There is no denying that the significance of design is largely underrated. Given its abstract yet unobtrusive nature, its complexities are known only to those who care to discern them. For the most part, design maintains such a discreet presence in our everyday lives that we often take for it granted. Nevertheless, design need not be spectacular to be any more important.
At the 18th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (27 September 2013), graphic designer and editor-in-chief Peter Bil’ak expressed his overwhelming fascination with design and the endless possibilities thereof. His magazine Works That Work explores global instances of unexpected creativity and their impact on society. What began as an inspiring publication entirely devoted to the curious mind has surprisingly evolved into a remarkable project of its own, reflecting the rapid developments in design, new technologies and mass media.
Continue reading “Design Matters | Finding Creativity in the Unexpected”
In times of economic uncertainty, waning consumer confidence and widespread unemployment, starting a business seems ludicrous at best. Yet, for an increasing number of ambitious entrepreneurs, there is no better time to set-up shop than when the odds are stacked against them. While well-established businesses are tightening their belts and shying away from unnecessary risks, independent brands the world over are rolling up their sleeves and taking chances, creating opportunities and doing their own thing.
At the 17th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (30 August 2013), author, editor and curator (just to name a few) Anneloes van Gaalen championed the heroic efforts of these entrepreneurial underdogs and how they are revolutionizing the way we do business. Her recent publication, Indie Brands (BIS Publishers) delves into the world of independent brands –from biodegradable shoes and slavery-free chocolate to minimalist mobile phones– and what makes them tick, their must-have products and the inspiring minds behind them. Far from glorifying their exploits, Van Gaalen reveals the overwhelming challenges that these brands face in running their own business.
Continue reading “Restless Revolutionaries | The Rise of Indie Brands”
Society decrees that there are two types of thinkers in this world: the analytical and the creative. At a very early age, we were led to believe that we are either one or the other, instructed to base our most important life decisions on this outcome alone. In truth, we as human beings are born with the innate capacity for both. Still, it appears that some people in particular are more creative than others, able to quickly generate innovative ideas and think outside the box. Be that as it may, creativity does not depend on the type of brain we have. It is simply a matter of how we use it.
At the 16th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht, neuropsychologist Sabine van Linden (Ph.D.) shed some light on the intricacies of the creative mind and how it can be improved. As clinical psychology lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, she is deeply fascinated by the inner workings of the brain, delivering lectures and workshops on this three-pound gem through her organization Talks to Mind. As the power of creativity is a valued human resource that often remains untapped, using the brain more efficiently can unleash its full potential.
Continue reading “All in the Mind | Expanding Our Creative Capacities”
Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places. More often than not, it is a product of aesthetic experience or, in other words, being moved – moments where we are truly open and genuinely present in the here and now. Indeed, the accumulation of a lifetime of these experiences compels us to find inspiration in all things and, more importantly, to create something out of it.
At the 15th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (28 June 2013), culistrator (culinary illustrator) Janneke Hoeben drew an unconventional link between food and fashion, proving that design can also be delicious. As fashion designer-turned-culistrator and founder of kitchen textile label Commis de Cuisine, this all-round creative serves as artistic intermediary between the best of both worlds. Combining her love for fashion and illustration with all things culinary, she firmly believes that culistration is where food and fashion meet.
Continue reading “Eating With Our Eyes | The Art of Culinary Illustration”
The irony of the World Wide Web lies in its complexity. On the one hand, the innovation has radically altered the world as we know it, facilitating greater access to information and bringing us closer together on an unimaginable scale. On the other hand, we are needlessly forced to adapt to its rapid advancements, having to relearn operational skills with every new development. While the Internet serves as a tool to make our lives “better”, it has certainly made things more complicated.
As a matter of fact, it is not only the end-user that must constantly readjust to the modern world but even more so businesses and organizations. Given that a corporate website is already difficult to maintain, the advent of mobile technology has generated a plethora of communication platforms including apps, mobile versions of websites and social media. Since the tendency for most organizations (in particular multinationals, government agencies and public services) is to provide as much information as possible to the general public, content –be it online or mobile– becomes a double-edged sword: easily accessible yet thoroughly complex.
At the 14th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (31 May 2013), information architect Marrije Schaake is convinced that the best way to move forward is to take one step back. As co-owner of user experience design agency eend, she and her team are on a quest to (re)design a more user-friendly web and the by-products thereof. Equally important to the end result is the creative process itself, whereby problem solving is accomplished through the most basic of means.
Continue reading “Problem-Paper-Scissors | (Re) Designing a More User-friendly Web”
On 30 May 2013, Indie BRANDS presents the 4th edition of the Indie BRANDS Event at Pakhuis de Zwijger*, Amsterdam. Featuring a night of captivating talks, independent brands and their must-have products, the evening’s festivities centers on matters concerning funding, trends and authenticity.
While financial volatility has rigidly defined the global economy, independent brands —from bamboo-frame bicycles to consumer-distributed magazines and “future-friendly” accessories— have consistently defied the odds by developing innovative, socially-oriented business models through the use of alternative funding. Due in part to their remarkable success, these brands are being largely imitated (never duplicated) by big business, sparking a contentious debate on authenticity. In effect, Indie Brands proudly brings to the stage the true originators of the independent movement to discuss au courant trends and what exactly makes a brand truly indie. ✌
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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Money is a figment of our imagination. Strictly speaking, it serves merely as a medium of exchange to facilitate our everyday transactions. Bearing no intrinsic value nor bound by any tangible assets (such as gold), money need not take physical form in order to exist. It endures purely as information and in turn, governs almost every facet of our daily lives because of the meaning we give it. Consequently, money –or rather, the love of money– is considered to be the root of all evil. If that were the case, what then, could be the root of all money?
At the 11th edition of CreativeMornings Utrecht (22 February 2013), Dutch artist Dadara (Daniel Rozenberg) summed-up his response in a single word: love. As founder and CEO of the Exchanghibition Bank, Dadara has engrossed himself entirely in monetary affairs and is now in the business of turning art into money. By designing and printing one-of-a-kind banknotes of exuberant denominations (millions, billions or zero) and inviting people to exchange them for legal tender at his pop-up bank, the artist-turned-banker is challenging the original construct of money, exploring alternative options in its place. Fascinated by the arbitrary precedence that money has been given by society, Dadara has become expertly obsessed with its inner workings.
“The whole project started from an art perspective,” the CEO said during the morning’s post-lecture interview. “I’ve always been an artist my whole life and I always created things because I felt I had to do it. It’s like total intrinsic motivation. And then, at a certain age you start realizing that the world works in a different way because people don’t do things because they want to do them, but because they earn money. I always compare the world to a giant playground with a parking meter.” Frustrated by this “pay-as-you-play” reality, Dadara was initially anti-money, paying no mind to its worldly significance.
Continue reading “Penny for Your Thoughts | The Art of Turning Art Into Money”