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.


Susan956 said...

A lot to be excited about - and a good 'chair' vis Ms (Dr, Prof?) Cooper is invaluable.

Anyone who has read my run of posts know I am keen on multi-discipline teams so hearing this is being pursued here makes me one happy camper.

Do you have an [auto]ethnographer on the team to map the actual journey you are on - which would include articles like your own? (Susan raises hand). I'm serious though. Mapping the journey makes for brilliant culturally rich pieces.

Just make sense you get down to the pragmatics and anchor as you fly :)

Lovely image. Sort of companions the one on my site from the Bangalow/Byron Bay area.

It's been said that the best ideas come from being in such places where the breathtaking views nuture idea development.

Susan956 said...

Sorry, mea culpa, the article said Professor.

Kempton said...

Best of luck in the journey to benefit the "common good". I look forward to seeing some videos. May be possibly in the style of MIT World

Best of luck.

Apollo team said...

We want your sunrise!
And we want you to join us to broadcast a never ending sun. Live!

The idea comes from one of our stupid thought:
Why can't we keep a gorgeous moment that will never end?

This is a project which needs people all around the world to achieve. We want people from different time zones to shoot the sunrises in their local places.

Our optimistic outcome is installing 24 screens to display sunrises around the Earth. The Sun will keep rising from screen to screen, from bottom to top vertically. This 'never ending sun' will last for 24 hours in a day!

In fact there are still many problems to solve, it's been a tough way so far. Therefore we are in need of supports.

Your help will be most appreciated no matter in what aspects. It could be supporting us technically, joining us, spreading it out, giving us suggestions or anything else you could think of.
You name it, we do it.

Details please refer to our links.
URL: http://www.neverendingsun.net
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/neverendingsun2007
Blog: http://never-ending-sun.blogspot.com

We sincerely seek for your kindly help. Give us a shout if you think this is awesome :)

Many Thanks,
Apollo Team

Susan956 said...

Apollo Team

Beam me up Scotty :)

Intriguing idea. Did you know that technically the 24 time zones are quirky these days? The original 24 zones were established by dividing the globe into sections of 15 degrees latitude but China has ONE time zone and not three. And many countries have varied the zones because of daylight saving (although this of course not not influence dawn as such). Under the schema of the 15 degree latitude divisions heaven knows how many time zones there would be in the Arctic or Antarctica! :)

So, maybe 24 time zones as established by whomever the scientist (?) was that generated the concept?? All this may not make any difference to imaging as such but it may make a difference to companion text material and explanations.

Could you effectively use 4 or 6 screens because as one dawn fades on a screen another would be commencing?? So rather than a screen simply repeating an image series ad nauseum there could be movement and change? And certainly different dawns will generate different sky colours so the adapting and melding colourations may be welcome on less screens.

If you are pushed for funding this may be a reasonable compromise although I understand the desire for the 24.

All the best with the project!

davidsartof said...

I have a personal view on this development of the Imagination@Lancaster project. My take is that there seems to be a loss of focus in moving from a forum for the reimagination of '…the way universities interact with industry and government' to some new grand design on the ability of the group itself to become a world leader in imagining new concepts and new collaborations.

I have developed my argument on my own blog for those who might also detect this subtle shift of emphasis - so I do not propose to repeat it here, lest I cloud Kevin's intent! I, for one, still see this as an exciting project I merely caution against how it might appear in interpretation.

CONSUL said...

The humanization of hardware and the simplification of the consumer software is a major issue here.

The gap between human and machine is still too big!

Being able to “CONCOM” (Converse and Command –I just invented this expression so if applied in the future you know who the author is..) through an intelligent interface with your cybernetic computer, having it interacting via human voice (speech) would make a much wider and more global application possible.

Also the keyboard would partially disappear or become much smaller.

If you combine that with a 3D laser(?) screen and full duplex talking organized internet, you might speak of the next generation.