15 December 2008


I am working on getting a cultural probe (Gaver) developed to send out into "the field". This probe is meant to use creative activities to see how people process the information. I'm curious to know if this concept could be developed into something that helps the periphery in areas of governance. To me, the idea of governance relates to Ideo's work on Design for Social Impact.

Enzio Manzini references the ideas of 'governance toolkits' in a wonderful book, Design Research Now . Beat Schneider is also quoted:

"With the trend towards a globalised, standardised cultural mishmash, people have an ever-greater need to communicate their own regional cultural identity (for example) to others. What part can visual communication play in this process? How can international communication between different cultures be structured in a way that primarily employs images rather than words? And how does non-paternalistic visual imagery in local development work look at the level of development cooperation?"

My only wish right now is that I could fund myself back to Rwanda to be in the field working on this. I'm giving these probes (Lord willing) to those who work in the development arena to see what comes of their process. My hope is that by asking the people they work with about their needs, desires and beliefs that they might find creative communities that already have some good ideas about their own futures. And I'm seeking to do all this where language is not shared so the notions of image, texture, shape and color become new forms of language investigation for me.

(These all have to be translated. While I'd love to get away from language in all forms, it simply isn't possible. Thankfully, I have support!)

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