“If you could have any hardware you want for a lab, what would be on the list? Think big.”
That was the one line email message I received in the past few days, that will bring a few moments of bliss as I try to navigate the German language, finding some sort of work that I can do that requires no ability to speak German, keep my hands busy so I don’t keep thinking, “what am I doing here?”
This morning, I walked up to the local library, which is a drop dead gorgeous new building, constructed inside an old brewery that is inside the town’s medieval walls. The only downside is that this is Switzerland, and I think the place is open a total of 28 hours and they designers either are not very tech savvy, or they want to keep the community in some sort of traditional space? I am not sure, with the advent of the Internet; the idea of a library has and will continue to change. Your mobile phone will basically be the library of the future.
What is interesting is that three designs are coming up into my mind. The first was the actual “you” show. That was the idea to implode an audience in a traveling 360-degree type show. The problem was that since I had never seen anything quite like that, the question was, “how do you build it, allow for testing of it, and instead of expensive rentals of large spaces, allow for the various disciplines with lighting, video, 3d audio, automation and actual show creation and play to happen?
The next influence is simply the dream lab I designed for Colorado. It is simply an open room that has the ability to expand and contract, and has the ability, although not the ideal layout to have wet and dry work happening near each other (so you walk up a flight of stairs, unless I put a hole in the floor with a gantry crane)
The last was a very large banks “brainstorm room” for when the Internet was in its relative infancy. I might have written about the space before. When I walked in I thought I had died with how the layout and use of space was designed. Yes, there was one PowerPoint sheet on one tiny place of the wall with four seats around it – and the rest of the room was ignored.
So when I got that email, it was a bit of feeling like I had died and gone to heaven. There is so much work, research, mistakes, trials and errors, and reworks in the past 20-30 years with creating toys, shows, and high tech gizmo’s that I am simply thrilled someone wants to learn what not to do as the united states progresses into a very different way of working than our parents enjoyed.
Also, taking into account the university setting. You have some really brilliant minds that work in theory and ideas – but what has always seemed to be missing is a place and space for people to come in (geeks like me) and do one of the most important steps in the world between idea generation and actual fabrication
That is the area of blur where few people seem to really know how to operate within – to understand and be able to do both. I have met a lot of great designers. I have met a lot of great builders and craftsmen. What I haven’t met is a lot of people that can actually do both relatively well.
This is the space where the kids in college inside the USA need to work with. A space where they are taught, “it is ok to fail, now what did you learn in that failure? Is there a different or a better way?”
That is the beauty of the lab and skunkworks space. You see the idea coming out with maker and tech spaces coming online inside the USA. I was simply 25 years too late in that I had to scratch, claw, and build a space and learn to use the tools on my own.
I thought I was going to simply blast out a list of what was needed, but after making and loosing money with ideas, I don’t see the university really understanding the dynamics of business as well as they could teach it. For example, the only teachers that seemed to really touch me in college were not the full time tenured professors, but the people actually working in the world of business and economics that taught because they love to.
Conversely I really LOVE what I do in thinking up ideas and trying to make them reality. It looks weird in a world that likes to deal in only tangible items that one can hold in their hands and say, “it is real!”
Now I am thinking if I should add the Augmanity section we are designing in Colorado to the ideas…. it would make the most sense, but it is stuff I worked on for years and it cost me dearly – just give it up for free?
Truth is, it would probably be the one idea I have that could actually help many people grow
That last line I will have to pray about. Augmanity represents where man is heading in the next 30-40 years. There is nothing dangerous about it. Just how man chooses to use it.
Man is worried about saving the planet. The reality is the planet has been around much longer than we have. Man really should be more interested in saving himself first, then the planet would be just fine.
Mind map is open....three paths, one decent overall solution.
Addendum: I am getting a glimpse of why I feel so out of place here. I think I just have gotten spoiled to having a 24/7 life where creation was like breathing. It wasn’t dictated on a certain time of day or regulated hour to “create!”
One of the key secrets to creating is that you need a space where one can hyperfocus, go off into a sort of bullet train express and fire off ideas – uninterrupted by the normal distractions and obligations in life.
An Interesting thing that happens is you will loose all track of time when you are into an idea and generating possible solutions.
For example, the librarian walked up to me and said, “excuse me, we close at 11am”
I think my actual reaction might have been, “what is this a carnival joke? You just opened at 9 am.”
When I saw her face, I realized, she was not kidding. Not a bad morning work session for a library, 2 hours and then lunch! (I am flashing back to putting shows up in Bordeaux France; we were late loading in, working away and the local crew left “for lunch!”
“Why did they leave? We have to have all this packed in by 7:30 for the show.”
“Lunch is over, when it is over. It is lunch!” (Imagine a smiling face with a delightful French accent saying that to hyper stressed Americans trying to get a show in place in little time.
So there was my smiling librarian, a sweet elderly woman, “are you closed for the day? Can I come back?”
She took my pad and wrote, "open from 2- 6 pm." (then i looked to see this amazing place is only open about 25 hours per week)
There you have it. I am now typing away after doing my swim for my cardio portion of fitness and I have time to write the addendum of my life.
There is no right or wrong with life here. It is a good quality of life. Social structure and family are really important. This is a wonderful thing to see, particularly when I watch the American family pretty much get decimated in the past 30-40 years.
But man, it really makes it difficult to truly dig in and innovate.
Thankfully, this lesson of the day was needed, as I was trying to bring the elements of time and creation into the lab ideas from the morning.
Yes, I lost track of time. It was wonderful.
When you find what truly makes you happy and passionate for the idea of work. It no longer becomes and issue of a wage. It becomes an issue of spending the time and effort to get a desired result.
Do what you love and money will follow. I still believe and have faith in that quote.