Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

TED2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder

Monday, February 28th, 2011
TED2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder Happening this week in Long Beach. I'm at TEDActive in Palm Springs. It's going to be an amazing few days. This year's TED Prize Winner: JR. One Artist. One Wish to Change the World More in the coming days...

Design’s Real Potential

Friday, February 11th, 2011
  • transparent (complex problems require simple, clear, and honest solutions); inspiring (successful solutions will move people by satisfying their needs, giving meaning to their lives, and raising their hopes and expectations); transformational (exceptional problems demand exceptional solutions that may be radical and even disruptive); participatory (effective solutions will be collaborative, inclusive, and developed with the people who will use them); contextual (no solution should be developed or delivered in isolation but should instead recognize the social, physical, and information systems it is part of); and sustainable (every solution needs to be robust, responsible, and designed with regard to its long-term impact on the environment and society).


Monday, February 7th, 2011
In late January of 2011 I had the pleasure of giving a talk for the Art Directors Association of Iowa in Des Moines. Katie and I made the trip from Omaha. We totally had a great time and it was very nice to meet all the creative folks from the area. (Thanks for listening, and thanks for buying some prints.) And damn, we went through the super impressive wind farms of western Iowa. It was like seeing the future, one where you could still breathe the air. The gist of the talk was on Work. I've been an independent designer since July of last year. It's work that I really enjoy doing and I wanted share the framework I've put together to help guide it as I move forward. As of now, the structure of my practice consists of four parts: 1. Project/Client Work (Traditional Graphic Design) 2. Volunteer Design (Design as Community-Building) 3. Collaborations (Design as Extracurriculars) and 4. Self-Initiated Projects (Design as Art/Entrepreneurship). Taking all of these together, I’m good with designer for the answer to the question, “what kind of Work do you do?” It's more than acceptable for someone who, when I was a youngster, fit into the category of people unable to answer the all important question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And as I have a VERY hard time deciding on what to do at any given moment, designer is definitely doable. It allows for me to "mix it up," which is a huge benefit. I made this diagram when I turned 30. This helps explain things: [caption id="attachment_4172" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Why a Designer?"][/caption] Lately, I’ve been thinking about work a lot. Not only my work and what I do, but the nature of work. What kind of jobs exist in our economy? What would I do if I wasn’t a designer? What is meaningful work? What would I do if the work all dried up, what then in all of this uncertainty, in the worst economy of the last 50 years? Economy, economy, economy was the driving force in the November mid-terms. The official unemployment rate is just under 10%. Uncertainty abounds. Students I talk to are terrified of their job prospects. Twenty-seven million people are un- or underemployed in America today. And I have the great privilege to do something I enjoy every day. Because of course, it’s not all uncertainty. There’s also opportunity and discovery. Big rewards for big risks. Change, excitement, renewal. It’s an extraordinary time we live in, and you don’t have to look far to see all the amazing things happening. So for me, with this great privilege I’ve found myself in after I’ve “grown up,” to be doing work I like, partnering with exciting people every day on a wide array of creative projects, some kind of guide is crucial -- a framework that will help keep my work on an intended path. A manifesto, if you will. So for 2011, here is my very much work-in-progress (with various shout-outs), 11-point mini-manifesto on what I want living and working as a designer to mean in these days of uncertainty and opportunity. I WANT TO DO WORK THAT... 1. is part of things, 2. experiments, 3. delights, 4. is optimistic, 5. gives a damn, 6. is community-minded, 7. moves people to action, 8. points us in a direction, 9. picks a side / annoys certain people, 10. makes things better, 11. has heart, Work that feels like a natural extension of who I am, that is pushing boundaries and trying new things, putting smiles on people’s faces in unexpected ways and speaking to the better angels of our nature. Work that cares, is informed and speaks to the larger world around us. (I guess I’ve been to too many “graphic design” get togethers that seem so unaware of life outside “the profession.”) Work focused on my community where I live and call home. (Part of the push for a new economy built around local.) Work that is action-oriented, outside of consumer logic and more social or political. Work that is part of the debate in terms of how we move forward and is not neutral but is certainly part of a particular view point. Work that advocates for the side of opportunity and renewal that is out there and sometimes only needs a little push. And finally, I want to do work that has heart. (Unable to define. Will mean different things to different people.) I've been a designer for 8+ years. The Work I look back on that I really love, both paid and unpaid, fits nicely into this framework and covers each point quite well. (The specifics are detailed in the Talk.) Now, it's a matter of doing that, and only that, over and over again. Finding more of this type of Work, and turning down the other stuff that just doesn't fit. The great balancing act of holding true to the meaning while keeping the compromise to a minimum. I'm 8 months in, and with a few hiccups and detours, things are moving along at a good pace. The only thing left to do is keep on keepin' on. -- Justin Kemerling, Designer.

