the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.
I suppose the best place to start is, ‘Once upon a time…’
From our earliest years, these four words have been used to herald the start of a magical or otherwise unimaginable tale. A fiction. A dream. Something or someone just out of reach.
When parents or teachers told us to “use our imagination” it was usually as a distraction tactic or way of avoiding the awkward and inconvenient matter of reality. Me, I’ve always had what is often referred to as an overactive imagination. Apparently, that was inconvenient too.
What I only learnt later in life was how little I knew about the reality of imagination. I’ve read Chaucer, studied Einstein and listened to Lennon and they all had their own ideas when it came to the subject. Imagination is what makes my answer different to yours or any others. It is anything, everything, and nothing all at once. It is immensely powerful and, like most things, potentially dangerous.
Imagination lets us escape from the world around us, but it also gives us the opportunity to explore, challenge, change, question, learn and teach that same world.
2021 was a year that could easily have stifled all forms of creativity and inquisitive thought, however, across borders, faiths, industries and yes, social platforms, we have found new ways to express ourselves. Faced with the global pandemic, climate change, politics, and social movements we are being forced to re-imagine the lives that we took for granted and look for more innovative, sustainable, responsible, and kind ways to interact with the world and each other.
Whilst no-one could have imagined XR overrunning cities, BLM becoming a recognised political party, The Turner Prize naming only collectives as finalists, designers and attendees at The Met Gala choosing to take their stand and speak out about inequality, feminism, identity, heritage, animal rights, sexuality, diversity, and the freedom to do so and