to introduce 'database journalism', opening their research to the public so we can delve deepr than the article was very interesting.

Man, does anyone even read my long posts?

Thanks for the event, Piers. It was worth going to. I think panel discussions are very hard to do right, but I think maybe they would benefit from having a tighter purpose. Maybe get everyone on it to arrive with an answer to a better defined question. Just my opinion.

p.s. Why does everyone try to look so cool for their picture in the event brochure? It was quite amusing seeing the real versions of everyone while looking at their 'Blue Steel' profiles ;)

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Blogger StyleSniper said...

Appreciate the notes Andy. Didn't catch the morning myself so good to get a grip on what got your attention. I agree with your point on possibly making the purpose of such events to deliver a more considered answer to a better defined question. Thnks

6:51 pm  
Blogger Paul G said...

Andy, I'd be interested to get more detail from you about your view of the youth panel, given I was on it (!)

A 'better framed debate' sounds like your desire, but I'd love to hear what that might have looked like, for future talks/panels/chats.

Drop me a note some time?


10:46 pm  
Blogger Andy Whitlock said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Good to call me out on that Paul - it's very easy to sit back and criticise.

I do have some ideas.I'll try to put them down in a way that doesn't make me look like an arsehole.

9:37 am  
Blogger Piers Fawkes said...

Thanks for these comments. Am sorry to hear that you didn't rate the mobile and youth panels.

I'd disagree about the idea to have a tighter brief. The Good Ideas Salons are supposed to be about spitting out as many ideas - small and big as possible. All panels were well prepared before hand.

The reality is that sometimes you're going to like a panel, sometimes you're going to dislike one. Often on a subective level. That's why we make all the talks short and sweet. If one or two turns you off there are nine or ten other talks that turn you on.

Appreciate the comments though. I'll try harder if we come back to London.

9:59 pm  

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