Fringe Tough Problem

Went to the Fringe Party Yesterday. Not Impressed – in fact angry and irritated. Not happy Melbourne Museum, Not happy!!

Whats is the problem?
The paper lanterns were treated SHABBILY.
1. They were not lit.
2. They were under an escalator.
3. They were all clustered together. Likes waifs huddled together in the cold.
Not happy!

So here is the thing – what should we do?

Option 1: Business as usual – do nothing. Shrug.
Option 2: Get them to connect up the lights. Incremental Change.
Option 3: Ask for apology, Money back, and for repositioning of lanterns to be separate and more prominent individually.

Discuss Please.

Fringe Tough Problem

Went to the Fringe Party Yesterday. Not Impressed – in fact angry and irritated. Not happy Melbourne Museum, Not happy!!

Whats is the problem?
The paper lanterns were treated SHABBILY.
1. They were not lit.
2. They were under an escalator.
3. They were all clustered together. Likes waifs huddled together in the cold.
Not happy!

So here is the thing – what should we do?

Option 1: Business as usual – do nothing. Shrug.
Option 2: Get them to connect up the lights. Incremental Change.
Option 3: Ask for apology, Money back, and for repositioning of lanterns to be separate and more prominent individually.

Discuss Please.

thinking about research

ek beedi

Thanks for the last few posts, I am begining to get it together, and I think (hope I will have something a litlle more substantial for friday.

I have been going through the blogs, looking at why they have become what they have become, and the conditions and inputs that have made them what they are.

I have started seeing some patterns, especially interms of gender and personality type, that while fairly logical have some interesting manifestations beyond the blogs. The role of the male (especially the “bloke”) in this is interesting as the blog doesnot seem to capture he who has no need to voice, and so perhaps they are disadvantaged by this medium. Blogs also tend to work well for those who are actually intuitavley creative and not just ‘creative’ as afunction of identity, these are generally the quieter ones, the ones with not much to say face to face.

The other aspect is the way in which bloggers do not delete posts after they have been read / expressed – so even if they are completly meaningless there is a sentimentalty about blogging that counters the disposable nature of information on the WWW.

Other sides to it are coming a long, but I do feel a bit lame not blogging as often as I have been, but I suspect that reading other peoples bloggs soon turns you away from constructing your own, so there is a level of intraspection required for succeccfull blogging (if there is such a thing).

The design dissent blog is really quite odd for a blog, and in no way representative of the blogging phenomenon – so something else is going on hre and the only thing that I think that it can be is that this is a community voice and not an purposeful (singular) soapbox- again an interesting development.

Speak about it friday

Hope all is well

solving tough problems

the building now has wirelss: So what?
1. Scenario 1: BAU- Business as usual. just put up signs and only mark and chijoff use the facility.
2. Scenario 2: Incremental change from staff in teaching practices and content. ditto from students.
3. Scenario 3: new paradigm and a new community spririt.

I am focussed upon 3 and plan to fail – so here goes:
1. 170 – 200 students in dec.
2. Of this lot say 50 have lap tops. This category I will call Eagles. with eagles we have to get them to adopt wireless – training, then making sense of why it is useful, then starting to use it.
3. Of the remaining 150 I will make three categories: magpies (who can afford it and have been putting it off, so will now get laptops), seagulls (undecided and feel it is too much money, also not very much into computers), pelicans (have never considered lap tops and have lost of reasons for not having one, also feel they will be very strained financially if they get a laptop).
4. The way forward for each of these categories is to make lists and get staff to volunteer to start a conversation. 10 staff – 20 students each. Can do?
5. I will also have to write a letter explaining how the program is going to into an ‘enabling mode’ to help facilitate the students transiting thru to wireless.

Then to get the laptops; to collectively connect students to suppliers.
1. are there chinese laap top mfrs who will make a bulk deal?
2. What sort of deal will apple do?
3. what sort of deal will acer/ibm/hp/compaq/benq/sony/sharp do?
4. start talking to these firms to do a deal every year.

start a discussion about the significance of the wireless for the 87 community.

