• November 12, 2003

    (This is the text of my closing keynote talk at the European Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Helsinki, 18 September, 2003.)
    A few years back, I arrived in New York to meet my daughter Kate for a vacation. She seemed her normal sunny self but, as we chatted in the [continue …]

  • October 3, 2003

    A lecture given to the Design Recast conference organised at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht by Jouke Kleerebezem.
    Trying to get a grip on design is rather like trying to grab hold of a shoal of herring. Orca whales do this by blowing upside-down funnels of air bubbles from [continue …]

  • September 27, 2003

    This is my lecture to a conference at Westergasfabriek, in Amsterdam, called Creativity and the City, on 25 September 2003.
    In Rajhastan, travelling storytellers go from village to village, unannounced, and simply start a performance when they arrive. Although each story has a familiar plot – the story telling tradition dates [continue …]

  • September 22, 2003

    This is the text of my closing keynote talk at the European Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Helsinki, 18 September, 2003.
    A few years back, I arrived in New York to meet my daughter Kate for a vacation. She seemed her normal sunny self but, as we chatted in the [continue …]

  • September 12, 2003

    (This is my lecture to a conference at Westergasfabriek, in Amsterdam, called Creativity and the City, on 25 September 2003)
    In Rajhastan, travelling storytellers go from village to village, unannounced, and simply start a performance when they arrive. Although each story has a familiar plot – the story telling tradition [continue …]

  • September 10, 2003

    If the throw-away society is over, how do we design for longevity in products and services? Eternally Yours, a Dutch foundation, organised a round-the-clock, 24-hour event to look at this timely question. Eighty different projects, case studies and scenarios – all dealing with time in design – were [continue …]

  • August 9, 2003

    fusedspace.jpg
    Can you imagine a way to enable novel and exciting interactions in public space, using new technologies? A first prize of ten thousand euros was at stake in Fused Space , an international competition organised by the Dutch design foundation Premsela to [continue …]

  • July 22, 2003

    In which I talk to Winy Maas about the design of webs, networks and archipelagos of cities and regions. This story was published in July 2003 In Domus magazine.
    Sustainable cities, working cities, are necessarily complex, heavily linked, and diverse. As the English writer Will Hutton has commented, just as local [continue …]

  • June 17, 2003

    I was asked by the main Japanese design magazine, Axis, to write an ‘afterword’ for their special issue on Dutch design. I took the opportunity to reflect on trends in design policy in other countries.
    Dutch design has enjoyed tremendous international success and prestige in recent years. Can it last?
    One reason [continue …]

  • June 12, 2003

    (In which John Thackara talks to Winy Maas about the design of webs, networks and archipelagos of cities and regions. This was published in July 2003 in Domus magazine)
    Sustainable cities, working cities, are necessarily complex, heavily linked, and diverse. As the English writer Will Hutton has commented, just as local [continue …]

  • May 18, 2003

    doorseast2.poster.abishek.jpg
    Our aim in DoorsEast2, in Bangalore was to learn how to design services, enabled by ICT, that meet basic needs in new ways – and to share this knowledge with citizens, education, industry, and professionals. This was our second international encounter in India. [continue …]

  • January 22, 2003

    Writing from India, where he encounters designers, digerati and Bollywood producers who want to put him in a movie, John Thackara considers the potentially thrilling future of IT in the subcontinent.
    To Bangalore, India’s IT city, to speak at the first India Design Summit. The event is organized jointly by the [continue …]

  • January 12, 2003

    Three developments are putting an end to the boom in landmark buildings. The first is over-supply. This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale show-cased literally hundreds of large, glamorous buildings that will be built in the next few years. But, precisely because they are conceived as spectacles, these signature buildings have started [continue …]

  • January 11, 2003

    ivrea.bldg.jpg
    Doors of Perception’s John Thackara was a member of start-up team (and of the Steering Committee until the end of 2003) that established Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. This new research institute in Italy was supported by Olivetti and Telecom Italia. The Institute’s Director was [continue …]

  • December 22, 2002

    In December 2002 I chaired a seminar in London, organised by the Design Council, which brought together 100 academics, designers and business people to discuss: “how to get the most out of academic design knowledge”. The Design Council will publish a formal report soon (I will link it from here) [continue …]

  • December 12, 2002

    (In December 2002 I chaired a seminar in London, organised by the Design Council, which brought together 100 academics, designers and business people to discuss: “how to get the most out of academic design knowledge”. Here are some half-formed thoughts (Philip Tabor) on the points that arose)
    Designers and companies tend [continue …]

