Friday, June 03, 2005

Frankie goes to Springfield

Enough with the Simpsons! I am sorry, but I had to comment on this week's episode. I was surprised to see Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry... and really laughed myself silly when I saw how he found "inspiration" for Springfield's concert hall when he throws away Marge's letter. (read the article from San Francisco Chronicle)

Well, I guess inspiration can be found in many ways... even by looking at garbage. I am not familiar with those alternative methods, but I can percieve that is not as simple as that. I see that as another way of "thinking ouside the box". The problem is, that many people get lost "outside the box" just like captive animals cannot be returned into the wildness without proper training. Designers have to be well prepared to explore the "outer space" wilderness or they may get lost with a solution that doesn't hit the target (wich is usually inside the box). Therefore, they have to know the rules of "thinking inside the box" first, so that they can be able to identify the target looking outside - in , and identify which are the outside elements that can help solve the problem creatively. Not just bring inside the first "outside the box idea" just because it "looks cool".

That is one of the main problems I see on design education. Many young designers are desperate to explore the wild side, they are eager to learn and be like Brad Pitt. Their designs are fresh, but they lack the experience to focus and target their ideas. The problem is that many educators overlook the lack of that targeted ingenuity. All over the world what is being praised as innovation, is being done everywhere! Just look at many school's on-line galleries... even the good ones, like Parsons or Eindhoven. (via Archinect) Young students explore the inmense space outside the box, but come back inside with the same common solutions, and it's not their fault; is the educator's job to guide them. We have to show them what to look for first, and how to find it. If this were a school science expedition, the teacher would show the students how a volcanic or sedimentary rock looks like first, or the students will only bring back dirt boulders. I don't want to sound rude, but usually, you wouldn't praise a student who collects a plain, normal, common rock : "well done, excellent job, you are going to be a great geologist!, etc" would you?

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