By Bryant Rice
I recently viewed the new film Cowboys and Aliens from Dreamworks I liked it… more than I thought I would. Jon Favreau and Steven Spielberg  set about creating a modern interpretation of two previously well defined movie genres; the cowboy western of the 50’s and the sci-fi alien-comes-to-get-you thriller. The hybrid is refreshingly witty while providing many of the tried and true characters, relationships and scenarios introduced in the past. The “mash up” makes it better.

Seeing guns, spears and bowie knives paired with jets and an amazing piece of arm weaponry made me think of how many other things are made more interesting or relevant when viewed from a new perspective. Man Ray’s photography  takes the ordinary and reinterprets it with a focus on a detail, or a reference to a completely different subject. Duchamp did the same thing when he put that urinal on a museum pedestal.

It seems to me that creativity is enhanced when it is explored in numerous facets or disciplines at the same time. There are multiple studies and texts that document this. When rules from the worlds of science, or music, or mathematics are superimposed on studies of psychology, ethnography or aesthetics, new products or services emerge. Thus interest increases in subjects such as biomimicry, interdisciplinary education  and cross functional training.

Many of our clients here at DEGW are looking for the magic bullet that will deliver more ideas faster. The concept of “failing fast” depends on the rapid development of multiple solutions to a proposed condition or problem.  I believe this is best done when we “mash it up”; interact with partners within and outside of our typical organization. Space can support this as we see the development of co-working sites, incubator initiatives and co-development of everything from clinics to libraries. Developers are coming to some of the same conclusions providing services and spaces that encourage multiple tenants (and visitors) to get out there and meet each other.

It all builds common experience and promotes conversation. Doesn’t that appeal to all of us, at least part of the time?

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