Tag Archives: community

finding design frontiers: larry keeley at ocad

larry keeley, ceo of doblin, spoke earlier today at ocad, in a wonderful talk sponsored by torch partnership and the strategic innovation lab – the new incarnation of my alma mater the beal institute for strategic creativity. big thanks to the folks that hosted “the john cleese of innovation.” there were a few key ideas that really stood out for me in his talk.

the thesis of larry’s talk focused on a new emerging discipline of innovation, one that is still in its infancy and will eventually encapsulate the methods and rigour demonstrated in fully or semi-institutionalized disciplines such as medicine, law or business. at a time of great uncertainty, as the systems we have come to rely on for the exchange of economic, physical and political capital begin to erode globally, larry offers that innovation, far from dead, is thriving.

as is often the case in times of turmoil, people innovate when they need to think differently, act differently and make different things. they explore the boundaries of what is possible. however, larry asks “what if everything we thought we knew about innovation was wrong?” especially when we consider that most innovation posts a success rate of less than 4%, worldwide. he then gives the following example of how innovation commonly goes down in a company (which i’m sure will be a bit mucked up in my retelling, but the point will get across ;)

    the executives of a major corporation realize that their earnings are tanking, and so product lines are trimmed, teams are reduced and gap analysis is conducted. and the gap analytics indicate that in order to close the gap between the economic projections and the actual company performance, one needs to innovate. so the sr execs comb through the company and pick the best and brightest, and get them all together in the board room. then comes the stirring speech, in which the selected team is inspired and charged to innovate with no margin for error, a super short timeline, no guidance, no resources, threat of termination upon failure and little in the way of exactly *what* they’re supposed to innovate towards. ambiguous expectations and concrete deliverables. however, there will be whiteboards and flipcharts to aid in generating ideas. this is akin to picking a bunch of random people and asking them to perform neurosurgery with a few exacto knives and some rubbing alcohol.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

GameON: Finance is just around the corner

 gameon-button.jpg
***UPDATE¬† we’re looking for a few volunteers to help out with day and evening – for registrations, OneXOne meetings, etc. please drop me a line if you’re interested – 4-4.5 hrs at a time, and all volunteers get a free pass to the conference – michele {at} interactive ontario {.} com.

whew – what a week ahead! we’re just pulling together the final odds and ends for io‘s GameON: Finance, the games industry investment forum i’ve been working on the past few months. it happens january 17 and 18 at the grand banking hall of one king west. this building is gorgeous – definitely an echo of the old financial institutional era with soaring ceilings and marble everything – a lovely venue.

as for the event itself, woo! GameON: Finance is designed to bring together members of the games industry, the investment community, educators and policymakers -with a strong focus on the financing and business development of games. we’re hoping to facilitate some fantastic conversations and connect people for future opportunities.

as for the speakers…

eric zimmerman, cofounder and chief design executive at nyc’s gamelab will be kicking off the evening keynote reception on january 17th. i caught eric’s talk at ocad’s mobile nation conference in the spring of 2007 – his energy and brains will bring a great dynamic to the conference. on january 18th, our morning keynote will be the fabulous richard iwaniuk, director of finance at bioware, maybe canada’s only firm that can say they’ve raised capital from bono (or at least his private equity firm ;). richard’s keynote definitely raises the bar for the rest of the day!

the panels throughout the day range from monetizing tech IP, case studies, models for growth in emerging channels, negotiating funds, what both ides of the table are looking for, positioning products, the effects of public policy and the drivers of innovation. our speakers range from investors, policy specialists, publishers, studios and analysts – a great lineup of people for some great conversation. register here, and our early bird price expires at midnight tomorrow! hope to see you there!

Leave a comment

Filed under conversation, ideas, io, toronto

studio n seeks new studiomate!

please pass it along! many thanks, michele

Studio N Seeks New StudioMate

Studio N is a shared studio of independent jewellery/metal/craft artists with varying careers and schedules. The studio itself is located at 44 Dovercourt, south of Queen St, and is approximately 750 sq ft, with a wall of south-facing windows. It comes equipped with a small kitchen, bathroom, a reception area and some storage.

This is a shared studio with 5 bench areas (one area is shared by 2 part time people). We each bring in and are responsible for our own benches, hand tools, torches, materials, hardware, etc, and contribute to larger items/ machinery/ tools where possible. The pickle pot is shared, as are vise grips, a shear, ultrasonic, polisher, hydraulic press, etc.

