March 2010

In the earliest phases of innovation, the time when you are open to discovering something new, is when the most rewarding conversations can happen. I begin this phase of research with a moderator guide, question after open-ended question organized into potential themes. But I rarely follow them. In the first few interviews I’m surprised if I use 3 of those questions in the interview.

When you are seeking inspiration from users. From what people really care about, what they are really frustrated by. When you are open to building ANYTHING that would fulfill a real user need… then the conversation begins with a single question, and there is no telling where it will go from there.

I often begin with something incredibly open ended, “How was your day?” and the conversation evolves from there.

In the middle of a wonderful week of rich conversations about how people communicate, I listened to a Studio360 podcast about the latest installation at the Guggenheim. I was so moved. It is a brilliant and touching piece of experiential art. Listen to it here:

or this excerpt from the Slamxhype blog:

Presented as part of the Guggenheim’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, Sehgal’s exhibition comprises a mise-en-scène that occupies the entire Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda. In dialogue with Wright’s all-encompassing aesthetic, Sehgal fills the rotunda floor and the spiraling ramps with two major works that encapsulate the poles of his practice: conversational and choreographic. To create the context for the exhibition, the entire Guggenheim rotunda is cleared of art objects for the first time in the museum’s history.

Tino Sehgal is made possible by the International Director’s Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Additional funding is provided by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Leadership Committee for Tino Sehgal is gratefully acknowledged.