Introducing COMMON

Monday, January 31st, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4149" align="alignnone" width="520" caption="COMMON mission statement"][/caption] It's the time of collaboration. Not competition. Alex Bogusky, Rob Schuham and John Bielenberg present COMMON.
  • Benefiting people, communities, society, the environment and future generations is the new advantage in business. Our new capitalist brand is about transitioning from competitive advantage to collaborative advantage. COMMON is a brand that is community designed, community owned, and community directed. It is a single open source brand — a living network — for rapidly prototyping many progressive businesses that unleash creativity to solve social problems.


Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Stop and Play is an organization, online portfolio and idea exchange/curatorial forum. We use art as a medium to raise awareness and funds to help protect the living. This website compiles images, texts, videos and news from a range of different subjects aiming to inform and inspire you to join us as an art internet curator and act. We place a special effort in working together and speaking out with those who show what the media does not cover, living realities which do not sell, that have been omitted, forgotten, lost or suppressed and must be brought to light. The closer we get to this, the bigger our hopes and chance for a future where the living exists with the equal rights they were born to. We filter with the desire to provide valuable and life changing information. Our home is your home and we want to publish what you love and show the world new ways of making a difference through our PROTECT THE LIVING THROUGH ART SPECIAL PROJECTS, which you are invited to be a part of. Together we fight for the rights and the love for our bigger family, bringing different organizations/players together. We believe all knowledge is golden as long as you celebrate it, and we have chosen art as our instrument as it lives in all of us, indifferent of our backgrounds. We must immediately share the knowledge that enlightens our daily lives but which also travels way beyond our humble and precious existence. Our knowledge is our art, and together we curate and work to make a difference.

Something is definitely happening in our culture. We think it’s a new consumer revolution.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_3884" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Alex Bogusky's FearLess Revolution"][/caption] The FearLess Revolution.
  • Founded in 2010 by Alex Bogusky and Rob Schuham, The FearLess Cottage has become an informal clubhouse for insurgents in a new consumer revolution. On most days you can find a confederacy of passionate teachers, entrepreneurs, chefs, marketers, ecologists, moms, farmers, engineers and tinkerers. Glued together with an understanding that we can do better. Better for our kids. Better for the planet. Better for each other.
  • We see ourselves as advocates in this new consumer revolution. One founded on the principles that we have the power and the tools to reshape the world again.
  • We humbly put our shoulders behind the best ideas and look forward to some laughs along the way. Just because the fate of our children lies in the balance, doesn't mean we can't have a good time.
We can do better indeed.

Last Chance to Give in 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010
[caption id="attachment_3868" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Year-End Giving Made Easy"][/caption] The World is Full of Problems. GlobalGiving is Full of Solutions. Happy New Year's Eve!


Friday, October 15th, 2010
[caption id="attachment_3224" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Interesting things from interesting places"][/caption] When I was in New York I went to this awesome little store in SoHo called KIOSK. We offer a curated range of prod­ucts from all over the world in an exhibition format. Everything is sourced during our travels; we build the collection while away and then feature what we found at KIOSK for 4 — 6 months. A terribly good time. And I got a sweet comb: The Knights of Nit. Read more on their Where the hell am I? blog.

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