Posts Tagged ‘gijsbert koren’

Culture of Creation and Hope

I did the sketch above while living in India. I am fascinated with mehndi and my friend, a mehndi artist, mentored me in the artform. The sketch above was one of his many assignments for me…so that my hands understood the craft and techniques. Thanks again Mishal.

One of my favorite shows on television is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart is a game changer, very funny and most importantly very intelligent. On Monday night’s show he had Anand Giridharadas, an online columnist for The Times and the author of recently released “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking.”

In his interview with Jon, Anand spoke of India and its “cultural upheaval, as a new generation has sought to reconcile old traditions and customs with new ambitions and dreams.” Jon asked him about the success and growth of India (China included), and he attributed their success largely because to their “culture of hope and creation,” and that stuck with me. He was absolutely right!

I have lived in the Caribbean, the US and India; India has by far been my most creative and innovative experience. This was so because of what Anand spoke of, that culture of creation…all of us wanting to create, do, and be better. We didn’t care whose idea it was, all we cared about was perfecting it. I was among people – now my family – who shared knowledge and information freely. I have mentioned these people before (Share, Create, Ideate blog post). I will always be an advocate for sharing knowledge because I have seen the awful effects of living by the old method of hoarding knowledge – mistrust, little or no innovation, little or no collaboration, and so much more. I am an architect but learned from and shared with my friends who are product and industrial designers, business, and marketing gurus. They opened their worlds to me and as a result I entered the realm of product design and business, and marketing. I enter and even won a product design competition (Ecotopia) with my friend Gijsbert. I shared knowledge and vice versa. We are all better today at what we do by the mere fact that we all truly love what we do and are able to see the BIG picture…that without sharing with each other, and learning from each other, our innovations would be much less than they could be.

What kind of culture are you fostering? What kind of culture are you part of? Hoarding information and knowledge today is a waste of energy and time. Your time would be better spent sharing and collaborating…THAT sparks creative energy and invention. Start that culture of hope and creation today in your home, class, country, region, and society. The future depends on it. If you see the BIG picture and practice knowledge sharing, don’t hesitate to drop me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Remember to subscribe to Thinking Insomniac, and SHARE with your friends. Note: Confirm the subscription by clicking on the link in the confirmation email received.

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

thinking insomniac netherlands spain world cup sketch cartoon

Wish you the best!


I am a football fan (yes football…or soccer if you prefer). I look forward to Sunday afternoon for a great game of skill, technique and determination. Who wants it more? The Dutch, or the Spanish? I always root for good football first…whoever plays the better game, I’m all for that. I will be supporting the Dutch on Sunday however. I grew up watching great players like Ruud Gullit, and Marco van Basten to name a few. I also have a couple very close dutch friends, and if all of Holland is like them…they deserve to win! Gijs, and Licia, I will be rooting for you!

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

information spreading hoarding thinking insomniac cartoons

Do you share or hoard information and knowledge


My post today deals with the sharing of knowledge. Are you a sharer or a hoarder of knowledge? In one of my previous posts “Share, Create, Ideate, and Be Positive”, I mentioned some knowledge sharers I have the privilege of knowing. In that post, I spoke of the importance and value of sharing. I also wondered what you do when your environment contains a majority who do not share.

If you had to place yourself in the above chart…where would you fall? Where would you say your company, city, region, or country falls? Some are against the sharing information for fear of it being copied, or used against them. Others seem to think, “I didn’t have help, so why should I help you…figure it out like I did.” Is your usual response to someone asking you for information, “I don’t know,” when you do know?

The point is to offer solutions to the world and help those who need it. Pass on good news to others, they may benefit from it. Stop being the Ebenezer Scrooge of knowledge and information. The more people know, the more they want to know, the more inquisitive they are, the more informed they are, the more they are likely to trade information with those who share.

One of my favorite writers, Seth Godin, in his blog post today talks about making customers smarter and spreading information. Have a read, and begin sharing knowledge with your customers, family, friends, etc, you will see the difference it can make in your life, and someone else’s. Read another one of my favorite writers, Tom Peters brief post “Little BIG Things – Ways to Pursue Excellence #167: Become a Student of “Helping.” Become a “Professional” Helper.” Hope you see the big picture…help others, in all you do make your goal be to help others. Fellow architects, designers, artists, bloggers, writers, share your knowledge and experience with others.