As a caveat, Studio N is not a residency, mentoring or educational facility – it’s a professional collective of individuals developing their studio practice and business. We don’t provide access to materials, clients or exhibitions, but are definitely about supporting each other when we can. Our works vary from the traditional to the conceptual, with lots of messy territory in between. We do hold open house exhibitions 2+ times a year, involvement is not mandatory, and some of us teach small classes.

What we’re looking for:

You’re friendly, reliable, professional and used to working in a shared, respectful, studio environment. You’re safe and savvy around tools, chemicals, materials and processes. You’ve got some learning in you regarding jewellery and metals, whether it’s through school, apprenticeship, etc, and you have a professional commitment to your practice, whatever that might entail. You’re in possession of tools, and are not averse to contributing when you can!

  • Rent: $200/month inclusive, last month deposit req’d, one year+ commitment preferred.
  • Other: a shared phone line at about $9/month plus any long distance; a $5/month kitty for baking soda, pickle, dish soap, garbage bags, etc.
  • Available: February 1st, 2008
  • Access: 24 hours. close proximity to Queen and King streetcar, Dufferin bus, Gladstone Hotel poutine.

Who we are:

  • Fiona MacIntyre
  • Lara McQuay
  • Michele Perras
  • Carolyn Scandiffio
  • Anneke Van Bommel

Please contact Michele at 416-805-8661, michele {.} perras {@} gmail {.} com

1 Comment

Filed under ideas, toronto

scotchcamp tonite!

95524589_b04adf2594.jpgphoto by asmunder

the torcamp scotchcamp holiday social will be happening tonight at allen’s on the danforth, from 8pm onwards. stop in to warm up from the cold, and share a bit of cheer. as well, allen’s has a fine selection of over 160 scotches, whiskies and bourbons, and plenty of other options for those whose palate marches to a different drum. and also there’s great food! see you there!

  • when: december 17, 8pm
  • where: allen’s on the danforth, 143 danforth ave (just east of broadview, south side)

1 Comment

Filed under adventure, toronto

return to yyz

img_2067.jpgsacher torte & ruby port

back from vienna a week already, followed by days of unpacking the new house and wrapping up loose ends for work. it was an interesting trip, and an interesting conference.

while the content was good and engaging, i hate to say it but knowledge, creativity and transformations of societies was poorly organized and not very well thought out, which is a shame as it could have been so much better with just a bit of different effort, ironic given it’s name and mandate… a few things that bothered me…

panel locations weren’t advertised (even general street signage was lacking) and were spread across the city, there was little in the way of networking and meeting with your fellow attendees. and there wasn’t any wifi, which, isn’t so important in the long run.

but those were the little qualms. the biggest problem was that the organizers rescheduled the panel i was on about 6 days before the conference began. originally set to go on friday, we were moved to sunday, which meant that some people missed the panel as their flights were leaving sunday afternoon, or that they were rescheduled to present at 8am. yikes!

beyond that, the content was really really great. mark rectanus, from the university of iowa, spoke about the tensions between institutional knowledge and emergent knowledge (universities and wikipedia, for example), and ways to reconcile this through teaching, dialogue, active participation with one’s students, etc.

and tatjana chorney, from st mary’s in halifax, spoke about transformational teaching methods that also speak to mark’s themes – that while instructors still need to communicate a historical or contextual knowledge base in their curriculi, there’s also an increased need to facilitate and broker knowledge acquisition, insight and analysis as well – the skills and creative impetus to understand and act upon information.

my paper touched upon the underlying dynamics that aid in that facilitation – how groups form, how they trust and read each other so that knowledge can permeate throughout a community. three overlapping areas, and i’m honored that i was able to speak to theirs and the others work. well done, everyone!!

vienna itself is a lovely city – bourgeousie architecture and winding laneways, grand palaces and wiener wurstl stands everywhere. i completely fell in love with the food – especially apfelpunsch, and the people were kind and hospitable. looking forward to another trip in the future!

Leave a comment

Filed under adventure, conversation, ideas

around the neck @ prime gallery

1.jpeg

this group show opens next saturday, stop by if you’re around!

Leave a comment

Filed under toronto

media lab toronto is born!

2051900526_a01216e94f_b.jpg

casecamp6 took place last tuesday at the century room, and was a really incredible night full of awesome cases, announcements and people. eli has really raised level of conversation and built a fantastic community around casecamp, which has now partnered with achilles media (the producers of nextMedia). congrats to all – and looking forward to the future. tom has some great notes on the evening as well!

media lab toronto also presented their inaugural project – TXTris, an interactive SMS projection where text messages sink down from the sky onto a hilarious toronto skyline made of tim horton’s boxes. congrats to patrick, gabe, michael and dory, and i can’t wait to see where this will go!!

