For a long time we’ve sought a word to describe what everyone at ISG works on every project to accomplish. Then, we discovered the word IMAGINEERING.
But what is it? Is it just a fashion word or a real cool method to finally deliver quality products and services. Imagineering is certainly not new. While Disney incorporated Imagineering into their corporate culture, contrary to popular belief, the term was neither coined by Disney, nor originated there. “Imagineering” was popularized by Alcoa around 1940, and appeared widely in numerous publications and promotional print materials throughout the decade.
Imagineering is a concept that has various interpretations coming from different sources. At the Imagineering Academy, Associate Professor in Imagineering, Diane Nijs, defines Imagineering as value creation from the experience perspective. In other words, Imagineering is the design process by which an imaginative artifact is brought into existence that can mobilize people in a generative way.
Streamlining the permitting processes within the land management agencies of our federal government is value creation from the experience perspective. Automating lotteries for white water rafting permits is Imagineering. So is automating the handling of trip tickets for recreational excursions and tours. Imagineering is letting your imagination soar, then engineering it down to earth.
Our current society evolves at high speed from a passive to active transactions and events where two-way communication is essential. Value creation in networks starts to dominate value creation in value chains, meaning digitalization diminishes the distance between supplier and client and other stakeholders in a structural way. It is not strange, concepts like Facebook, e-bay, and YouTube up successfully. It is about successfully deploying mobile devices and automating the collection of data in the field and providing information in real time to people in the field. The gap between what can be imagined and what can be accomplished has never been smaller. We can now walk backward from our imagination rather than walk forward from the existing past.
At ISG we would like nothing better than that for our company to be known by our clients and the public as the place they do Imagineering.
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do” – Leonardo da Vinci
Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I.
Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on items as varied as the euro, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number because of his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination. Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.
Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and he outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science.
Florentine court records of 1476 show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy and acquitted. From that date until 1478 there is no record of his work or even of his whereabouts. In 1478 he left Verrocchio’s studio and was no longer resident at his father’s house. One writer, the “Anonimo” Gaddiano claims that in 1480 he was living with the Medici and working in the Garden of the Piazza San Marco in Florence, a Neo-Platonic academy of artists, poets and philosophers that the Medici had established. In January 1478, he received his first of two independent commissions: to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of St. Bernard in the Palazzo Vecchio and, in March 1481, The Adoration of the Magi for the monks of San Donato a Scopeto. Neither commission was completed, the second being interrupted when Leonardo went to Milan.
In 1482 Leonardo, who according to Vasari was a most talented musician, created a silver lyre in the shape of a horse’s head. Lorenzo de’ Medici sent Leonardo to Milan, bearing the lyre as a gift, to secure peace with Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. At this time Leonardo wrote an often-quoted letter describing the many marvellous and diverse things that he could achieve in the field of engineering and informing Ludovico that he could also paint.
Leonardo worked in Milan from 1482 until 1499. He was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Between 1493 and 1495 Leonardo listed a woman called Caterina among his dependents in his taxation documents. When she died in 1495, the list of funeral expenditures suggests that she was his mother.
Leonardo was employed on many different projects for Ludovico, including the preparation of floats and pageants for special occasions, designs for a dome for Milan Cathedral and a model for a huge equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Ludovico’s predecessor. Seventy tons of bronze were set aside for casting it. The monument remained unfinished for several years, which was not unusual for Leonardo. In 1492 the clay model of the horse was completed. It surpassed in size the only two large equestrian statues of the Renaissance, Donatello’s Gattemelata in Padua and Verrocchio’s Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, and became known as the “Gran Cavallo”. Leonardo began making detailed plans for its casting;however, Michelangelo insulted Leonardo by implying that he was unable to cast it. In November 1494 Ludovico gave the bronze to be used for cannon to defend the city from invasion by Charles VIII.
At the start of the Second Italian War in 1499, the invading French troops used the life-size clay model for the “Gran Cavallo” for target practice. With Ludovico Sforza overthrown, Leonardo, with his assistant Salai and friend, the mathematician Luca Pacioli, fled Milan for Venice where he was employed as a military architect and engineer, devising methods to defend the city from naval attack. On his return to Florence in 1500, he and his household were guests of the Servite monks at the monastery of Santissima Annunziata and were provided with a workshop where, according to Vasari, Leonardo created the cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, a work that won such admiration that “men and women, young and old” flocked to see it “as if they were attending a great festival”.
In Cesena, in 1502 Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI, acting as a military architect and engineer and travelling throughout Italy with his patron. Leonardo created a map of Cesare Borgia’s stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage. Maps were extremely rare at the time and it would have seemed like a new concept; upon seeing it, Cesare hired Leonardo as his chief military engineer and architect. Later in the year, Leonardo produced another map for his patron, one of Chiana Valley, Tuscany so as to give his patron a better overlay of the land and greater strategic position. He created this map in conjunction with his other project of constructing a dam from the sea to Florence in order to allow a supply of water to sustain the canal during all seasons.
Leonardo returned to Florence where he rejoined the Guild of St Luke on October 18, 1503, and spent two years designing and painting a mural of The Battle of Anghiari for the Signoria, with Michelangelo designing its companion piece, The Battle of Cascina. In Florence in 1504, he was part of a committee formed to relocate, against the artist’s will, Michelangelo’s statue of David.
In 1506 Leonardo returned to Milan. Many of his most prominent pupils or followers in painting either knew or worked with him in Milan, including Bernardino Luini, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Marco d’Oggione. However, he did not stay in Milan for long because his father had died in 1504, and in 1507 he was back in Florence trying to sort out problems with his brothers over his father’s estate. By 1508 Leonardo was back in Milan, living in his own house in Porta Orientale in the parish of Santa Babila.