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

thinking insomniac sharing knowledge

" time to share knowledge"

I write this post today due to my past and present experiences. I’ve been privileged to be in the company of ideators, and thinkers who share knowledge, who hold nothing back. Boy have I been lucky!

The first person who impressed this upon me was one of the best architects (my favorite Caribbean architect), Colin Laird. I would go to his office and read, make models, draw, etc. I would go to his office everyday and just DO, and learn. He would pay me (which I never asked for), but was still grateful for.

All I wanted from him was knowledge…boy did I admire him, and I still do. He is one of the greatest humans I have ever met. I have known Colin now for more than 13 years and he has been there for me, and continues to share his knowledge with me. That is greatness! That is his legacy, and I will always share and tell the world what a giving man Colin Laird is.

Another great sharer is Bob Massa, of whom I have spoken of previously. Bob is a fascinating man! He has an amazing sense for business, strategies, and runs an extremely successful SEO business. He is the Searchking! He shares his stories, experiences, and knowledge with me. He welcomed me to the world of online business, strategies, knowing your product and your market. Bob and I would sit and chat for hours at night into the next morning discussing ideas, and strategies. I look forward to those days again. His creative mind, his positive thinking, and great ideas are infectious. He is a teacher (although he will deny it).

Another sharer is Gijsbert Koren, an industrial designer. Gijs and I would stay up for hours researching, thinking and talking about ideas, looking at cool designs, just poring over the internet, books, we could go on forever! I mentioned him before here.

Alex Muspratt-Williams is my other sharer. He is a product designer with a wealth of experience. He has worked with IKEA, Motorola, and Ross Lovegrove on his famous organic bottle for Ty Nant Water to name a few. He now works at Tupperware. Alex, Gijs and I talked a lot about design, our experiences, and we had each others’ backs. We all encouraged each other. My constant idea exchanges with Alex and Gijs spurned my appreciation and love of product design. In fact, Gijs and I entered a competition together and we were one of the winning teams.

Devesh Dodeja is another creator, ideator, and sharer who inspired me. The long talks, the crazy ideas, massaging them, the late night pow wows with him and Bob, which went straight into breakfast at the Grand Bhagwati. Thanks for being that kind of person Devesh. Great times!

That’s how you get better, by surrounding yourself with those better, and smarter than you are. However, what do you do when you are in an environment where those better or “smarter” than yourself do not want to share their knowledge and information? I am trying to figure that out. That deep pool of creative people who loved to share changed me. It infected me. We are not all in the same geographic location anymore, so those late nights talking are no more. What does one do in an environment where those around them are not forth-coming with information? Where people hoard knowledge, and choose to not share? What does one do? Can anyone out there tell me? I really do not know what to do.

I will always share with others, especially those who will do the same and share. I stand on the shoulders of those giants who shared with me. I have had that privilege and sharing knowledge is a powerful thing. Colin, Bob, Gijsbert, Devesh and Alex (to name a few), keep up the great work. Don’t stop sharing, you all have taught me the value of teaching and just sharing ideas. I want to urge everyone, don’t be selfish with your ideas, because someday someone will think of it.

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

vernelle noel design concept process sketch arboretum

One of my best friends, designers, and design partner Gijsbert Koren posted an incentive for me to post daily to my 365 in 365 Design Challenge. “If you don’t post on a certain day, your punishment could be to visit a person you don’t know yet next day and help this person with something he/she needs help in.”

I love the idea! I love it so much that it doesn’t even seem to be a punishment. So I throw this out to anyone who reads this blog.

If you need help with something (design, design idea, architecture, etc.) just ping me. Comment on my blog, or just email me. I offer that to you. Thanks for the great idea Gijs!

Above is a process/design concept sketch for an Arboretum I designed…this is not to be included in my design challenge..

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Yeah.. I can’t stop thinking, and I don’t sleep too much. I am an architect, passionate designer, webmaster, strategist, and artist who believes in doing what I love, and the 10,000 hour rule.

I would like to change the world…or at least try…and share what I know. I hope to make your day a little brighter if I can. Business, marketing, online promotion, cool ideas, cool people, architecture, designers, strategies, news; sharing knowledge, the virtual world and the real. I am interested in all.

…let’s see if my brain gets any quieter.