Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A little less consternation, a little more traction

I attended Interesting 2008 on Saturday and had a great time. There were talks ranging from how horses can get scared by the most mundane of things (crisp packets) to a quite beautiful demonstration of a Technics Zoetrope. There's already been plenty of coverage of this so I thought I'd just comment on the aspects I found most 'interesting'.

In order of appearance. Firstly there was Collyn Ahart Chipperfield who declared the 'death of nostalgia' and that 'authenticity was soon to die'. She supported these statements with examples of fashion trends and the innocence of children. The one thing that really hit home was (and is the theme of much of this piece) is that we should stop writing narratives about who we are and more about who we want to become. This idea resonated somewhat.

To help concretise my notions of understanding what you could become we were given a talk by Steve Hardy about what it means to be a 'Creative Generalist'. Again lots of resonation going on here, and his examples made me realise that getting massively over excited about various subjects but coming away with only a superficial understanding is actually not such a bad thing. Long live the Jack of all trades!

Jenny spoke about Churchill which I thought was a brave topic to talk about as it's easy to use examples that many people are familiar with, however whilst alluding to his satirical wit (drunk/ugly, drinking poisoned coffee etc) she told us about some other slightly less well known attributes of the great man. She ended it beautifully by saying that courage was defined by Churchill as not only having the courage to stand up and talk but also being able to sit down and listen. It reminded me of a piece Ant wrote which I often think about in meetings and interviews.

James put together some beautiful animation using his Technics Zoetrope. I love the way he used something so simple to recreate a classic form of animation with such fantastic results. Maybe nostalgia isn't dead after all Collyn?

Less serious pieces came from Anna and James who spoke about funny words and booze respectively and at one point I found myself playing a Guardian Branded recorder on stage with 29 others!

Spent most of the day chatting to Clive who's a freelance brand planner over from the states doing some work. We had some good chats especially when we got down the pub.

So in summary, I 2008 was a fun day. Met some interesting people and it helped me to develop and rationlise some personal preconceptions. Bring on 'Brief 2008!!


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