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Doors in D.C.

I’ll be in Washington DC for the nights of 29, 30, 31 March (for IDSA/Business Week jury duty). If you’re in DC (or know Doors persons there) we could meet for a Doors brunch on Saturday morning (April 1). Interested? Then mail me: john@doorsofperception.com

2006-03-25T08:22:58+00:00March 25th, 2006|[no topic]|

Utopia by design? Creative communities in Europe

An international seminar on design, welfare and local development takes place in Milan on 28 March. The event concludes the two year Emude project (in which Doors is a partner) that explored social innovation in 10 European countries. Emude is a Europe-wide investigation into the phenomenon of people who, in [continue …]

2006-03-17T06:28:54+00:00March 17th, 2006|[no topic]|

“Alert and doing fine”

Harry Whittington, 78, was “alert and doing fine” after being shot by Vice President Cheney. The same could be said of US bloggers for whom the story has been a much appreciated gift.

2006-02-13T07:18:21+00:00February 13th, 2006|[no topic]|

Feast of light

A fabulous-sounding event this Sunday is Aurora Feast. Heureka Science Centre, Vantaa, Finland, hosts a celebration of the mysterious, dynamic and whimsical Northern Lights. Recapturing of the mood of traditional feasts, Aurora Feast intertwines the spectacle of sights and sounds with talk and food. Artists and scientists will [continue …]

2006-02-03T14:51:29+00:00February 3rd, 2006|[no topic]|

Creative communities and social innovation

For service design, public services are an enormous opportunity – half the economy in most industrial countries. This seminar in Helsinki, on Friday 10 February, is about framing the welfare and care story as a series of design opportunities. Speakers include Ezio Manzini (on creative communities and active welfare); John [continue …]

2006-01-30T08:28:51+00:00January 30th, 2006|[no topic]|

Bottles half-full

Africans are twice as optimistic as Europeans. According to a survey of 52,000 people around the world by Gallup International (reported in The Economist of 17 January), African people come top when asked if they expect this year to be better than last year. Asked to explain the apparent anomaly [continue …]

2006-01-12T10:49:09+00:00January 12th, 2006|[no topic]|

Human sciences and design

On January 13, Donald Norman will receive an honorary doctorate from the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering in Delft. On January 12 a symposium will take place on how the human sciences infuse design, with Donald Norman, Josephine Green, Henk Janssen (Indes) and Paul Hekkert (IO) as the [continue …]

2022-10-02T10:25:58+00:00January 2nd, 2006|[no topic]|

Heavy development

(Inez, South Korea) My campaign to lighten up the global economy,as a key aspect of the transition to sustainability, suffered two morale-sapping reality-checks this week. Firstly, UNCTAD announced that the weight of cargo carried on the world’s sea lanes rose 4.5 percent in 2004, and the capacity – [continue …]

2005-12-04T15:21:33+00:00December 4th, 2005|[no topic]|

Minihompy tales

(Seoul) “That was quite an eye-opener. I thought design was only about MP3 players and mobile phones”. Hee-Beom Lee, Korea’s minister of commerce industry and energy, was not being ironic. Most industry ministers I ever met spend their days trying to boost high-tech. But for Mr Lee the opposite holds [continue …]

2005-12-02T00:03:43+00:00December 2nd, 2005|[no topic]|

New Doors of Perception adventure

Doors of Perception is to be part of a year-long festival of social innovation and service design, in the UK, called Designs of the Time, or Dott. Throughout 2007, the whole North East region of the UK will explore ways we can carry out familiar, daily-life activities in new [continue …]

2005-11-28T15:36:34+00:00November 28th, 2005|[no topic]|

Future currents

One third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from residential households. Householders could reduce this by making their houses more efficient, generating their own energy, switching suppliers, or simply switching off. But power bills are confusing, energy use is invisible, and installations are tedious. The RED team [continue …]

2005-11-06T17:16:40+00:00November 6th, 2005|[no topic]|

Cellular Doors in London

About one hour after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s article, I attended a small group meeting of Doors persons in London. I cannot report that we avoided discussions of abstract knowledge, or ideas for the sake of ideas – but we had a good time. Kristi van Riet made this mini-movie:
[continue …]