Please Post!!!!!

Here is the thing:
1. I visit your blog every day. And I may not be seeing a post. And I may be visiting many blogs and not seeing any posts or seeing very few. This makes for a reasonably unproductive activity.
2. I visit your blog every day.
3. I have begun a conversation with you – individually. I have waited for 10 weeks to feel confident enough to do this. But having spoken to you I am expecting you to open yourself in your blog. I am waiting to see you talk about yourself – your reflexive study.
4. Why reflexive: For both capability development and more crucially for creativity development you need to go through an activity that is introspective. The dumbledore exercise of taking stuff out of your head.
5. What would I like: To make my blog cruising productive if you can put a post in every day till Oct 17 (end of sem) that would be good.

Note you may not yet have made the transition to:
1. Starting the Blog: Do so and let us talk about your initial experiences on Monday.
2. You have a blog but Posting to it is some distance away: What is the point you say? You mind is a strange thing. And as designers this is our primary resource. Blogging has been known to make tigers out of mice and other such miracles. So give it a shot. If it doesnt work? Doesn’t mater – its only for another four weeks – you will be rid of this course soon enough.
3. You have a blog and you have posted but are not doign a lot on this now: This is the end of the season, the course. And it is here that the blog becomes crucial. So do it for your mag/ book, for your reflection, for a self assessment. And as a contribution to the newer bloggers.

I went on the net looking for ‘reflexive study’ and in a short span of time could only find this example. Which curiously enough is hugely relevant. Take a look.
Writing a reflective journal.

See you next week. Have a leisurely weekend!!!

Blog: And make my life productive

Here is the thing:
1. I visit your blog every day. And I may not be seeing a post. And I may be visiting many blogs and not seeing any posts or seeing very few. This makes for a reasonably unproductive activity.
2. I visit your blog every day.
3. I have begun a conversation with you – individually. I have waited for 10 weeks to feel confident enough to do this. But having spoken to you I am expecting you to open yourself in your blog. I am waiting to see you talk about yourself – your reflexive study.
4. Why reflexive: For both capability development and more crucially for creativity development you need to go through an activity that is introspective. The dumbledore exercise of taking stuff out of your head.
5. What would I like: To make my blog cruising productive if you can put a post in every day till Oct 17 (end of sem) that would be good.

Note you may not yet have made the transition to:
1. Starting the Blog: Do so and let us talk about your initial experiences on Monday.
2. You have a blog but Posting to it is some distance away: What is the point you say? You mind is a strange thing. And as designers this is our primary resource. Blogging has been known to make tigers out of mice and other such miracles. So give it a shot. If it doesnt work? Doesn’t mater – its only for another four weeks – you will be rid of this course soon enough.
3. You have a blog and you have posted but are not doign a lot on this now: This is the end of the season, the course. And it is here that the blog becomes crucial. So do it for your mag/ book, for your reflection, for a self assessment. And as a contribution to the newer bloggers.

I went on the net looking for ‘reflexive study’ and in a short span of time could only find this example. Which curiously enough is hugely relevant. Take a look.
Writing a reflective journal.

On the construction of Projects

Things that we do need to be constructed as projects – is what I said to the 2nd years. I was talking about their growth thru the semester. Looking at something like ‘improving my creativity’ can happen easily when bracketed as a distinct project.

Which then raises the issue of ‘how does one set up projects?’

I am doing a session next wed on this: setting up projects.

And will chiefly draw from my experiences of setting up and creating projects.

Discussion will be much appreciated.

On Research

Research is a thing we do. And needs to be taken seriously as a different way. Different from the way we do other things. It may be a good idea to start by saying ‘I do not know how to do research’ and thus allow ourselves to start as a novice and be open to learning.

