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What's in My Moleskine: Michaël Harboun

Oct 17 2016

by Michaël Harboun & Neil Stevenson

Michaël Harboun uses his notebook to record visions that come to him in his sleep. We asked the Chicago-based interaction designer how capturing his dreams has helped him to become a better designer. 

"I believe dreams have a lot to do with learning," Harboun says. "They can be the result of you encoding new experiences from the previous day. The most creative are the ones in which a familiar element comes to life in a different light. In one dream I saw planes landing on giant metallic ropes. It made me think about the normal ways in which planes land, and ways in which that process could work differently."

Aside from new modes of air travel, Harboun's dreams have produced radically transformed landscapes, giant robots, and crowd-based technology. Here's a look at how he captured them.

I dreamed that planes had to touch down on giant metallic ropes in order to land. The probability of touching the ropes was pretty small, which made it somehow terrifying.

Michael Harboun 01

I dreamed that I was piloting a bipedal robot through a deep wood. A mysterious hand trail appeared on the forest ground. I decided to follow it.

Michael Harboun 02

I dreamed that my friends and I were building a giant snowball by repeatedly rolling it down a hill. The warm sunlight made the snow particularly sticky.

Michael Harboun 03

I dreamed that I was walking from one American city to another. On my way to Seattle I passed by a field that had massive fans in the ground. Their purpose left me puzzled.

Michael Harboun 04

I dreamed that the world was covered in leeches.

Michael Harboun 05

I dreamed about a new technology that allowed people to draw shapes in the sky. Sadly no one seemed to know what to do with it.

Michael Harboun 06

I dreamed that I was flying through a city and hiding from a giant tower-like robot. I was pretty bad at it and the robot kept finding me.

Michael Harboun 07
  • Michaël Harboun

    Design Lead, IDEO Chicago

    Michaël is passionate about exploring various forms of reality, from VR and video games to our very subconscious. He believes that great creativity comes from immersing ourselves in novel and unfamiliar worlds. In this reality, Michaël currently enjoys learning how to play the piano.

  • Neil Stevenson

    Executive Portfolio Director, IDEO Chicago

    Neil Stevenson is on a mission to understand creativity and find new ways to enable and encourage it in others. He's particularly interested in how the slowly-evolving human brain interacts with the rapidly-changing tech environment we live in, and the strange and wonderful new behaviors that emerge as a result.

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