We spend a lot of our time deep in exploring and ‘solving’ our clients’ design problems so we like to make sure we take time to engage with creative processes and activity with no link to our work or even sometimes an outcome.
Our goal is simply to be part of a creative process, think differently for a bit and have fun. It’s usually spontaneous and as far as possible, original. Our latest effort was a little exercise we called #100shots.
How it worked (made up the day before)
- We split up for one hour
- Take 50 photos on the phone anywhere in Canberra
- Come back together in the office – print all photos and stick them all up on a wall randomly
- (Admire how great our job is that we can do this)
- Reflect on what we’ve taken and look for themes and patterns – visual or content or whatever
- Whittle the photos down into themes
What happened that was great?
- Great creative tension thanks to a blank canvas
- It felt like we were in a reality tv show (think Amazing Race NOT The Shire)
- Switched off for 2.5 hours with nothing to do but this exercise (no social media, no filters, just take and talk)
- The themes we developed when talking about the photos were meaningful even though our perspective when taking them was quite different
- We didn’t set out to create something – in fact we didn’t know what would actually happen.
- We did create something pretty cool.
What happened that was interesting?
- It’s hard to take 50 photos without imposing a narrative on yourself
- Reflecting on how personal it is to have to spontaneously ‘create’, reveal and share (a lesson we can take into our work where we so often call on participants to prototype or create on OUR terms)
- Getting beeped because one of us was in a rush to get to the next photo op
- Falling over in a storm water drain and ripping your pants in front of a child
- Getting yelled at by a garbo for taking snaps of dumpsters
- Being asked to help someone get their car out of tight spot (and in the process getting to drive a hotted up Skyline with Usher blaring!)
- Judging just how to take a close up of the person serving you at a café without them knowing (and being successful)
Who knows – we’ll let you know when we make it up.
Since we did this we discovered this Ray Bradbury quote. We won’t be renaming the exercise #100itemsofozone though ; )
“Ideas come from the Earth. They come from every human experience that you’ve either witnessed or have heard about, translated into your brain in your own sense of dialogue, in your own language form. Ideas are born from what is smelled, heard, seen, experienced, felt, emotionalized. Ideas are probably in the air, like little tiny items of ozone.”