SXSW 2014: The Future of Making

Childish excitement is probably the best way to explain how I felt listening to Tim Brown the CEO of IDEO and Joi Ito the head of MIT media labs speak on The Future of Making. They chatted about growing chairs from bacteria,material that has memory and activates when it comes in contact with other substances and monitoring silk worms and then collaborating with them. As well as seeing a whole lot of cool ways we are making things now they talked about the importance of making and not talking. Joi told us of young Chinese kids who are making different phone designs almost every day and selling them in the street markets and then learning from their customers and then refining their designs and selling the new phone the next day. Don’t get caught up in meetings, start making.

They also talked about designing tools for making that you didn’t have to think about. Getting the tool to disappear. Tools that helped you get in to a space they called “flow”. Ito used the analogy of a paint brush: “If you have to think about the brush whilst you paint it won’t work”. This is so important in the new creative tools and platforms that are coming into our lives. But for me the major message was to tinker. And that is when my childish excitement kicked in. In our business we have forgotten how important tinkering is, we spend so much time planning and dissecting our creative solutions that we miss out on those special solutions that can only come come from tinkering.


See more of The Royals’ coverage at SXSW Live and Fresh, a collaboration with B&T.