Alexandre Marcondes

Senior Developer/Architect, Dextra Sistemas


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How to use doodling at work? How does it improve creativity?

On March 1st, 2011 (TED2011) Sunni Brown did a talk on Doodling. Let's discuss how to use it at work and to improve creativty.

Closing Statement from Alexandre Marcondes

There was many commenters that did not see this presentation live, thus I start a new conversation on this topic when the talk becomes available.

Many understand that the term doodling has many prejudices but that artists and creative thinkers use it as a tool to express quickly what are their ideas.

Take a look on to have a better idea on what doodling can do.

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    Mar 7 2011: We first kill everyone who uses the word doodle. We then implement someone who doesn't doodle or simply give them more work. I draw, their not all very good, but I do have a nice picture of a bridge and some nice designer wear at this point. So how is the World order going Brazil?
  • Mar 6 2011: As an artist, I doodle then sketch out a design from my doodling. This has lead to many unusual designs for my realistic wildlife to romp about in. Given enough time, a doodler can create some wonderful stuff even if they have no background in art. Guess it goes back to someone sitting on a rock and drawing lines in the sand with a stick.
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    Mar 4 2011: I haven't seen the talk (yet) but I will share that I have been a doodler all of my life so I somehow thought everyone did it.

    One day when I was in a client solution kick-off meeting, my creative director spent the entire meeting doodling. Near the end of the meeting he had drawn an incredible picture of our client's key customer. When he saw me staring at it he was defensive and said something along the lines of doodling helped him to think and he WAS listening. It took me a minute to explain I wasn't staring because I felt his behaviour was inappropriate. I was staring because I just realized no one in the room had spent one second thinking about our client's customer. They'd only been talking about satisfying our client. I stopped everyone from leaving, stuck a pencil in everyone's hand and started the meeting over again. Twenty minutes later we'd recreated ourselves, our solution and to date, it remains one of the most profitable programs I've ever put in place.
  • Mar 4 2011: I go to art school and in my early education, students were required to take up sketching and drawing classes. One of my favorite sketching instructors used to tell us students that being able to draw is more than just learning skills. It's about a way of thinking.

    Just like a novelist think in words and forms of expressions, an artist thinks in space and forms. I think when we are doodling, we are figuring out solutions in terms of space and forms.

    I study graphic design so it's imperative for me to always sketch and doodle.

    I don't think doodling itself can improve creativity. I think nurturing our natural sense of curiosity is what improves creativity. Einstein is not known for his ability in drawing, yet I think he is a highly creative person. My favorite is Leonardo Da Vinci who had a really strong curiosity in human anatomy. A great deal of his sketches were studies about the structures of human bodies.

    I guess my point is this: a keen sense of curiosity is what makes a person creative. A habit of always drawing and doodling is only one of the ways to nurture it.
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    Mar 2 2011: Among other possibilities the doodles may relate to the topic at hand. Makes me think about Dan Roam's books about "The Back of the Napkin" and its companion workbook. Also, the 1957 classic "Thinking with a pencil" by Henning Nelms. Plus, some folks doodle with mind maps creating links to ideas from the presenters.

    The bottom line is to get the doodlers to share the story of their graphics and text with their colleagues.
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    Mar 2 2011: like this ?

    Hard to say much without hearing the speech -_-',
    any brief info to lure us in ?