Think Wrong

"In the creative process, designers are victims of their own synaptic connections; subconsciously we’re following predictable pathways to solve problems [whereas] what you would want at the beginning of a design challenge is as many possibilities as you could imagine. 'Thinking wrong' is really about breaking those biases and synaptic pathways to generate a lot of potential solutions before you select and execute one."

- John Bielenberg on Design Indaba.

Project M will encourage and provide techniques for thinking wrong to help break synaptic biases and generate new ideas and design directions to challenge the status-quo.


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John Bielenberg
Founder, Project M


John Bielenberg has won more than 250 design awards in his career, and became an AIGA Fellow in 2008. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired six of his design projects, and staged a solo exhibition of his work in 2000. In 2009, John was awarded the Washington University Skandalaris Award for Design Entrepreneurship in St. Louis. He went on to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Maryland Institute College of Art. John was also awarded the 2011 NASAD Citation for outstanding work and overall impact in the fields of art and design, as an author, educator, social activist, and designer. He has been featured in the ID 50 and teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

In 2003, John created Project M, an immersive program designed to inspire and educate young designers, writers, photographers, and filmmakers by proving that their work—especially their “wrongest” thinking—can have significant impact on communities. Project M has developed projects in Alabama, Baltimore, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Detroit, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Maine, Minneapolis, and New Orleans.

@J_Bielenberg / LinkedIn / Project M / Email

John presenting Project M, Thinking Wrong, and other projects at AIGA Salt Lake City.