2022-10-21T12:10:57+00:00September 11th, 2005|[no topic]|

The ‘cellular church’

I carried two psychological burdens on the promotional tour for my book earlier this year. One was the knowledge that a competitor is published every thirty seconds; every day I was on the road, the ranks of new titles swelled by 2,880. My second burden was awareness that Rick [continue …]

2022-10-02T10:12:08+00:00September 11th, 2005|[no topic]|

The Internet of Oz

What might the Internet be like in 2010? Darren Sharp, whom some of you met at Doors 8 in Delhi, is co-author of a hefty new Australian report called Smart Internet 2010. An executive summary is here. The 2010 Report provides, in narrative form, a range of expert [continue …]

2005-09-05T12:11:33+00:00September 5th, 2005|[no topic]|

Socks that saw it all

The one application of Ambient Intelligence that sparks the imagination of young designers seems to be wearable computing. An American designer, Natalia Allen, reckons there’s an emerging ‘fashion tech industry’, and a Canadian artist, Joanna Berzowska, is excited by the potential of what she calls ‘soft computation’: electronic textiles, responsive [continue …]

2005-08-27T07:31:54+00:00August 27th, 2005|[no topic]|

X-ray ayes

What are the dark scenarios for Ambient Intelligence (AmI) ? Five threats are identified in a report from a powerful European consortium: Surveillance of users; spamming; identity theft; malicious attacks (on AmI systems); and a cultural condition they describe as ‘digital divide’. The research consortium – whose members include the [continue …]

2005-08-26T07:51:11+00:00August 26th, 2005|[no topic]|

Please don’t deluge Deal

A plaintive request arrives from London: Diana Deal, conferences administrator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, has been ‘deluged with emails’ about the Critical Debate between Rem Koolhaas and myself on 14 October – but it’s not Diana’s job to sell tickets. For that, please enter 14 Octobner at the [continue …]

2005-08-26T07:39:57+00:00August 26th, 2005|[no topic]|

How tooths pollute

If you are worried about the cost of living, try this: The cost of the average cremation in Britain is expected to rise by up to £100 (160 euros) after a government announcement that it wants to halve the amount of mercury released into the atmosphere by crematoria. It seems [continue …]

2005-08-22T07:56:24+00:00August 22nd, 2005|[no topic]|

Brain boxes

During my visit to the MIT campus a few weeks ago Doug Sery, my editor at MIT Press, pointed out two large and expensive-looking buildings that were being constructed to house neuroscientists. A generation ago, the glamour building on the block was MediaLab – so we should probably ask: What [continue …]

2022-10-21T12:10:52+00:00August 8th, 2005|[no topic]|

Life-or-death design issue in healthcare

In the UK’s National Health Service, billions of euros (the published figure is two, the likely total is 15) are being spent in a new attempt to digitise and integrate patient medical records. Insiders tell me the latest project is doomed to fail, as did previous attempts, because turf-wars between [continue …]

2005-08-04T09:43:26+00:00August 4th, 2005|[no topic]|

Does technology make us happy?

As designers and social innovators, should we take any notice of technology policy? Wouldn’t it be best to ignore the think-tanks and telcos, and concentrate on doing great projects in the real world? A 90% focus on projects would probably be healthy. But we also need to keep half an [continue …]

2022-10-02T10:17:57+00:00August 1st, 2005|[no topic]|

How can this many design events succeed?

I frequently warn of the dangers that lie ahead for the organisers of design conferences, trade fairs, festivals and biennials. A growing number of me-too events is competing for our attention, and there’s a real danger we’ll all switch off. Since I last wrote about the subject a month [continue …]

2022-10-21T12:10:50+00:00July 23rd, 2005|[no topic]|

Who’s responsible for municipal infra?

