Day 3 at PENSOLE

Monday, May 2nd, 2011…..Day 3 at PENSOLE. By Kevin G. Bethune

D’Wayne began the morning by introducing us to Brad McCollum, another leader at ULIKO Studio with an extensive strategic planning, operational and product line planning background from his previous 13 years at Nike. He offered to help us on any questions we’d have in our design projects relating to the business implications associated with bringing our ideas to the marketplace. We really appreciate the ULIKO team’s help and hospitality.

Also to start the day … we’ve been reading quotes from Bruce Lee’s book, Striking Thoughts – Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living. Each one has definitely gotten us in the right mindset to start the day. Today, it was my turn to read in front of the group. I picked the following quote (keying off yesterday’s creative thinking lecture from Matt Rhoades) …

On developing the creative attitude. – To develop the creative attitude, analyze, focus on the wanted SOLUTION; seek out and fill your mind with the FACTS; write down IDEAS, both sensible and seemingly wild; let the facts and ideas SIMMER in your mind; evaluate, recheck, settle on the CREATIVE IDEAS.” – Bruce Lee, 1940 – 1973.

Then, we were held accountable to present 3 images that represent our KEY INSPIRATION POINTS for each project addressing … 1. PERFORMANCE, 2. VISUAL and 3. EMOTION. We proceeded to hear every student’s 2 minute pitch and presentation of their images. Our faculty checked our ideas for logical connections (again, tying back to yesterday’s learnings) and welcomed the class to engage in peer-to-peer critique and to offer up alternative ideas for every designer to consider. Everyone’s projects were brought to life in the form of imagery (for the first time this program) and it was very neat to see the level of diverse thought and different approaches to telling the story. We each collected our feedback and took some time to refine our 3 images along with bullets to concisely outline our logic behind the choice of each image.

To help that effort, Matt and D’Wayne emphasized the need to look at current footwear offerings in each project’s respective market. That’s to ensure we’re not going to design something that’s already been done (“been there … done that!”). They continue to make it clear that the expectation of the program is to facilitate us bring the “next,” the “new” and the “provocative” to the athlete experience. D’Wayne carved out some more time to review past shoes that he’s worked on to teach us how we connected insights into real product attributes that would encourage discovery in the hearts and minds of consumers. From the Melo 4 to the Roy Jones, Jr. boot, D’Wayne really showcased incredible examples of how to connect our ideas to the tangible product that we will be responsible to create. All in all, another fun, intense and enriching day. Thanks PENSOLE!

Writing today as a guest blogger for PENSOLE and Mesh01,

Kevin G. Bethune