Passion, Creativity, Element, Energy

I was instantly amazed by the first ever Sir Ken Robinson’s presentation I watched on the Internet, which was his TED talk about whether school kills creativity. Although the talk was probably happened in 2006, I watch it only recently, in early 2010 or so. Since then, I have been paying attention to links mentioning his talks/books/whatever, since I feel that he says the right things. Oh, and he’s funny, too.

Following is an embedded video of his talk at The School of Life in March 2011, and some excerpts worth pondering about.

We should know the limit of our knowledge and understand what we don’t know. And be willing to explore what we don’t know without the feeling of embarrassment for not knowing about it.

“To be born at all is a miracle.” So what are you going to do with your life now that you have it? This is where the idea of Passion came in.

Very many people spend their lives doing things they don’t really care for. I think of this as The Other Climate Crisis. You’re become used to the idea that there is crisis in the world’s natural resources. There is. Geologists reported about two years ago: “The past two hundred years, geologically, the planet is in a new period called the Anthroposcene. For the first time in history, a geological age which is being caused by activities of human being. You can see that in carbon deposits, the extinction of species, the changing constitution of the oceans and the atmosphere. Human beings have made an indelible geological imprint on the planet.” But I think there is another Climate Crisis, which is a CC connected to Human Resources.

Most people have no idea of what they’re capable of. No real sense of their tasks or their abilities. Very many people therefore conclude that they don’t have any.

The most distinctive feature of human life is the power of Imagination. More than the power of Imagination, we also have the power of Creativity.

Some people find their unique ability and some don’t. Those who don’t often conclude that they don’t have any. There are people who have absolutely found what they think as their natural place, their natural talents, and they love what they do, and their lives flow from it. They are, to use an expression, in their Elements.

We are being brought up with this idea that life is linear. [As in a] CV: you set up your life in a series of dates and events, in a linear way, as if your whole existence has progressed in an ordered, structured, way to bring you to the current individual at the moment. And it all gives the impression that we’re in control of what we’re doing.

You take opportunities and you respond to them. But you take them more willingly if they correspond to your own aptitude and your sensibilities.

When you follow your interest, when you connect with your own true energy, your life takes a different path. New people come into it. New opportunities are created.

The reason is that we create our own lives for ourselves. It’s the gift of human life that you’re not committed into a single course. You can change course. You can create and recreate your life. And you’re more likely to do that if you tap in the thing that you find motivating and fulfilling than not. Because in the end it’s simply that, it’s about energy.

That’s why I argue so hard in reforming education. Because:

Our education system is based on a linear mode of production. It’s why so many people end up feeling detached from their own talents, because their being in an education system that prioritizes a certain type of talents and marginalizes the majority of the other ones. And if you’re not good at certain things, like if you’re not good at mathematics, you’re assumed not to be good generally. It’s why we have to argue to have a transformation of education system. And not just that, but also in our work places. But it begins with transformations with ourselves.

You can’t promote things to which you are insensitive. It’s why so many teachers are having problems promoting creativity because they themselves aren’t in touch with their own creative possibilities.

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Laminated Bamboo Stool

Sadhiya Hanindita completed his study at the Industrial Design Program, FSRD ITB, in early 2011. His final project was an exploration of laminated bamboo technique, applied to furniture for children – in this case, preschool kids’ classroom stool. He collaborated with a preschool in Bandung during his research, where he could observe the students’ behaviors in the classroom, especially when interacting with their seating facilities. He focused also on the potentials of Indonesian bamboo craftsmen in rural areas in the production process, in order to make sure of the production feasibility, by actually working together with local craftsmen in producing his prototypes.

Although the bend-press and/or laminating method has been known worldwide, it is the first time it was practiced in a semi-industrial setting, with particular production concept in mind. The result was satisfactory, although improvements can be made for a number of details, such as the joints and the cushions. However, this product is expected to set off a lot more explorations in bamboo-based products for contemporary needs, yet with production processes that are suitable for Indonesian craftsmen and SME. Following are photos of the prototypes and a couple of slides from his presentation materials.