University of Toronto has two interesting institutes: Martin Prosperity Institute and Best Institute. The former is an academic place for the global-scale prosperity and inequality. Its research papers discuss the creative classes and cities (Richard Florida), the integrative thinking and strategies (Roger Martin), and the global crowdsourcing for problem solving (Don Tapscott). The latter is a relatively practical space where the start-up companies focusing on health-care products and services run their offices.
While visiting them, I found there are two different ways to play with words. At the Martin Prosperity Institute, a visual art piece hangs on the wall saying PROSPERITY. At the Best Institute, a verbal notice posts on the door saying “Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies.” I find these two pieces are very creative but in different ways: the former changes the visual aspect of the word, whereas the latter changes the verbal (meaning) aspect of the word.
* Continued from Dessert design workshop @ Cognitive Science 2013
…Breakthrough innovation occurs when knowledge and experiences from vastly disparate areas are synthesized into new solutions. In this particular instance, someone from a Korean cultural background had combined “The Little Prince” by the French aristocrat, writer, poet and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, with a dessert entree, a course that is still relatively new to Korean culture. Not even the French could have come up with that combination!…
At the Korean Cognitive Science conference on May 25, 2013, Soren Petersen and I ran a workshop called “Design Tasty Dessert: The Art of Firing All The Five Senses!” In this workshop, we wanted to go beyond presenting our research projects; instead, we wanted to have some fun and creative experience with participants. Therefore, we asked participants to come up with as many creative dessert ideas as they could and then chose one to present. In order to help them to enjoy the workshop as well as to enjoy their own creativity, we provided them with a piece of chocolate, a piece of brown cake, a strawberry, a mandarin, and a cubic of cheese in the beginning of the workshop.
Surprisingly, some participants generated creative dessert recipes by utilizing typical food items such as banana, strawberry, raspberry, peach, ice cream, and chocolate (see the hat (above) and the peach hand (below)).
Although classrooms are used by students, they are not student-friendly. NHN NEXT, however, provides its students with the carefully designed spaces so that its students listen to the lectures, do their group projects, read some books, and even take some rests conveniently and comfortably. Teaching public software developers (e.g., portal sites, games, and social network services), NHN NEXT was found in 2012 by NHN, the Korean version of Google.
In this educational institution, students learn how to understand users deeply, how to develop new programs, and how to work with other developers harmoniously. Therefore, its classrooms are designed to encourage its students to be empathic, creative, and cooperative. For instance, desks in the classroom have 6 power outlets, providing 2 power outlets for each student. The wall in the group study room is painted white, which allows students to write/draw/erase their thoughts and ideas freely. The library has multiple shelves in which faculty members leave their books so that students read the books that their favorite professors recommend. Finally, several game rooms are placed in the public space, allowing students to play console games to get excited or relaxed.
Soren Petersen gave a presentation on how to collect creative ideas in a massive scale. He introduced how he applied crowdsourcing methods to address a wide variety of design issues including design marketing conflicts, animal rescue, peace innovation, to name a few. According to him, social platforms such as LinkedIn and HuffingtonPost are useful for us to prioritize problems, solicit solutions and share key insights with professional designers.