January 27, 2009

Mind Bending Experience

I had a chance to participate in an awe-inspiring workshop with Elizabeth Streb at Stanford's d.school. Elizabeth is a 1997 MacArthur Fellow who focuses on stretching the boundaries of what the human body can do. The room lights up as soon as Elizabeth walks into the room... she is literally magnetic! Her goal is to challenge gravity, space, and time, and she often manages to do so.

We did a workshop in which we brainstormed and prototyped ways to move from one place to another WITHOUT moving through space... An interesting challenge! Several different teams came up with mind-bending ideas that capture the essence of moving without moving. Some teams used strobe lights, others took advantage of moving through different mediums such as oil and water, while others tapped into the power of centrifugal forces. You can watch a video of STREB in action here.

This exercise was remarkable in that it really pushed all the participants to stretch the boundaries of our thinking. I could feel my brain the next day... the same way you feel the muscles of your legs after a good run.

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