Design is a messy business, and sometimes post-its on white walls won't do the trick. So last Friday, when the Innovation Unit's bunch of designers sneaked out of the office to have a reflection day, it looked more like a primary school craft workshop than a brainstorming session. But beyond the apparent chaos, it helped us to see things a bit more clearly. It was a refreshing and energising day, where we got to make silly hats, cook together, eat loads and talk a bit seriously about what having a design studio means to the Innovation Unit too.
The most valuable exercise we applied our creative selves to was aimed at better defining everyone's contribution to the team. Armed with a big box of craft supplies, we collaboratively made a hat for each one of us to highlight our individual qualities and attitudes. The best thing about the process: no post-its were used.
So, meet the design team:
This is Aviv. As you can probably guess from the look of his hat, he's a creative disruptor. He's comfortable with complexity. He likes to turn ideas onto their heads and to look at challenges from radically new perspectives. Hence the springy eyes. It's hard to see on the photo, but he also has a magnifying glass and a couple of knives (to cut through the crap) because he's impatiently curious and curiously impatient.
This bearded lad with rose-tinted spectacles is Jo. He is an optimist and believes strongly in the value of co-design as a process for bringing about positive social change. He is a bit of a Robin Hood. A very brainy Robin Hood. On a very fast train of thoughts. With tons of projects in his hands.
And here is Fan. Fan's head is bit like a funnel. She makes sense of complex things, through images and through language, and is not afraid of following a very intuitive process to do so. Don't be intimidated by the f**k off sign; on the other side of the hat, there is a big pink heart.
Irma's academic hat is looking up to the sky, because she is an idealist. A dreamy one. But she also has a very analytical way of thinking, and asks a lot of constructively disruptive questions. That's because she's truly passionate about our work, like the red feather suggests.
This is Amy. Amy is a great observer and an empathetic listener. The spade is because she likes to get stuck into projects and delve deeply into creative concepts until she finds a solution. You can't see it on the picture, but she also has a little Robin Hood inside her that comes out at times.
Finally, here is our versatile friend, Ben. Ben is a bit of a dark princess, but we are ok with it, because he is excellent at doing so many things, from photography and filmmaking to facilitation and user-centered design. Ben only works with the Innovation Unit occasionaly, but when he does, we really appreciate his external eye.
Thank you Ben for the photos!