Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Designer - If it hasn't been done it's waiting to be done.

Something that hasn't been done is waiting to be done.

At age 9 holding my art book I recall having desires to be an artist.  I'd draw planes and rockets, still life and human figures and then gaze through the window - imagination running amok.

By 16 in boarding school any notion of humanities had been panel-beating into a a career in Applied Chemistry replete with substitute nucleophilic reactions and matrix mathematics.

Science, its empiricism taught experimentation with measurable results, yet Art allowed me to make sense of abstraction e.g. benzene shapes, mental training and visualisation.

But unfortunately there was no creative life for the scientists as broadcast journalism that would immediately follow.

Yet there was a collorary. Such innate inquistiveness led me to think about programmes, stories, visuals as substrates. How did that work? Why did it work? And could it be done differently?

Listening to BBC Radio 4 Midweek I caught Douglas Edwards, one of the first employees of Google speaking about his book: The Confessions of Google Employee number 59  which is an insider guide to Google's space.

Backtracking to the Wall Street Journal, Edwards explains the interview method used by Google co-founder Sergey.
Finally, he leaned forward and fired his best shot, what he came to call "the hard question."I'm going to give you five minutes," he told me. "When I come back, I want you to explain to me something complicated that I don't already know." 
The WallStreet Journal Saturday Essay, July 16th 2011 

Knowledge, a precious sometimes ethereal commodity, we often take for granted, is being traded. So I thought what would you have said?

I might then (late 90s)  I thought have spoken about MrDot - fixed but still fledging videojournalism and design, hence its name, though at the time I had not yet made the film on the site. website - design, coding and film making
To many Google may have seemed unorthodox, but there was an artistic methodology at play. Something that hasn't been done is waiting to be done - an old mantra of mine. A colleague of mine is currently completing her PhD around their creative methods.

To its pioneers if it had already been done, it wasn't worth entertaining.  This elides into a secondary theme I have been working closely with.

For the second of my lectures, tomorrow to students from Beijng University, I'll examine how convention, conscious and auterism play with each other.

And somewhere in there I'll show some of the extraordinary aspects of videojournalism and how its polysemic nature presents remediated ideas.

For one thing, I look at visual data: whether its website design or videojournalism as design-driven and whilst I can't go into it here post modernism - an infuriating word which essentially bridges cultural, societal understanding of things after the 1960s has a lot to offer.

The lecture starts with Apple and how Job's ideas ( auterism) became convention, yet also derived satisfaction from how hardwired we are to things, such as coming across an Apple and wanting to eat it.