For this years THU you could sign up for an experiment called Colabs. I was lucky enough to be one of the 40 attendees participating in this agile creative experiment.
First the Colab members have been grouped into teams of eight people each. Every team was then assigned two media industry veterans, who would be coaching the team. There was no formal hierarchy or strict role assignment apart from this. The only objective for the teams was to create an idea for a media product and actually pitch it to the rest of the Colab members in the end.
Hm … where did you hear that before?
If you have any experience with agile software development this will already sound familiar. Even if the roles of scrum master and product owner weren’t formally defined. The main focus of the two veterans was to herd the team into a direction and ease the decision making during the project – thus optimising the process and increasing the probability of a successful outcome.
During the project the following points struck me to be valid targets for improvements, in case the colabs return next year:
- A team size of eight creates a lot of discussion overhead. A smaller team might work more efficiently.
- Choose an odd number for the teams size. This way it would be easier to simply cast a vote when making decisions, since you will never run into a draw this way.
- Having the project work time in the morning hours of every day of the THU event lead to many members rather working on the project than actually attending the THU talks in the afternoon. It would be better to have the colabs en bloc upfront before the main event.
- Considering the actual creative work the hardest part was to agree upon a story. Maybe that should be part of a brief, if the colabs are to be repeated next year.
Apart from these points I really enjoyed the experience. I was actually wondering for some time before THU 2016 if an agile framework can work at all in a purely creative work environment. The colabs at THU proofed that point.
P.S.: I wonder if the THU playground will have an agile structure once it is up an running.
I just arrived in Tróia, Portugal, and checked in at the Aqualuz hotel. Beautiful room. Everything is fine. Well, almost everything – the Wi-Fi seems to suffer from manic depression, but apparently it works well enough to put this post online.
The trip so far was a bit experimental in terms of vessels and connections, though. I planned the route via rome2rio.com – pretty useful site, but the database doesn’t seem to take the delays for baggage claims and similar realities into account. So if you intend to plan your trip this way I highly recommend to add some buffer time.
The trip so far looked like this:
- Starting early at 9h in Wiesbaden, taking the bus to Wiesbaden main station.
- From there I entered the S9 (it’s a train) to Frankfurt Airport.
- After that I spent some time with William James “The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1” while waiting for my flight. Lift off was a bit delayed but still somewhere around 12:55h.
- Arrival at Lisbon Airport was around 15h local time (one hour gained).
- From there I took the bus number 744 to Entrecampos.
- Arriving at Entrecampos I had a bit of a wrestle while searching for the train station. After asking several people I actually found a person working at a book store who showed me the way to the train station (okay, if you’re not too exhausted you could find it without help: there is a bride for the trains leading over one of the streets that lead to Entrecampos).
- There the train left at 16:45.
- One hour later I arrived at Setúbal and took a taxi to the ferry port.
- The ferries are leaving for Tróia every hour. Since I missed one by 10 minutes I had to wait for the next one which would leave at 19h. This left some time for testing the fish at a bar close the ferry port.
- Finally I arrived at Tróia, asking a friendly employee of a local news stand where I could find the hotel … and luckily it was just a short walk away.
So that was my 12h – or actually 13h – trip for this day. Looking forward to tomorrow .. and maybe some fellow THU attendees are already here, we’ll see 🙂
… and I somehow failed with trojans and unicorns. Anyway:
Contemporary art is caught in a downward spiral. And do you know why? Computers! Since digital tools made drawing as easy as clicking on a computer mouse, every nitwit thinks he can draw and everything became a joke.
Still, there is an alternative. That’s why I am starting a little series of blog posts, giving you the power to set you and your art apart from the rest. But be warned: On that way we’ll have to follow some strict rules. Stray but a little and you might fail miserably. Ready? Okay, here is the rule for today:
Rule Nr.1: Always Be Serious
A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. And that’s also true for the draughtsman. Now, how to be serious while drawing? Well, creative work is a long chain of decisions. Make them honestly and with a sense of truth in your heart.
One of your first decisions on your way is: which tool do you use? If you set your mind on doing serious work, you need a serious tool. And serious tools are made in Germany (where else?). Have a look at these:
These are “Wilhelm Brandenburg: Peitschen mit Knoblauch” and “Mini-Schinkenknacker” – perfect German drawing tools!
But you also need to know how to wield them. Have a look:
See? that’s a proper way to draw, giving you perfect control in every direction.
Now let’s start with the drawing. I am using the “Peitschen with Knoblauch” for the first sketch, deepening the outlines with the broader strokes from the “Mini-Schinkenknacker” in the second pass:
Once your work reached a state nearing perfection you have to make a photograph of the drawing with the tools lying next to it. This way you are properly documenting your god-like skills and nobody can doubt the fact, that you have drawn this picture with these tools:
well, it’s slightly closer to the real thing than the standard tools of CSP, I guess …
After some fellow draftsmen declined from visiting Erlangen, I also decided to use the time for colouring and drawing. Sorry, Erlangen – maybe next time.