The morning started with a great lecture from interdiscipliarian and artist Prof. Ronald Jones. Ronald engaged the class talking about system thinking design and the power of cross-pollination between disciplines to generate innovation. Innovation often comes from collaboration across disciplines that have low alignment (see graph).
What are cross pollinators? Cross pollinator are individuals with the ability to draw associations and connections between seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts to break new ground. This kind of people are often considered “T-shaped”. The vertical bar on the T represents the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, whereas the horizontal bar is the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one’s own.
Ronald also gave an account of their numerous and engaging projects going on at the Experience Design School at Konstfack and at the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship e.g. redesigning the concept of hospital gowns.
In the afternoon we had a pleasure to have guest lecturer Ingrid Falk and Gustavo Aguerre. Ingrid and Gustavo are performing artists, their work includes: installations, performances, videos, photography..etc. They defined themselves as artists working on the streets dealing with issues such as borders, marginalization, societal issues, contagion, etc. In Stockholm they are particularly famous for the long installation of citations from writer August Strindberg, in stainless steel on asphalt on Drottingatan.
In the first part of the workshop, FA+ showed us some of their projects, the conceptual principle of much of their work is to go beyond artistic geographical and cultural boundaries. Their work often involve external participants that take part in the creative process and development (e.g. Habana Gold). Their art is often combined with subtle irony and humour. FA+ creates art that questions our physical, social and cultural surroundings thus becoming art that involves its audience.
Ingrid and Gustavo engaged the class in a creative exercise. We were asked to collaborate in groups and write a recipe of instructions for anything we wanted. It was great fun! We came up with instructions such as “surviving without internet and google”, “how to achieve world peace” and many others. All of the recipes were shared at the end of the session.
All together it was an inspiring day of new insights into the the art and design world!