Sixty years ago, the composer and innovator John Cage entered an anechoic chamber at Harvard University, searching for the meaning of Silence. He sat there, cut off from all the buzz of the world, and after a time, began to hear a low, regular rhythm.

We are all exposed to a constant barrage of emotion and information, from nearby or distant sources, on topics we love or don’t care much about. We see, listen and read; we live revelations and moments of darkness. Every new subject is like a bird lifting off – by the end of the day, we have a huge number of birds flying around in our head in a vibrant and chaotic inner landscape. It’s very, very noisy in there.

Great innovators let the birds come down, settle, and cover the fields and the trees. Some might travel to India, practice meditation, or learn to build things with their hands. Others like Cage will go to extremes to find a place away from everything.

They will have shut off the noise, and gone down very deep, so that they can connect with what created the noise in the first place, and was later covered by it. Sometimes this connection happens slowly over time, sometimes in a split second. Then comes the innovation moment of truth, when chaos and its absence come together and a new idea is born.

Fashion Lab was created to be to innovation in its own field what the anechoic chamber was for Cage. It is designed as a place where new ideas can emerge from chaos because a lot of noise is suppressed, letting imagination and creativity soar. But be warned that such a place is not totally silent.  Like John Cage at Harvard, you will be deafened by the beating of your own heart.

« David Bonner, Jean-Jacques Auffret, Dassault Systems Research »

This post is also available in: French

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