12 Key Lessons from Design Indaba 2014

Chanel Cartell Submitted by on the 3rd of April 2014

I’d like to ask you to entertain me for a minute. Or at least take part in a little experiment.

I want you to grab two people around you – they can be your colleagues, friends or family. Now that the 3 of you are looking at the screen, I want you to sing the following song lyrics REALLY loudly (even if you don’t know the tune).

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts

There they are, all standing in a row

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head

Give them a twist, a flick of the wrist

That’s what the showman said

 

Roll a bowl, a ball, a penny, a pitch

Roll a bowl, a ball, a penny, a pitch

Roll a bowl, a ball, roll a bowl, a ball

Singing roll a bowl, a ball, a penny, a pitch

(Source:metrolyrics.com)

Now answer me this – are you feeling a little happier? I bet majority of you are smiling ear to ear and potentially nodding a big fat, “YES!”

On the last day of Design Indaba 2014, Austrian-born Stefan Sagmeister (who can now be known as my hero) challenged everyone in the room to sing at the top of their lungs, in an experiment that proved – singing loudly with a group of people (regardless of the song) increases one’s happiness. That, together with spontaneity, large social events with loved ones, exercise and religion.

But why were we blaring at the top of our lungs, hoping to increase the amount of teeth we showed the world? Because according to Sagmeister’s experiment, a person’s level of happiness is linked to the quality of work he or she produces. As artists, creatives and creators, we spend our life creating, and it’s so incredibly important to be happy while doing so.

This was just 1 of the 12 things I took away from #DesignIndaba 2014. My full list can be seen below (structurally inspired by yet another Design Indaba 2014 speaker and Creative Director, Dean Poole), as well as in detail, unpacking each one of my lessons in the presentation I prepared.

 

                                      BE UNPREDICTABLE

        REMEMBER WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO

                                            KEEP IT SIMPLE

                                               EXPERIMENT

      EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE

 DESIGN MUST BE FUNCTIONAL

                                                BE NAÏVE

    BE HARD ON THE WORK) NOT THE PEOPLE

    DESIGN LIKE YOU GIVE A DAMN

                                                  COLLABORATE

                                                  COWBOY POETRY

                                                          HAPPINESS