OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

The Cre-Great Wall

Collaborative art and architecture is a great way of getting people working together, giving them a common interest and something they can all work towards. This is a 2D to 3D brick that will go towards a grand structure and an online gallery.

Photo of Charlotte Norris
4 5

Written by

A cut out for a 3D "brick" will be distributed as a blank canvas for all to decorate and construct. The material used is recycled cardboard, and whatever they choose to decorate the brick with. It would be a great way to leave your mark on your city, designing and building your very own landmark. Use of different materials and styles, such as painting, drawing or even writing stories or poems on your brick gives the creator a sense of freedom to make it personal to them. The inside of the cut out will have information of times, dates and locations of the "Great Construction", this is when the bricks will come together to build a grand structure, designed and contributed by the people themselves.

Cut outs will be distributed at nurseries, schools, colleges and other places of study and work as well as other public places like underground stations, libraries, and local community centres.

This project is a unique way of building confidence and breaking down the barriers that we put on ourselves because of things like skills, age or status. We also tend to lose confidence through not being as good as or better than others, the bricks are all the same size and will be stood side by side. Confidence can be regained with the knowledge that there is NO right and wrong. There is NO winning, only collaboration. By taking part, you have already won!

An online gallery will be a space to see the work in closer detail, giving viewers and designers a chance to view, compare, and comment on the bricks they see. This will also be used by people taking part who for whatever reason can not attend the "Grand Construction".

The "Grand Construction" will be an opportunity to showcase your design. Be it simple or complex, it will all be part of this fantastic landmark and could potentially go down in design history.

As a starting point I have chosen London as my chosen location for the first construction. London is a great place to start this project as it attracts thousands of tourists and holiday makers each year, however I would like this process to be recreated geographically to spread the word and reach a wider and more diverse audience.

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

People from all walks of life are encouraged to take part in this process. Young and old, weather they believe themselves to be creatively confident or not, the idea is to evoke the natural creative confidence we all have in us when we are young. Teachers and tutors as well as bosses and company directors may find this concept a great 'ice breaking technique' for people to get to know one another and build confidence through ideas, design and discussion. Parents can enjoy decorating these bricks with all the members of the family.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

The internet is a very useful tool to spread information, written, photos, drawings and videos across the world in seconds. Part of the process would be to photograph your brick before construction and upload them onto an online gallery. This will spread the word georgraphically and inspire others to recreate this process in their very own town or city.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I would love some feedback from fellow designers on OpenIdeo to see what they think of my idea and would really appreciate any suggestions you may have on improving and developing this concept further.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Odeshea John-phillip

Hi Charlotte,

Love the idea, its a great way to build creative confidence that has a lasting effect on people who are/are not involved.

To develop your idea you could consider the area in which you would like this idea to be implemented, this would give the open ideo community a better understanding on what this project could look like. For example if you chose an West London you could have an image of the place you envision your idea in two views one of as it looks now and then one as what it could like if people implemented your idea.

Also you could look at other projects that have done things like tile art to see if they have had a lasting impact on the community, You could ask questions to people who have run these sort of projects to find out how much these projects cost and if your idea would be worth while this should help you develop a better understanding of how your idea would work in a busy environment.

I think that the way in which people draw there designs could be simplified, what about an online platform - with a standard of the brick you want to develop, then people can print it out do there design and scan it and upload it back onto the site? this would save a lot of unnecessary materials while also speeding up the designing process.

Finally are you proposing that a brick wall will be taken down, and the designed bricks will be put in its place? or that a the design of each brick be made and then (using some sort of material with each design on it) be placed over each brick?

Oh one more idea you could think up using tiles to redesign the London Tube, that would be really cool. It could inspire people on the travels to be that bit more creative today.

Keep up the good work!
Hope this was helpful :)

Photo of Odeshea John-phillip

*a standard picture of the

Photo of Odeshea John-phillip

* think of using

Photo of Charlotte Norris

Hi Odesha,

Thanks for the advice and the comments. I plan to develop this idea further as you suggested, by showing potential before and after shots of location etc. I didnt imagine taking down a brick wall that already exists in London to replace it, but I had wanted to build a wall for the occasion "The Great Construction". I really like your idea of having a 2D image that can be printed out rather than distributed in person, I agree this would be more environmentally friendly. However as for people scanning designs and sending them back, this is a good idea for those who have access to scanners and free time on thier hands, but for those working I had prefered the thought of adding to the wall personally as this could potentially be a memorable event for some. I really appreciate the feedback and I will add to this concept soon.