Find of the Day: 29 July 2016

If you work in an office, your boss has probably forced you into a brainstorming session or two (or 12). Brainstorming, after all, is supposedly a killer way to come up with ideas, and businesses want to take advantage of all that collective creativity. But it turns out that brainstorming is actually a terrible technique—in fact, people generate fewer good ideas when they brainstorm together than when they work alone. Thankfully, there’s a better way: a technique called brainwriting (think brainstorming, but with a pen and paper and less chitchat). And in a new study, researchers tested out variations of this method to understand exactly how to help people come up with their best ideas.

Why Brainstorming Doesn’t Work
The old brainstorming method infiltrated the American workplace over half a century ago, after an advertising executive named Alex F. Osborn coined the method in the 1940s. As companies all over the country adopted the method, psychologists started to wonder: Does brainstorming actually work? Many scientific studies later, they had their answer: a resounding no. Study after study found that people who use this group technique produce fewer good ideas than those who ideate alone.

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Mikiya Kobayashi has designed a small wooden chair, which is to be used by a young child. in the famous woodworking city of asahikawa in hokkaido, japan, each infant is presented with a chair of their own. every year since 2006, the city has teamed up with one local woodcrafter and a designer to collaborate and make this special furniture product. kobayashi was invited to work on the ‘kimi no isu’ project, by creating a carefully crafted seat that could be given as a present to a newborn child.

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IF YOU JOIN November Project, you’re going to get a lot of hugs. Hugs when you show up. Hugs when you’re introduced to new members. Hugs when you finish a workout. Sometimes, hugs just because.

I’ve been an athlete all my life. I’ve run ultramarathons, trained with alpinists, practiced yoga for 10 years, studied ballet for 16, and tested every fitness trend imaginable. Throughout that time, I’ve never made a practice of cuddling strangers while I exercise. But to have any hope of understanding what November Project is all about, one must embrace it—in every way.

The group’s preferred term, it should be noted, is fitness movement, and it has chapters in 29 cities around the US, Canada, and (as of earlier this year) Iceland. This it has achieved almost entirely through social media and the work of volunteers; if you want to launch November Project in a new city, you have to apply online and pass a rigorous screening process that looks for serious athletes with strong social media followings. Many leaders find themselves working nearly full-time to create and grow their commu­nity, all without pay. While nobody tracks the numbers, it’s safe to say that thousands of members show up multiple times a week for intense presunrise workouts—and they’re all ecstatic to be there. They love each other so much.

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It’s late July: school is out, the heat is oppressive, and summer vacation-brain is imminent. It’s a great time to catch up on your reading and, luckily, there are plenty new books out this summer for design fans.

We combed through publisher catalogs and new release tables at bookstores to pull together our favorites, from monographs to comics to compelling visual histories. And while we wouldn’t exactly call them “beach reads” (some of these are door stoppers that definitely won’t fit in your beach bag), that doesn’t mean they’ll be easy to put down. There’s the story of a comic and her love of hot dog stands, a book collecting some of the sexiest type of the ’60s and ’70s, and a dual biography of two of the most famous architects in history—who hated each other.

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