In the month of June and a bit of July, I had the privilege to share my thinking about drawing in the workplace with the marketing department of the dutch energy company NUON (now part of the swedish Vattenval). I teamed up With agile master Darmadji, with whom I had been developing a program within T-Mobile.
We were lucky enough to be hosted in both the Holiday Inn and the Marriott at the Amsterdam Arena locations. Both excellent spaces to get a marketing crowd to take a step back. The conference style spaces were transformed into visual work spaces with the help of both respective facility departments to create the most ideal SPACES for marketeers to make their thinking about present pains and future perspectives VISIBLE.
This is the second evolution of the Time2Draw course outside T-mobile; The ministry of Finance being the first. The energy and focus of both the morning and afternoon teams was totally different from that of any Telco Team or Finance Group we had encountered before. Our objective was to equip this department with a basic drive to draw, a simple set visual models to explore and synthesize thinking and reveal some of the secret visual tricks that help share all that visual thinking with others. These marketeers write propositions linking to customer need and marketing trend on a daily basis and delegate all visual content needed to support their ‘innovations’ to the communication department. It was great to hear that, during the weeks in between our physical meet-ups, the lessons were resulting in a visual buzz at NUON. The tricky part is keep making all thinking VISIBLE!
The biggest challenge however wasn’t the program. This visual learning lane works well in any working environment. Strangely it was to get this intelligent group of individuals to reveal their biggest pains and open their thinking spaces to offer them other insights when looking at the stuff they need to get done.
By the end I think they all did very well. Afternoon AND Morning…;).
We hope to be speading the visual fire after the holidays!
The afternoon team
Great blogpost of my new colleague in the KUNSTGROEP WASSENAAR Helene courier.
Source: Creating a story to reach the golden egg
“The one vision is realized by the many steps.”
I have been living with a vision for the better half of my life and I can say with confidence and humility that the many steps can only be made consciously when you have a story to guide them. I envy the ones who just live one day at the time and are not burdened by the itch of something they want to build or create over TIME.
My VISUAL path has lead me across many different story lines by both individuals as well as organizations. They all seem to want to move…but are all looking for that light to follow. That story you want to be a part of. That general direction that gives focus to the clear goals you need to be running towards. What I am seeing a lot, and have been uncovering as a running theme within the work I do for others, is the movement of Change. We try to walk the line that moves between a present point A and a pre determined area B, which we generally fashion to look very appealing. We love to SEE a road or sequence of steps that help realize the milestones of the inbetween. This sequence of planned steps between two points in time is how we have learned to tell and share stories. We start to tell the story by inviting your audience to a stage (your context) , describe the characters (or actors) and introduce a hero’s challenge. The quest is set.
You can move up and down that storyline and make your past, present and possible future VISIBLE for all to see. Now here lies a challenge.
In the land of storytelling we are exploring different ways to touch, move or inspire people. But alongside we are challenged by a multitude of tiny steps that are all part of a system. A structure that is getting more visible every day. We are living IN our own storylines… our Twitter and facebook feeds become a line that is influenced by so many different things, that it is almost impossible to be a good curator of your own STORY.
In a new economy focusing in on experience and transformation as the main value of trade, we see that the audience (or customer) is being taught that it is okay to want to have a Choice in where to start or even participate in a story. Pretty soon we will not be interested in lectures anymore… we want to see and experience the whole story at once…
This is where the good storytellers take a leap out in front of the rest. When you are or live IN a story, you will be able to start anywhere… no sequence, no numbers… just a story and infinite angles…
more to come
Ianus Keller asked me to put together a workshop on the creation of scenarios and/or storyboards as part of a series of extra curricular workshops organized to close the gaps students are feeling in their chosen paths, studying at the Delft University of Technology.
I did not have to think long to come up with a general premise for this class, which is why I started the first real explorations with an extra ordinary host: Pieter-Jan Stappers, professor of design techniques at the faculty of Industrial Design in Delft.
Now with some 11 years of design experience of my own we were able to fly-over and dive deep into the subject of storyboarding or telling user stories. We ended up covering most of the Whiteboard walls in STUDIO TALK, which by the end of our exploration was exactly the skill we wanted the students to (re)-discover. Being able to explore a general idea and find focus by making the start-up process visible and clearly articulate what it is you want to design for whom, is something that even designers still have trouble with. It is however the start of any good design story…so this is why we ended up settling on creating a workshop for groups to find their SHARED STORY and move from being a group of individuals to a DESIGN TEAM with a shared goal and story to realize!
