On the wettest evening of the year me and Alison managed to get out to the tenure show of tactileBOSCH last week. I am ashamed to say this is the first time I have been to the art gallery. For the show tactileBOSCH had a number of artists produce installations from small pieces through to fully immersive walkthrough spaces. For me the show itself was interesting but nothing really stood out. What was interesting to me however was the space itself. The gallery is an old Victorian Laundry warehouse and the layout and dilapidated nature of the building was fascinating. As we went around the gallery me and Allie were talking about how the space would be amazing to play a game in it.
There are so many opportunities due to the unique spaces within the gallery that would be great to explore. We have been thinking how we might be able to move the ARK in the PARK forward and develop it into a small but annual game festival that allows new games to be tested, old ones to be re-loved and the skills acquired to be then introduced into new and exciting ways of involving people through games workshops.
Before the recession the words strong, fast, bigger were what was heard time and time again. Now however with this weeks budget announced there seem to be a new set of rules that will be looked at. Agile, boutique, slow They have been with us for a few years already but it seems they maybe the new developments for brands and services in the next few years.
The interesting thing about this is that it does not preclude the big corporations it just makes them look at how they are structured and respond differently. Tim Brown CEO if IDEO has for years now being raising awareness of design thinking and the concept of introducing designers and creative thinkers into the highest reaches of corporations. The thinking being that with these people in areas of influence the larger companies will be able to be adaptive and agile You can see it within IDEO itself last count I believe it had over 400 employees yet each project is taken on by a small team of generally no more that five people. This hive type working allows a independence and ownership to be given to the team yet also when necessary they can plug into the larger brain to gain feedback and thoughts.
On another level the largest company in the world Google has a number of initiatives within the organisation that are based in a similar way. So the largest company in the world is massive yet also boutique. The boutique nature allows them competitor advantage as people believe they are being given relavent information, with this type of information only getting more and more sophisticated. Just look at Gmail if you have have an account then I am sure you will notice how spookily relevant the ads are to the subjects you have been writing emails about. At the moment it hasn't quite got it right. For example as a designer I mention brand, design alot in emails. So the ads shouldn't really try and sell me graphic design? However I think as I said before it is only a matter of time until this will be fixed. And no matter what you think about the invasiveness of this you have to admit it is very impressive.
I recently completed listening to Seth Godin's book Tribes. In it their is a passage where he describes being on holiday up at 1 or 2am in the morning in a hotel lobby checking some emails. A couple walk by and he overhears them say how said it was that he was working while on vacation. At first when readin I though the same then as he explained I totally realised the opposite. As he thought internally Seth threw this notion on it's head. Commenting something on the lines of. 'After thinking about this for a while I thought to myself it is not me you is sad here, I love what I do and I am passionate about what I do. I don't find it hard to get up in the morning because I want to get on and do things I love. So for me it is the couple who go away and shut their phones off and laptops are hidden away that are sad because they have to forget their jobs for two weeks of the year'. Now this doesn't mean work 24 hours a day never stop what it means is that you have to find a passion and follow it. Sounds very American I know but it makes a lot of sense.
So slowness, the total antimatter of the commercial western world we live in. I am wondering if passion is a slow element? does passion allow us to do things because we are less stressed? I mean in my experience as I designer I am far less stressed now than I was five years ago before we started Hoffi? I think my passion has slowed this down. It's made it personal and as long as what you do is 'you' then it can't be wrong even if people disagree. It's quite raw at the minute this thinking but thought I would share to see what people thought.
The recent Orange Phone advert for their pay as you go customers is really interesting. Apart from being a really fun advert it does have a few other things that has been really interesting to investigate. Firstly there is an interesting idea of 'pay as you go' versus 'contract'. Traditionally my experience of the treatment of these two types of customers has been very different 'pay as you go' being seen as the lesser 'customer' compared to contract. While this may be only a perception and perhaps something to do with the fact of the culture within phone shops that seem to be catering much more for contracts (maybe due to commission??).
So the new service that has been introduced for pay as you go customers to pay for your next phone. In terms of service and adding value compared to their competitors it seems like it is a great idea. On another level their is also the element of you saving for a new phone. The idea of having to save and building compared to the last decade of spend spend spend is also I feel important and seems to bring an awareness to this. I almost think this could be made more obvious in contract phone contracts.
Finally for me there is also an interesting development of consumption and knowledge of consumption. What I mean by this is that by introducing people to the idea of saving and also the idea of products being hard to buy and not instant then it perhaps may also give an appreciation of the real value of phones and the elements they are made up of.