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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
24 11

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A lot of people have heard of the "Before I die..." wall ( http://beforeidie.cc/site/about/) 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."

24 comments

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Photo of Jeff Nagata
Team

I was thinking more about the blackboard idea, and there's so many possibilities for integrating this idea into activities that could really transform the entire area that it's placed in. Here's a few I thought of:

- Place blackboards in public spaces that are underutilized/vacant, with a prompt asking youth and others for what they want to see in the area. It would be a great way for youth to voice their ideas, and a resource for the community.

- Organize a monthly theme for the blackboards. This can act as a "imagination starter", a way to make the empty black space a little less intimidating. For example, I went to a Space & Science museum this weekend and I saw a prompt asking youth to draw a invention that would help save energy. I saw a huge variety of ideas from youth.

Another great thing I saw was that the museum partnered with designers to create 3D models to turn some of the youths' drawings to reality, and featured it for everyone to see!

I think there a lot of potential to turn the boards into creative activities that the entire community/city/town surrounding it can became engaged in, together.

What do you think?

Spam
Photo of Tony Li
Team

Hey Jeff and Mansi, really am a fan of the blackboard idea, since anyone, at any age can contribute. To expand on your idea, what if we also work with Commercial real estate companies that have vacant storefronts. For a limited time, we can line the walls with whiteboard/blackboard wallpaper and anyone can come in and contribute. It can be the community's gallery.

This may be a good alternate for areas that may not have a lot of public walls.

Spam
Photo of Jeff Nagata
Team

That's an awesome idea, Tony. Would commercial real estate companies also be interested because it might generate community interest and activity in the areas with vacant storefronts? Maybe on top of the blackboards being a space for any creative expression, there can also be a section where youth are encouraged to share ideas on what the vacant storefronts can be turned into?

Spam
Photo of Tony Li
Team

I would imagine this idea to bring more foot traffic to the property, which is a win for them. Since the setup and the cleanup is as simple as putting up and tearing down wallpaper, I don't see a risk of damaging their property.

I like the idea of a section of the wall dedicated to sharing ideas. It can also build dialogue within a community. Reminds me of the Talking Transition Tent that is now in New York: http://talkingtransitionnyc.com/

Spam
Photo of Mansi Parikh
Team

Guys, I love this Idea. In fact imagine we just cover the whole storefront glass with a Blackboard and get people to draw what they would envision it to be. It could be anything from toy stores to space age Ice cream shops. Great advertising potential for the real estate company and it also involve the community.

How many times have we seen empty storefronts get tagged with spray painted curse words. This could be a great alternative.

Spam
Photo of Tony Li
Team

This would be a positive way to approach this. I can see this giving the neighborhood a playful feel and inspiring anyone that walk past these windows.

All it takes is one to start an infection.

Spam
Photo of Jeff Nagata
Team

It would also challenge the notion that people have to be reactive to their surrounding environment, in a creative and fun way. It would be great for youth to see that they don't have to be reactive, they can be active in voicing their opinions.

Mansi, you should totally go for it!

Spam
Photo of Mansi Parikh
Team

Well, now I'm going to have to find a wall in Boston. We'll see how that goes.

Spam
Photo of Jeff Nagata
Team

I'll try looking for possibilities around here, too. I'll keep you updated!

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