  • December 9, 2002

    Bad news for aspiring Frank Gehrys: buildings conceived as spectacles soon turn into white elephants. Mayors around the world are looking for alternative ways to develop their locality – ways that do not involve spending vast sums of money on trophy buildings designed by brand-name architects.
    Three developments are putting an [continue …]

  • November 12, 2002

    An internet sage once said that a web page never accessed does not really exist. Does the same logic apply to your design research? If nobody ‘gets it’, when you present your results, has anything been achieved?
    Over recent months, I have seen years of work by design researchers almost wasted [continue …]

  • November 12, 2002

    This article was written for Tornado Insider, the European business magazine, for publication in its November 2002 edition.
    On a recent visit to Telluride, in Colorado, I was terrified to see a huge black Humvee draw up at the gates of a kindergarten. At the time, American newspapers were full of [continue …]

  • November 12, 2002

    An introduction to flow issues for the October 2002 issue of Archis, the main media partner of Doors for its conference.
    What happens to public space when there are hundreds of microchips for every man, woman and child on the planet – and when most of these chips talk to each [continue …]

  • October 22, 2002

    An interview for the October 2002 edition of Domus Magazine with Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos of UN Studio

    For thousands of years, most buildings and products were designed for a single purpose – but our task is becoming more complicated. We are confronted by the need to design hybrid [continue …]

  • October 15, 2002

    spark.oslo.png
    When traditional forms of work and daily life disappear from a locality, what is to take their place? In Spark!, multi-disciplinary design teams from five countries, together with local officials and citizens, conducted design scenario workshops in five very different European locations: Narva-Jõesuu in [continue …]

  • October 12, 2002

    In which John Thackara talks to Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos of UN Studio in an interview and article for the October 2002 edition of Domus Magazine.
    For thousands of years, most buildings and products were designed for a single purpose – but our task is becoming more complicated. We [continue …]

  • October 12, 2002

    A lecture given to the Design Recast conference organised (by Jouke Kleerebezem) at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht.
    Trying to get a grip on design is rather like trying to grab hold of a shoal of herring. Orca whales do this by blowing upside-down funnels of air bubbles from [continue …]

  • October 3, 2002

    A preview of the Doors 7 conference written for Form magazine in Germany.
    Chris Pacione did not set out to be the designer of a wireless service. On the contrary: the co-founder of BodyMedia took a communication design course at an engineering school – Carnegie Mellon University – and fully expected [continue …]

  • October 3, 2002

    A chapter for the catalogue of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2002, edited by Deyan Sudjic (who was also overall Director of the event).
    A few years ago I met a woman in Bombay who was completing her PhD in social anthropology. She had just returned from her last field trip to [continue …]

  • September 12, 2002

    A chapter for the catalogue of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2002, edited by Deyan Sudjic (who was also overall Director of the event).
    We have forgotten how to design for communication and interaction. We know how design messages, yes: the world is awash in print and ads and packaging and e-trash [continue …]

  • July 22, 2002

    An internet sage once said that a web page never accessed does not really exist. Does the same logic apply to your design research? If nobody ‘gets it’, when you present your results, has anything been achieved?
    I frequently see years of work by design researchers almost wasted because they [continue …]

  • June 7, 2002

    An international conference on ““Creativity and the City” was held in Amsterdam’s former gas works, Westergasfabriek. Westergasfabriek is the latest urban project to transform a former industrial site into a public and cultural amenity, and it wanted to share the lessons it has learned, and bring together comparable projects [continue …]

  • April 10, 2002

    hongkong.png
    Doors of Perception’s John Thackara was the expert advisor to the Hong Kong Design Task Force (chair: Victor Lo) which developed a new innovation and research policy for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The task force plotted plotting the best way for Hong Kong and [continue …]

  • March 8, 2002

    John Thackara was a member until the end of 2004 of a four person think-tank developing concepts for its Director of a next-generation national childrens hospital.

  • February 12, 2002

    The European Commission made ‘ambient intelligence’ a focus of its research programmes for 2001 to 2005. In official documents, the commission sometimes replaces the words ambient intelligence with the acronym AmI – to which I, as a philosophical joke, started adding a question mark – as in,
    Am I?
    We [continue …]

  • February 7, 2002

    Doors of Perception was an advisor to this exibition and conference organised by Ezio Manzini at the Milan Triennale. “In tomorrow’s communities, an obsession with things will replaced by a fascination with events.” Manzini ran workshops in Brazil, China, and India to develop new design ideas for the show [continue …]

  • January 22, 2002

    Over the previous two years I had been helping Interaction Design Institute Ivrea develop its teaching and research programmes. One outcome was the following statement, which was written collaboratively with Gillian Crampton Smith’s team in Ivrea.
    * Interaction design determines how people interact with computers and communications. This is an [continue …]

