Everything Is A Remix is not just an interesting and thought provoking concept, but also the title of Kirby Ferguson's latest video project.
Three of the four installments are up on his site. I'm anxiously awaiting the fourth.
The basic concept is that ideas are all derivative in a way. Ideas, media, inventions, products, etc. As a professional product designer, this is a little deflating to think about, but then exceptionally interesting. The examples that Kirby finds are instantly recognizable and have the universal effect of making people say, "wow, really? I never noticed that." The basic message is that innovation, the brand that we strive to achieve here at NEMO, does not come from the ether. Rather gathering and assembling and reconfiguring all of these things we have seen/heard/experienced in a new way. I think that's why we often hear people say things like "I could have thought of that."
As he points out, Henry Ford did not invent the assembly line, interchangeable parts, or even the automobile. It was having the insight to put all of these things together that produced something innovative. NEMO has over 50 patents in the works. I think we have some incredibly good and novel ideas on a daily basis, but it's interesting to think what we would have come up with living in a vacuum without all these designers/inventors of the past.
My favorite quote: As Isaac Newton once said "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants," which is what he was doing when he adapted that saying from Bernard de Chartres [who used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants]