Needed: Nomadic Banquet benchmarks

One of the pre-Doors 8 field projects we’re supporting is an India leg of Debra Solomon’s ongoing quest to enable “nomadic banquets”. The idea is that people move round a city from street vendor to street vendor – each one being th best at, for example, dumplings, noodles, vodka martinis, whatever.
We’re keen to hear about any other locative media projects involving food, rating, mobile phones, GIS and so on that we can learn from and maybe connect with. Check out Debra Solomon’s Culiblog – and then tell us about lo-food projects we need to know about. Thanks.

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From new economy to anti-economy

“In our economy, everything has a price – but nothing, it seems, has a value. We find it hard to really tell whether the things we value are growing or dying”. So begins an excellent interview by Joe Flower with “anti-economist” Hazel Henderson. The yardsticks we have chosen to measure our “progress” are economic ones: margin, GNP, jobs, the Dow Jones, the prime rate. Everything else — the health of our children, clean air, the safety of our communities, the feeling of belonging, a sense of meaning — has to compete on the same grounds, and the comparisons become absurd. Environmental damage, stress on workers, or risk to consumers from the costs of things don’t count at all in such economic measures, until they get turned into dollars by suits or regulatory action — and then they get counted on the plus side. Henderson is developing a national quality of life measure for the U.S. “We are going to distribute it with the Calvert Group in Washington, D.C., starting in the fall. We want to release our quality of life indicators, without putting money coefficients on them, at the same time that the government puts out the GNP”. Read the interview here.

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Museum mania in China

The Chinese government intends to build 1,000 new museums across the country by 2015.A scary piece by Elizabeth Casale in The Platform, an e-zine on cultural policy, says that with approximately 100 urban areas with a population of 1 million or more, China’s place-based cultural strategy favours buildings as a symbol of cultural sophistication over the other components necessary for a vibrant cultural life: cultural producers, products and consumers. Stories have been circulating about the Shanghai Grand Theatre often half-empty for lack of interesting programming, Casale writes, or of state-of-the-art equipment that few employees know how to use.

Elizabeth Casale: China’s New Cultural Revolution

Posted in city & bioregion | 1 Response

Round Table: dinner pictures

Images of a dinner which you did not attend or were not invited to are not the most gripping. But what the heck: if you don’t want the Project Leaders Round Table stuffing their faces, don’t click here.

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Project Leaders’ Round Table

(click on the image for an image collection.)
On Thursday and Friday, 18-19 November, 60 people met in Amsterdam for the Project Leaders’ Round Table. Our aim was to learn from each other about success factors in design research projects. We heard about projects that were based in real-world issues or situations; were multi-party collaborations and involved new actors, and new partners; and in which new technology was a means, but not as an end-in-itself. These stories involved Tools For Citizen Services and ‘Touching The State’; Resource Ecologies involving Food, Space, People; and projects to do with Locality As Interface | Creative Communities | Design And Local Knowledge. A more detailed account of the event, and a reflection on its conclusions, will be posted here shortly.

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Towards a cyberinfrastructure for collaboration

“The socio-institutional elements of a new infrastructure supporting collaboration – that is to say, its supposedly ‘softer’ parts – are every bit as complicated as the hardware and computer software and, indeed, may prove much harder to devise and implement” says the economist Paul David in a draft paper from the Oxford Internet Institute. David’s comment can also be applied to the issues of social innovation that we will discuss at Doors 8. If someone knows how to live well, who owns that knowledge? And how do we share that knowledge in an equitable way? Policy wonks may check out David’s paper here.

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Crash test dummies

For many veterans of early Doors of Perception conferences, Rick Prelinger’s talks were a highlight. Illustrated by American movie and advertising ephemera, Rick’s presentations featured American children, animals, farmers, industrial workers, superheroes, pioneers heading West, crash test dummies, and many others. Now Rick works at the Internet Archive and has made a
film

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Message in a bottle

It’s been a tough week. There’s a lot of anguish about. Do something small, like
this.

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Found: the missing acorn

In yesterday’s email newsletter, under the headline Sending the acorn, not the tree, we directed you to a .pdf of the Doors 8 poster — that was not there.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Please try again; it should now work. (It’s in “Download” on the right of your screen).

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