Andy Rutledge on creativity and design
"While many commonly popular definitions of creativity amount to little more than references to self-expression or flamboyancy, we designers should not be so lax or obtuse in our concept of it."

I'm Taking the Northern Voice Challenge!

The Sessions I Attended At Northern Voice

In point form, as is the style of the time, here is how I spent my Saturday.

What I Learned From Northern Voice

During MooseCamp, specifically PhotoCamp, I learned that cloudy days are the best to get colour from the objects and people I'm documenting. Also, for portraits, bring the studio to them and tips on where to take portraits from (e.g. shoot down to make them look better) stuck out for me. The rest of the conference I closed the door of knowledge and opened the window of inspiration.

Who Challenged Me At Northern Voice

Whether they knew it or not, intended it or not, the following people challenged me to think a little harder about creativity and craft. People close to me wonder why I don't identify as being creative. The following Northern Voice speakers have me wondering too.

Dave Olson

Dave Olson challenged me to step it up a notch, and to consider another media form if I'm struggling at the one I think I'm good at (writing). Podcasting, maybe? I don't like the sound of my own voice, so that strikes video out as well. Photography is the medium I sunk the most into already, so I will try to bring the SLR to more places, make the same mistakes everybody makes when they start out, and document the process better. I'd like to learn how to draw. And sing. Outside of the conference, he remarked that he likes to find a third place, away from work and away from home to be creative. This has me thinking of the ideal place to work somewhere (and on something) not domestic and not commercial, but somewhere in between.

(I know that my desire to learn how to sing directly conflicts with the angst about hearing my voice, so don't bother pointing that out.)

Northern Voice 2008: Nancy White

Nancy White challenged me to look at the beauty of the visual web, not just the written web. I do prefer visiting an individual article directly, especially articles intended for web browsers (and not printers). Nancy, by challenging me to think visually, to give drawing or other graphic form of expression and honest try, challenged me to rediscover my sense of wonder, a nice little nudge to remind me I wanted to do that anyway.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward challenged my thinking on Flickr and the social photographic web, disagreeing with Kris on whether it should be rejected. Through the tension between them we learned about two styles of photography, both of which contribute to our understanding of the subject. He also challenged me to think about lighting and the third dimension, making the physical photograph part of the photograph.

Stephanie Vacher

Stephanie, nervous as she was during her first time public speaking, challenged me to think about the process of my "designing". If I understood her correctly, she challenged everybody in the audience to investigate what it means to design and to, if they can get themselves in the mindset, think of themselves as designers.

Dave, Nancy, Alex, and Stephanie: I accept your challenges.

Photo credits, from top to bottom: myself; Cyprien Lomas; Randy Stewart; and Phillip Jeffrey.

Apparatus for the Future: Reconstructing the Design World for New Media & Bloggers
Slides of Stephanie Vacher's presentation at Northern Voice 2008.
Steven Wittens posted his "Designer Eye for the Geek Guy" presentation
Don't let the number of slides (500!) intimidate you: they are mostly for transitioning so you can ponder about the bullet points.
Patrick Haney took screenshots of great design on the web
Lots to work through, but each screenshot has a short description of why he likes it, with a link to each site.
Vancouver Design Nerds projection installation at the Vancouver Law Courts
"The objective is to integrate [projections and animations] with the site in a way that creates an interesting visual counterpoint to the existing structures."
"6 bicycles versus one car"
"This bike park occupies a single carpark space, like a critical proposal to the traffic"
Khoi Vinh to work at the New York Times as Design Director
His company helped redesign The Onion basing it on Drupal (though I'd be surprised if the Times went with it).