'Why?' is a very important question. It's a question designers should ask all the time. It's also a question people constantly ask the IDEA NOMADS. Why leave a nice car, beautiful apartment and good jobs behind and live out of a backpack for a year? What's this weird idea of doing design activities all over the world? What do you want to achieve? And... why?
There’s a ‘no more bullshit’ aspect to it. We live in urban areas, designing for urban people that don’t really need more products. We have three coffee makers and 30 pairs of shoes in the closet. Is this what life is about? By going nomadic, with a limited amount of the stuff that normally surrounds us and burdens us, we will get a clear focus. And find out what belongings a person really needs.
The world is shrinking; it’s easy to take a flight anywhere. So we think we know the world because we have been to Beijing and Singapore. But even after years of a highly mobile lives on several continents, Klara and Gerhard have mainly been to isolated spots on the world map; the urban areas where commercial design takes place. It's time to change that. The aim is to fill out the gaps on the map, the white spaces of ‘in-betweens’ where most people don’t have the time, desire or opportunity to go.
Creativity exists everywhere. There’s so much to learn from the make-shift design of a sauna in the Philippines. There’s completely different things to learn from experiencing the yurts in Kyrgyzstan; products which have evolved to perfection over centuries. Let’s check the state of creativity in the world. Let’s get inspired.
You have to travel hundreds of miles in order to design a great backpack. You have to freeze your ass off in order to create warm clothes that work in all weathers. And to design a successful 100$ laptop, you have to meet and live with the people who will use it. Let’s get out of our nice design office and get some first-hand experience.
We live in turbulent times and are threatened from every possible direction. Global warming, financial crisis, terrorism – you name it. It’s pretty clear that the western world got it all wrong. The IDEA NOMADS are very far from the hippie mindset, and we don’t hug trees. But maybe, MAYBE there’s something we can do to make the world a better place. Maybe there’s something to be learnt from traveling the world and meeting the people.
Finally, there’s a completely selfish aspect to it. We love traveling and exploring. We love being creative. Why not combine it in a new way.
Yeah, why not.