Design in Life Pt. 1

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Dominique Cardon, Stéphane Vial, Mette Thomsen and Martin tamke

As promised I was at Strate College to give you feedback of our event Design in Life. The talks were pretty interesting as there is quite a wide scope of professionals here!

Philosopher Pierre Musso, followed by sociologist Dominique Cardon, focused on “bottom-up innovation”: what is it, and how we can use it? It was mainly about shifting our vision of innovation but let me explain…

Our (humanity’s) usual pattern seems to go: “I imagine something but it’s only possible for me to co-create something with people that share the same mindset. Only next will I open this to a wider audience.”

According to Mr. Cardon, innovation can be fostered if you look at it conversely: “I imagine something and immediately share it with the widest audience. Only then will the co creation begin.” And it’s because the thing imagined was done for a local context and problem that the desire to share arises. The innovation is personal.

The idea behind this new pattern is to give an unexpected direction to the original creation: a way that wasn’t the initially thought one. How many times did you do or say something that was not interpreted as you wanted to? This is the same concept! 🙂

And what followed these two presentations was a perfect illustration! Philosopher Stéphane Vial talked about design and what it can do in the digital era from a philosopher’s point of view. And next, digital researchers Mette Thomsen and Martin Tamke did the same… but from a designer’s standpoint.

What happened is that they talked about the same topic but so differently it felt like they were from Mars and Venus. What does that mean? It means that design, just like any other field, can benefit from others’ thinking (philosophers, economists, journalists, etc.) to co create!

This way, design professionals would do what Dominique Cardon said: submit an idea to a wider audience so that co creation reaches new unexpected territories. This is the objective of Design in Life.

Personally I tend to think that what’s missing is to filter the brand new ideas to help those that are most interesting from a societal and economic point of view rise to the top. Another new approach just for the sake of it is useless… so what are our options? What do you think?