Creativity happens everywhere. Not only in design firms or creative agencies. And you can easily find the results of creativity all around you; you don’t need to seek out a gallery. People think creativity only happens in art schools and innovation don't usually happens only in a lab. Design Thinking and Strategic Creaitivty is all around us and funny enough many don't it Design Thinking. In fact, they happen more often than in a design environment. Design is not Design Thinking.
Creativity is everywhere and you need the eyes to see them. One example is PARK(ing) Day, an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good. The beauty of these guerrilla installations is in their ability to engage and energize people. If all advertisers take 5% of their ad budget and use it for street installations, I think it would be a very valuable addition to their media mix. Imagine using this space for activation in creating social capital?
Meet Luis Alvarez who is an engineer by training and owns and runs a car repair shop, Autocity, in Tampiquito, Mexico. Luis also run an art gallery and an Artist-in-Residence program that aims to engage young local and international artists in projects for the development of the neighborhood’s social capital. Both the Gallery and Art Studio are located within his auto repair shop. Yes, people create art to the sounds of auto equipment and mechanics shouting, the entire process blends into a performance all its own.
It is a first for sure. And It brings me to the question, why doesn’t this happen in other spaces? In other places of business? What about shopping malls? This is one of the most creative ideas I’ve come across this year and I think Luis’ idea has legs. So far, two Artists-in-Residence projects have started up in Tampiquito. In 2009, the urban artist Eltono came to Tampiquito, stayed for two months, and painted the facades of about 50 houses in the neighborhood.
In 2010, Luis and his friends, El Narval, invited the Colombian sculptor Ana J. Haugwitz to join them. She also stayed for two months and worked together with the neighborhood’s craftsmen. The result was a collection of nine works of art, which were exhibited publicly in the neighborhood. Each work of art reflected the young artist’s collaboration with the talent she found in the workshops. I think art itself needs innovation more than anything else. It should get out of the studio and galleries and be part of our everyday lives. We can use a few more Luis in every neighborhood.