11 December 2009

07 December 2009

05 December 2009

Dinner with a side of design

This is design research at its finest. Or pretty darn close. Polar Design, a firm in Barcelona, worked on this Eurocities project back in 2002 but I think this concept could be an amazing way to link design practice and process to industries or communities who may not yet know of its value in navigating the complexities we are faced with in our world.

Imagine inviting some of your city officials to an amazing dinner. The table cloth, instead of being a mere accessory to beautify the event, becomes a place to actively dialogue with those around you. While you eat, you are visualizing the conversations presented to you on the table cloth.

Could this be a new alternative to local democratic exchange? If Obama can have a state dinner, could the local community do the same and address issues over a meal? We may not have a presidential budget but each community will have vendors who would likely benefit from the opportunity to be included in such an undertaking.

Lucy Orta has pursued this idea as an artist with her 70x7 Meal Acts. What if this was the new way that policies were introduced and discussed? And what if, instead of having a town hall meeting to address new by-laws, you invited a few members of the community to also join in at this table? Maybe it becomes the way that new ideas get introduced in order to test their validity and acceptance?

The designed table cloth offers a creative conduit to exchange activity, food and conversation around any topic. This activity could allow for new ideas to emerge when considering how to collectively work toward a common future. By treating complexity with a measure of comradery, perhaps we can see each other and the problems differently.

Editor's note: Since posting this idea to Twitter and sharing it with a couple Design Week 2010 friends, it seems we have some interest in making this a reality!

Update: Three dinners occurred during Design Week Vancouver. We have since had requests to host this event in various locations. We're very encouraged by the positive feedback we received and enjoyed putting on an event that included good food, good people and good conversation. Watch for updates!

03 December 2009

Just playing along with my own ABCs. What's your alphabetic site list?

A ace hotel
B blogger
C core77
D design 21
E ecuad.ca
F flickr
G good
H hello health
I ideo
J join red
K kcrw
L linked in
M mocoloco
N nokia india
O objectified
P pa press
Q quaker oats
R raise the cloud
S something's hiding in here
T tablet hotels
U urban outfitters
V vitamin daily
W wendy macnaughton
X xanga
Y yahoo
Z zack arias

How the internet sees me?

Personas from MIT's Social Media Group. Apparently, I got someone else's illegal behavior included in my algorithmic process. Click on each image for a closer look. The top reflects my name being processed and the bottom reveals the outcome.

01 December 2009

Diffusion Shareables (eBooks & StoryCubes) caught my attention today. They are playful digital/paper hybrids. They combine the tactile pleasures of tangible objects with the simplicity and reach of sharing digital media. Diffusion inspires and enables public authoring and cultures of listening – creating and sharing knowledge, stories, ideas and experiences. 

Great design tool (lo-tech and easy to create) and can act:
  • as a brainstorming tool to help people share ideas in workshops, conferences and creative labs
  • as an evaluation tool to build up multi layered and multi faceted responses to an event (conference, workshop, performance etc.)
  • as mnemonic devices helping participants recall activities and outcomes of workshops and mentoring sessions
  • in school projects to help students collaborate on group work, enhance negotiation and debating skills and develop tactile and spatial construction skills
  • in community projects for intergenerational work – helping people see each others’ perspectives on shared issues
  • with young children: make your own alphabet and number cubes or create StoryCubes with photos of friends and family to assist recognition and memory skills
  • for storytelling games – where each participant adds elements to their cube and take turns in telling a story with them
  • for storyboarding: to help organise storylines for writing, animations or films
  • for urban gaming: use StoryCubes as props in urban game scenarios
Rumour has it that Story Cubes are currently awaiting their digitized realization (in the form of approval from the App Store).