The masters is both about the ‘way’ and about the ‘content’. For me it is the WAY that is important – content is your business. This is a radical position – but it focusses attention upon the task in a very different way then when you say ‘that is my taget, now how do I get there’. But the other way – the process centered approach – looks at the ‘way’ something is done and constantly in this we surprise ourselves. We are looking and the strange is not inconvenient but interesting – and possibly the beginning of something.

My rule to amplify the marginal is a way – and it has served me well.

The way of drinking of coffee – the going outs, the cliques – defined the community and the curriculum. Much the way that Liam, Simon and Soumitri hanging out (because of being a masters coll group) is determining something. Like small threads of antagonism and ill feeling.

What are the marginal things you ahev picked up, bracketed and how are these to be amplified.

I have collected some stuff here to help you get a research head set. This is one way of doing it. Another could be to watch CSI, and another could be Hustler. For now hope this helps.

Basic Steps

Vietnam yesterday and Today: May be useful to look at this for both Chian and Tsunami

Poster Presentation of Research Work

Advice on Research and Writing

How to Do Research

How Do I Do Research?

Survey Design

Educational Tips: How to do World History research

How You Can Help The Victims Of Hurricane Katrina

The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It

Top: Reference: Education: How To Study: Postgraduate Research

Documentation Guidelines for citing sources and avoiding plagiarism

So you have to do a Research Project?

A Guide for Writing Research Papers

How to Do Research

Countdown

Its 14th September today.

I am now going to step out of my office and ask you to come in on this blog. Face to face in addition to the digital.

I would like to hear where you are at and ‘raves and rants’ re what is happening with the Masters.

1. Put yourself in my shoes and see what it looks like.
2. I would like to deliver unto the GRC some stellar performances from this side. That is just ego but I do not have the ability to sit by while we work towards somethig ordinary.
3. Friday is two days away.

And what can I look forward to for Friday?

Charles’s Blog

Charles is a thrid year student and is in Purdue for the Semester. This is his Blog.

You probably have already encuntered him in the book they have put out.

Countdown

Time to blog furiously. I am setting time aside to check all the 486 blogs I have see every day. So count down time – get over it:
1. Ben
2. Ashwin
3. Matt

And others!

(a blog a day keeps soumitri’s blog travel productive – so write)

We are approaching the semester break.

1. I would like you to bring in submissions for the first class after the break? This would be work in progress of a book you will work on: (a) Part I: What you have done to follow up on the lectures (those six things; films, talks, visits, case study, assignment,…) can be shown! (b) Part II: What you have done to follow up on the studio sessions can be fleshed out here. Many of you have not attempted the paper lantern for fringe, I would like you to take it up now.

2. Formats: (1) This has be a folio in the form of a book (work in progress) done in Illustrator, Power Point, or In-design, with text and images – layout to be elegant and well considered. (2) Use your Blog text (if you do not have a functional blog? start now, send me the link, and put text up, and put this into the book at the same time), (3) put up the films, say put up the poster of the film, your note, link to an article on the film and your take on it. (4) Introduction and Conclusion – this can be drawn from two parts of your reflexive study (I used to be, but now – this can go on to the blog too). (4) The parts of your book can be (should be, or else? Heh heh), a- intro, b-lectures follow ups, c- studio follow ups, d-conclusion, e-links and bibliography). (5) Book format/ Size: A4, Vert/Horizontal. (6) Bring B/W dummy for discussion to class.

The form exercise

(Written on 3rd September)
I have a lecture that I didn’t get a chance to deliver. Work done – no way to use this work. Have written it up. You can ask for the text. The next week was supposed to be competitions. One lecture, one set of ‘corporation games’ to be played. (the first years are ready to come in when you want them. Are you ready to play?)

