Sunday, August 12, 2007

Gehry, Bricklin, Prototyping; & "Repurposing Content"

The idea of recycling material, if you think about it, is as old as the human habit of telling stories. So I'm hoping that's a good enough explanation for why I'm basically republishing this post I wrote recently for the Heart of Innovation. : - )

That's the new blog I've been managing and writing in for Idea Champions, and frankly my attention has been primarily there lately, which is how it should be. So I'll be cross-posting bits that seem appropriate here, after giving them a week or some decent interlude from their original publication.

Frank Gehry's Designing By Prototype

Columnist Dale Dauten wrote recently about some of the insights on creative thinking gained from observing the revolutionary architect in "The Sketches of Frank Gehry," Director Sydney Pollack's first documentary, new on DVD. "We get to learn how a genius works," he writes.
"Frank Gehry is the architect who did the curving, soaring metal walls of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, as well as Disney Hall in Los Angeles. He is the one who lets us walk into 'out of the box.'

"During his early Gehry spent his time hanging out with artists rather than fellow architects.

"He works by taking sheets of heavy paper and making models out of them. Not blocks, not wood or Styrofoam, but paper. When one of the models becomes an idea worth pursuing, it goes through an evolution, a series of models of increasing sophistication."

Dauten, taking the dare, as it were, starts creatively cross-referencing:
"If we wanted to apply his style to, say, working on a new sales presentation, we wouldn't use other sales presentations for ideas, we'd use novels or plays, movies, paintings . . . maybe even, I don't know, zoos, or airports. And not just one, but dozens. Some would become rough models, several going at once."
"Inside the brain of a genius lies lessons on generating & implementing ideas" by Dale Dauten, 5/6/07. (Gehry's "Dancing Building" in Prague. Uploaded on Flickr by astilly.)

Rapid Prototyping, Dan Bricklin, & "Serious Play"

This reminded me of another recent read on the power of creating with the method of "rapid prototyping," from Dan Bricklin's blog. Bricklin is of course the co-inventor of the electronic spreadsheet, VisiCalc (the original Excel, and the first "killer app" on what were then "personal computers"), among other programming breakthroughs in simplification.


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