INSPIRATOR HOUSE

INSPIRATOR HOUSE

Last Wednesday I was fortunate enough to receive the key to the “INSPIRATOR HOUSE”. A new location for inspiration hosted by Jake Blok.

After receiving they Key and driving to my next Interaction, I felt great Joy and welcome into a place where people are working hard on new valuable interactions for and between people! So tanx Jake Blok! Next week we start to make the light burn just a little brighter at then Inspirator HOUSE!
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fullsizeoutput_2d9aMaarten van der Berg en Dennis Luijer…. pointing in the right direction!

NUON morning / afternoon

NUON morning / afternoon

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.

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morning team


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!
Thanks guys!
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The afternoon team

No Story, No Glory!

No Story, No Glory!

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.
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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.
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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…

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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:
 


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For more pictures of the process : https://goo.gl/photos/wtxPAD8jkaDjP1NH9

Tijd voor Tekenen bij ADR

Tijd voor Tekenen bij ADR

Deze video is mede tot stand gekomen door de medewerking van de Tijd voor Tekenen cursisten van ADR (Audit Dienst Rijk) en Hans & Rico van 3XFilm. Tijd voor tekenen is tot stand gekomen in samenwerking met T-mobile en is volledig modulair inzetbaar binnen afdelingen die veel complexiteit aangaan elke dag. Voor iedereen is dit anders, maar het principe is het zelfde. Teken je complexiteit uit en ZIE inzicht, begrip en samenwerking ontstaan. Voor een intake, mail het adres aan het einde van het filmpje!

TijdvoorTekenen-V1.2 from dennis luijer on Vimeo.

DRAW it* OUT!

DRAW it* OUT!

What if everybody in the world was able to come together by drawing out what they think and feel? Making it easier for us to share what we think we know and accelerate the process of making things happen?
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After a good deal of (visual) thinking I have reached two paths that tackle this challenge:
1: Every day I am articulating & improving the value of drawing as a thinking & learning tool. By bringing back the balance between logical & emotional thinking I hope to contribute to the way people look, see & understand themselves, each other and their place in the bigger picture. I do this daily by simply helping people to draw out their thinking.

2: When people accept drawing as a general skill and not as an artistic privilege something wonderful happens… I have seen them work together better, improving the way they communicate and share the big idea across silos, kingdoms & egos. The process of drawing is fun, social and deeply serious. Every time you use it to share your ideas you open up the possibility for others to connect and contribute to the realization of the biggest dreams you can imagine.

These statements make up my ‘VISUAL Philosophy’. They are based on a million little experiences and encounters with drawing as a communicative tool in the workplace. Visually yours demystifies the skill of drawing by standing next to professionals and guiding them in the use of visualization. Hopefully this will lead to a more applied use of drawing in the workplace and depending on the willingness to embrace new ways of working, create a foundation on which we can rebuild the way we share our thinking.
But how do you go about sharing a dream or a mission where the ultimate goal is getting people to draw and its purpose is nothing less then world peace…;)
The philosophy of Visually yours has been forged over time by listening to different signals on different levels in an over stimulated world. After 2 decades of THINKING I am now ready to start DOING what I know and sharing it with those who need it to make the world better by drawing it out.
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