Creative Mornings PDX: Gary Hirsch

Gary Hirsch Creative Mornings Notes by Bryna Shields

Creative Mornings is one of my favorite parts of the design community. There is so much to gain from the insights of others, and I always walk away from these talks feeling energized and renewed. Gary Hirsch's talk last week was the first one I've been to since moving to Portland, and it was so lovely. 

Gary shared the way he combines the philosophy behind improv into work environments as a way to brainstorm creative new ideas. For instance, before the lecture he had us write down our 3 favorite things, and later on we had to combine one of our favorite things with another person's to create a business idea that doesn't already exist. Admittedly, I was initially nervous about this, but it was so freeing to give in to the process and just have fun with it. You'd be surprised how quickly an exercise like this brings out new ideas. Honestly, it's brilliant.

The last part of his talk was about creating experiences through art that invite others to participate. He has created over 30,000 (!!!) bots that he hand painted onto dominos, and places them in different locations around the world, to see what people do with them. Often people will bring them to a new location and photograph them, or write about the outrageous compliment the bot was programmed to give them. Whatever the case may be, I loved this idea of letting others step in and decide how they will experience and interact with your work. It embraces this idea of not being too precious with your ideas, which is something I've been considering a lot these days. It's about seeing your art as a starting point for co-creation, and I truly think this is the key to creating something larger than yourself. These are the things that can grow and change, and create a long lasting impact in our world.

If you'd like to learn more about Hirsch's bots and how you can get involved, please check out his website!