A-HA! Design Inspiration (It’s All Around Us)

I was one of the many eager AAM session-hoppers to sit-in on: Eye On Design II, a wonderful session that brought together an eclectic group of professionals to discuss where they draw their inspiration.

Hearing from other professional talk about their connections and inspiration taken from gardens, graffiti, play, children TV programs, and other imaginary and realized spaces, sparked a curiosity from within prompting me to ask myself: Well what about me? Where do I get my inspiration from? Often, I get so wrapped up with an idea or project, I do not realize or consider the connections between what inspires me and the product of that inspiration.

Happening vs. Performance

So naturally, since it’s more fun to ponder such thoughts aloud, I talked with my favorite concert-going pal. We were watching a Flaming Lips concert on TV and began to talk about our experiences at their live performances.

While some bands will perform on stage, give you good music, and maybe even some chit-chat in between songs, the Flaming Lips brings the audience into their performance; it’s about the music but it’s also bigger than the music. As so many people would agree, their concerts are more like happenings: where individuals are constantly connecting, feeling, experiencing, sharing and participating. While it may seem a bit chaotic, it is also invigorating and enlightening. The idea of a performance does not seem as powerful when compared to the thought of a happening. There is no separation between musicians and audience, rather all are participants.

This idea of happening as changing, continuous, and perhaps unpredictable inspires me.

While some projects such as community-created exhibitions and interactive exhibit components are great examples of prompting visitors to participate, is it the same as a shared happening? Do happenings happen in museums? Have you experienced a happening in a museum? What does it look like?

As such conversations were sparked during the lively AAM session, I hope you’ll share your thoughts and musings here too!


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