REAL AUSTRALIA

Breaking boundaries in more ways than one

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by Newcastle Herald journalist Damon Cronshaw.

Stop: Take stock - could you be doing life differently? Photo: Shutterstock

Stop: Take stock - could you be doing life differently? Photo: Shutterstock

Are you a bit stuck in your ways?

Perhaps you're thinking and acting like you always have, wedded to convention and the unconscious programs that tend to run our lives.

You might well be living in a perennial Groundhog Day, working in the same job in the same way you always have.

Within this confined way of living, you might feel a deep desire to break some of those boundaries that society, institutions and people tend to place all around us.

We're all kinda brainwashed in a way, aren't we?

Think Different: Nicholas Flatman uses the concept of glitches to enhance creativity. Pictures: Jedda Cranfield

Think Different: Nicholas Flatman uses the concept of glitches to enhance creativity. Pictures: Jedda Cranfield

If you know what we mean, even if you don't, you might be interested in reading about the ways in which Newcastle architect Nicholas Flatman approaches his work.

He might just get you thinking outside the square.

Flatman reminds us of the inhabitants of Silicon Valley, who don't hesitate in discarding old ways and getting creative.

The digital disruptors pretty much live by the motto: "Out with the old, in with the new".

All this brings to mind the late Steve Jobs and Apple's "Think Different" slogan.

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower," Jobs once said.

And: "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

Flatman relates to this. He's embraced a concept called "glitch architecture".

When most people think of a glitch, they think of a computer malfunctioning. Frustration comes to mind. Anger even.

"Why doesn't this fricking thing work!".

Flatman takes a different approach. He embraces glitches. He uses them to harness "alternative design capability as an extension to human thinking".

This might all sound a bit weird.

But then again, some might think it weird to do things the same way just because that's the way they've always been done.

"I aim to break away from the conventional architectural product that we see in Newcastle today," Flatman says.

Flatman likes to leap into areas of "unpredictable and unimaginable potential".

Do you have a Nicholas Flatman in your town? Could you use one?

Damon Cronshaw

Newcastle Herald journalist

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