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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beijing Olympics Air Quality: lessons from Atlanta

I was reminded today of the growing concern about air pollution during the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. Air quality in Beijing regularly exceeds the upper limits of safety, causing great damage to health and economic productivity. Planes can’t land. Respiratory disease is on the rise. Olympic athletes fear not being able to perform at their [...]

Resfest ‘bydesign:’ what’s after Aftereffects?

Resfest is an international touring showcase of the leading developments in video and motion graphics.
Aftereffects, a motion graphics program, tended to factor heavily into most videos in the experimental section of Resfest, called ‘bydesign.’ The program seemed to encourage a certain wandering through three dimensions – a continuous sensation of temporary and slippery orientation. explains [...]

DOTT: design of the times

Thanks to John Thackara for pointing out in his talk today at the competitiveness summit the “design of the times” initative.
How can design increase efficiency, reduce environmental impact and build healthier and more resilient communities? Designs of the times will tackle complex social challenges by involving community members in design projects.
Dott 07 (Designs of the [...]

Global Place: practice, politics and the polis

A free and open conference about the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly urbanized world which I’ll be attending.

“…bringing together the world’s leading social theorists and design practitioners to discuss what kind of architecture and urbanism is possible and desirable in this high velocity global century,”
“Our conference title, Global Place, seeks to capture that paradox—that [...]

responsive architecture

The economist is reporting on the design of dynamic physical space that adapts to its environment.
WHAT if architects could build living systems rather than static buildings—dynamic structures that modify their internal and external forms in response to changes in their environment? …Houses, for example, might shrink in the winter to reduce surface area and volume, [...]

Community on the scale of a room

A leading environmental and experiential design firm in Amsterdam had me by the other day and asked about the possibilities of enhancing physical environments with data, information and interaction. I’m collecting thoughts on the subject, and I started with inspiration from a book I’m now reading.
Randolph Hester’s ‘Design for Ecological Democracy’ so far argues that [...]

Richard Barbrook and ‘The book of imaginary media’

Eric Kluitenberg introduces his newly edited book on imaginary media (Nai) by asserting we have systematically failed to communicate with the ‘other’ across cultural divides. He points to our collective fantasy that this miscommunication can be overcome by the miracle of a machine interface.
Imagine the power of the umpteenth gadget. Imagine that technology can go [...]

Matt Locke is hacking organizations

More running notes from the EU futurist conference
Matt Locke – Open innovation at the BBC
Introduced as an expert in the social adoption of technology, I first heard Matt at Picnic06 in an innovation session at the Zwijger media lab in Amsterdam.
Locke claims that he normally speaks at innovation conferences so has sensitivity to being amongst [...]

Jaiku, ‘rich presence’ on your mobile

Communication on mobiles is unnecessarily disruptive. It also lacks context. You can send and receive messages in voice and text, but never know about the status of the receiver. Are they up for conversation? Are they somewhere nearby?
Jaiku brings ‘rich presence’ to your phone, showing the location and availability of your contacts.
“We invented the term [...]

Pecha Kucha in Amsterdam

Pecha Kucha is a presentation format with 20 slides, each taking 20 seconds. It means something like ‘chit chat’ in Japanese, and was first used in 2003 by Klein-Dytham architects in Tokyo to help young designers present their work and network. At its best, it’s an unhesistating compact torrent of new information.
I first encountered Pecha [...]