“The Design thinking process is best thought of as a system of overlapping spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps.”
Tim Brown & Jocelyn Watt, Design Thinking for Social Innovation
Recently, I completed the +Acumen and IDEO course Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation with three recent graduates from DD27, Sarah Gillis, Denise Villanueva and Daniel Quintero.
For the seven-week course, our team tackled the design brief “How might we enable more young people to become social entrepreneurs?” We felt this topic was hyper-relevant to Vancouver’s entrepreneurial and start-up culture. Our team went through a rigorous UCD process that moved through the three spaces of Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation outlined by the IDEO.
As creatives, we have the power to introduce and to influence change. We can choose to use our skills to support worthy causes. Instructor Dougal Muir and I both support the annual Canstruction Vancouver event which benefits the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Dougal provides creative direction and design talent to promote the event through print pieces such as a promotional desk calendar, and I supply the event photography and the source images for the calendar. The photos are also published in both the print and online editions of The Vancouver Sun.
Canstruction Vancouver is a design-build competition, and teams are formed from architecture firms, engineering companies, design agencies, and schools. Similar events are held in over 160 cities worldwide. After planning the sculpture to fit the provided theme, funds are raised to purchase the canned food, and the sculptures are built in less than two days. Following the event, the food is donated to food banks to assist those in need. After eleven years of this event in Vancouver, 1,248,455 cans, with a retail value of over three million dollars, have been collected and donated.
MET Fine Printers founded this event in Vancouver, and it was great to find out that the 2013 Canstruction Vancouver calendar, which we also collaborated on, won Gold at the Canadian Printing Awards.
Mark your calendars. The exhibition of this year’s sculptures will be open to the public from May 12–16th at the Pendulum Gallery, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, and the Rotunda at Pacific Centre.
As we’re starting a new term today, it’s usually the time to look for ways to kick start our creative batteries. Often, stepping away from the computer is a first step, and I am a huge fan of do-it-yourself products like Kidrobot’s Munny and MUNNYWORLD vinyl figures. They allow for creative expression that is completely independent of the reliance on plugins or digital filters. These vinyl figures also look great for decorating workspaces that designers spend so much time at.
This is a vinyl figure I recently customized. In terms of process, I normally start with a list of key ideas to help me focus on what type of character I’m designing such as cute, grotesque, robotic, etc. Following an image search to create an inspiration folder and a visit to an art gallery or book store, I’ll sketch ideas out using a template of the silhouette of the blank vinyl figure. After a few pages of thumbnail sketches, I will proceed with the actual application. Even though it is nerve-wracking, I enjoy the challenge of drawing directly with pigment liners pens without using pencil guides. It is difficult, but I try not to worry about making mistakes.
In my role, I have the opportunity to shoot photos for advertising campaigns, in collaboration with the VFS Marketing department, and to cover many events at the different campuses. It is inspiring to witness the immense talent of the students and the diverse range of projects. I enjoy keeping my photography skills sharp by shooting personal and freelance projects. The past week, with the city enveloped in fog, was especially inspiring and kept the creative juices flowing. The following is a selection of images I have captured. Some of the images have been published in or featured on The Vancouver Sun, Huffington Post, Vancouver Is Awesome, The Georgia Straight, Reforma, Backstage, Applied Arts, HOW Magazine, and BCBusiness. I apply the same photographic techniques I teach in the term one Motion Design camera lessons of using traditional principles of composition.
Vancouver is renowned for its active lifestyle. Various events are sprinkled throughout the year to take advantage of the city’s proximity to great outdoor spaces. The RBC GranFondo Whistler is one such event. Imagine riding a bike for 122-km from Downtown Vancouver to Whistler. The route is filled with breathtaking scenery. However, it is also challenging with steep climbs and thrilling descents.
Loosely translated from Italian, gran fondo means “big ride”, and these mass participation cycling events have a long history in Europe and are gaining popularity in North America. This past Saturday, about 5,000 cyclists took part in one of the premier cycling events in North America. Cyclists rode at their own pace, and they took anywhere from roughly three to eight hours to complete the course.