[Writing this now, I realize that we strayed from the given scenario path, driven by a shared frustration of students nowadays attacking any problem with a laptop… The faculty used to be filled with hands on practical MacGYVERS, which seems to have ‘evolved’ into some sort of an IT-Lounge filled with networked designers. To bring back some HANDY WORK into the way master students start up their design challenges together, logic and practicality takes over to help these design “experts-to-be” pick up a pen and get to the wall… to explore, funnel, discuss, test and improve their ability to think out loud and CREATE at the wall …TOGETHER.]
When going into any kind of process with people you do not really know, it is time well spent focusing on creating a shared idea and finding the path that fits the team. A DESIGN story will help focus a group to make conscious decisions during the design process itself and give direction to the path to be taken by the different experts in the group. Along the way all the intricate detailed work done by the members of the team needs to connect to the overarching AIM of their DESIGN story. The ability to be flexible in your focus (FLEXIBLE FOCUS) will give a team the opportunities to test and fail early. Improving every time.
But now for the workshop:
The simplest way of getting a group to function like a team is to make them go through some sort of high pressure make-session… forcing them to pick up a pen and draw out their challenge… like MACGYVER used to do drawing a plan in the sand or Doc Brown in back to the future with his “crude”models of how he was going to send marty back to the future. The objective of this workshop was hidden in its practice. By experiencing the value of drawing out thinking and allowing the group to build upon what is made visible, you are creating a shared story!
In the morning the group found common ground sourced from their own likes and dislikes. If you are totally free to chose your own design…what pain do you solve…together? We explored the unique contexts of 8 groups and what their proposed successes will look like for their stakeholders. This created a shared focus that would guide the group in a high pressure design process in the afternoon. By mapping out current and future desired states you frame your own design space…a luxury not to be underestimated for designers… Something that hopefully these groups will have experienced and will use in future projects…
This workshop was made possible in fact by the FLEXIBLE FOCUS of the day. The overarching AIM of the day was to experience the creation of a shared design narrative using visual techniques, which were shared mostly in the final half hour when all the stories started to result in abstract designs. The small tips and troicks can only be shared when you run into real little barriers. This waqs a great way to share some of my experiences in translating thinking into visuals.
The day ended with a 15 minute run through of all the stories AND a little feedback. Courtisy of Pieter-Jan! Check it out:
For more pictures of the process : https://goo.gl/photos/wtxPAD8jkaDjP1NH9
I used to find refuge in drawing big floating COWblock with pulsating Udders… which is why I post the following refinement. Now, when I sit down with the kids to draw, I tend to teach them to draw simple things that move. To my surprise this feather foot suddenly appeared. My (c)rude sexually frustrated drawings of old have evolved into erotic innuendo and graceful flow… is this a good thing…;)?
Verleden jaar ben ik uitgenodigd bij de vorming van een alliantie. Een samenwerlking gedreven door een passioneel pleidooi van Kevin (blauwe shirt). Door krachten te bundelen wist hij genoeg mensen te bewegen om samen te kijken naar een belangrijk en moeilijk probleem dat voor komt in de verzorging van zwakzinnigen. Het gaat over iets heel erg leuks… iets lekkers… het gaat over koken!
Vorig jaar December zijn we begonnen en we zijn nu lekker op weg. Humanitas, Ilionx & T-Mobile zijn aan het kijken hoe ze een pad kunnen creeren dat leidt naar de realisatie van een applicatie die de clienten en begeleiders helpt bij het samen leuk en lekker koken.
We hebben samen de muur boven bij T-mobile (neergezet door Visually yours) vol geklat en zijn stappen aan het maken met de doelgroep. Het zichtbaar maken van deze alliantie en verandering is erg leuk… vandaar ook de naam…;)
Elke keer maken we weer een nieuwe stap. Van Reden voor meedoen naar organisatie, verhaal en roadmap. Het geheel begint al aardig wat in beweging te brengen… Hou dit maar in de gaten!