Why Hip Hop and dance might be a great asset for innovation

Guillaume Dechambenoit
3 min readOct 6, 2017

Hip Hop is a culture based on 4 principles : Self-teaching, Originality, Community and Improvisation. We do not teach Hip Hop, we teach ourselves a technical and artistic field within a community depending on our time, means, passions, ideas and experiences. On top of giving a playground for artistic expression, this work is focused on a quest for originality. Boosted by external or internal challenges, the artist will have to draw from its own will power and observation skills to develop specific solution, vision and gestures, in other words, to develop its own interpretation of the discipline he is exploring. But to be efficient, he will use a real time research and creation mechanism that will allow him to merge learning, creation, adaptation and experimentation processes. We name this mechanism improvisation.

Because it is the starting and exit point of every perception and action, the human body is the source of the entire human cognition. The link between a body and a mind is so intimate that our way to move is directly correlated with our way of being or our emotional state of mind and reciprocally. This is why we often say the body reveals what the words want to hide. Those more or less discrete physiological informations, the foundation of non verbal communication, that the dancer uses as raw material to create. Why ? To allow emotional resonance with an audience, the dancer will need to be able to control, reproduce, deform and amplify these micro-movements. They form a deep well of emotions and empathy. Furthermore, this principle of emotional resonance is amplified when several bodies are forming one. To simplify, we will define a choreography as a synchronization and de-synchronization of gestures and interactions between bodies through a space and time continuum. This definition allows us to create and make a parallel with society. Have you already observed a group of people evolving in a Mall ? If not, just do it and you might see emerging what we call a spontaneous social choreography. Where dancers need to observe and reproduce body langages, choreographers need to observe and direct social bodies.

The art of innovation is to imagine and create real time adapted solutions to identified problems inherent to a social corps.

The power of Imagination can be found in every artist. The power of creation needs the intervention of a particular expertise related to the produced innovation. But you cannot conceive that kind of solution without before observing and understanding the bodies’ set of interaction occurring inside a social group. Furthermore, we tend to often forget that the purpose of an innovation is biomechanic. Its goal is to induce a movement or a series of movements to a user in order for him to interact with people, screens, objects or entire spaces. These motors and analytical abilities are intrinsic to those developed by the dancer / choreographer. But innovation is a constant process, consequently it demands an ability to improvise : this egregious real time research, improvement and adaptation process to an environment. Lastly, innovation is a long, hard and complex process that has as prior goal the creation of an original solution. To achieve this goal, it will need voluntary and persistent minds coupled with the ability to develop their own tools and methods and appropriate other’s in order to integrate them into a singular vision. Those abilities are developed by Hip Hop.

This is why integrating dance and Hip Hop specialists at the core of an innovation process might be a great asset to develop it.


Guillaume Dechambenoit

Thinker, designer and consultant specialized in applied cognitive science, art and technology. Creative director @ Maison Figurae and Consultant @ Kanyon Ctd