Hong Kong Design Task Force (Expert advice to government task force, Hong Kong, 2002)

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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 China to move up the value chain from a product-based to a service-and-flow based economy. professor John Heskett later wrote a report, Shaping the future: Design for Hong Kong, which is referred to here.
Following the Task Force project, Hong Kong launched an initiative called DesignSmart with the creation of a HK$250million (25 million euros) fund.

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Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) (Participation in think-tank, Amsterdam, 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.

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Smart matters

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 shall soon find out: several hundred million euros have been earmarked for the design of systems composed of autonomous entities whose participation in computation is dynamic and where activity is not centrally coordinated.

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Milan Triennale (Exhibition and conference on ‘tomorrow’s services’, Milan, 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 (the India one with assistance from Doors). An accompanying book, Collaborative Services: Social innovation and design for sustainability addressed questions that most of us confront: how to take care of people, work, study, move around, find food, eat, and share equipment.

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Why is interaction design important?

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 issue of profound economic and cultural importance.
* Interaction design determines the value of a communication service to its users, and the quality of experience they have when using it.
* Computers and networks are transforming every aspect of our lives. As networks converge, almost everything we use, or do, involves some kind of interaction. There are interactions between us and the system, or between one object and another. Interaction design shapes the kind of experience we have when this takes place.
* The world is already filled with twelve computer chips for every man, woman and child on the planet. By the time today’s five-year-olds leave school, their world will contain thousands of chips for every human being alive. In a world of such complexity, interaction design will influence the kind of life she lives.
* Compared to physical products, communication services are experiences, not things. Interaction design deals with immaterial processes, and with services that adapt to an individual’s needs and preferences. This is a completely new kind of design.
* Interaction design also reveals the new business models that are needed to deliver these services and experiences.
* Very few universities and design schools in the whole world specialise in this vital subject. Interaction Ivrea is in a position to drive innovation, and shape the agenda, for this key question of our age.

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Post-spectacular tourism (Eco-tourism workshop, Narva-Joessu, Estonia, 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?
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The answer is: maybe. A workshop in Narva-Joesuu, in far eastern Estonia, considered “post-spectacular travel” as one if its scenarios for this fascinating if troubled place.
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Doors of Perception helped to organise Spark!, a series of professional workshops at small towns in transition in five European countries: Forssa, Finland; Valdambra, Italy; Narva-Joessu, Estonia (shown here); Cray Valley, UK; Nox Island, Denmark.
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Save the Bonholm Rooster! (Service design workshop, Bonholm island, Denmark, 2002)

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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, is one of dozens of Baltic and European fishing ports where industrial fishing has become unsustainable.
This desolate but fertile spot was the location for the final workshop in Spark!, a service design project in response to the question: when traditional industries disappear from a locality, what is to take their place?
http://www.doorsofperception.com/mailinglist/archives/2003/12/quick_scan_of_d_10.php
La 27e Region

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The design challenge of pervasive computing (Doors of Perception 7 on Flow, Amsterdam, 2002)

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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 Doors of Perception 7 in Amsterdam in November 2002. The theme was Flow.
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This new wave of pervasive computing technology confronts us with a design dilemma. We are filling our world with complex technical systems – on top of the natural systems that were already here, and social/cultural ones that evolved over thousands of years – without thinking much, if at all, about the consequences. We organised Doors 7: to think about the design consequences now – not later.
Our speakers included design specialists like Ezio Manzini (service design), Marco Susani (who develops advanced concepts at Motorola), and Janine Benyus, author of “Biomimicry: innovations inspired by nature”. They looked at the transition from designing things, to designing systems and services – from a variety of perspectives.

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Why is interaction design important?

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 of profound economic and cultural importance.
* Interaction design determines the value of a communication service to its users, and the quality of experience they have when using it.
* Computers and networks are transforming every aspect of our lives. As networks converge, almost everything we use, or do, involves some kind of interaction. There are interactions between us and the system, or between one object and another. Interaction design shapes the kind of experience we have when this takes place.
* The world is already filled with twelve computer chips for every man, woman and child on the planet. By the time today’s five-year-olds leave school, their world will contain thousands of chips for every human being alive. In a world of such complexity, interaction design will influence the kind of life she lives.
* Compared to physical products, communication services are experiences, not things. Interaction design deals with immaterial processes, and with services that adapt to an individual’s needs and preferences. This is a completely new kind of design.
* Interaction design also reveals the new business models that are needed to deliver these services and experiences.
* Very few universities and design schools in the whole world specialise in this vital subject. Interaction Ivrea is in a position to drive innovation, and shape the agenda, for this key question of our age.

Read More »

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