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EUROPEAN VOICES BY STEFAN NILSSON

Curiosity conquers

C

uriosity killed the cat, or so tectural projects, encouraging ­visitors to take pictures and post them on ­Instagram they say. This proverb makes being inquisitive sound like a with the hashtag #includeme. The red fignegative thing, but as a trend ures represented refugees, and the figurine hunter, curiosity is a ­virtue. project was intended to raise awareness The world is constantly changing, and it’s we are facing in sheltering them. Which important to stay in touch with these should we prioritise: fancy architecture or changes. Only curiosity can keep me up to social housing? speed. But it’s not only trend hunters who Curiosity was also the keynote of a proneed curiosity to forge ahead. ject launched during the London Design Festival. In September last year, ­British There are numerous examples of companies trying to foster curiosity among co- designer Faye Toogood was invited to workers. One classic case is Google urging exhibit at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. She wanted to engage and surits employees to find new web email soluprise the visitors by tions as an alternahanding them a ‘magic’ tive to programs like coat and map and sendOutlook. Google CURIOSITY COMES FROM ing them on a scavenofficially wrote: WANTING TO EXPLORE. ger hunt. Thanks to the “We encourage our foam coats with maps employees, in addisewn into their lining, tion to their reguthe most dull part of the museum became lar projects, to spend 20 per cent of their the most exciting. Along the halls of the time working on what they think will most benefit Google.” In 2004 Google museum, they discovered more coats in the form of sculptures inspired by Toolaunched Gmail, a concept enagood’s ten favourite museum pieces. bling connection with YouTube, But what next? Schools, too, are placchecking emails, and countless ing emphasis on curiosity. At Japan’s Aichi other tricks – all brainstormed University of Technology, they use virtual by employees who were asked reality and other ­technology to educate to spend time on creative, people on the aftermath of tsunamis and new projects on top of their other natural disasters. And we are bound daily tasks. to see a lot more curiosity-driven advances The Swedish archiin technology, from voice-controlled TV tect studio Codesign is to augmented reality, as in Pokémon Go. similarly fostering curiBut don’t be fooled by the tech hype: osity with what they call ­curiosity comes from wanting to explore CoRS (Codesign Research ­Studio). Besides designmore –technology is just the tool. ing houses, apartments, and Curiosity is good. Be more curious. offices, they encourage coAnd courageous. l workers to drive debate on what constitutes good living or working Stefan Nilsson is a Stockholm-based trend conditions. Such debate isn’t neceshunter and gallerist. Best known for his blog sarily directly good for business, but Trendstefan, he is also the owner of Designgaltalking about how we live on a larger public scale is certainly good for society. leriet and head of the Designbloggarna blog network. Check out his YouTube channel At this year’s Venice architectural bienTrendstefan TV as well as his Instagram nale, they invited co-workers to place account: @trendstefan small red plastic figurines in their archi-

42 BLUE WINGS OCTOBER 2016

Blue Wings Curiosity issue October 2016  
Blue Wings Curiosity issue October 2016