That apart: How was the performance that day? Patchy – but maybe here is why.
1. I asked for you to form three groups. You did. I ask team leaders to pick the groups – they didn’t. First mistake! A leader has to take responsibility – to fashion a good team. We ended with unequally balanced teams. When leaders don’t take charge you get apathy and ill will. So?
2. One group had huge energy – things flowed. In one group – people couldn’t help each other, didn’t make the effort – things stumbled along. In the third group the dislikes surfaced and irritation and anger reigned – they ground to a halt.
3. Was all this bad? No. But it amplified what you bring to class – and in a sense holds a mirror up to who you are. You are in the main very tired/apathetic/suspicious/unengaged/distracted (pick one!). You are not comfortable letting your mind respect me – for all that I am doing to your mind. You do not do enough for me. Olivia is putting lots of energy (incidentally I saw that ad ‘goddess of candles?’ on SBS) – Fringe + Dinner – why? To get more out of the course. The more you put in the more you will get. So what have you done – not just for yourself? (there I go haranguing! Ummmm). Have you pushed your limits? You have to pay me back for all that I have done till now. August was your month (July was mine), but you didn’t take charge. September is here and I am still waiting. No new initiatives in October – only Favelas. Am I unhappy? No, not at all. That is your prerogative. Mine job is to set up and court failure – so that I can get results. So that I can show you what happens if you do not go into a learning mode – which unfortunately is different from a doing/execution mode. Its not about the content – its about you. Content will keep changing – its arbitrary – but your mind, that is a given.
4. Am I unhappy? No – I need failures to start a conversation happening. Because we need failures – that’s the only way we learn. If Carl sound like a Soumitri acolyte ( in his recent posts) – then so be it! That is the Guru Shishya Model getting activated. That model delivers – but it asks for the student/shishya to have implicit faith in the teacher/guru. That’s a big ask. The guru delivers – but first the shishya has to be there – all of him, mind and body. Do I want to adopt the G-S model? No. that is for the musicians in the city who go off to distant parts to learn percussion. I am a student of pedagogy, its my calling, and I see the anger and the start of the engine in some of you when your group failed. Not resignation, Anger! I notice it and say under my breath, its finally working for you – go for it. In this class in addition to the G-S model we have the school teacher-student model (teach me the right way), the employer-employee model (‘yes sir’), the contractor-trady model (tell me what to do and I will execute it).
5. Carl you came late to class and I didn’t have a chance to do the meditation session. Also re the rest of you – I was chicken, you would sneer at me, I don’t have your full confidence, you don’t trust me implicitly).
6. So we have failed ( the EV CAD and model will happen – but that wasn’t the point at all, it was the way it would happen). One group failed dismally – but significantly they found anger and that is energy too – so they will come through. But Ben your group will find it difficult to pull through with a presentation. So watch out, you have to crank yourselves a lot harder.
7. You want outcomes? So do I. (a) Can you each please make a 6’ high paper lantern (esp those not doing it for fringe)? (b) I want to make a small book on Walton focussing upon both construction waste and solving tough problems. (c) Make your Evs (2D poster + 3D model, then prototype or scale working model).
8. If you still have energy left over I would like to propose a revisiting of your previous semester’s work – Matt your ticket thing, Kate/ Carl your HPVs – and their conversion into competition entries.
9. If you don’t do all this? It doesn’t matter.

How do you build Creativity

(First you clear the land, then you squat on the land, you sleep there in tents, you make friend with the isects that live there, you cry for your shortsightedness in clearing the land and begin replanting trees and weeds. You then go looking for another place, on the way you wonder if you should live in trees, or just ourdoors, or underground. And as you do this you pull out your flute or digeridoo – and make some music. I have time you say – and tomorrow is another day. So you lie back and look at the sky.)

P: I see you have been reading Richard Florida – a bit late to be doing this now that his next book is out? And this one is not the hot new thing.
S: Its taken me this long to get to both Florida and Clive Hamilton. I do have a small problem with these texts that speak about the spirit of the times and usually end up reading this stuff not for insight but to use the phrases like ‘creative class’ and ‘affluenza’ in the way the authors meant them. I have changed my mind slightly about Hamilton – he is quite dangerous in his conservatism – he seems to be saying that the world we live in is okay, we just need to tweak it a bit so that it looks like the society of 30 years ago. And I do not have much space for this brand of conservatism – politicians are better if only because they are up front about their ideology. But that is something else again. Yes Florida is interesting – if only because he privileges the creative class – and in this it has a resonance with the studio course – creativity is the most important thing. Content? That can belong to someone else.