  • January 17, 2002

    “Tourism is fundamentally nothing more than the leisure of going to see what has become banal”. Guy Debord wrote that more than 40 years ago in The Society Of the Spectacle – and today’s mass tourism proves him depressingly right. Is there an alternative?
    image_location_map_surroundings_1.gif
    The answer [continue …]

  • January 16, 2002

    spark.Bonholm.map.jpg
    The Bonholm Rooster, a superior kind of chicken, is a star product on “Food Island”. So is the legendary white salmon, a ghostly creature that passes quietly by this misplaced Danish island (it sits between Sweden and Poland) only in winter months.
    Nexo, on Bonholm, [continue …]

  • January 14, 2002

    doors7.Flow.png
    Trillions of embedded systems are being unleashed into the world. What are the implications of a world filled with all these sensors and actuators? Some of the world’s most insightful designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs addressed these questions at [continue …]

  • November 12, 2001

    I was on the launch team that helped develop teaching and research programmes for Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. One outcome was the following statement, which was written collaboratively with Gillian Crampton Smith’s team in Ivrea.
    * Interaction design determines how people interact with computers and communications. This is an issue [continue …]

  • May 5, 2001

    OroOro.jpg
    How will we learn when knowledge changes so fast? Will there still be a role for teachers, when students can learn for themselves? These questions faced 1,000 university teachers at OrO|OrO Teacherslab, a unique event organised in 2001 by the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Amsterdam University [continue …]

  • April 22, 2001

    Infodrome, a one-day conference for the top civil servants of The Netherlands held in The Hague this month (April 2001).
    Infodrome is a think-tank set up by the Dutch cabinet to analyse the consequences of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for government and its agencies. Its task is to expose [continue …]

  • March 3, 2001

    Doors was responsible for vision building during the first research cycle of Convivio – the European Union network for social computing; its early members included Xerox, King’s College London, Philips, Deutsche Forschunhzentrum fur Kuenstliche Intelligenz, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Consorzio Roma Ricerche.

  • January 22, 2001

    Those were the days. This text, which was written for Japan’s Hakuhodo advertising agency, is a reflection on the changing nature of sponsorship. At the time (1990) I was convinced I had invented a killer business concept – ‘cultural engineering’. Unfortunately, when Japan’s bubble economy abruptly collapsed in 1992, so, [continue …]

  • January 4, 2001

    diec.png
    Doors of Perception was in a consortium that developed the initial specification and blueprint of an important new institution to be based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. Our client was the UK regional development agency, One North East. Its title, at the time of our contribution, [continue …]

  • November 12, 2000

    These principles were formulated for my keynote at the Computer Human Interaction (CHI) conference, The Hague, 2000:

    1] We cherish the fact that people are innately curious, playful, and creative. This is one reason technology is not going to go away: it’s too much fun.

    2] We will deliver value to people – [continue …]

  • September 22, 2000

    How technology is altering the terrain of teaching. I rashly agreed to give a lecture to several hundred university teachers in Amsterdam….(This is the text of a speech given on September 6th, 2000, at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam).

    I am most grateful – and not a little intimidated – by your [continue …]

  • September 12, 2000

    What would it mean to design for fast and slow speeds?
    breda.quality-time.jpg
    The High Speed Network Platform, an association of 15 European regions, and Urban Unlimited, a planning firm, asked Doors of Perception to organise a cultural expert workshop on the theme, quality time: design [continue …]

  • April 22, 2000

    My Articles of Association Between Design, Technology and The People Formerly Known As Users

  • March 22, 2000

    At the invitation of Paola Anotonelli, one of the world leading design curators and an eminence at at MoMA in New York, I spent a most enjoyable year talking with her, Aura Oslapas (from Stone Yamashita), Bruce Mau, and Larry Keeley, about the future of work and what that future [continue …]

  • March 13, 2000

    doorseast1.nid_workshop.jpg kopie.jpeg
    The purpose of DoorsEast 1, a memorable week in Ahmedabad, was to accelerate the exchange of people, knowledge and experiences among Indian and European designers and internet entrepreneurs. We wanted to know: what can western interaction designers learn from Indian design and [continue …]

  • February 1, 2000

    doors6.lightness.laceman72.jpg
    A strange thing happened to the ‘weightless’ and dematerialised economy we thought the Internet would bring. It never arrived – or it hasn’t yet. Finding ways of reducing wasteful flows of energy and matter in our daily lives remains an enormous opportunity for design.
    Hence lightness, [continue …]