Part of the creative process is looking for good stuff that is inspirational or simply entertaining. This can be as insignificant as a great cup of coffee, an entertaining piece of graffiti or as meaningful as a great work of art.
Here are a few things we like. Feel free to make suggestions so our library of 'stuff we like' can become 'loads of stuff we all like'.
The Battenburg Cube
Sometimes somebody comes up with a gem of an idea - not world beating but neat and fun. One of our contractors, Carl Withers, from Innovations came up with a simple way for our team to check finishes on site without carrying a briefcase full of heavy and unwieldy chunks of timber.
We call his 'innovation' the Battenburg cube. Benefit, one of our larger clients, has 6 lacquered finishes to their in-store unitary. Each face of this small cube has one of the finishes applied. So now our team carry a simple, light and small Battenburg cube onto site with them to check finishes to ensure consistency for the brand.
Thanks Carl - a great idea!
The Sistine Chapel
I was lucky enough to actually visit the Sistine Chapel some years ago. The only downside of this fabulous piece of history was the crowds. The place was literally packed to the gunnels and any opportunity to admire Michelangelo's frescos was marred by the noisy and packed audience of tourists.
So imagine my delight when I came across the Vatican website using technology in a way that truly enhances the visitors experience.
Frankly had I known this earlier I probably would have found a nice bar, ordered a cool lager and visited the website instead, but then I guess that would not be quite the same.
Check out other aspects of the site. The combination of modern technology meets religion makes it interesting.
I found this site by first visiting and admiring a site geared towards designers and illustrators who create either imaginary futuristic creations or simply love traditional marker style industrial design concept drawing.
Urban sketching though appeals to me because of my love of the sketch that captures the moment. In particular I like the work of children's illustrator, Lynne Chapman who has the knack of capturing people on the British rail Network (amongst other things).
Having paid the hideously expensive admission price for the Design Museum in SE1 and wandered around, enjoying the contents but bristling at the price, I came across a small display on 'Air Tree Structures' in Madrid.
Having had to go around or under the Old Street roundabout for many years I have come to the conclusion that it is highly possibly, the ugliest stucture in London. I know Croydon has its problems but, let's face it, it is generally not viewed by tourists and visitors - the Old Street roundabout, however, is unavoidable!
So let's get on the phone to Urban Ecosystems and get them to construct a giant Air Tree Structure over the Old Street Roundabout. It would be a haven for wildlife, actually emit good air and, be more attractive to go see than the current piece of wonderfully unplanned clutter!
Check out this website and see what you think.
Now I do not profess to know a lot about Paul Arden other than picking up a book called 'It's not how good you are - it's how good you want to be' at Kettles Yard a small art gallery in Cambridge. Initially I was attracted by the smart cover and, when opened, the simple graphics and imagery. An added advantage was I reckoned I could read this book in about 20 minutes!
However, the simple messages within are powerful and potentially life changing especially for somebody in the creative industry.
Like all corporate employees I have been bundled off to various training and improvement sessions with an assortment of (expensive) consultants over the years. Sometimes you learn useful stuff, a lot of the time you know the stuff already.
So here's my tip......
Go buy it - Play.com sells the book for £5.49.
Even if you don't enjoy the book it's not exactly as risky as forking out on life training classes and you certainly will not waste as much time.
His other books are also great fun and by the time you get to 'God Explained in a Taxi Ride' hopefully you'll be a convert and want to know more about him.
All boys of my age group spent our formative years saving for, buying and then gluing together Airfix kits. Theo Jansen has taken this boyhood passion, combined it with Physics and taken it into another sphere altogether.
I'm not sure if you would describe Theo Jansen as either an engineer, an artist/sculptor or an inventor but his kinetic sculptures are breathtaking, fascinating and a touch eerie.
Check them out on -