P: But you have chosen a slightly unorthodox way to get the creativity happening. What is this about films and going to talks and ‘reflexive study’?
S: My introduction to student culture here is just a year and a half old. In this period I have seen a lot of pragmatism and an awesome ability to do hard work. The pragmatism makes the headset of the design student privilege an approach that is better suited to product engineering – but that is another profession. Is design product engineering of domestic objects? Okay the engineers don’t do this because they find it too lo-brow – but is this what industrial is all about? Don’t think so. Re hard work: a lot of this is linear – and comes after – ‘you tell us what to do and we will show you how hard we can work’. But that is engineering kicking in again. So this was one thing.

P: And the other?
S: The other was that there was a sneering at cultural things. Films? Waste of time, but people watched ‘heroic’ Hollywood films in the main. Lots of TV watching. Art? No we are not arty types – that’s not for us. Politics? Naw, sorry not for us. So what was their take on design going to be. Not a lot –a lot of skills privileged, things (usually things for homes to be bought by female socialites who subscribed to pretty picture design magazines) in portfolio privileged. And they were here to put this cultural stuff into material things. How can they if they don’t value it. What they value is technical wizardry (‘awesome’), and the bizarre – though not the supreme virtuoso treat from the designer.

P: Easy there. You are drifting and careful – that is not it. We are talking about the way you constructed the course.
S: Okay. Last night I actually sat and looked at the proposal I had written up for Mick at the end of last semester. The focus was primarily upon problem solving methods – and the way to ‘sell’ the idea at balloting was to use the image of Blues Brothers (art) as an image of the ’corporation’ (privileging good thinking). I was also going to use the blank chart for individual student plans. And looking back that has been it.

P: What about the exercises? The paper lantern?
S: I planned out the sessions for July and built up a back-up plan for the other. And in time the students would help flesh out the content. They would take charge – and in this they would be empowered. Now the paper lantern was arbitrary – it was used for an illustration of the questioning technique. And then this was followed up with using the spider diagram for the same exercise.

P: Tell me more.
S: The first time the paper lantern (PL) was attempted the students said ‘we can do it’. And I said ok take 20 minutes, then come back and tell me what you are doing. When they came back I said – you did a lantern, but not the paper. At this point they were activating ‘their shared way of doing design’ – which is one way: a way that I am bracketing as the ‘way of the engineers’. And we needed to put this away and start the learning journey.

P: And was that it, just like that – the learning process started?
S: Aw no. In fact almost half of them are yet to start this journey. And I am hoping this will happen now, or has happened now. But it is hard for them to do things without thinking things through, sketching things and visualizing how it will be used. I am saying ‘get into paper’ – begin a romance with paper. It takes hours and hours and it is a different world on the other side. But they are saying- no we will only start work after we have visualized what we will end up with. We will not just ’waste’ time playing with paper. We will not do this – we have more important things to do. And so I said Okay – I will wait. And I have waited- and will wait out till the end of the semester.

P: Why are you doing this?
S: To make each one of them more creative.

P: But can’t you do that by explaining it to them?
S: Like I said to them – would you like to learn to swim by attending a lecture series, or by swallowing a pill. Would you like to learn to cycle by attending a lecture. What I am saying is – no I don’t agree that you have realized what the creative state is – Until, Until I see evidence that you have spent all that time experimenting with paper. And so it goes ….

I spoke too much

It must have been 1995 or so and I was a member of a discussion group – The Dead Teachers Society. And we all discussed our teaching practices. Freely and openly.

