Tag Archive - Great Thinking

Loop City

Below is the presentation from the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2010 by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) that outlines their plan to use a proposed new rail line to link Copenhagen and Malm and their surrounding cities into a binational metropolitan area. Ideas as big as this demonstrate that the solutions to our modern problems need to step beyond the preheld definitions of things even as foundational as nations and territories in order for us to use the world as efficiently and sustainably as we can. Continue Reading…

CONNECT! Marketing in the Social Media Era: The Book

CONNECT! Marketing in the Social Media Era: The Book
Be the first on your block to own CONNECT! Marketing in the Social Media Era a book that gives 100 marketers 400 words each to discuss how social media has impacted the way that brands connect with consumers.

I had the honour of not only being a contributor but also of designing the cover which, with the help of the keen photographic eye of Leigh Peterson, turned out quite decent.

Best of all it is for a good cause: all profits will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. So order your copy today.

The No Stats All Star

The No Stats All Star
This weekend’s NY Times magazine features a brilliant article by Michael Lewis that takes a look at the career of NBA forward Shane Battier, a player who on paper appears unremarkable: a low scorer with few rebounds or blocks to his name. But upon deeper investigation, by stepping outside of the normal stats and figures and looking at more abstract reports on player performance, what becomes remarkably clear is this one indisputable fact: when Battier is on the court, not only does his team play much better, but the opposing team plays much worse.

What Lewis determines through his article is that Battier is an unselfish player in a game that creates endless opportunities for selfish behaviour. He compares the game of basketball to that of baseball where, in contrast, the decision that is best for the single player is almost always best for the team. In basketball however, there is a far less defined path en route to scoring points. Decisions are made constantly fed more by ego than by strategy, more by contractual expectations than by rationale.

Battier plays a different game, one based on a sharp attention to detail, a cerebral understanding of opponents’ behavior and a strict adherence to process. His decisions on the court are not influenced by anything outside of this process. He will ask not to start if it means that he will be on court more often against the player that he most needs to guard. The blocks he makes happen before the player he is guarding raises the ball above his shoulders and therefore do not statistically count. He will work tirelessly to keep a superstar like Kobe Bryant out of his shooting zone all evening with the knowledge that when the game is over, all his work will be lost in the statistics: Bryant will still be the game’s leading scorer; but it will have taken him twice at many shots to get there.

This all got me thinking about how such a process could benefit the way that the teams that I work with interact. How many decisions are made every day in the design world for reasons outside of that strict adherence to process? How does ego or the simple need to “be billable” affect our behaviour? More importantly, how can I as an individual act unselfishly in order to improve the overall performance of my team?

Absolute Silence

A Symphony of Turning Off Sounds
1) You are sitting on a stage, wearing a blind-fold. 2) Every electrical device in the building around you is on. 3) Suddenly, you detect a slight difference, a vague change in sonic pressure somewhere, as if an extremely distant mosquito has been swatted – a spot of silence, as it were, has appeared in the room. 4) “Toaster, fourth floor!” you call out – and you’re right. Someone turned off the toaster. 5) You win a trip to France.

Space as a Symphony of Turning Off Sounds
at BLDGBLOG

Future by Design

futurebydesign.jpg
Jacque Fresco designs the civilizations of the future; and in the process, he defines how the human race will need to change in order to get there.

On Deceit: Noam Chomsky + Robert Trivers

Noam Chomsky + Robert Trivers in the Seed Salon
Two legends, evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers (above right) and linguist Noam Chomsky meet for the first time in their respective careers to discuss the topic of deceit over at the always curious Seed Magazine.