perception

Hypocritical, moi?

The latest edition of the Dutch architecture magazine Archis is on the theme “doing almost nothing”. The new Archis (which is now published jointly with AMO, the research arm of Rem Koolhaas’s design office) includes a diatribe against people who “travel to conferences around the world to talk about global warming, design and sustainability”. I […]

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Yell when you hear a whistle

I’m running a workshop at Experimenta in Lisbon this Friday on ‘designers in the age of fear‘. The design research economy is being massively distorted by our inability to make sound judgements about risk and priorities. For example, Googling “design” and “homeland security” today yields a score of 10,900,000. Enormous research resources have been flowing […]

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Carbon neutral art

What would it mean to organise live art events that did not require large concrete museums or that people travel long distances to particpate? In early 1980s Moscow, private apartments were turned into collective immersive experiences during a project called APTART. I learned about APTART, (which someone should revive) thanks to the fascinating East Art […]

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What you don’t know with a mobile phone

It was thanks to the new blog for Cellphedia is billed as ‘the 1st Ubiquitous Social Encyclopedia…(it) creates the ability to carry all the knowledge of the world in your pocket’. All? Or some? Or a tiny bit? I’d buy into Cellphedia like a shot if only the word ‘written’ were to be inserted before […]

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Now hearing at the Odeo

Creating and distributing podcasts doesn’t sound easy. As a potential producer, I’m hesitating. But Evan Williams (who started Blogger and therefore, presumably, helped start blogging) has co-founded

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Podcast heaven

It’s so thrilling to be modern. My interview with Moira Gunn on the US radio show Tech Nation is now online and thereby downloadable as a podcast. The idea of podcasting Doors-type conversations is attractive, and I’d be interested to hear your response to the idea. (The complete Tech Nation archives are online if you […]

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Vital signs

Half of all the energy consumed by human beings is used in or by buildings – but for the most part invisibly. Worldchanging has profiled a neat monitoring system by David Vogt at Kondra Systems that sets out to answer the questions: ‘how much power does that microwave take to pop that bag of popcorn? […]

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Watching the watchers

“The anthropologist starts by observing everyday life, with all its odd little patterns, and tries to work out how computers might fit into that”. (That was Gillian Tett in the FT). It sounds innocuous if you believe the insertion of computing into a daily life activity to be an ethically neutral act – but is […]

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Designers on the breadline

I like to keep track of the total I get when Googling “design” + “homeland security”. The number six months ago was 1,310,000. Today, the score stands at 3,090,000. By a complete coincidence, the budget for Homeland Security rose to $41 billion by the end of 2004. Commenting on this paltry amount of money, House […]

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