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Day 22/04/2014

“If You’re Just Naïve Enough To Believe You Can Do What Everybody Tells You That You Can’t, Amazing Things Can Happen”

"If You're Just Naïve Enough To Believe You Can Do What Everybody Tells You That You Can't, Amazing Things Can Happen" | rethinked.org

I’ve written about the Zen Buddhist concept of shoshin, which translates to “beginner’s mind,” several times before here on rethinked Beginner’s mind is a mental state devoid of assumptions and prejudices. Zen master Shunryu Suzuki highlighted the sense of omnipresent potential and openness that characterizes the beginner’s mind by saying: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” Mick Ebeling, founder of the fantastic Not Impossible Labs has a great article over on CNN, explaining the immense power of shoshin, which Ebeling refers to as “beautiful naiveté” to yield big ideas with tremendous impact. Below are some excerpts from Ebeling’s inspirational article. You can read the rest of the article, and view the accompanying short video here.

In each case, the experts told us that what we were doing just couldn’t be done.

Fortunately, we didn’t listen, or didn’t hear them, or ignored them, or were oblivious, or all of the above. We went ahead and tried anyway. And what do you know. It worked.

This all started when I met a graffiti artist named Tempt, who was paralyzed with ALS. I was a film producer, with no experience whatsoever in the field of technological medical devices. But when I learned how he was communicating with his family — they’d run their fingers over a piece of paper with the alphabet printed on it, he’d blink when they’d get to the letter he wanted, and, painstakingly, he’d spell out a sentence — I was moved, and angry, and a whole lot of other things. And I blurted out to his father, “We will find a way to get Tempt to paint again.”

See, I was just clueless enough not to know that that was impossible.

At one point, a group of programmers and coders told us, “If you had any clue how hard it is to do what you did, you never would have tried it in the first place.”

I’m so glad we were clueless.


David possesses a quality — as do the other members of the team, Dan Goodwin and Sam Bergen — that, I think, is essential to success.

We call it beautiful naïvete.

Because if you’re just naïve enough to believe you can do what everybody tells you that you can’t, amazing things can happen.

It’s just possible, in fact, that you’ll discover what each of us has discovered:

That nothing, in fact, is impossible.

Source: Naïvete is key to innovation via CNN, published April 22, 2014.

{ Drawing Machines } A Little Inspiration for Your Tuesday …*

Hiya, rethinkers * long time no blog! Here is the long-overdue drawing machines posts– I was on vacation and largely overestimated my computer/Internet access. Anyway, this concludes the trio of posts on artifacts, projects and installations that celebrate the idea of ‘chance meetings‘ or the melding of two seemingly unrelated fields, materials, and/or ideas to create something new, vibrant and thought-provoking. I hope you were inspired by some of these projects and will seize the day to create something yourself. Don’t forget to share your creations with us!

create & rethink …

– Drawings, Robots & theories on how bees fly from flower to flower –

{ Project LongarmMattias Jones }

Towards the end of 2012, as part of The Festival of the Mind in Sheffield, myself and a small team of technicians, coders and mathematicians developed a drawing system and put it to work. The robots drew one line pattern solutions, the shortest line possible, derived from theories on how bees fly from flower to flower. It ended up covering three walls and the floor of a twenty foot cube in one unbroken line.

MIND OUT: PROJECT LONGARM from elliot holbrow on Vimeo.

[Hat Tip: Driven By Bee Logic, A Robot Draws Giant Art via FastCoDesign, published January 17, 2013.]


– INk & Travel – 

Connecting Cross Country With A LineOlafur Eliasson }  2013

Olafur Eliasson, Connecting cross country with a line, 2013 from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.

[Hat Tip: Olafur Eliasson: Kinetic Drawing Machine For Station to Station via Designboom, published September 13, 2013. ]


– Cricket, Machines & Humans –

{ Bugs Draw For Me – Harvey Moon } A Collaboration between Harvey Moon, The Drawing Machine & a cricket.

Bugs Draw For Me from Harvey Moon on Vimeo.


– Portraits & Analogue Machines –

{ Face-O-MatTobias Gutmann } Analogue portrait machine

“I’m a portrait machine, I’m a psychiatrist, I do plastic surgery. I’m a prophet. I see behind faces. I’m an illustrator. I am Face-o-Mat.”

Face-o-mat is Tobias Gutmann’s portrait machine that happened to travel 40’514 km, from Stockholm to Milan, Dar es Salaam, Tokyo and London. The social portrait-booth, was originally made of cardboard found in the trash, but has been upgraded to MDF to better withstand traveling. Since December 2012 Face-o-mat has produced over 700 portraits.

Face-o-mat Travels the World – 2013 from Tobias Gutmann on Vimeo.


– 3D Printing Robots & Drawing –

{ MX3D Printing – Joris Laarman }  Drawing with steel, in mid-air.

[Hat Tip:  3D-Printing Robot by Joris Laarman Draws Freeform Metal Lines via Dezeen, published February 21, 2014. ]


– Time & Movement –

{ Drawing MachineEske Rex } A tool to investigate the relation between time and movement

Drawingmachine is a construction involving two pendulums, each suspended from a tower construction and connected through “drawing arms” and moveable joints. A ballpoint pen resting on a drawing surface covered with paper is mounted at the point where the pendulums come together. The pendulums are set in motion by hand, and their movements are represented on the paper. The Drawing Machine serves two purposes: On exhibitions where the movements of the pendulums affect the entire room, and the experience engages the beholder’s body. While the rhythmic repetitions cause the beholder to pause, the drawing emerges on the paper. And as a tool where investigations on the relation between time and movement.

Drawingmachine by Eske Rex from Core77 on Vimeo.


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