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The Endless Doodle

A lot of creativity comes from not just creating a new idea but building an old one. So let's make one endless doodle.

Photo of Mansi Parikh
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A lot of people have heard of the "Before I die..." wall ( or even seen one. My idea is to build something similar and create an endless doodle.

It could be as simple as painting a neighbourhood wall with Blackboard paint and laying out a few pieces of chalk and let people make what they will. The idea is that instead of starting form scratch people extend the already existing artwork and we never run out of space because all you have to do is erase a piece and change it around as you wish.

I recently attended a talk by author Kim Erwin. She spoke about an example that stuck in my head. The incident occurred when one of the subjects in her book was presenting an idea to a client. They put the whole plan on this massive sheet of paper which was printed with the ideas they had come up with. At first everyone was sitting around and discussing it and they were getting nowhere until, one of the team members noticed a typo, he got up took a sharpie and circled it saying "huh...we missed that" In circling the typo he broke the sanctity of the page. This encouraged the client's team members to then get up and draw on the page to explain an idea he was unable to communicate verbally. It broke the dam and they had a fabulously productive meeting. All because a guy picked up a pen and circled a typo.

Too often blank white walls intimidate us. A little scratch on that wall and it upsets us beyond compare because in our head that surface was perfect and the scratch diminishes that somehow.

The moment we begin to realize nothing is "perfect" and that everything can be changed we learn to re-imagine, redesign, reiterate and make it better, put our stamp on the world.

So let's make it so that we begin to teach the young people that nothing is perfect it can always be made better or different.  

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.

I recently went to a talk by an author Kim Erwin. The idea is to encourage young people to simply paint a wall in their neighbourhood (with the requisite permissions of course) and let them have at it. So to speak. It is their blank canvas to make of it what they will. It is a simple way to encourage people to express themselves. It doesn't necessarily have to be artwork someone can write a poem if the want and make it part of the canvas. It can be done inside a school building or a classroom, practically anywhere there is a wall which can be painted with blackboard paint. Kids can make it their classroom art project that they pass along to the next batch of students who use the classroom in the next school year. It's low cost or even practically no cost. Just takes the will to do it.

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?

All we need is a wall which can be painted in blackboard paint. It can be indoors or outdoors, it really doesn't matter. What matters is people have access to it. It can be done is schools, a low cost way to encourage students to express their creative talents. Maybe even encourage their friends and family members to contribute to "their" wall. It is important that young people take ownership of this concept and believe it is somewhere that they can express themselves. It's their infinite art project which will be iterated and reiterated for generations to come. Another concept would be if they can take it online and get people to add to their creations. Friends and family from across the world, strangers in faraway countries all contributing to it in their own special way.

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 to make this Idea better. I am open to suggestions on how we can get young people involved, encourage them to express their creativity. Maybe we can build a website and mobile app allowing people to draw in real-time or upload a photo on the "virtual wall" that they believe will extend the already present artwork.
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Team (4)

Clint's profile
Clint Artes

Role added on team:

"Thanks for your ideas I'd love hear more"

Jeff's profile
Jeff Nagata

Role added on team:

"Thanks for the reminder to prototype Jeff. "

Mansi's profile
Tony's profile
Tony Li

Role added on team:

"Thanks for your idea Tony. It's brilliant! I never would have thought of opening this to commercial real estate."


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jeff Nagata

Hey Mansi, there was a really good question asked by OpenIDEO on the "Creative Confidence through Positive Impact" concept, which was:

"Is there a way that you imagine this idea reaching youth who have little or no access to internet but who still might want to work on these kinds of creative projects?"

The first thing I thought of was your community blackboard idea. I think this would be a great way to integrate our separate ideas together!

I think everything that we talked about here in the comments can be applied to bringing a completely analog version of the original idea, which relies on a online community platform, to people without access to the internet.

For example, a community blackboard can be set up in hotspots, and ask people what problems they have, and youth can respond through the blackboard and the problem poster and youth can connect through that.

There's some obstacles and challenges to this idea. One, is that it would have to be more structured than the free-form doodling of your original idea, since it's a more focused on a particular goal. The information on the blackboard would have to be organized and easy to understand for people to engage in it.

Another obstacle might be that people might be hesitant to put their contact information. Maybe there needs to be another way for people who participate on the blackboards to get in touch with each other, but how?

Let me know what you think! Do you like the idea?

Photo of Jeff Nagata

Also here's the link to the concept page:

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