Sue Murphy

Sue Murphy describes herself on LinkedIn as an obsessively curious brand polymath (strategy, creative) originally from a little island off of Ireland and has since worked at agencies in Amsterdam, New York, and Portland. I went through her website, portfolio, basically, I stalked her to understand better. What I gathered from both the lecture and the video of her is that she is a designer with a good amount of humor. Her website isn’t fancy but is fun to go about. I will get back to the lecture at this point. She touched upon a lot of things, Initially, she talked of Burn Out which happens to the best of us. Where we think we are at the end of the creativity, we can’t think of anything new, high standards, trying to meet impossible standards, and all sorts of negative feelings. That is what was recently happening to me. Explaining her personality she talked a bit more about getting into the project too much when one dives too deep that you can’t pull yourself back. She talks about how she didn’t know what else to do because all she knew was design! It is a dilemma I think all of us face. I feel the best way to pull yourself back is to take a little break and explore different areas may be writing, reading, dancing! maybe. There is nothing wrong in liking different things, I really liked this term PolyMath which she mentioned for herself too, Leonardo da Vinci was an example of that.

Going further, the most interesting part of the whole lecture came in the middle when she starts talking about IBM and the work she did with them, the project: MUSIC LAB. Where IBM collected tennis ball data during a match and with James Murphy converted it into music. This was amazing! Made me think of so many things happening right now. The AI now is further capable of composing its own music, reading patterns, combining art styles etc. Reminded me of  This mix of design with technology has so much potential. Made me think further about VR, AR, Mixed Reality. There were other designs which she showed and explained how they came up, like the graphic that came out inspired by a watermelon! I was also thinking about how some personal questions may aid and answer some design questions for us. If you think about it this is very interesting and could be done as an exercise especially during the time you are exhausted and feel there is a dearth of ideas.

There was this quote which Sue mentions by Lisa Smith which actually caught my eye and made me ponder and think  “Don’t conform, be disruptive, an unexpected mix of skills will make better stuff. A melting pot is exciting & brings unique perspectives”. I was thinking of this quote in very different lines:- one was- thinking in terms of how being from different backgrounds can bring in a different perspective. Like how learning a new language can bring in a new dimension to your world view. The second was- about asking the question “why?”. Why is this thing done this way and that might lead you to find something new from the standard, more like brainstorming with a different set of people can lead to new things. There could be a spark/ spin-off that you can find when you talk.

Finally, I want to say that this video was quite insightful as it confirms all the different things I feel, even when Sue doesn’t say so in the lecture I felt so because of the thinking that this talk initiated in my head. This was good!