But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?
– Michel Foucault’s quotes on 【the arts of existence (life as a work of art) 】
When French philosopher Michel Foucault talks about the “stylistic of existence”, he implies that a variety of theories, beliefs and styles are influencing our life to shape the way we exist. Co-creation is one of them.
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It is hard to believe in co-creation without letting it penetrate into your life and influence the way you deal with stuff. And sometimes you wouldn’t realize how present it already is in your daily life without being reminded of it.
I was recently reminded of it during a small « co-creation » session that happened in our office when choosing a gift for a colleague’s wedding. The typical co-creation process in these circumstances is that one from the group gives a brief, i.e. launches the challenge to find an appropriate gift, then people contribute their individual ideas, following with a bit of constructive criticism until a consensus emerge, The proposal is then finalized through a small vote.
In many occasions, we just naturally adopt this co-creation process without a second thought. It must have its natural strengths. If you take a deeper look into it, you will realize that firstly it is very democratic – treating each individual equally and empowering him or her with the right to participate in the decision process. I think that’s the fundamental charm of co-creation and the motivation why people want to be involved. People need to know they have the right to participate and to get involved. Then it’s a building process where we “polish a gem from a stone”. It works based on others’ critique and build. It offers a pathway for people to exchange ideas and add a bit of personal touch on other’s proposals. This makes each idea better. Last but not least, there needs to be a consolidation stage to find the best idea and making good use of it. This step might require some judging criteria or maybe a good judge, in most cases, a simple vote will work.
Have you ever thought that this natural co-creation process could be used in other aspects of your life? It may solve some real life headaches: e.g. helping a mom who couldn’t come-up with dinner plans. She would just need to conduct a small, regular family co-creation session in real life or on a social network to get the best ideas, already adopted by her guests. Or a group of friends that cannot decide a theme for their New Year party. How about a co-creation session on Facebook to get ideas from within and from outside the group, adopting the most voted. We could also imagine a man who wants to propose but cannot figure out the way to do it. He could launch a call-for-help as a social topic to invite opinions and ideas from the public.
There are already several applications or services that allow people to come to group decisions, similar to “sharing a book” or “recommending a piece of music” and this could become a trend, making “co-creation” an obligatory « social protocol » when one come across any of life’s puzzles. This will also bring your gang even closer together since once you solved a challenge as a group, you will start to listen to each other more. And coming-up with new ideas for things can be a great pastime.
We always say that humans are social animals and cannot live on their own. Co-creation exists for a reason: it brings people together, facilitate the production of great ideas and it makes life easier for all. With the tools that allow us to co-create more readily accessible, co-creation could become the next social trend and we may all soon aspire to a “co-created” life.