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2017 TT Thinkers


2017 Members


Professor, Digital Media



H&N Project-2017


Hammers & Nails: WE BREAK TO CREATE

A Participatory Design Installation as Metaphor for Launch of Design at the FRINGE 2017

Hammers & Nails (H&N): WE BREAK TO CREATE was a participatory design installation. The project is an outcome of GloW-DESIGN’s inaugural NGN Think-Tank team's conceptualization to launch the category of Design at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017. 

This intentioned provocation of an interactive environment, was the result of an international collaborative pilot study.  With participation of renowned creatives from five world continents, the initiative to launch GloW-DESIGN and the category of Design at the Fringe Festival was birthed.  


Challenged to outline a critical and foundational pressing design issue, GloW-D’s NGN Think-Tank identified and underscored the existing confusion between design and craft from around the world. Exploring the popularity and contribution of the contemporary “Maker Movement”, the NGN Think-Tank 2017, sought to examine the issue of collaborative thinking and making through the lens of the craft of design (or perhaps the design of craft). Each member enforced the necessity for design to clarify, solve and provide solutions for universal life quality improvement. 


Out of this directive and impetus, three international teams collectively conceived, designed, developed and built the H&N: We Break to Create project. With the discussion exploring a back to basics approach, the age-old act of hammering – and resultant hammer – gave rise to the exploration of Hammers & Nails for both making and materiality. 


The simple hammer is a tool that is more than 3 million years old. The nail is irrevocably associated with it and together they build a continuum of 'connections'. Their evolution is universal and global, but their use is specific and local.

Installation concept design sketches

Maximizing human need and the ability of experience to highlight the delight of discovery, this project caused playful awareness, while inspiring spirited and easy engagement.


Working under the 2017 thematic exploration of “DESIGN INTERVENTIONS” this event invited the public and participants to collectively make while breaking the word DESIGN. Hammering nails on the one side, smashed the image of the word on the back and reverse side. Conceived and built as metaphor, the shattering of the word DESIGN, emphasized the need to break down certain existing design conventions and processes. This, of course, was the installation’s intention, and its showcasing of the consequence of choices and actions. 


This literal engagement demonstrated the metaphorical and resultant need to rebuild DESIGN after breaking apart/shattering its status quo.  Given the rapid rise of popularity for Design, deepened questioning for more targeted, creative and successful outcomes is what GloW-DESIGN sees as a global challenge for collaborative innovation.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Event

Monday, 28 August 2017  

The Great Hall, The Royal College of Physicians  |  Edinburgh, Scotland

Despite its short history, Design and its process already have an imbedded institutionalization. The GloW-DESIGN NGN Think-Tank expressed a strong need to explore new design and thinking paradigms for integration, which are impacted by current challenges, technologies and attitudes.


With its inception, GloW-DESIGN provides the perfectly neutral, non-judgmental and encouragement platform for the notion of “Break to Create” for new thinking and understanding, as well as for design inspired problem solving and solution reframing. Indeed, for the rethinking of design creativity itself, and for its more appropriate alignment into our massively and rapidly changing future.


The next theme: DESIGN & CRAFT: Rethinking the craft of Design and the design of Craft was determined as the umbrella of content exploration across all GloW-DESIGN platforms for 2018.

Globally We Design Programs

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