Posts tagged “theme”

Building on what isn’t there

Sketch for curved shelf ©2007 Dan Soltzberg

There’s a testament to the power of openness as a spur to creative participation nestled in Scott Brown’s piece on early fan fiction in this month’s Wired.

Brown writes about the works Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s more avid readers created around his Sherlock Holmes novels, and how what were really continuity errors provided these folks with points of entry:

Sir Arthur, God bless him, didn’t write with an eye to what today’s nerd would call “continuity.” Crafting Holmes stories bored him, and he frequently lost track of details like the exact location of Watson’s Afghan war wound (was it the shoulder or the leg?) and the precise status of Mrs. Watson. But Sir Arthur’s table scraps, his inconsistencies and random allusions, made for a fan feast. From a throwaway line-a hilariously oblique reference such as “the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared”-scores of amateur yarns have been spun.

Conan Doyle’s omissions and errors left space for others to contribute. Less-than-fully-speced inputs–raw sketches, concept directions, overarching themes–can often leave more space for creative participation than a finely honed departure point.

Of course it depends on where in a development process one is and what the objectives are. (Sing, “a time to diverge, a time to converge” to the tune of The Byrds’ “Turn Turn Turn”).

In semi-related news, San Francisco IxDA will be exploring the use of prototypes at their May 26th event.

Related Posts:
Giving Away Time, and Moving with a Magic Thing (Quickies)
Human Behavior
Trying to find out things we didn’t even know to ask about

Fossil’s designy SKU onslaught

Probably everyone knew this but me, but Fossil Watches offers an impressive (at least in terms of number, if not actual appeal) array of themed watches. Themes (or shall we call them brands) include Ohio State, Universities of Illinois, Alabama, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, as well as Starck, Gehry, Atari, and some other geeky options. Fossil is riding the same trends as everyone else – co-branding with entertainment properties, designers as brands, target = “_blank”Substance-of-Style-esque massive choice.

Wild West Theme Parks – in Europe

NYT story about European theme parks based on the American Wild West.

They all form part of a multifaceted Wild West subculture in Europe that includes everything from country music festivals and cowboy saloons to an established rodeo circuit. Tens of thousands of Europeans study (or even live like) trappers, American Indians or other frontier archetypes as a hobby. They join clubs, dress up in elaborate costumes and often take to the woods on weekends to live in tepees or sleep ‘cowboy style’ under the stars. ‘People dream of a free, beautiful country, of romantic campfires and heroes in the saddle,’ said Detlef Jeschke, a Nuremberg-born former champion European rodeo cowboy who is Pullman City’s program manager.


About Steve