Jazz and a man named John

We were working through creating, releasing, and selecting a provocation related to designing design, design culture, and design interactions. Below is an email I sent to my Studio group at 11:30pm on a Friday night.


Subject: Synchronicity

Apologies for the middle of the night email. I just got home and I had to share this with you all!

Monday > I came across a screening being held on campus for a documentary called “Chasing Trane.” I skimmed the description and saw “…an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent…” I added it to my calendar based on that alone.

Wednesday > We discussed some of our provocations and I brought up diversity (specifically racial diversity) in GD.

Friday > I was drawn to Ellis’ question concerning musical improvisation and design teams. Musical improvisation lead me to jazz, which brought me back to African American creative expression.

After class today I went to the screening. What I didn’t know until I got there was that “Trane” was referring to John Coletrane – a legendary African American jazz musician born in North Carolina! They had a live jazz band playing before the screening, too! Sooo much accidental research was accomplished tonight, I was super excited. If you get the chance, do watch the film. He was an incredible artist.

Okay, I’m done geeking out 🙂 Have a great extended weekend! – Alysa


This instance of synchronicity went on to directly influence the “thing” I am creating as a response to the question I have recreated, “How can musical improvisation become a tool to question stereotypes and asset in blending and building strong teams?” Update on that next week!