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this is really challenging. it got my mind wandering around (big time) as i was reading the first words of the assignment.

This is fantastic! Can I play even though I've been a Planner for several years? Have spent a lot of time defining current lifestyles but never got to make one up before.

Of course you can play. I'm thinking of having a go myself. See if I can do anything or if I'm just good at pronouncing on everyone elses.

Russell, this looks great. Looking forward to new species springing to life first as assignments, then as realities. Russell Davies and company, lifestyle architects. This is a start up we must start up. I'm thinking of a subscription model. Consumers/clients pay us $112 a year for a new lifestyle every quarter. Those who want complete supply of the bits and pieces and or deep instructon in the "script" can pay us more. Absolutely, custom made, bespoke lifestyles, well, those cost more. In a transformational, Ovidian culture, surely this is an idea well past due. As to our business model, or better, our business style, I'm thinking of something along the lines of Saville Row tailors. You and me and others standing around thinking deep thoughts on what lifestyle might "suit" this particular client. Me: "I'm thinking this fellow needs a home in the south of France." You: "No, no, no. Rykivik (sp!) one weekend. Mexico City the next." Thanks, Grant

This line of conversation has me really scratching my head.

In my mind this assignment represents the crisis in advertising right now. A push model of trying to manufacture "cool". A concept of cool rooted in certain subjectivity and separate from the organic process that social groups live by. It is a similar problem seen in documentary filmmaking. A doc film about something is never just about the subject it is also about the person making it. The challenge is to allow the real story to unwind without mucking it up by imposing your own beliefs on it.

In an era of social networks doesn't it seem a bit arrogant to be engineering what people want? Shouldn’t we be building on what they are doing.... facilitating their own lifestyles that have more intrinsic and authentic value?

We shouldn't be working against the grain like this. We should be engaging people by making what they already love that bit cooler. For many lifestyles there are issues of access...access to cultural stuff like celebrity or even collaboration with designers certain groups admire as part of their affinity group. Isn't this more organic than simply manipulating into a foreign mixture of behavior. We can encourage/facilitate behavior to shift by innovating in things such as technology...but it is always up to the people to shape.

The consumer isn't stupid. This approach shows certain contempt for them and implies that "we" know what they will like.


Interesting. I don't think we're actually suggesting (well, I'm not) that these are things we can or should actually persuade people to adopt.

At least not seriously.

It's more about imagining possibilities. It's like a scientist's thought experiment. Becuase, for me at least, imagining /making up 'lifestyles' has made me think harder about some of the lifestyle cliches that we talk about everyday.

Does that make sense?

I totally understand what you´re saying.
Having said that, I must tell you that the assignement is not that serious (it does not offend anyone). We are ought to create a "tribe" (don´t know the word in English, sorry), that could either be "real" (= people you could find somewhere) or not (which I´ve been finding very difficult). They could be avid consumers, or not (belong to some kind of religion that forbids them, be extremelly poor, live in the middle of the jungle). We are not going to advertise to anyone - it´s just a playfull and creative exercise that has everything to do with how much we are able to obserse, understand and connect to PEOPLE.
Think "people", not "consumer". Consumers are boring (they are Smart, Demanding, Powerful, Rational...). People are human, have stories and families and friends, have flaws, are 90% irrational and make funny choices.
That´s what I think...

All documentaries have a point of view - of the maker.

I've read at least 70 biographies of one historical figure - all see him differently.

One of the things I've learned is, go to the archive and hold the actual documents in your hand. The people jump off the page. You get a sense of them from paper choice, handwriting, and don't get me started on the doodles - I love them to bits.

This assignment is really hard and that is of the good.

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Hi, I just found out about your "school" today, and im really interested! I did notice that you've started in.. November? Could i just catch up.. or just pick up from here? Or you will have another session?
Thank you


Just dive in with this month's assignment. It's a free for all.

If you've got a couple spare hours, there's some great interviews with Grant on Design Matters; Part One: http://www.business.voiceamerica.com/ez/index.php/plain/business/shows/advertising_marketing_public_relations/design_matters_with_debbie_millman/culture_by_mccracken_anthropological_reflections_on_contemporary_culture_2_25_05 and Part two: http://www.business.voiceamerica.com/ez/index.php/plain/business/shows/advertising_marketing_public_relations/design_matters_with_debbie_millman/culture_by_mccracken_part_2_3_4_05

On Friday March 3rd (2006) he's scheduled again with Debbie Millman: http://www.business.voiceamerica.com/ez/index.php/plain/business/shows/advertising_marketing_public_relations/design_matters_with_debbie_millman

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