learning & design

Toys for the boys?

A mesmerising shopping list of new ‘research infrastructures’ has been sent to the the European Commission by a committee of top scientists. These new toys – sorry, ‘tools’ – range from an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) for optical astronomy, to a research icebreaker called Aurora Borealis, and a facility for antiproton and ion research called […]

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Cooperative multiplatform warfare

What exactly is an ‘information society’ and do we want to live in one? The European Commission has published a new plan, called i2010 for ‘the completion of a Single European Information Space’. The Commission proposes an 80% increase in funding for ICT research focused on areas where Europe has recognised strengths: nanoelectronics, embedded systems, […]

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What they made and what they think

The catalogues published by design schools when students graduate are frequently over-designed, under-edited, and consequently hopeless as communication tools. A welcome exception is MAID from the industrial design masters programme at Central Saint Martins in London. I was able to find out from it what the tutors and students are thinking, as well as see […]

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Now listen good

My parents have been plagued by a rising volume of junk telephone calls from telemarketing outfits. Imagine my incredulity when I saw on the BBC this morning that one of the leading firms calls itself The Listening Company. One of the people we have to thank for the plague of telemarketing is Martin Williams who, […]

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Europe’s institutional Spruce Goose

The European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, wants to create a European Institute of Technology to compete with MIT. According to one report, there’s a belief that “Europe needs an institution capable of  bringing together its currently too-dispersed scientific and teaching excellence”. Instead of creating one new institution, the EIT would be a network institution founded on […]

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Designing the Transformation of Rotterdam Harbour

This sounds like a fab summer engagement. Lucas Verweij, who Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design has been fortunate to land as its new Dean, is organising a summer school entitled ‘Big and Beautiful, Designing the Transformation of Rotterdam Harbour’. The two week course takes place at one of Europe’s more exciting locations, Rotterdam […]

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Darwinian innovation

My book isn’t even out yet (the US publication date is on Friday; UK/Europe is at the end of May) and already someone has raised a sneaky question about its basic argument.Fast Company have a section in their book reviews called “Things We Didn”t Like” and they say: “Many a garage inventor would argue that […]

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Europe’s IST research priorities

A new survey of front-line researchers in 25 EU countries reveals surprising devations from tech policy orthodoxy. The so-called Fistera Delphi (it’s a system for averaging the results of an opinon survey) asked experts, including this writer, to prioritise research priorities for 2010 and beyond. Strong endorsement was given to “Education and Learning” as an […]

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City as d-school

I have arrived in New Delhi at the same time as Condoleeza Rice. She is in town to sell F16s and nuclear power station technology; I am in town to sell the idea that design for social capital is a better investment. While Condi shows powerpoints to air force generals, Doors of Perception design teams […]

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