Louis Schmier (http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/louis.html) said to me once that I should listen more. That I should shut up and let the students come through. I took his advice and practiced this – and it is always tough. I am always on the verge of stepping in and saying something. And then the magic would disappear.

I felt I spoke too much today. I have my 11.00AM slot. I will stick to it in the future.

On Design Education

When Brandon said this looked a lot like Zen I immedialtely thought of Itten who taught at Bauhaus. Itten had a loyal following of students and they all (some certainly) followed with him his passion for Mazdaznan. See
http://www.designandfun.com/interview_with_carl_auboeck_jr_.htm

So design education in the 20th century came out an art school context. And the design school I went to – National Institute of Design in India – owed some of its roots to the design school in Ulm. That was the part that dealt with the intellect – the cynics (Tom Wolfe) referred to this as the ‘ab initio’ principle of design. That rationalistic scientific way in fashion in Europe in the 30s.

But the design school also had an ideological side to it – and this was to do with the role of design as an agency to solve genuine problems in society. We all were part of this anti-product brigade and imagined wewould all be working to make life for the less privileged better. Many of my contemporaries still do this (http://www.focusweb.org/index.php).

When I began teaching in 1986 I was part of a group of progressive educators (http://www.ashanet.org/library/articles/seekhna_sikhana.1997.html) who looked beyond the content of education and evaulated their performance based upon real learnings. Over the years I was to move on to be inspired by others, even ‘patch adams’. But Louis Schmier was a strong influence too.

So when you set out today to look to redesign the course – how you would do it- two things came to the fore. One was the fact that you can – just like my workers in the recycling project would sit in a circle and define policy for the project, ‘should we do this or that’. And their way was usually sympathetic and richer. So you can design your own learning experience. It would be the way of Kahane and complex problem solving.

Another was that you touched the fact that the content was arbitrary. You could swap the corp game for a book (?) or something else. Because it was not about the content at all. It was about the learning – and that was not about learning to design. That will come later – you are still in your first year. It was about you – it was about your becoming learners.

But you asked for more. And you had an opinion about many things that were not quite right. The anxiety, the lack of feedback, the confusion about purpose, the ‘do it again’, and so on. But these were precisley the things I needed out of you – the things you needed to overcome. And this was the place where the learning was located. So it was not negative so much as that boil – which needed to grow, fester, be painful, go on and on and then burst – which is seen by many as necessary.

You all felt this. Some of you went on to wait it out and then moved on, and some of you moved back.

Objectives of the Course

This was the spider diagram about what you were setting out to accomplishin this semester. So what do three of these things accomplish?

1. Watching Films: Helps you in “Improving your cultural capital”. Also going to art galleries, talks and such.
2. Talking about your feelings in your blog (Doing a reflexive study): Helps in your “Becoming confident: Learners, entrepreneurs, humans”
3. Making your paper lantern ( again and again): Helps in “Improving your creativity: From being able to go into creative states to being able to use creativity techniques on demand”. Helps you get a sense of familiarity with the creative state.

Just three things we need to keep up. These were not stages to somewhere – but were proposed as things you could keep on doing, keep on doing, keep on doing, … So I would be really happy to see you go into this, go back into this.

More paper lanterns after fringe? Yes more, maybe smaller ones. But keep at it. This time it is for yourself and not for a competition.

More blogging? Yes I would really like it if all of you got on to doing your blogs. And did a reflexive study – talked about your feelings. And lots of inconsequential things.

More Films? Yes lots more. But I would be really happy if you read articles about the directors and rewatched the films. This is one of the best ways to get accustomed to the domain of an art form that is easily accessible. Why not do one show in class for everyone? And then talk about the film.

New Handout

I came in today with a handout. Yes I am in a small panic.
Why?

Because I needed to be sure the Missionary Mode has not kicked in – “we are converts and we will get the others in”. This is the way that killed off those thousands of Aboriginals and stole the generation – “lets give them a life. They dont know whats good for them”. And this is wrong – we need to move towards engagement and high energy levels.

