This paper explores the use of play as a catalyst for creativity. Presented at The 4th International Conference on Design and Emotion, 12th-14th June, 2004, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.
This piece was written for the catalogue of a brilliant exhibition organised by the Institute de Cultura de Barcelona, designed by Emili Padros and Ana Mir in 2003. The exhibition focused on ingenuity in design and engineering. Part of it dealt with local, organic and free-range problem solving, which was one of my great interests. It was a chance to get in touch with Mike Donovan of Practical Farm Ideas to discuss how communities can empower themselves and others to accelerate problem-solving. There is some mention of the internet, but bear in mind that this is 2003; Instructables was still over two years away (launched August 2005) and the most up-to-date ‘lifestyle’ example I had was Make magazine. I am pleased to say that at the time of writing this intro (March, 2019), Practical Farm Ideas is still going www.farmideas.co.uk, and still produces 4 issues a year, but most sharing takes place online, allowing this culture of innovation to really mushroom.
Designing the college Christmas card always seemed to be a poisoned chalice — budget, deadline, client all extremely challenging — but I had a great time with this. For some reason it always had to have the theme of ‘stars.’ The detachable specs have holographic filters which turn light sources into stars. These had to be ordered from the US at great expense. The brilliant printers in London managed to match the colours exactly. I seem to remember they also ran off a few hundred invites for one of our course shows at the same time haha.
With Prof. Lorraine Gamman, a paper for the journal Ingenia, published February 2003. Documents a series of projects undertaken with MA students in collaboration with the Design Against Crime research centre at Central Saint Martins.
In July 2001 I was invited to the set of the first Harry Potter movie to interview the director, cast members and production designer. This commission was for Next Media (HK) — the only media company from Asia to be invited I believe. The junket style interviews were conducted in the Great Hall set, but we saw several other sets during the tour. This was in the pre-smartphone era, but I managed some pictures with the Casio Wristcam I had recently been given!