Tag Archives: creativity

Startups, urban psychology, and creative cities

Pictured: the Pinterest office in San Francisco via Stuck in Customs.

Last week an important announcement was made in Sydney that will give a boost to coworking spaces and the freelancers and startups who mostly use them. The NSW Government announced it will make a significant financial contribution to a new startup hub in an 11-storey building above Wynyard Station on York St. Fishburners (I’ve always loved that name), Australia’s largest coworking space and home to hundreds of ‘high impact scalable startups’, will be an important anchor tenant of the new space at Wynyard Station. Others in the mix include Tankstream Labs, The Studio, and Stone & Chalk in what will be space for 2500 creative entrepreneurs.

It all sounds great. And I’m happy for Fishburners who have expanded rapidly since their 30-desk-one-floor-beginning in 2011. For some time now they’ve needed more space than their current (and beautiful) Harris Street space in Ultimo can provide. But if this is going to work for all involved, then some careful attention to how this new spaces is set up will need to happen. More than ‘just’ cash, this about-to-be startup hub will require some clever design thinking about soft infrastructure. If not, the creatives it seeks to attract will not come. Continue reading

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What is a creative city?

View from a friend’s 5th floor walk up rooftop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Downtown Brooklyn is changing rapidly. Will it lose its creative buzz?

During an extended stay in Manhattan in 2013 I was given a copy of Jane Jacob’s famous 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities by a postgrad student who was obsessed with this great urban activist’s vision. I devoured that book, hungry to learn about how New York had developed, particularly during the 20th century. I’ve had three visits to New York since 2008 and will probably have a life-long love affair with that city. This is a common affliction; I am obviously not the first to have ‘suffered’ the lure of this great city.

Many creatives are drawn to the New York, and most would agree that it’s a creative city. But what exactly is meant by the term ‘creative city’? Continue reading

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Designer profile: Jacquie Moon

ginger beer label_Jacquie Moon

Ginger beer label designed by Jacquie Moon for Plump Design

If you’re like me you probably know there’s a lot of work that goes into bringing beautiful, functional graphic design into the world but perhaps less aware of the ‘why’ that sits behind the designer who creates the end product. My next profile of graphic designer, Jacquie Moon, from Plump Design, will shed some light on her design values and beliefs. Having known Jacquie and her design skills magic for more than a decade I was as interested as anyone to know more about her thoughts on why design matters. Continue reading

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Designer profile: Clara Vuletich

image 2 for Clara Vuletich post_low res

I am super excited to introduce the first designer profile on Art Matters Now:

Clara Vuletich is a textile designer, researcher and consultant who explores the intersections of fashion and textile design, sustainability and well-being through creative practice. Clara is completing a PhD funded by the MISTRA Future Fashion project and University of the Arts London, investigating textile making and thinking in a sustainable fashion context. Her main research interest is exploring the ‘social’ rather than ‘technical’ role of the designer in creating systemic change in the fashion industry – the new roles, skills and methods for socially-engaged design practice. Continue reading

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Can making art help me live longer?

turning potsThere is some research to suggest that, yes it can. Or at least perhaps it could.

In the March/April 2016 edition of Crafts magazine (# 259) there’s a moving article by Andrew Marr titled Why making can be the best medicine. He tells the story of how, after a massive stroke three years ago, he decided to become a maker. Previously he had never regarded himself as an artist. Andrew’s whole professional life had been completely focused on writing and speaking, and yet after this huge assault on his health, he turned to art practice. Interestingly he believes that ‘the urge to make images with lines and colour was always just there’. Continue reading

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What motivates people to create art/design?

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The contribution artists and designers make to the world is felt from the everyday (think for a moment about the design of the chair you’re sitting on as you read this or the shape and design of the electronic device you are holding to do so) to the rare and spectacular (consider the work of sand artists or extraordinary architectural feats such as the Flatiron Building in NY). What would our world be like without this phenomenal motivation to create? Continue reading

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