As a creative technology firm, part of our job is to understand emerging tech trends so we can create the best user experiences possible. The technology is the easy part; the bigger challenge is to find new sources of inspiration so that each exhibit we create is a different experience. Each member of the NGX team has a different way of finding inspiration, and there is a steady stream of e-mails amongst team members sharing our latest finds. Around here we find inspiration in new technologies, beautiful art pieces and stuff that is just plain cool.
When I first started at NGX I would regularly search the web for interactive technology and exhibit designs. However over time, I have found that I tend to draw most of my inspiration from everyday life; a realization that I find fascinating. About a year ago I created a Pinterest account, not so much because I had any really use for one, but more because I wanted to see what the fuss was about. To get started I created two boards, one for quotes that resonated with me, and the other called creative inspiration – a place to pin a hodgepodge of anything I found interesting and beautiful. For quite awhile I found myself pinning things to these boards without having any real sense of what I would use them for. Then suddenly, and quite unexpectedly I found myself using my pins as inspiration for work-related projects. What surprised me the most was how often I would draw inspiration from something I had pinned months earlier when it had no relation to any project I was working on. One of the very first things I pinned was an image of a treehouse made of mirrors, which was nearly invisible as it blended so well with the environment around it. A year later, I found myself sharing this image with my colleagues as we were discussing concepts for a new outdoor exhibit.
Similarly I found myself sharing an image I found for a do-it-yourself bathmat made of moss when I was discussing possible ground covers for an outdoor donor recognition piece that needed to be low maintenance and accessible.
In the past year I’ve come to understand that inspiration can come from virtually anything. This revelation has had a positive impact on my work as well as my personal life. When you take the time to see beauty in the everyday, it fills you with a sense of childlike wonder at the world around you. I now pin with reckless abandon knowing that something I find interesting/odd/funny/beautiful today may be the jumping off point for my next creative concept.
Albert Einstein got it right when he said “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. And yes, I found that quote on Pinterest.
– Katie Bedford, Producer & Project Manager