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Gathering inspiration is an important step in the creative process, particularly when looking for unique forms for new projects. Abstract inspirations, as opposed to established benchmarks, can be extremely useful in developing innovative solutions that stand out from the market crowd. After all, as Edward de Bono once said, "Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Embracing this mindset, we've asked our Designer & Researcher, Anita Rogoża, about great sources to spark your creativity. Let her recommendations boost your creative process!

Events

Dutch Design Week

Dutch Design Week is an amazing, and very peculiar event held in Eindhoven, Netherlands. This event is focused on design, art, and new materials with a relatively non-commercial, exploratory character. Most of what is shown there focuses on art and humanistic considerations rather than on showrooms with new products. If you can’t visit it personally - don’t worry, you can visit their amazing website and get inspired from the comfort of your home. Here are the top picks from DDW 2023.

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Photography by about.today.

IFA

The IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany, one of the largest global events dedicated to consumer electronics and home appliances, showcases the latest innovations and trends in design. It serves as a platform where manufacturers from around the world display their most recent products, merging advanced technology with unique and diverse design. You can see the premieres of new products from all major corporations in one place and play a game called ‘spot the prototype’. Furthermore, IFA will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024! No chance to visit Berlin in September? IFA’s Content Hub is a great source of inspiration that you can reach online. It offers the latest tech insights, trends, and stories in the form of articles or podcasts.

Websites

Flashback

Flashback is like your favorite flea market—your grandmother's stories and pictures from her youth, as well as lectures from an old, experienced photography educator all in one. They post stories from and about the past, making their motto ‘everything old is new again. Let’s keep those memories alive’ so relevant.

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Photography by Flashback.

MaterialDistrict

MaterialDistrict is a website that showcases new materials. Here you will find not only new materials created by large corporations, but also information about the activities of smaller creators. These are probably the most interesting because they frequently involve experimentation with form and testing what is possible with a given material.

Awards

The Edison Awards™

The Edison Awards™ recognize outstanding achievements in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation. We are particularly amazed by the awarded projects in medical fields each year. Truly eye-opening!

Newsletter

New World Same Humans

New World Same Humans sends a very cool newsletter on trends, technology, and society. Its author is David Mattin, a writer and broadcaster known for his expertise in trends, innovation, and social change. David has collaborated with a diverse range of organizations to help them understand and respond to what lies ahead. Well, you can definitely feel his experience in the NWSH newsletter!

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Graphic by New World Same Humans.

Research Units

The Morphing Matter Lab

At various scales and contexts, the Morphing Matter Lab investigates the positive influence of active and morphing materials on sustainable design. They focus their research on discovering and studying morphing material mechanisms, along with methods for computational design and fabrication pipelines. Their projects are like a song from the future, happening now.

The Self-Assembly Lab

Self-Assembly Lab is a research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on inventing self-assembly and programmable material technologies. Their creations are awe-inspiring, innovative, remarkably surprising, and genuinely thought-provoking.

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Photo by Self-Asembly Lab.

From unconventional art and design events to research units, each platform provides a unique perspective that pushes us to think outside the box. As we close this list,  keep in mind that inspiration is limitless and often lies where we least expect it. So, keep an open mind and allow these varied sources to inspire your creativity and originality in your own projects.

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