The Re-think Project is launching its online awards to celebrate and learn from great re-thinks, large and small. In time, this will develop into a physical event (thought I welcome nominations from you from the word go), but for now I believe the best way to start is just to start!
This will be different from many award schemes because:
- It's online
- There won't be a limit on the number of awards provided they fulfill the re-think criteria below
- There's no grading at this stage - 1st 2nd 3rd - because...
- We will interview the award-winners and publish the lessons on creative re-thinking for all to be inspired
- The prizes will be limited in financial value until we get a sponsor, but in a short while will be coveted.
As I'm starting this myself, here are some examples of re-thinks I'm considering at the moment:
- The Costa Coffee cup. This is off-centre in the saucer, allowing space for a spoon, sugar, and biscuit. A small but clever re-think on the everyday.
- Where Did It All Go Right? A book by Andrew Collins that reverses the received wisdom that you can only write about a tortured, dysfunctional upbringing. I love the back cover blurb that says, "They tucked (sic) me up, my mum and dad."
- Channel 4 creative logo videos. The 4 sign is made of floating ingredients - washing lines, hedges, shadows, and light - that come together momentarily as a 4 before drifting off on their own intriguing directions. It really makes you pay attention!
- Beautiful art on garage doors. Artist and silversmith Chris Knight turned a service yard door in Basingstoke into a work of art. The way the light shines through the doors is reminiscent of Moorish art. He has also brought beauty to metalwork in a Gateshead multi-storey car park.
The criteria for a Re-Think Award are:
- It's a different - and better - take on the familiar
- There's nothing too big or too small to consider
- It makes you re-think as a user, viewer, or reader.
Watch this space as we contact award winners and get them to contribute their own re-thinking approaches to the site. Email me with your own nominations, preferably with a contact/ organization/ inspirer/ owner of the idea so we can create an inspiring databank of re-think strategies. In the examples above, we already have a 'top line' description of triggers for our own creativity:
- Costa Coffee Cup
- The Strategy: Challenge the mundane
- Where Did It All Go Right?
- The Strategy: Reverse received wisdom - do what others will 'yes-but'
- Channel 4 logos
- The Strategy: Make the small things interesting. Engage peoples' minds and perceptions
- Garage doors
- The Strategy: Beautify everything!
Originally published: Mon 12 Jun 2006