Category Archives: Art

Wishing you many Epiphanies in 2012

6th of january is epiphany day – the 12th and last day of christmas. The holiday is over and we can focus on the coming year. A good moment to wish you all the best for 2012 and hope that you will have many epiphanies!

Wishing you many Epiphanies in 2012

What exactly is epiphany, here is a collection:

  • EPIPHANY is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.
  • PHILOSOPHICAL meaning: having  found the last piece of the puzzle and suddenly seeing the whole picture.
  • ARCHIMEDES Eureka! I found it!
  • EINSTEIN was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move.
  • DARWIN An example of a flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was Charles Darwin’s “hunch” (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle.
  • JAMES JOYCE Referring to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization, he would then attempt to write this epiphanic realization in a fragment. Joyce also used epiphany as a literary device within each short story of his collection Dubliners (1914) as his protagonists came to sudden recognitions that changed their view of themselves or their social condition and often sparking a reversal or change of heart.
  • In RELIGION it is used when a person realizes their faith or when they are convinced that a event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of their faith.
  • WESTERN CHRISTIAN Religion:  The adoration of the magi, represented as kings, having found Jesus by following a star 12 days after christmas.
  • HINDUISM epiphany might refer to the realization of Arjuna that Krishna (a God serving as his charioteer in the “Bhagavad Gita”) is indeed representing the universe.
  • In ZEN kensho describes the moment, referring to the feeling attendant on realizing the answer to a koan.
  • BUDDHISM Buddha finally realizing the nature of the universe, and thus attaining nirvana.
  • WILLIAM BURROUGHS is talking about a drug-influenced state, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork (naked lunch).
  • EPIPHANIES is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series.
  • EPIPHANY is a web browser for the GNOME graphical computing desktop.
  • HIERONYMUS BOSCH painted the adoration of the magi around 1495.
  • HOMER SIMPSON has an epiphany, after visiting a strange Inuit shaman, and realizes he has to save the town from Russ Cargill’s plans to destroy Springfield.
  • The last page of THE WIRE magazine with surprising sonic stories about music is called EPIPHANIES.
  • Interesting: if you search for Epiphanies or Epiphany on TWITTER many people talk about that they (just) had an epiphany, but don’t exactly say what it was.

More info:
read the article on Wikipedia or just try the Twitter search for realtime results on Epiphany.

CREATIVE COMPANION on Twitter: @christofzuern

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What is your formula for now?

There is a fantastic book by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist with a lot of answers to the simple question: what is your formula for now?

In elegant simplicity you find the crystallization of a potentially complex idea into a single equation. You can use it a s a source for formulating your basic principles, your secret recipe, use it just as a briefing for your next project or just take it for your inspiration.
The book is dedicated to composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and artist Julius Koller both died 2007. The one page formula of Stockhausen’s 29 hour-opera LICHT:

Superformel aus LICHT

The secret formula on how to become a genius by Marina Abramovic:

1 tablespoon of talent
5 drops of popularity
1 drop of luck
10 kilograms of discipline
6 glasses of self-sacrifice
3 grams of spirituality

Here some more examples by Stewart Brand, Fischli + Weiss, Simryn Gill, Albert Hofmann (LSD).

Link to amazon.com: Hans Ulrich Obrist: Formulas For Now


Persona experience in the museum – playing with your expectations

User centered design, service design and persona thinking is thinking of our time and getting more popular. A current example is now in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (Netherlands), here a short description from their website:

The fourth and final part of the exhbition programme Play Van Abbe is called The Pilgrim, the Tourist, the Flaneur (and the Worker). The exhibition presents a selection of important works from the museum’s collection together with several special guest artists. You are invited to play a role whilst visiting the museum; the roles are the pilgrim, the tourist, the flaneur and the worker. The pilgrim is focused on the object of art; the tourist on stories; the flaneur on time and the overall museum experience. Finally, the workers are the roles that seek an active confrontation with art and produces new ideas for themselves and others. You can change roles during your visit and experience how artworks appear different.

So if you want to experience persona thinking in a museum context you can do this until august 2011 in Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (see the website)

If you want more inspiration in how personas work in business and design, how you can make and use personas for your company or project you can do a one day workshop to start with. At the moment I am organizing two dutch workshops in Den Bosch (Steedelijk museum) and Amstelveen (Cobra museum). This workshop can also be done as an in-house workshop in english, german or dutch.

More information:
German: Storytelling mit Daten – Persona Zielgruppen-Workshop

Dutch: Data storytelling met persona’s workshop  

We are like the birds – adaptations in architecture, technology and music

This is a very nice comprehensive piece with the focus on architecture, music and technology and their relationships. If you start listening carefully #musicthinking will start.

TED talk from David Byrne: How architecture helped music evolve.

Many epiphanies in 2011

CREATIVE COMPANION Christof Zürn

6th of january is epiphany day – the 12th and last day of christmas. The holiday is over and we can focus on the coming year. A good moment to wish you all the best for 2011 and hope that you will have many epiphanies!

