‘Watch’ This Space…

for some cool timepieces. As today is my 24th birthday, I’ll share a lifelong goal of mine: to have a cool watch collection as I grow up. Now, I’ve picked out a nice simple (but elegant) silver Skagen watch for my present this year, but I thought I’d share three other cool watches that have definitely caught my eye:

ONE. Mondaine (I have mentioned them a million times before) have a new edition to their Helvetica range. Who doesn’t love a good font and a classy colour? This is their Helvetica No1 Light Graphic Edition. 

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TWO. By the luxury brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, their Reverso Classic Small. I haven’t explored square watches nearly enough…

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THREE. A cool new company, GroveMade, based out of Portland, Oregon. They’ve created this unusual Round Maple Watch that I would love (but it only ships in the US… darn!)

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Happy Holidays and watch this space for more time-related inspiration in 2017! X

 

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TEDxBrighton

It’s always been my dream to speak at a TED conference. Second to that is actually getting to attend one… and this year, that dream came true at TEDxBrigton on October 28th 2016. The theme for this event was ‘We Can Be Heros’: a celebration of impact.

My top 2 talks were:

  1. Rory Sutherland – Rory is a change maker at Ogilvy. He gives fascinating talks on marketing, human psychology, and choice. This time he focused on the paradox of choice and wealth because we now live in an era where wealth doesn’t always come from having more products and services, but from having a better way to choose between different options. Read more about it here. 
  2. Sarah Giblin – Sarah was a commuter with a problem: with the backpack behind her, she constantly felt threatened by the people around her. After deliberating the design of backpacks, she realized… that maybe… just maybe, backpacks were designed the wrong way around! So, Sarah set out to design and manufacture a backpack that includes the zipper against the users back, rather than being exposed to the rest of the world. RIUT stands for Revolution In User-Thinking because she believes that as consumers, we all have the ability to solve the pain points we experience on a daily basis.

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Other interesting speakers that grabbed my attention:

  1. Beau Jessup – a 17-year old British Girl that has named over 250,000 Chinese Babies through her ‘Special Name’ website.
  2. Dave Perrins – A man who saw felt males were not properly trained to become fathers, so he created ‘The Dad Course’ (a relaxed environment meet-up to help first-time dads prepare for fatherhood and become more engaged, more confident and healthier fathers.
  3. Cat Fletcher – Cat gained national recognition when she sourced the materials for the University of Brighton’s award-winning Waste House, a two-story building constructed almost entirely of re-used waste materials.

My MBA Word Map. And some ‘Design’ Thoughts.

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As I research further and further into my future career aspirations and possibilities, I’ve realised how important the element of ‘design’ is to me. As a teenager, I attended a visual arts conservatory: I spent hours animating by hand, arguing over fonts, and painting oil landscapes. More than merely a hobby, art has impacted the way I understand the world. I’m a visual and tactile person who still needs to draw diagrams, flowcharts, and word maps to process complex concepts. As above, I still spend endless hours in coffee shops, allowing the caffeine to flow through my pen to form arrows, circles, and spider webs. As Han Hoffman says, “Design is the intermediary between information and understanding.”

Through my MBA research, I’ve  discovered design consulting firms that advocate ‘Design Thinking’ around innovation and business – that perfectly aligns with my creative soul:

  1. IDEO 
  2. DOBLIN 
  3. FROG DESIGN

From Doblin, I love their  Ten Types of Innovation framework – which provide a way to identify new opportunities beyond products and develop viable innovations.

Creative Confidence by IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley is DEFINELY being added to my ‘need to read’ bookshelf!

 

GOV.UK has some good Design Principles.

Government Digital Service in the UK outlines their design principles – which I think are applicable beyond their remit.

  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
  6. This is for everyone
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

**Side note: I am increasingly loving the word design in a business model/consumer-focused context. 

Pantone’s ‘Solar Power’ Yellow and a bit of figure drawing.

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I’ve been putting my new Pantone book to good use with weekly figure drawing classes and random thoughts. The more I use it, the more I appreciate Pantone as a company and brand. Their standardisation of colours is essential for printed graphic design work. But the best part (as with lipstick and nail polish), is the different names of the colours… from ‘high-rise’ to ‘Snapdragon’ to ‘Fandango Pink.’ I think my new dream job is: CORPORATE COLOUR NAMER. 

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I updated the Figure Drawing Gallery on website: CLICK HERE. 

Also, now that I work in digital advertising, I’m going to place a tracking pixel on my website and track the Google Analytics. Let’s see who’s bopping about villyfriends.com!

Designing LIFE according to architects Ted Mosby and Frank Gehry.

Designing LIFE according to architects Ted Mosby and Frank Gehry.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER QUOTES

“There are a lot of little reasons why the big things in our lives happen.”
– Ted, Season 4, Episode 22

“Look, you can’t design your life like a building. It doesn’t work that way. You just have to live it… and it’ll design itself.”
– Lily, Season 4, Episode 24

THE BUILDING AND ARCHITECT

The image shows one of my favourite architectural structures of the modern era. It’s Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. (Built 1997)

“The recent work of Frank Gehry epitomises both the folding and complexity theories without explicitly being based on either. Gehry is aware of the writings on both and respects them, but he is led more by his intuitive concerns. Nevertheless, his new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao characterises the supple, pliant, moving qualities of the one and the notions of self-organising systems and the fractal order of the other.”

Charles Jenks, “Post-Modernism and the Revenge of the Book,” in This is Not Architecture, eds. Kester Rattenbury (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), 191.

Gehry on design teams for architecture: “I collaborate with people on projects because it enriches the mix and gets you somewhere else that you wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise. When it’s really working, it is like holding hands and jumping off a cliff together.”

Barbara Isenberg and Frank Gehry, Conversations with Frank Gehry (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009), 155.

If you’re interested in Frank Gehry, I would recommend the documentary: Sketches of Frank Gehry (Sydney Pollack, 2006). It’s less than 90 minutes long and provides personal interviews with the architect about his career, creative process, and opinion on life.