What kind of website would it be, without the occasional “additional flavors”?! The traditional Fat Tuesday has finally come, and people can eat fancy crêpes to no limit in France…. Or the Swedish alternative, the deliciously creamy – almond-filled semla!
Today, I sent the final draft of thesis to the supervisor. It took ages to report and reflect on different issues, related to this large (if not in scope, in duration) project that is tabletop fika design… All in all, the structure is based on 7 parts :
It’s been ages that i’ve wanted to do that, but finally it happened! I moved to NearlyFreeSpeech.net.
A pain to setup, not particularly the fault of nfshost but rather a mix of wordpress bollockry and incompatibilities in versions. All in all, i’ve had to update my old wordpress, turn it into a 3.0.5, then update all plugins, export all posts, move all contents, plugins, themes and other pages to here. Sadly, the flash plugin doesn’t seem to work anymore, and jd gallery for the doodles page, is also broken. The sound page, is on the other hand much better than before, and hosted at soundcloud. The layout also sadly went down, my custom thematic won’t work again. So i lazily quick-fixed the default theme to my liking. One day, it shall improve, too but at least it’s functional :)
Expect some more posts about more random subjects in the future !
edit: the layout of yore works now, which still doesn’t mean i intend to leave it like that ;)
Past the surprise, the bitterness. Apparently, the all-in-wonder tool of Google didn’t get the user adoption it required to be continued. Still, the reasons behind this are puzzling. Google repeatedly makes actions towards collaboration in groups. To cite a few initiatives, Google Groups (awkward, but somewhat functional to manage projects perhaps), Google Buzz (past the initial privacy-leak outcry, nothing there to say, the use remains marginal at best), Google Docs (recently gifted with a google-wave like collaboration engine), rumors of a facebook contender (Google Me) and ultimately buying of the Farmville online games giant Zynga.
All points in the direction of ultra-collaboration, on the cloud.
I started working on my master’s thesis in collaboration with a local company in Goteborg named TouchTech.
My focus is on the use of big multitouch screens for non-commercial purposes. In particular, how they can engage people in local political issues. I say politics but in fact it’s just topics of local and specific interest.
I’m trying to keep a blog on my activities, at http://touchg.wordpress.com/, which so far has had an initial rate of one post a day. This rhythm won’t be sustained very long, but if anyone’s interested, one can subscribe to the feed.
From now on, i’m involved in the Coten project, an online design endeavor to think about higher education. So far the participation is good, there are weekly speakers who give a video. A main thread discusses that, but there are also other threads, limited to teams, and concerning little activities also given weekly. The bulk of the project is accessible to everyone, and from there also the guest lectures are interesting.
It is very exhausting at times to read all the contributions, but it is a great insight at how creative professionals handle huge issues, with a design thinking approach. The focus is on Service Design methods and references, which differs from Interaction Design only by the type of outcome usually expected: instead of a particular multimedia product, it deals with services. An immaterial service from humans to other humans.
Maria Sundin, lecturer on Astronomy and Physics took the next discussion. Once again, there was a great contrast in style compared to the previous talk. This one was also very dynamic and educative but didn’t rely on any visuals until the end. The discourse however was very understandable and inspirational. She spoke about collaboration between Art and Science in very simple terms.
My favorite part was when she was talking about the challenge it is to be an astronomer stuck on planet Earth. She said it’s like “being a tree at the end of the forest, and trying to figure out what and how the entire forest is“.
The next speaker is Asok Abraham George from Volvo Trucks, where he is Chief Designer.
This offers a stark contrast in approach compared to the previous speaker: the use of presentation slides and the involvement of the audience with games is well rehearsed and really effective. As a result, it was a very agreeable show to follow, and at the same time suprising by its depth.
The first part of the presentation was questioning the difference between art and science. Going from an encyclopedic definition, the border is as thin as it gets. Actually, science’s first synonym listed there was none other than the word “Art”! Puzzling at best, confusing probably most of all…
Then the presenter engaged the audience by showing pictures, and asking to shout if it is art or science. An often enthusiastic but quiet crowd started playing, and -as the game requires- was intentionally misled by many pictures. Those often followed the following scheme:
1. Display little details at first (getting the answer “art”)