The most important potential impact of wireless communications will be on the resource ecologies of cities. Connecting people, resources, and places to each other in new combinations, on a real-time basis, has the potential to reduce drastically the amount of hardware—from gadgets, to buildings—that we need to function effectively. The [continue …]

2005-07-21T08:11:43+00:00July 21st, 2005|[no topic]|

War of the words

A couple of weeks ago I reacted harshly when Philips, purveyor of high-end goggleboxes and hairdryers, blamed ‘poor consumer sentiment’ for the company’s disappointing results. Now, British economists are expressing ‘fears for consumer confidence’ following the July 7 bombings in London. ‘Some people may feel that conspicuous consumption is not [continue …]

2022-10-21T12:10:49+00:00July 19th, 2005|[no topic]|

Self-serving, moi?

I know it’s the silly season for news, but a tech story on BBC News today wins my prize for the year’s most witless tech waffle. Headlined “UK ‘could become hi-tech titan'”, the story refers to a report (unnamed and unreferenced) by consulting firm Deloitte that urges “swift [continue …]

2022-08-28T14:57:57+00:00July 18th, 2005|[no topic]|

Back to normal?

Is this true? Gary Yonge reports from New York in today’s Guardian that US newspapers are warning of threats to America from ‘Londonistan’. “Articles on front pages of newspapers across the country describe the UK as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism that threatens global security” writes Yonge; (the [continue …]

2005-07-12T07:53:35+00:00July 12th, 2005|[no topic]|

Locative infra in practice

The service design and art worlds are filled with amazing proposals for the civic use of wireless communications. But most of these will remain hypothetical unless efforts succeed to make wireless freely available – rather than a costly privatised utility. Esme Vos, Amsterdam-based editor of municipalwirelerss.com, is organising the first [continue …]

2005-07-10T08:32:53+00:00July 10th, 2005|[no topic]|

The high cost of manhood

A ticket to the TED Global conference in Oxford next week costs $4,400. Which is only right and proper: the calibre of speakers is exceptionally high. Mind you, the provison of “really big world changing ideas” is very much a guy thing in TED-land: I count seven women out of [continue …]

2023-04-21T16:58:43+00:00July 2nd, 2005|[no topic]|

Solidarity economics and design

During the years Doors of Perception has been staging encounters in India, I don’t think anyone uttered the words ‘solidarity economics’. We’ve had many conversations about bottom-up globalisation, about complementary currencies, and about how design can enable resource-sharing services to emerge. But we have not been immersed in the [continue …]

2022-10-21T12:10:44+00:00June 29th, 2005|[no topic]|

Sustainable everyday at the Pompidou

The Sustainable Everyday project is a platform for knowledge collection and sharing among creative communities and innovative citizens.The website includes a catalogue of promising case studies,a lab of scenarios-in-progress, and information about a travelling exhibition. The latter has reached Paris, where it opens tomorrow at Centre [continue …]

2005-06-28T07:58:35+00:00June 28th, 2005|[no topic]|

What the hack

This large hacker’s festival (3,000 participated last time) happens every four years in The Netherlands. It started with “The Galactic Hacker Party”, also known as the “International Conference on the Alternative use of Technology, Amsterdam”. Themes this year: freedom of speech, government transparency, computer insecurity, privacy, open software, open standards [continue …]

2005-06-25T06:46:31+00:00June 25th, 2005|[no topic]|

Wide-screen but narrow-minded

Philips boss Gerard Kleisterlee has a keen supporter in Tony Blair. Blair wants to channel far more of Europe’s budget to high-tech companies like Philips, and is campaigning against the “anomaly” that the EU spends 40% of its budget on farmers, who make up just 4% of the European workforce, [continue …]

2005-06-20T07:36:14+00:00June 20th, 2005|[no topic]|

A sentimental education for Philips

Philips has blamed “poor consumer sentiment” for limiting its plans for growth. Gerard Kleisterlee, Philips’ CEO, told the Financial Times (16 June page 21) that “Europe is suffering from a weakened consumer retail environment”. Wrong, Mr K. Europe is not suffering, it is recovering from the false consciousness peddled [continue …]

2005-06-18T18:34:32+00:00June 18th, 2005|[no topic]|

Chilling out

So who authored global warming? I have just read a heavy three-part story on the subject in the New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert called The Climate of Man. Kolbert writes that in the seventeen-eighties, carbon-dioxide levels stood at about the same level that they had been at two thousand [continue …]

2005-06-15T10:38:16+00:00June 15th, 2005|[no topic]|
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