Posted Fri 30th, August 2013.
I was asked if I would like to take part in Sneaky Minds 2013… Like all of the people who had put their names forwards, I was really busy in the lead up to the 1st June, and felt a little nervous about the commitment to this, what it would involve? who would be there? and what I might be expected to do?...

I do like a challenge, and after consulting with a few of my peers put my 'hat into the ring' so to speak, and agreed to be part of it…  So what was it like on the day…

Well, firstly we were given the briefs From the City of Sydney ahead of time. It seemed that a lot of people had already assigned themselves to the 'noise pollution brief', so I thought I would be part of the discussion on 'getting the over 40's to come into the city at night'. As I am part of the target demographic, I felt quite comfortable with this particular topic.

 

On the Saturday we all came together at CATC in the Rocks just a few hours before the event, to go through what we might do and to fine tune our approach. After listening to the overview of what the City of Sydney are trying to achieve with this year's briefs, we made a start. The moderator teams were great, and we had a small but focused group of people with a real passion for Sydney, who joined with us to discuss their ideas. Amongst this diverse group there was one person with a real passion for urban development, and some insights on the real life challenges of dealing with local and state government, in relation to the practical aspects of bringing idea's to life. What also came out of our discussions, was a sense that the group felt that there was 'a lot on offer' in Sydney throughout the year. Certainly in terms of 'interesting events' for this particular demographic, but that these events were generally not well publicised, or were part of some organised group event, that not everybody could engage with. We discussed people's attitudes to organised activities, and the kinds of things that people might what to do, that aren't t currently on offer.

 

We also touched on the challenge of transportation, and public transport in particular, and how the current options were not encouraging people to utilise the CBD at night. 

 

I think our task was simply to 'uncover' the insights of the group, the current perceptual feelings and attitudes and then challenge them. For me this was quite refreshing, as educator's - we do encourage our students to think about the big picture, and focus on 'how design can affect lasting change'. To go beyond the superficiality of visual trends and to dig a bit deeper, in order to create new innovations or processes that can have an impact.

 

Overall the event was very well organised, it was fantastic to hear the summaries of everybody's findings at the end of the afternoon session and it certainly created a sense of possibility.

 

Paul Devonshire - Director DeMo Design

 

For a full version of this story visit Agda (Australian Graphic Design Association) Blog site:- http://www.agdanew.com.au/design/sneaky-minds/#sthash.EEbAd7iS.dpbs