Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Tag: inspiration

Creative Juices

What gets you thinking creatively?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the need to have more time spent away from the normal timesinks that define our working lives. Getting more dead time. Daydreaming time. Doodling time.

My main ways:

1. Daydreaming

I had 10 hours of driving time on Friday. That’s the perfect environment for me to get some thinking done, I’m unable to escape to the digital tethers of mobile phone or computer, and reading a book isn’t possible. Therefore I think, and seemingly unrelated patterns start to become apparent from different projects, people and initiatives that I’m involved in.

Daydream logo

This fits in with an article I read on Fast Company recently, “Hard Work’s Overrated, Maybe Detrimental“.

“By most measures, we spend about a third of our time daydreaming, yet our brain is unusually active during these seemingly idle moments. Left to its own devices, our brain activates several areas associated with complex problem solving, which researchers had previously assumed were dormant during daydreams. Moreover, it appears to be the only time these areas work in unison.”

Honestly, I don’t do this daydreaming stuff enough, I need to do it more. My goal is to untether myself from my iPhone and books more often. Some of my best ideas last year came from an airplane flight where I forgot my book and my iPhone was dead, leaving me with 5 hours an pen and a notebook…

2. Doodling

I used to draw a lot, but about 7-8 years ago I just kind of stopped. I’m determined to get started again, even if it is just doodling spaceships in a notebook.

Closely related to doodling is finding crazy, yet professional and cool, images that inspire me to strange thoughts. Case in point…

Snow Zebara

Good blogs to follow for occasional posts with reams of these types of images are InstantShift or Smashing Magazine.

How about you?

I’m very interested in hearing how others get their creative juices flowing. At some point we all have to shake up the norm, the status quo, in our lives or work. Is there a way that you do this purposefully?

Maker Faire Africa in 2 Weeks

I’ll be in Ghana next week to help with the final preparations for Maker Faire Africa, taking place August 14-16 in Accra, with the rest of the organizing team. It’s looking to be quite the event with many Ghanian Makers, as well as some from Kenya, Liberia and Malawi. The FabLab teams from Nigeria and Kenya will both be showing what they’ve been building, as well as some of the teams from the IDDS event.

A Small Taste…

Dominic Wanjihia from Kenya will be coming to show his evapocooler invention for cooling camels milk in Somalia, along with an number of his other inventions.

The FabLab team from the University of Nigeria on their way. Look for a bunch of neat stuff, including: a mobile device battery charger using cycle power, a simple mobile robot, a Wi-fi phone network, and a universal remote control for switching on/off your lights.

Planish, a company that makes cool, funky looking furniture from water bottles will be showing their wares.
Water bottle furniture from Ghana by Planish

Nana Kofi Acquah is an amazing Ghanaian photographer with images that capture the spirit of Ghana. His breathtaking pictures have been used by the likes of FIFA, Nike and Nestle in campaigns around the world. You can find his professional site at NKAphoto.com »
Picture by Nana Kofi Acquah in Ghana

Pat Delaney, of Multimachine fame, is coming. This is an, “all-purpose open source machine tool that can be built inexpensively by a semi-skilled mechanic with common hand tools, from discarded car and truck parts, using only commonly available hand tools and no electricity.” Though he can’t bring the full machine, he is bringing all the knowledge cased in DVDs for anyone to build their own out of locally available parts.

Most of my blogging about Maker Faire Africa will happen on AfriGadget, but there will be a lot of content up on the MFA blog as well.


An event like this just wouldn’t be possible without the help of others. We’re fortunate to have some great sponsors on board, including: IDDS (happening right now in Ghana, read their blog), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Butterfly Works, Inveneo, Moving Windmills, Mozilla, AndSpace Labs and many individual donations totaling up to $2400 (thanks!). Lastly, a special thanks to Dale, and the rest of the O’Reilly team, for letting us use the “Maker Faire” moniker for this event.

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