Tag Archives: service design

What the economy could learn from Richard Wagner – the man, the work, the brand

The world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of composer Richard Wagner, this makes 2013 ‘the Wagnerjahr’. In their last edition of the year german financial newspaper “Handelsblatt’ is also focussing on ‘all the things to come’ and dedicated the cover story to Richard Wagner.

The story illustrates the many perspectives of Wagner: the innovator, the storyteller, the free spirit, the entrepreneur, the marketing strategist and I would like to add the ‘Music Thinker’ (more on music thinking see below).

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The visionary Wagner was driven by his mission to change the world with his idea of the innovative music drama into a unique ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’.
To realize his goal he was able to ‘think as a musician and act as a designer and entrepreneur’. He used his many skills without any compromise against all odds and struggles along the way like a 19th century Steve Jobs. He designed the interior of his music hall in Bayreuth with the focus on acoustics above comfort: the simple chairs are made from wood (fabrics would absorb the sound), the musicians are hidden in a deep orchestra pit so the audience would not be distracted, there is no heating and no climate control.

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When Wagner began to write his masterpiece – the 16 hour lasting ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen” – he was 34, at the world premiere in Bayreuth he was 63. The story is about love, power, leadership, greed, betrayal, ruin and destruction; or as conductor Christian Thielemann put it ‘what happens when modern man is losing sight of himself while striving for property and wealth’.

There are many connections possible with our modern world and politics. Every year captains of industry and politicians like Angela Merkel sit side by side to experience the man, the music and the brand Richard Wagner –  hope they get inspired to hear, see and do the right things in the context of  our Gesamtkunstwerk.

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Trending in 2013

For inspiration and speculation I put 4 terms into Google Trends (2012 view):

  • Richard Wagner
  • Financial Crisis
  • Service Design
  • Music Thinking

Interesting that the Financial Crisis is on it’s decline (at least in search volume nota bene), Service Design and Richard Wagner are meandering through the year with two peaks for Richard Wagner; Music Thinking is still a ‘hidden secret’.

GoogleTrends-Wagner-MusicThinking

You can help to change this in 2013 with tweeting #musicthinking for inspiring ideas in music and beyond!

Music Thinking

“Music Thinking is the use of thoughts, learnings, ideas and inspirations that are derived from all kinds of music, sonic phenomena, sounds, musical instruments, tools, techniques, metaphors, patterns, brands, behaviours and music business to inspire and motivate in a new way of thinking to reach goals, solve problems or just to have fun.”

Christof Zürn  (www.musicthinking.com)

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Co-creation, inspiration and the Global Jukebox

Can folk music be a model for setting up a co-creation culture?

In his book We-think: The power of mass creativity the author Charles Leadbeater is talking about a relation of co-creation and the habit of folk music that people borrow musical structures from a shared tradition and taking ideas from a shared pool of multipliers without concern for ownership. A climate of sharing and giving leads to mass innovation often with an individual touch and not mass production.

With this in mind it is interesting to watch the development of the new Global Jukebox project, a tremendous collection of field recordings, of Alan Lomax. The folklorist’s archive of 17.000 field recordings will begin to stream for free very soon, including music from Britain, Ireland, the US, the Caribbean and the former USSR.

Global Jukebox - Alan Lomax

Although Lomax’s name is not as well known as some of the musicians he helped discover, e.g. Woody Guthrie, his work continues to have an enormous influence. For example the soundtrack of the film O Brother, where art thou? is using samples from Lomax. He introduced Pete Seeger to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, recorded Vera Hall’s Trouble So Hard (made famous by Moby), and his recordings will even be featured on Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album, Wrecking Ball.

Besides the popularity to use this material for other musical inspiration it is also interesting to get more information on the system and categorization of the material. Lomax is talking about ‘cantometrics’, the term refers to a system for the measurement of singing style, like blue notes and sounds of animals.  The system was also applicable for pop music and he also developed ‘choreometrics’ for dancing and ‘parlametrics’ for speech.
The principles of ‘cantometrics’ are used in the Music Genome Project of Pandora.com a new automated music recommendation service comparable to last.fm and spotify.com

More info:
YouTube Channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/AlanLomaxArchive/
Research:  http://research.culturalequity.org/


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  

The Persona Core Poster – a service design tool

Since years I am working with personas from aspirational to reality. Most of the time I am following the same basic questions and approach while developing the personas.

Finally I found time to design a poster that you can use in workshops and I hope you like it. I post the A3 template here as a PDF under the creative commons licence, this means you can print it, use it and even change it, just name the source. Tip: start with behaviour and end with the quote!

If you like it drop me a note and share it with your friends or client. On a regular base I am also conducting workshops in the Netherlands or Germany.

More information on Data Storytelling with Personas workshop:

More posts on persona thinking:
Personas and female mindstyles
Persona Experience in the Museum – Playing with your Expectations
Persona Experience in the Museum – Playing with your Expectations