The Missionary has pots of energy – and that is a good thing. The Missionary has attitude and that is not so good.

Better that it be ‘lets talk’ and the conversation is the ‘mount fleur’ experiment. People can listen as they speak.

I have many more copies sitting with me – I will leave them with Brian and you can pick up a copy.

6th September

P: So what is this community mobilization?
S: Learning to solve tough problems. This is something the second years were introduced to and are very excited by; first they did the Walton group problem, and tried different methodologies. Then they were introduced to the difference between the paper lantern and the complex problem. In that year they have Carl who was looking to become a tough problem solver-and he is an active member of the anti-VSU campaign. I am assuming three in this group – Steve, Andrew and Clinton are sensitive to big problems. And would love to go into Adam Kahane.

P: But that isn’t all is it? What is the dressing up and strategies thing all about?
S: The route to Kahane is through the shell scenario thinking methodology. And is also through the failure of the ‘reductionist approach’.

P: So what happened yesterday – was it reductionist?
S: Incredibly yes. They went looking for problems – which is good. Maybe next time they will look for ‘drivers’, and energies. They are solving problems – but there are no problems – only a desire for a different tomorrow. They are forming a community, and are meeting for a barbecue. That is a social practice. And I will take Raph’s caution on board – this may fail, but again it may work. Either way this little group is now on its way to getting into a community of elite problem solvers.

P: Did everyone speak- were all the stakeholders involved?
S: Many were in, some were still in their heads. This is the challenge – we are not in Aceh, or New Orleans – and not everyone needs to make a gesture. They can still keep their chairs a little apart – I am special, I am different. It is the challenge the community has to rise to – will they turn and speak to the disengaged? This is confronting – but then if you have done it once you acquire the ability to do this. So will they? I do not know.

P: And the dress?
S: This was an old blog discussion –‘if we stop dressing as the corporation, what do we do? Do we dress like dissenters’. That was in the first class when we had three categories: Corp, dissenters, designers. But these days we have 8 or more categories. And there is a ‘problem solving’ reason for our dressing. There are three groups – will the groups use the phone tree to each wear a plastic rose in their button hole, or a hat (a la Thomas Crown Affair – yes I watch a lot of Hollywood films, and yes my criticism of H’wd was to get you to see the masters), or red socks? And make this a game – ring a ring a roses – and raise energy levels? We have to wait and see.

Do you want to be a MISSIONARY, Do you want to be Jack Nicholson in ‘a few good men’, Do you want to be Vito Corleone in the Godfather?

Last night I wished the John Cage Birthday celebration on ABC Classic FM at 10.30 PM could have been circulated thru the phone tree.

And so on Kahane and Solving compelx problems
ON Mount Fleur
From Scenraio Thinking to Strategic Action
The Whole Earth People

Lists


1. Try to uncover what has contributed to blog mania within my teaching practice / community beyond the point of instagation – compile moments, points of clarity (emergence), reflect upon, currate, exhibit.
2. Write up failure test to IDDLS – the who and why of it.
3. Assemble test case (Peg study type interwoven) design theory / thought / action point.
4. start inhabiting and seeding wikipedia and others
5. Categorise behaviours of blogging and design
6. make something
7. document everything on Hivedynamics
8. get it together
9. stop getting distracted by technology (eg scanning my head)

Why Competitions

I am trying to get you all into the culture of competitions, and that was the purpose of the talk.

First about competitions and ID: The other programs in the school (architecture, landscape, interior and fashion) do not have access to so many competitions. ID has lots of competitions and which means industrial designers can participate in a lot of competitions. But to do so they have get into the spiritof this thing called the competition. And so I said ‘what is a competition’. It looks altruistic, and seems to be about good ideas. But is it?

The more you know about competitions the more comfortable you will become with them. And it is a fact that people find competitions confronting, and avoid them. And some think it is a waste of time. Though some of my friends have made money from competitions. Some others have acquired status and prestige. So there are rewards.

