31 October 2008

Communication for Sustainable Development

Communication in development is attempting to consider new ways to approach the exchange of information. I appreciate this inquiry after returning from Rwanda where my ideas of the transfer of information had to be weighed when working with another culture.

There is a difference between the transfer of knowledge and the co-creation of knowledge. The first implies a specialist or external agent who is seeking acceptance of his or her way of looking at solving a problem. The second (co-creation), considers stakeholders and their varied or complimentary experiences and knowledge in the outcomes. This becomes pertinent in my research as I consider how a communication designer can enter into the transfer of knowledge "problem" and be helpful (or not) in a culture other than my own. How can one "co-create" in communications where knowledge is typically exchanged with the use of a common language?

(Charts are from the 2005 United Nations Communication for Development Roundtable Report that focused on sustainable development)

29 October 2008

Just a minute

Just so we're clear, I'm not making any sort of political statement by posting this. I'm just really fascinated at how Obama has rallied design around his campaign. Fascinating.

Why did you change your header?

My new header surfaces because:
a) I got bored of the old one
b) I wanted my blog to be a place to discuss all design-related ideas I'm seeing/processing regardless if they seem to have a direct correlation to my thesis (hence the title variation).

Nothing profound, really.

Of note, the dots on the tag are actually spelling out "Olive is Green" using a braille font. In my pursuit of understanding language and design, this seemed an interesting way to look at how information can be revealed and we might not actually understand it. This is a layered concept actually. Braille on a computer screen. Think about it.

28 October 2008

Design 1.0 + 2.0 + 3.0

During my recent visit to New York, I had the chance to sit down with GK VanPatter at NextD's East 11th offices. We spoke of the distinction between sense-making and difference-making and what design has done in its 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 iterations related to these ideas.

My visit offered clarification about design as something that is used in problem solving. When we look at content knowledge alone, we run into issues of adaptability (and we live in an age where this is pretty important). When we consider process knowledge, we can actually take the notions of adaptability (and scale) into account. And in light of the massive nature of my current thesis ideas, I need to keep these concepts in mind if I'm to see my research be something adaptive.

21 October 2008

Adequate cultural critique in design theory

(click on images for a better view)

For those of you who couldn't attend my public presentation, here are a few slides to show some of what I discussed. If you want to see or hear more, add your comments here.
If you were there and want to add to the dialogue, I welcome your feedback and ideas.

18 October 2008

Good + Bikes + Rwanda

Three things I like:
1. Good Magazine is a great magazine about current issues (and is so nicely designed).
2. While I don't have a bike right now, I like them. And I like these bikes. They are pretty cool.
3. Rwanda. A country of hope and beauty. And a thousand hills. Hence the benefit of some decent transportation.

17 October 2008

Public Presentation

Ready or not, here it comes.

16 October 2008


I plan on attending this event. All of these guys spoke at the AIGA Y conference I attended back in March so I'm curious to see what new ideas will emerge. While a female is moderating, I'm wondering why there isn't a female speaker too?

08 October 2008

Mind the Gap

Today I had a practice-run for my upcoming public presentation where we speak about the intentions of our thesis research and project ((set for October 20). I have introduced the idea of the gaps involved (that have ethical implications) when looking at design for development.
Loads more to learn and absorb but I'm relieved to have survived the first expression of these new ideas. Good feedback was presented that will only help to shape my focus.

07 October 2008

Co-Design Rwanda

Co-Design Gashora from Kara Pecknold on Vimeo.
I posted a video of the drawings the women made awhile ago but wanted to include this one in an attempt to show what co-designing looked like. I think it's hilarious that I'm talking so emphatically when they don't actually understand a word I'm saying. What you can't always see is that Lama is translating. An interesting thought related to my thesis ideas: How to design when language is so essential to understanding?

05 October 2008

04 October 2008