Weeknote #3 for 2014: Inspiration for fatigued creative minds

Last week was busy where we tried to push out our qualifications for number of experience driven projects. All of them required quick research and idea generation which was written up as a statement of interest and sent in to the folks running the show on the other side. Usually coming up with ideas for different projects in different places is fun but it can be exhausting mentally. Trying to match our vision with the cultural context to create something novel and custom takes work even if its just something we are pitching for. To avoid creative exhaustion which makes it tough not only to generate ideas and problem-solve but also to focus on anything worth its while, this week we decided to get our creative juices flowing again by including a field trip on our calendar.

We went to see the Gaultier show in the Brooklyn Museum titled – The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. If you haven’t heard the name beforeJean Paul Gaultier is the couturier behind the famous/infamous Madonna conical bra. He has dressed  iconic bands like Nirvana and Depeche Mode and his career pretty much started the year I was born which means his fantastical work spans more than 30 years. The exhibit covers everything from punk rock to the boudoir using inspiration from Africa, Asia, streets of Paris to the red light districts of Amsterdam. He also designed the clothes for the hollywood futuristic flick ‘Fifth Element’. To add to the insanity of the over the top clothing, the mannequins have projection mapped faces which seem to talk to the visitors and talk to themselves. It is safe to say that the exhibition is without constraints. While Rick was busy critiquing the projection mapping, I couldn’t stop staring at these bizarre faux faces.  It was easy to compare the exhibit to Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibit at the MET a couple of years ago. While McQueen definitely had more restraint as is clear in the impeccably tailored, high design looks, they are both inspiring designers in their own unique way.

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All in all it was a stimulating visit and gave us plenty to think of as experience designers. I personally thought that the crazy mannequin faces which included one of Gaultier himself talking to the visitors, was distracting and made it tough to focus on the clothes but as one went deeper through the work and designs, the couture definitely took over. As a trio which comprises of an architect, an industrial designer and a technologist, it is always great to see work that breaks boundaries and creates a statement.