"We start from the presumption that our people are talented and want to contribute. We accept that, without meaning to, our company is stifling that talent in myriad unseen ways. Finally, we try to identify those impediments and fix them."
On Saturday I toured the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Sometimes called the Neon Boneyard or Graveyard it's a collection of old signs, not all neon, from the casinos and hotels of Las Vegas. Some have been fully restored, some still work and some are just lying around.
A volunteer guide gave us an hour long tour which explained the history of the signs and with it a fascinating history of Las Vegas. The museum is well worth a visit even if you're not a designer. I went with 5 non-designers and they all enjoyed it. But if you're a type geek it's pretty close to heaven. You're allowed to take as many pictures as you like for personal use. I've put all mine on Flickr.
All the signs in Vegas are now LED of course. Essentially massive TVs playing massive banner ads. A bit like the animated screens on the tube but much, much bigger. I always think neon will make a comeback and someone will make a casino covered in neon. But I doubt it.
I went to see Thomas Heatherwick talk at the Design Museum the other night. It's been a busy week for talks.
Heatherwick is, of course, a genius. Lovely bloke, very down to earth humble way of presenting.
He even had a picture of the Tellytubbes outside of the Seed Pavillion.
One small concern. At the end there was lots of future work which was a bit Starchitect. I hope he doesn't turn into one of those. I always loved his ability to take pretty mundane things and design them as wonderful, interesting, beautifully functional, clever objects. I hope he doesn't end up all wavy line buildings in Dubai. He's better than that.
One of the many interesting points he made was people moan about there being information overload these days, which is nonsense, ever since Gutenberg it's been impossible to keep up with all the "information".
What's changed is that your filters don't work as well as they used to. The filters you use to choose which books you read don't work for the internet, twitter, 24 hours news etc etc.
I love this.
If we distill that as - there isn't too much information, you just need better filters - you can then swap information for almost anything and it still works.
There isn't too much TV, you just need better filters.
There isn't too much email, you just need better filters.
There aren't too many meetings, you just need better filters.
Interesting thought to apply to work. What filters do you need to be able to get stuff done? How do you create better filters? How can you make filters that others would find useful.