Raph aksed if we talk more on this. So can we please?

Awaiting your post!!

Dear Nick

I said ‘don’t make the lamp, be good to yourself’. And I saw the color rise to your face. I had hurt you. And my first instinct was to sit down and write you a letter to say – that wasn’t what I meant. That wasn’t it at all. But as I had said come and see me Wednesday, I had to wait. Wednesday came and went and I didn’t see any of you from that table. So now I am feeling terrible. And so this letter.

But this isn’t the first time we have had a run in. Its happened once before in a similar fashion early in the semester. And there have been other small run ins. And it has just all added up. What is going on? So here goes – I will try and think through my hands.

You said early in the semester you will do the competitions – and I asked how. You said you had already started doing sea art and would continue in that vein. And you are right – anyone can do competitions. But the ‘way of work’ they deploy would be learned in different contexts. You can be an engineer, a CAD operator or an artist – and still be able to do the competition. You can also be a designer and do the competition. You can think, sketch, paint, model and make. And it would appear that these skills would allow you to do whatever you need to do. In your blog I have seen a display of awesome skills, especially your CAD – and have no doubt you can do anything you wish.

But on another side you opted to come into the Corporation Game. And at some stage came into design school too. Why, I ask myself, would someone so accomplished, wish to study design? There may be any number of reasons – but let me look at three: (a) to get accredited/ validated/ to get the certificate (but you are not one of those), (b) to learn about design to become a designer and (c) learn new ways of doing (thinking and solving problems). I think you may be right in your goal being (b). But this fraction of the 1st year studio was set up differently – it wasn’t about design or learning about design. That was the other fractions – restaurant and sports. This fraction has no content. This fraction is about ‘ways’ of doing. This fraction makes serious thinking a game. This fraction is about you – and your transformation, in eight different axes. This fraction is about RISK – it is about putting yourself out there and trying new things. This fraction is about letting go of your ways (just till the end of the semester, and then you can revert to old ways and say ‘this is not good enough’) just to try new ways.

But how do I say that to you? To any of you?

I am a teacher. I see you working – and I say try this. Years ago I saw a video on Navratilova training. She watched videos of herself playing – hour after hour. And worked with her coach to change her actions: her movements and strokes – constantly tweaking, improving, trying. And she was a champion. So are you. But you can do more – and you need to let me in.

The paper lantern is the supreme provocation. You cannot do it with your left brain. I have said this again and again. It is a project – and a pure one at that. It privileges experimentation. And the ability to do it again and again. It privileges the eye, the play of light, the texture, the technique. It privileges the development of technology: anara’s experimentation with layers, pieces – bens experimentation with stitching – and kellys waffle textures. And you need to do this – (and it is not too late) – to get your hands dirty, to get down and do – and silence your left brian. You need to set up the situation for magic to happen. And you need to court failure – you need to set up situations which will fail. You need to do so that you can destroy what you do. You need to forget aboutthe end – and slowly, slowly beging to enjoy the journey. ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Nowhere’. Then why? Because it is the journey, the way, LIFE, living and not the end (that is the epitaph).

You can do a fantastic lantern in CAD. But that is not the point. And so I said to you – ‘just leave it, don’t push yourself’. And that is what I was saying.

I was also saying ‘the learning is not in the object’ – it is in the process. And you have to let go of something – for a while – to be able to pick up the new.

Dumbledore in Harry Potter has a bowl into which he puts his thoughts. He has lived for many hundred years and needs to periodically empty his brain to make space for the new. I do not ask for you to empty anything. But I ask you to try another way. And look not at the end (that does not matter) but at the journey. This is the way of the backpacker: to privilege the journey and the long treks into the marginal and poorer areas. While the stereotypical Japanese/American tourist privileges the destination and the tourist hot spots, and the showing of videos and pics when hey get home.

Come and talk to me. And I am sorry. But it isn’t easy for me. I need all the help I can get.