March 16, 2017

Unity Culture Club – On Your Radar 16.03.17

At Unity we’re big on curiosity. Asking questions, finding out the unknown, daring to imagine – that sort of thing. As we discuss with Claire Bridges in her book ‘In Your Creative Element’; “we’re driven by this relentless curiosity – which is the inventor instinct, the entrepreneur instinct, and what I believe is also the creative agency instinct of ‘we can make this better’ or ‘we can do this in a different way’”. Curiosity and creativity are intrinsically bound together – a concept to be discussed in more detail with both Claire and Gerry at next week’s Join the Dots breakfast briefing (invite below). Celebrating this broad theme, today’s On Your Radar focuses on those minds who are celebrating the curious inner child and driving creativity in culture. As we touch upon later; there are no true accidents, only ideas trying to find us…

01. MAN O MAN

Grayson Perry, one of the most inquisitive and eccentric minds in contemporary culture is releasing a new book; The Descent of Man, which explores the ideas of male stereotypes. To tie in with the release, publishers have launched a satirical mini computer game, where players first act as ‘Default Man’ [the archetypal manly persona] then as the metrosexual ‘Tender Man’, itself a stereotype of metrosexual character, overcoming different challenges to reach the end goal. Using a computer game to promote the release is a creative take on the usual launch – and provides a humorous, exaggerated description of the book – much like the author himself.

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02. LITTLE INVENTORS

Artist and designer, Dominic Wilcox, has been back at it, pushing the ‘weird’, ‘whacky’ and ultimately ‘wonderful’ to the forefront of our agenda. ‘Little Inventors’ sees 450 schoolchildren in Sunderland make the wildest, craziest objects they can imagine. The hidden gem of ‘Little Inventors’ however, is seeing the effect that the children’s ideas had on the local professional makers involved. As Wilcox reflects, a lot of our curiosity and imagination seems to easily dull down or disappear as we age and become reliant on more “realistic” goals. Watch these children become role-models to their role-models…

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03. RADIO HEAD

Jeremy Leslie, of magCulture our local magazine store, has been talking NME, rock, roll and being within the current “golden age of the magazine”. Speaking on the reported exaggeration of magazines being a dying medium and how they instead represent iconic moments in time as they unfold; Leslie talks about how magazines which ignited his curiosity in print and music, shaped how he produces new creative content in his own work to in turn engage and inspire his own readers. We couldn’t agree more, consider the rising power of the zine, for example.

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04. EATING WITH THE EYES

Foyles and Futurecity yesterday began an exhibition of large scale photography found within a new book called ‘Eating With the Eyes’. Reimagining events through an otherwise abstract lifetime of Pearce’s own photography, Pearce highlights the importance of rethinking how we interact with chance moments and opportunities. By beginning the process of piecing his images together, he has created a new way of looking at his everyday. To quote the man himself, “As time has passed, I’ve come to realise that there are no true accidents, only ideas trying to find us. We are surrounded by a constant stream of ideas, insights and visions in every moment and in every place.” In other words, take inspiration from the everyday.

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05. STORIES WORTH HEARING

Our friends TOAD have produced a series of videos for The Houses of Parliament, portraying three different stories from three different immigrants who had come to the UK for a better life. Exploring the voices and stories of others is integral to building a creative culture – how do you know if you don’t ask questions?

To show that positive legislation change like the Housing and Anti-Discrimination Laws can affect the lives of immigrants for the better, they created three extremely powerful videos, beautifully told by the people that have lived them first hand.

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06. CREATIVE ELEMENTS

How do you build a creative culture in business? It’s a tricky question, but one that Claire Bridges is well set to answer following in-depth research and study of the subject for her book In Your Creative Element’, which includes nuggets of knowledge from our very own Gerry Hopkinson. At our next Join the Dots event on the 9th December we’re aiming to give you some insight into how we do our ting at Unity, exploring some of the key elements central to building a creative culture.

Plus, we’ll be putting on a snazzy breakfast and signed copies of the books will be gifted to everyone who attends. Get your ticket here

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