Auto-tuning, harvesting, and the design of knowledge

The Garden of Your Mind

Reading this article at fast co-create about an auto-tune artist’s design process, I was stricken by its similarity to our Harvesting Process, which is, in essence, a process of designing knowledge.

Boswell watched eight episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.As he watches, Boswell identifies clips he likes and writes down their timecode, before organizing them digitally. Through this process, the video’s theme and message start to emerge. Next Boswell establishes the chorus, which must have a direct correlation to the message of the video. Boswell says that for this video, the themes he identified: creativity and imagination, were woven in easily since Rogers deals with them so much on his show. With the chorus and theme in place, he begins to eliminate clips that won’t work within the context of the video, winnowing down his selection the way a sculptor crafts his art from a block of stone.

This process of absorbing, listening for emergent themes and then remixing to create something new, compelling and coherent is precisely the process we’ve been working with at The Value Web to make sense of a stream of interrelated conversations; something we’ve been referring to as Harvesting. In an age of infographics and snippets, I believe that there is immense value in being able to not just summarize, but to synthesize and find the compelling narratives that flow through and between conversations to create something that is memorable and moving. What I love about this video is that it clearly draws on a vast sampling of Mr. Rogers work, but manages to pull out a meta-thread that reinspires you, makes you see built in wisdom that is easy to miss if you focus on the particulars.

The same goes for conversations and conferences; I may remember individual conversations I had, but what would a holistic view of the conference or summit be if one were to pull out the emergent narrative?

In some of our work last year, we summarized this visually in this sketch:


  1. Auto-tuning, harvesting, and the design of knowledge | To Talk Like This and Act Like That - August 29, 2013

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