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Media war

Apropos doing it, vs making media about it: Yesterday’s Sunday Times in London contained an extraordinary account of fighting and near-death encounters in Afghanistan. The narrative concludes with the following surreal event: “Tribal elders are shown into a room where a projector has been set up. Someone in London has come up with the idea […]

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Product frenzy

The winners of this year’s Industrial Design Excellence Awards have been published by Business Week. As a jury member, I am 100% complicit in this flagrant whipping up of product frenzy – which I must say, having seen the results today, is extremely well-done. My favourite entry, the medical equivalent of a Big Dipper ride, […]

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Doors of Perception 9: “Juice”

Doors of Perception 9 takes place in New Delhi, 1-4 March 2007. The theme is “Juice” and the subject is food, fuel and design. The encounter (we have stopped calling ourselves a conference) has several parts: A two-day Project Leaders Round Table for c30 people who will be invited after a call (which will be […]

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Event design and quality time

If a client offers you a budget of $1500 per person to design a large event for thousands of people, do you refuse? I don’t think so.The environmental impact of large trade shows and conferences might be damaging – and the experience for those attending them may be impoverished – but the event design industry […]

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What’s in a name?

Do ethnographers need exotic names to do well in business? A story in Business Week features two guys called “J. Wilton L. Agatstein Jr” (who runs Intel’s new emerging-markets unit) and “Timothy deWaal Malefyt” (an anthropologist who runs ‘cultural discovery’ at ad firm BBDO Worldwide). The readers of Business Week seem to be sceptical about […]

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Is the future old news?

Is it time to put the future out of our misery? Design can be valuable as a forecasting tool, and designers are great hunter-gatherers of ideas. We should develop that role further. But we should not just look ahead in time, and not just look for technology trends. In particular, we should look to nature […]

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Aspen Design Summit (international conference, Aspen, 2006 )

AIGA, the US professional association for design, and IDCA, the International Design Conference at Aspen, invited John Thackara to chair the Aspen Design Summit. Conceived as “a new type of gathering for a new century”, this celebrated event brought design-minded leaders from around the world to Aspen, Colorado to make positive, measurable impacts on the […]

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Alternatives to Geldofism: lecture notes and resources

A few weeks back I gave a lecture at the Royal Society of Arts in London entitled “Solidarity economics & design”. The lecture was provoked by the sick-making antics of Bob Geldof and the assumptions he and others made about ‘development’. I argued that the word ‘development’ implies that we advanced people in the North […]

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Doors 9 and Doors 10 to be announced in Paris on Saturday

Juha Huuskonen has invited Doors of Perception to run a two hour session as part of Mal au Pixel. The session takes place in Paris on the afternoon of Saturday 29 April – ie in a week from now. Juha and Aditya Dev Sood will be on the platform, along with your correspondent, and we’ll […]

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