What exactly is epiphany, here is a collection:

  • EPIPHANY is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.
  • PHILOSOPHICAL meaning: having  found the last piece of the puzzle and suddenly seeing the whole picture.
  • ARCHIMEDES Eureka! I found it!
  • EINSTEIN was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move.
  • DARWIN An example of a flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was Charles Darwin’s “hunch” (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle.
  • JAMES JOYCE Referring to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization, he would then attempt to write this epiphanic realization in a fragment. Joyce also used epiphany as a literary device within each short story of his collection Dubliners (1914) as his protagonists came to sudden recognitions that changed their view of themselves or their social condition and often sparking a reversal or change of heart.
  • In RELIGION it is used when a person realizes their faith or when they are convinced that a event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of their faith.
  • WESTERN CHRISTIAN Religion:  The adoration of the magi, represented as kings, having found Jesus by following a star 12 days after christmas.
  • HINDUISM epiphany might refer to the realization of Arjuna that Krishna (a God serving as his charioteer in the “Bhagavad Gita”) is indeed representing the universe.
  • In ZEN kensho describes the moment, referring to the feeling attendant on realizing the answer to a koan.
  • BUDDHISM Buddha finally realizing the nature of the universe, and thus attaining nirvana.
  • WILLIAM BURROUGHS is talking about a drug-influenced state, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork (naked lunch).
  • EPIPHANIES is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series.
  • EPIPHANY is a web browser for the GNOME graphical computing desktop.
  • HIERONYMUS BOSCH painted the adoration of the magi around 1495.
  • HOMER SIMPSON has an epiphany, after visiting a strange Inuit shaman, and realizes he has to save the town from Russ Cargill’s plans to destroy Springfield.
  • The last page of THE WIRE magazine with surprising sonic stories about music is called EPIPHANIES.
  • Interesting: if you search for Epiphanies or Epiphany on TWITTER many people talk about that they (just) had an epiphany, but don’t exactly say what it was.

More info:
read the article on Wikipedia or just try the Twitter search for realtime results on Epiphany.

CREATIVE COMPANION on Twitter: @christofzuern

Music thinking is the radical little brother of design thinking

When talking about services and service design I am convinced that music thinking can add an extra layer to the discussion of what design thinking means and especially how we can bring it to life in branding, communication and design.

“Music thinking is the radical little brother of design thinking”
Christof Zürn

When thinking about design there is the assumption, that at the very end after lot’s of prototyping, testing, etc. there is a final product, that maybe can get some updates later but is ‘ready to use’. When thinking about music (classical, jazz, pop) at the very end there will be a piece of work that has to be performed before the crowd. And after the performance what remains is the recall of an experience. If it is good you want it again, buy a CD, T-shirt or spread the word. If it is bad maybe you will ‘boo’, just turn away or tell it to your friends.
For me music thinking reflects the dynamics of daily business, working together with different experts, have to perform every day on a high expectation level in different performance venues for a changing audience. Music thinking also knows ‘radical change’ in style, technical innovation and behaviour of the crowd, customer, consumer, user, downloader. Music thinking is the behavioural side of design thinking:

In the project approach that I am using for CREATIVE COMPANION, I am thinking about the project approach more as a dance, or dance steps. There is a certain order, there is a certain style, in this case, it is a Tango. You don’t dance the tango alone you do it together and you have to rehearse, ‘prototype’ and iterate many times the dance steps together to make it a real experience.

CREATIVE COMPANION project approach with music thinking

Download the
CREATIVE-COMPANION factsheet and project approach (PDF)

Best 10 principles in design, business and more – any suggestions?

Is there any need for rules, principles, commandments? How can guiding principles help you to make better decisions?


I just set up a mindmap with the most inspiring 10 principles that come up my mind when designing or thinking. Some of them have more than 10. For me it is an interesting starting point while doing something, although personally Creative Companion Nr. 10 is the one for me.

It’s a map in progress, have a look, any suggestions?
Ten-principles-in-design-life-and-more-collaborative-map
Best 10 principles in design

Christof Zürn
CREATIVE COMPANION
www.creative-companion.com

Download:   CREATIVE COMPANION Fact sheet

Creative Companion Manifesto

I was always fascinated about manifestos and the impact of it. Also the struggle and the discussions if you should follow all the thesis or just pick out a few is a big inspiration. Here is mine, I call it the Creative Companion Manifesto

1. You cannot ‘not brand’.
Everything a brand or person does will add up to its identity.
2. Take the big picture.
Be clear about what you are and what you want.
3. Listen to the people.
Don’t do literally what people say, observe their behaviour and translate it.
4. Get to know all the facts.
There never is too much information, only a lack of focus.
5. Everyone is right.
Many people, many perspectives. They may all be right, but not necessarily relevant.
6. Best idea wins.
The best ideas come from individuals, teams can realize them.
7. Experiment while working.
Try things you have never tried before.
8. You are not alone.
Working in a team is fun and helps to understand multiple perspectives.
9. Stick to the concept.
Along the way there are a lot of temptations, go your own way. If they make sense, adapt them.
10. Think like a musician.
Compose, invent, innovate, orchestrate, prepare, communicate, rehearse, improvise, entertain, listen, play, perform – don’t give a damn.

Christof Zürn

You may also like:
Reformation, Futurist , Bauhaus, Surrealism, Cluetrain, Repair.
 

Christof Zürn
CREATIVE COMPANION
www.creative-companion.com

Download:   CREATIVE COMPANION Fact sheet