This is March. Cold outside, but we've brought a load of sunshine back from India, hopefully it will keep us warm for a while. Here's what is Coming Up in the Studio this month. (So far this sort of an update has been the 'news feature' on our homepage, but we'll try and expand on that as regularly as possible.) We are working on couple of exciting client briefs, one involving vision, strategy and community-building with our friend Jonathan of the Hub fame.
Another project involving online interactions around the census 2011 is shaping up well. As with such things, not much is allowed to be said at this point. Anyhow, Happy Clients = Busy Us. Next week I'll make a super short visit to the Limmerick School of Art and Design (first time in Ireland!) to teach on their MA course. And then later this month, I'll be in Doha again, wrapping up the Health and Well-being Studio with the students, and leading a series of workshops on the same theme for the Tasmeem Synapse conference. We are working closely with the brilliant Carolina Vallejo to develop some lovely engagement 'props'. And on the last day of the conference, I present the work, in a panel moderated by Alice Twemlow.
Fritz Kahn's brilliant 'human/brain/machine' illustration as a placeholder.
Jon's leading our 'digital smarts' client project, working on our own new site, while also traveling to Bristol and Norway. Between that, we are prototyping a series of ideas for our new Lab project titled 'Song of the Machine', a mind-boggling optogenetics/neuroscience project in partnership Dr. Patrick Degenaar, Newcastle University and Dr. Anders Sandberg.
This is a long term project with different design aspects, but for now, our first short piece (to be done in less then 4 weeks!) is commissioned by the Science Gallery, Dublin, for their upcoming exhibition HUMAN+ The Future of our Species. Super exciting! And...we have Justin Pickard, futurist-infovore-tech-gonzo collaborating with us on this, and in general, on plottings here at Superflux. Hurrah! And finally, a quick mention of Lilorann, which is chugging along in the background, go check out the images from our last field visit.
(It may seem a bit confusing, on one side we are a design business, on the other side we are wandering the desert of north India. Internally between us, our associates and our advisers, we know how it connects, and hopefully all the pieces will fall into place in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile we are enjoying this business of shaping a new type of business immensely.)
This post was recently on the TED Fellows blog, and I'd just like to share it, but also blog it as a note for us here at Superflux.
How the TED Fellows Program develops Leaders:
"The TED Fellows Program is one of the leading examples of an increasingly essential type of community for young leaders. In the past five years, we've seen the emergence of a number of programs that help young entrepreneurs. In the web technology field alone, Y Combinator and Techstars have spawned an entire industry around star-tup incubator programs. The PopTech Social Innovation and Science and Public Leadership Fellows, the Unreasonable Institute fellowship, the Global Health Corps fellowship, the Global Citizen Year fellowship, the Singularity University program, and more, help foster innovation in other fields. These communities tend to promise their participants two types of value. First, there is some specific value related to each unique event: being able to attend TED in one case; having access to the mentors and funding of Unreasonable Institute in another. But there is also a second equally important value, which is the value of the social capital that flows between members of the community. When a company, nonprofit, or scientific lab is fully mature, it can deploy its extensive team and existing financial capital to get things done. Lacking these resources, start-up projects need communities of support such as fellowships to provide encouragement, resources, and validation."
(Goes without saying that designers can be (business) leaders too! As we work with some brilliant organisations on big ideas through our Consultancy and start ambitious initiatives through our Lab, this is inspiration.)