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Archive for the ‘20% project’ Category

  • A New BBH 20% Project: The Knot Collective

    14th October 10

    Author: Steven Peck, Creative, BBH New York (@stevenpeck)


    When I began design school at the age of eighteen, it was the first time I was ever exposed to a large group of people whose individual skillsets, interests and backgrounds varied so differently from my own. I was thrust into a new intellectual and creative environment that was completely foreign. Little did I know then how much value that experience actually created. Over the course of five years, I built great friendships with people in a variety of creative disciplines – from automotive design to interactive design to fashion design to architecture and urban planning. Many of my closest friends in design school were in programs outside my own discipline and as a result, I did a lot of my graphic design work in the car design studio. Simply working in the same studio with people who were creating completely different kinds of projects had an immense effect upon my approach and process, and the feedback from respected people outside my own creative discipline was, in many ways, more valuable than the people within it.

    It’s been awhile since I was in design school. But looking at the world today, the need for a destination to house conversations that spawn new ideas, insights, and creativity is more pertinent than ever. Acquiring perspectives from smart, talented people with a different frame of reference, and the constant ability to see and experience creative work in the periphery of your own has a real, tangible, and positive effect.  The reality is fast becoming that collaboration is not just a new way of doing things – it’s becoming necessary to survive and be competitive in business. Technology is enabling creative people to work in more ways than ever before and bring great ideas to life. It’s certainly an exciting time to be making things.

    These beliefs led to my 20% project. The Knot Collective attempts to bridge the gap between these disciplines that are so often siloed to help share knowledge and cultivate thought leadership for creative businesses. We believe that cross-disciplinary collaboration is the future of innovation and design. We hope the site can serve as a valuable resource and build a thriving community that fosters critical thinking and lively discussion.

    My longtime friend and product/transportation designer Marc Reisen and I have been discussing and developing the foundation of The Knot Collective for over two years. After thinking about it, building it, rethinking it, and rebuilding it, we’re extremely happy to have launched the project last month. It’s been a long road, but a considered one, and a labor of love nonetheless.

    You can check it out here: www.theknotcollective.com (or @theknotcollectv)

    We hope you find the mix of disciplines as valuable as we do. We’d love to have you join the conversation.

  • Get a Life: What’s Your 20% Project?

    19th May 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in 20% project, creativity, culture

    Image from Zach Hilder's blog: http://deathfrom.blogspot.com/

    Image from Zach Hilder's blog: http://deathfrom.blogspot.com/

    Author: Heidi Hackemer (@uberblond), Planning Director, BBH New York

    We just went through recruitment for our upcoming internship program, the BBH Barn, and since we announced our six interns from the 150+ applications we’ve received a lot of questions about our selection criteria.

    Whether literally or figuratively, the candidates that made the cut had a two-column resume. In column A, we saw an interest and understanding of advertising and/or consumer and brand interaction. It doesn’t mean that these interns are advertising experts by any stretch of the imagination, but it does mean that they have an appreciation for it and may know a bit of their way around our world. 98% of the applications checked off this column quite well.

    The second column is where things got interesting: we also looked for candidates that had a bit of “mess” in their resume, i.e. a curiosity, a drive to think about and do things beyond pursuing the perfect advertising career. As a result we have filmmakers, activists, dancers and a guy that has worked in third world development.

    We believe the mess is just as important as the “proper” education and inputs: advertising is one of those fields that should collaborate not only internally, but with culture at large – to be relevant and human we should inhale the world around us, circulate it in our lungs a bit and then exhale our response. The minute that we get too obsessed or spend too much time focusing on what happens within our walls or the minute the great love in our life becomes a widget or :30 second idea is the minute we lose the oxygen that we need to make great work.

    Let’s face it, the people that are purely obsessed with advertising (and we all know them and have phases in our own lives where we’re guilty of being one of them) aren’t the people that contribute much to a truly sparkling dinner party or a stupid fun night out or bring a perspective that really changes things.  So we wanted to make sure our Barn was filled with the dinner-party-rockers of the future. We think it will make for a more interesting summer and better work.

    So here’s where it gets cool:

    We were thinking of the above criteria, that we applied externally, and we thought we’d check internally how well we were doing. We asked BBHers in the NYC office to send along their personal, out of office, projects. We had a whole bunch of stuff submitted. Some highlights included:

    Calle Sjoenell @callesjonell wanders around new york and puts up basketball nets where there are none. http://www.flickr.com/photos/callesjonell/sets/72157621869375075/

    Harper Reitkopf @itsharper pretty much lives at the honey-space gallery to help artists do their thing http://honey-space.com/

    Dane Larsen @dlarsen is documenting the life and times of his Brooklyn backyard this summer http://bklynbkyard.com/

    Brad Haugen @hoogs throws his passion into being the Director of Marketing and Brand for Pencils of Promise, a non-profit that helps build schools in third world countries http://www.pencilsofpromise.org/blog/2010/04/bring-out-lead-forth/

    Zach Hilder keeps an awesome blog of his drawings and photographs http://deathfrom.blogspot.com

    Saneel Radia @saneel is working with a team to figure out the next big thing in coffee cups http://www.thebetacup.com/@thebetacup

    Kris Chu @kris_chu documents his struggle to banish cable from his life: http://suckitcable.blogspot.com/

    Colleen Leddy @colleddy blogs tips about being the impeccable bridesmaid http://holdthebouquet.squarespace.com/

    Kenji Summers @kenjisummers gives time to the Marcus Graham Project, a network of diverse advertising, marketing and media people @MGProject

    Kirsty Saddler @keava has taken her personal passion for corporate social responsibility and started a think tank/action group within BBH called the Hive @BBHhive

    Chris Araujo @cornfedchris is working on a soon to be unveiled project that’s all about making the world a better place and that’s all I can say about it right now upon fear of death.

    Miranda Kendrick @mirandakendrick has two culture grabbing blogs: http://workingitatwork.tumblr.com/ that shows off the beautiful people of BBH and http://nyink.blogspot.com/ that shows off the beautiful tattoos of the world.

    Hal & Masa have been busy working on the follow up to their Webby-winning music video for “Hibi no Neiro” (Tone of everyday) by “Sour” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfBlUQguvyw (watch this space)

    And me? I’ve started the Wilhelmine Project, a mini-gallery that is hosted in the display window of my converted storefront apartment in the East Village http://thewilhelmineproject.com@wilhelmineprjct

    The most striking thing about all these projects is that people just did it. Google have their awesome and rightly famous 20% policy; we don’t have that at BBH, at least not formalized. So what makes the above particularly cool is that people just went out, made time and did. No one told them to, no one asked for the time. No permission was sought, or given. We think this is emblematic of the kind of creative business we strive to be, that the energy, thinking and output from these personal projects explicitly and implicitly makes BBH a more interesting and smarter place professionally.

    So our question today is, what’s your 20% project?

    Are you busy waiting for permission?

    Or are you busy just getting on with it?

    Let us know what you’re up to. You never know, there might be some common ground; we could collaborate.

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