Leave a comment

Filed under conversation, ideas, toronto

all this useless beauty

Sketch (leaves) 2005, blown glass, 15 x 23 cmcali balles, photo

i came across this paper* while researching for my project and prepping for the last lecture of the year before presentations, and it really highlights some of the ideas i’ve spoken about previously as well as given articulate phrasing to some really interesting connections in the relationship between craft, design and digital technology. craft and design have had a schism since the industrial revolution, when, for all intents and purposes, design was born. greg calls design ‘creation for reproduction’ – making with the direct intention of replicating, and thus requiring systems and standards to ensure exactness throughout that reproductive process. and most digital technology reflects this, presenting us with clean and simple efficiencies of form but very little humanity. i think that craft, however, embodies a bit more of our humanity as the unique experience of making by hand can’t be replicated and our tools and processes do not become extensions of ourselves, but rather interfaces in an empathetic relationship with the materials, the ideas, the user and ourselves. and beauty.

jayne wallace and mike press (the latter of whom is speaking this week in halifax at nscad university’s neocraft conference- i SO WISH i was there) express their thoughts on the role of beauty in craft, it’s approximation in design and it’s role in creating better digital technologies.

1st part of the excerpts below (2nd to follow shortly)

Beauty, we argue, plays a vital role in humanising technology and ensuring its cultural relevance… Industrial design can
employ the illusion of beauty to temper the beast of technology by providing a veneer of desire, seduction and usability. But let us not confuse eternal beauty with the passionate but fast fading blooms of desire. We enjoy the delights of the G4 Powerbook as much as the next fashion-conscious academic, but only as a well designed one night stand at the orgiastic party of our consumer culture.

moar Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under adventure, conversation, ideas

what i learned from the arts & crafts movement

241598686_dd3ae61ab8_o.jpgphoto by 3blindmice

from my post from last week, and some really inspiring conversations since, these are some of my thoughts and a bit of rationale of the connections that’ve been flitting thru my head over the past few months…

  • people are happier when they have control over the nature and outcome of what their goals, as well as the process in which they can work. the desire to make is innate – we desire to be heard and to leave a trace of our voice, in materials, events, systems, etc, and i think we strive for integrity in our tone of voice.
  • objects/services that represent the values and integrity (or the brand, if you will) of the maker have a stronger attraction and potential for engagement.
  • objects that retain traces of those who made them speak not only of the context in which the thing was made, but also create a sort of relational continuity with the maker*. our perception of objects and their social systems is intersubjective, and the flavour added here becomes personal and human, providing space for social practice, creating narrative and future legacies.

moar Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under conversation, ideas

iLunch 6.03

ilunch6bannernew.jpg

Hey! we’ve been planning a really awesome event for this Friday November 16 at the Gladstone Hotel – iLunch 6.03 – (ad)ventures in mobile. there’s a great lineup of panelists, one-on-one meetings after the panel proper, and a tasty lunch! Details below, and hope to see you there!

(ps – big props to sebastien chorney and io’s mobile committee for taking the reins on this session’s program!!)

(Ad)Ventures in Mobile
Opportunities in mobile marketing: A discussion on mobile content, applications, user experiences, business models, and integrating the strategy that works for you – with special guest speakers:

* Adrienne Clapperton, Producer, BiteTV
* Gavin Newman, Executive Producer, Virgin Media Television – UK
* Andrew Osmak, Senior VP Business Development, Lavalife
* Derek van der Plaat, CEO, Jambo Mobile Solutions & Silverbirch Inc.

Moderated by:
* Claude Galipeau, Principal, The Galipeau Group

Discussion description
This iLunch session will be dedicated to exploring the future possibilities for mobile – both the content and the applications required to get content to intended market. The guest panelists will examine the medium of mobile in order for traditional content producers to get up to speed on the status quo, emerging opportunities (and numerous challenges). We will also look to other media platforms such as broadcast, broadband, music and publishing, as well as out into the social climate of society to consider unique opportunities and rate of innovation on this platform. We will ultimately focus on how to exploit the personal nature of mobile devices through content and applications to enrich the mobile experience for the end-user.

A panel of progressive members of the mobile community as well as leading thinkers and innovators in multi-platform content will use this context to discuss opportunities for Ontario mobile businesses to create these types of commercially viable applications and content for a global market. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under enterprise, ideas, io