Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Imagination@Lancaster – The Journey Gets Underway

Following our inaugural dinner to kick-start on 24 May, Professor Rachel Cooper and her band of collaborative nomads caught up with me for a one-day session at Linthwaite House in the Lake District last week. It is a fantastic location with incredible views over Lake Windermere, and we had a great session with an eclectic group of folks from various disciplines including product design, politics, social technologies, and sustainability. It was a heady mix of Welshmen, Italians, Germans, and Anglo-Saxons.

The day was spent creating a purpose for this pirate-like adventure, and creating a space we could all play in without being inhibited by yesterday or today. The dream for Imagination@Lancaster is ‘to be a global leader in imagining new concepts and new collaborations for the common good’. We plan to launch this initiative on October 24 at the Design Museum in London, but I feel so excited about the day I can't resist giving you some tantalizing tidbits of what Imagination@Lancaster will feel like. The team is a bunch of collaborators with a total commitment to sustainability. It also has a strong will to act as passionate catalysts to bring the future into the present. Core to the team is the belief that creativity happens at the boundaries, the exceptional is in the everyday, and that uncertain ground is the place to be if you revel in a challenge. Rachel Cooper was the perfect inspirational den mother for the session, helping us to bring a wandering bunch of nomads into a collaborative and connected space. Drew Hemment, who runs the Futuresonic festival in Manchester and who works at bringing art and science together in what he calls 'social technologies', was a leading insurgent instigator at the session. I can promise you much more to come on this potentially groundbreaking idea.