Now here’s a tale to warm the heart. Mine, anyway. An email arrives from Emil Groh, in Seoul. Two nights ago Emil was on the subway there when a friend he was riding with took a book out of his bag and recommended [continue …]
Design policy is itself a globalising industry. I arrived back from Korea to be greeted by my copy of the Cox Review of Creativity in Business. This startling document has been eagerly awaited by the design industry. Many creatives in the UK (as in other industrialised countries) fondly believe [continue …]
How’s this for a sublime location? A media arts festival in Huddersfield next week called Ultrasound takes place at Bates Mill. No, not motel: it’s a traditional nineteenth century industrial complex. The performances of electronic music, software production, new technologies, and audiovisual stuff, take place in the Blending Shed.
I’ve received the following invitation from Marcus Kirsch and Jussi Ängeslevä and other friends at V2 in Rotterdam. The text is so well-crafted, and the project is so insane, that I’m simply reproducing it here as is.
“The urban rock dove (columba livia) is part of every cityscape. More hated [continue …]
The nuclear lobby is trying to portray nuclear power as the inevitable solution to Britain’s future power needs. But their campaign has been dealt a potentially lethal blow by a schoolboy called Peter Ash. The young inventor attached a generator to his hamster’s exercise wheel and connected it to [continue …]
The main prize of the UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2005 “City and Creative Media” goes to Indian artist Ashok Sukumaran, one of the featured presenters at Doors 8 in Delhi earlier this year. Sukamaran’s “poetic yet pragmatic” project, Switch, was selected out of 242 project proposals by an international [continue …]
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 [continue …]
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 [continue …]
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 [continue …]
It was thanks to the new blog for Wikimania – the first international wikimedia conference which starts tomorrow in Frankfurt – that I learned about the latest exaggerated claim about contribution of mobile phones to knowledge.Cellphedia is billed as ‘the 1st Ubiquitous Social Encyclopedia…(it) creates the ability to [continue …]
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 Odeo as a one-stop site where non-technical people like me can find and subscribe to podcasts, and create new podcasts of their [continue …]
â€œThe anthropologist starts by observing everyday life, with all its odd little patterns, and tries to work out how computers might fit into thatâ€. (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 [continue …]
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 [continue …]
Is this happening a lot? I’ve been sent a map,”The Creative Map of Arnhem and Gelderland”. (It’s a pleasant area in the west of the Netherlands). The map plots the street address of every member of the creative class. It informs me that a fine artist named Stolker lives in [continue …]
I like the sound of the Romanian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. The artist Daniel Knorr is responsible for an installation called European Influenza: the Pavilion is left empty, with only the traces of past exhibitions remaining. Sadly, not all critics have taken the hint: one burbles [continue …]
The most entertaining challenger to Michael Bloomberg for Mayor of New York is the Reverend Billy , leader of the The Church of Stop Shopping. The Reverend has announced plans to conduct his entire campaign on premises of the Starbucks Corporation; he will offer 258 sermons in 258 locations [continue …]
The notion of collective intelligence, a term coined by the French philosopher Pierre Levy, continues to engage original thinkers. In France, Jean-FranÃ§ois Noubel has published a paper called Collective Intelligence: The Invisible Revolution . And Michel BauwensI has sent me the draft of an essay on Peer [continue …]
A group of artists in California called Heavy Trash has launched a guerrilla war against gated communities, the self-contained housing estates that are walled off from the outside world but ring more and more American cities. In a stealth operation, carried out at dawn, a group of 20 architects, [continue …]
Bob Stein writes to inform me of a fascinating experiment in creating a collective memory of an ephemeral event – albeit one which promises to be the most photographed art work ever. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Gates project in Central Park was dismantled after a brief run of just sixteen days. [continue …]
A personal “Aha!” moment in Delhi was the realisation that re-mix is not just about new music and vj-ing. Re:mix also signals a broader cultural shift away from the narcissistic obsession with individual authorship that have rendered everything from art to management so tiresome in recent times. (In architecture circles [continue …]
Ten days offline, but not in silence. From my New Delhi lodging house in Defence Colony I heard no airconditioning roar or traffic. What I did hear was: Pigeons fidgeting in the metal box above my window that used to contain the airconditioning unit. The long moans of freight train [continue …]
A full-page story in yesterdayâ€™s Financial Times (March 1, page 9) waxes lyrical about â€˜reality tv for the boardroomâ€™ â€“ and goes on to describe the use of video footage to â€˜reduce the growing distance between the corporate elite and consumersâ€™. Executives in multinational companies, understates the FT, â€˜often find [continue …]
Bangalore Badarpur Border, curated by Pooja Sood at the Apeejay Media Gallery, explores the myths, landscape and imagery of Bombay. It features the work of Shaina Anand, (from Mumbai, trained in film in New York);Ashok Sukumaran (from Simla, trained in architecture in Delhi, and in Media Art in Los [continue …]
The threatened flood of post-election refugees from the US to Europe did not materialise – but many of our US friends do still sound nervous. So we found the perfect Christmas gift: a high-level security system designed for maximum protection in various hostile environments. “With this unit you don’t have [continue …]
I found some amazing new numbers in a 2004 survey of attitudes to consumption in the United States. More than eight out of ten Americans believe that society’s priorities are “out of whack” and 93 percent agree that Americans are too focused on working and making money and not enough [continue …]
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 [continue …]
It’s been a tough week. There’s a lot of anguish about. Do something small, like
Last week I commented on the puerile computer game imagery being used in corporate advertising by firms like BT. Its now Unisys’ turn to insult our intelligence with its “3D Visible Enterprise” campaign. Every sentence is sententious. “Itâ€™s more predictable because itâ€™s visible”. “Imagine any change, and know how it [continue …]
Bruce Mau has written to say he is “surprised” by the tone and content of my email newsletter piece last week about his new exhibiton, Massive Change.
What I said originally was:
“We will build a global mind. We will design evolution. We will eradicate poverty”. No ifs and no buts are [continue …]
Britain’s National Health Service has identified five “key dimensions of patient experience” – and time and speed issues dominate. The top two issues are first, waiting times for appointments, and access to services; and second, time given to discuss health/medical problems face-to-face with health care professionals. A third priority, [continue …]
Has anyone else noticed how the tv ads of tech companies are becoming indistinguishable from computer games? IBM, British Telecom and Hewlett Packard have all released TV commercials and print ads that feature young professionals floating, gravity-free, in abstract urban spaces. High altitude, low-bandwidth thinking in action.
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 …]
Those were the days. This text, which was written for Japanâ€™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 – â€˜cultural engineeringâ€™. Unfortunately, when Japanâ€™s bubble economy abruptly collapsed in 1992, so, [continue …]
(A comment for Cumulus, the European association of design schools).
In order to do things differently, we first need to see things differently; the imaginary can be extraordinarily powerful in shaping expectations.
In order to do things differently, we first need to see things differently; the imaginary can be extraordinarily powerful in [continue …]