« Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. » (John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, vv.49-50)

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12.10.12.

Frieze Art Fair.

One of the biggest art fairs of the whole world.

Many thoughts passed by my brain while I visited it.

I was wondering why taking us (MACE students) to an Art Fair, instead of the Tate Modern or another Contemporary Art Gallery. Why a fair?

The art market assignes the art object a value for the materials which it is made of, for the technics which it is designed with, for the use which it could be made for, and for the idea which lies behind it. All those factors are connected to the social and historical background in which the art objects are put.

We work with the business and the creative market. We are supposed to manage with the design of new objects and products, which should be commercialized.

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Although what are we going to sell? Creative objects/ products or the arousal which they cause?

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As we are designers (of apps, clothes, websites, accessories, hi-technologies or whatever), first of all we sell our ideas, our concepts.

The ideas need communication to be spread.

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The art market suggestes us to contestualize our ideas into our society and contemporaneity, as we have to meet the needs and desires of the people of our society and contemporaneity.

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As a relative remark, the communication is the vehicle which gives us the possibility to listen, observe and analyze them, and, in the meanwhile, to spread our ideas/ objects/ products.

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Puss in boots

if even a cat likes to wear a pair of boots, it should mean that shoes are very important.Image

Last Friday at MACE we had a lecture of DesignThinking, and we had to prototype a new shoe with team- works.

Fist step: why a shoe?

I never took shoes in great consideration, I always thought they were just like the other clothes. If I had the possibilities to buy more clothes just for vanity, probably I would buy earings or bracelets.

Otherwise we stay on our feet for the longer time of our day. That is why every person we (me and my team) interviewed about their shoes described theirs as “comfortable”. It makes sense.

Second step: create a “Persona”.

If you have to prototype, you should need to do it. We based on the details of the persons we interviewed, and then we tried to focus on their particularities and needs.

Franco, half British and half Italian, Londoner, 24, last year student of Architecture/ worker part-time, smart, polite,usually  goes to the pub with his friends on Fridays/ Saturdays.

Third step: which shoe fits the Persona?

Franco lives in London: he needs a shoe he could use for the whole year, with every kind of season, temperature, weather.

Franco is very busy, and often he does not have time to go home from University or from his job to clean himself and change his clothes before going out: he would like a shoe he could wear during the day and the evening.

Franco is an Architect: he likes aesthethics and tidiness. He would like a minimal shoe.

Forth step: what could drive him to buy a new shoe?

Franco is smart and polite. He reads the newspapers, he knows about the troubles of our world. He could be interested in a brand which tries to help the world by giving some money to the developing countries, or to the technology innovation, to the social integration, to the water and environment preservation, or to the public health.

Anyway we can not know if those reasons were enough: this is the challenge of the Design Thinking. You never know. But you can always try.

Creativity lies in a children’s playground

If you are thinking this is a blog post for nannies, you should be wrong.

Hopscotch

Otherwhise, perhaps you should not: creativity could improve every kind of job.

At this point you might be confuse. As a conseguence, it is necessary to define what creavity means for me.

I am from Brescia, a small city between Milan, Bergamo and Verona, in the North of Italy. In the Italian language, “to create” is translated as “creare”. I studied Ancient Greek and Latin at my High School, and I can remember that “κραίνω” meant “realizing”, and the Sansckrit root “KAR-“, which is the same of “crescere” “to grow”, meant litterally “the Creator”. I remember that this meaning surprised me. I have always connect the word “create” with some artistic, intellectual and abstracted behaviour before, while I found  it was related to an action, “realize”.

Two weeks ago it happened something which had the same weird effect to me.

I was at my 48 hours workshop for the Induction for my MA in Film Making & the Creative Economy. Me and my team, as a startup, were managing to design a mobile application for smart phones. It was headed for movie lovers and social media followers.

We were actually very busy- working, trying to follow all the steps of the analysis, from the target to the assumptions, to the design of the paper prototype, to the business model, and I really enjoyed and found it very interesting, useful and precious for my future.

When we had a break Janet, one of my team- members, shown us a children’s playground she helped a friend to build in her Country, Malta. They made everything for free, just to give to the children a new place to enjoy together instead staying alone at home playing with their computers. The area was on the beach and it was full of simple but beautiful attractions. There was also a colourful Hopscotch: that was the element which made me thinking more.

A beach is a beach, and the town already had it. A playground is a playground, and I am pretty sure there were at least one already in the town. Every child could already enjoy both of them. Every child could already go there and play with his friends. Rationally the community of the town did not need to build a playground on the beach. But it was created, and now the children could see the beach in a new way, with new attractions, also by rediscover an old game like Hopscotch. And I am pretty sure as well that they are going to use it.

During the Induction Eewei Chen (@ultraman), Design Director at BskyB and workshop guru, told us a lot of times that we had to be focused on our Jeff, our “Persona”, that we should fix its characteristics and its behaviours. We live in a world which is always calling for our work. The Users of our apps could be everywhere. As a conseguence there could be billions of different apps we could design. Otherwise the secret of their success should be to find some fields in which apparently there is no need of us, just because those fields do not exist yet. The secret of the creative thinking is to see the invisible but important needs of people. To look at what’s below.