Chicago

Anish Kapoor

I am going back after a week in Chicago. And its been an eventful week. I saw many sides of Chicago, I jogged about, cycled up the lake shore drive and rode back thru the city. The most astounding thing about the city is the ready smiles and the ever helpful staff in the utilities. I took the bus, I took the train, I did the subway and exhausted all modes of public transport. And incredibly all very simple – nothing to learn. Well come to Melbourne and try our tram system I say: Zones, only coins and grim uncommunicative passengers.

At the top end of Lake shore drive I parked the bike and took out the map. This bloke approaches me – ‘are you lost?’ he asked. Over the days I saw this happening not only to me but to all sorts of people, ‘are you lost’. Such a simple courtesy. Anyway – we got talking and he turned out to be recent graduate of SAIC in photography. And was a cyclist. I was a cyclist in Chicago too – ‘oh yes, I ride in Melbourne’. And Anne turned out to have worked in bicycle advocacy.

The weather is frightening by all accounts. Apparently everyone gets morose and crabby. Laura spoke of the winter as being really nasty if you had to take public transport. So what I saw was the sunny side of Chicago. Too sunny. Riding back I ran into a head wind – and had to dismount. A little girl began to cry – it was so windy. It is the windy city – no doubt about it.
Mark di Suvero

Chicago is slated to get the Olympics for 2016. And there is pride and a buzz about it. Mayor Daley, everyone feels, will pull it off. He has made Milenium park – he can do anything. Which is touching really.

Loop

And there are issues in Chicago. Issues of unemployment, with all sorts of related issues. Then there is waste – Chicago has a dodgy record of recycling. Many people believe it doesnt happen. But Daley is keen so it will start happening. Maybe I will write to the mayor. In conversation on tue I mention Michelle Obama’s work with the medical care for the poor/ or low income groups. I am immediately asked – ‘have you spoken to her, have you met her’. Chicago is a small town I am told. But definitely very friendly and helpful. Maybe I will send Michelle our Diabetes Paper.

Still Chicago rocks.

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Shared approach

Re CODE (Community Oriented Design Engagement), on a side note should it be oriented or orientated? Apparently it doesn’t matter – I personally made a switch a decade or so ago – and exclusively use orientated. And feel it looks better, but am willing to let go.

We(Esther, Fiona, Melanie and I) had a meeting today. One part of the conversation was about what was required by the school in the application for the research grant. The other part was about what the four of us really shared. And that is when things got really exciting. We talked, listed words and asked ourselves if it resonated with us collectively. 10 or more words came up – with Melanie making many contributions that had an interesting political flavour. One of these was ‘insurgent citizenship’. The idea of insurgency appealed – but Fiona balked at the ship in citizenship. To be citizens is preferable to the notion of citizenship ( which of course has all this English tests, and ‘keep-out-ness’ to it). We were all sitting there responding from a place somewhere around our bellies – and that felt good. On bellies – we talked about the ‘Renounce Network‘ briefly. And I noted that Fiona and I shared a big bottle of sparkling water. Melanie and Esther had a tall delicious looking cold coffee with ice-cream each. We talked about Fiona’s compulsive givingupness – and didnt really all agree that just giving up per se was a good thing.

I began at about this time to scribble words into my notebook, and we began with some of those words. And then we all pooled in and finally a cloud of words emerged:

Social Sustainability ( which is sort of there without all the sustainability baggage it comes with)/ Direct Action (which has all this anarchist flavour – but the directness is nice, can we have that please without the added flavours?)

(Faint Voices)

Marginal

Neglected

Political

(Social Object)

Collaborative/ Participative

Non-professional

Non-expert

Non-physical thing

Provocation

Multidisciplinary

Story Telling

Cultural Amplification

I will come back to this page to edit and rewrite – so that some text emerges for next week.

How to write a paper

“Writing papers is, for many students, a difficult, trying, and intimidating task. This is truly unfortunate because typically at least half of the courses students take in college use paper-writing as a form of academic exercise. Expressing yourself well in writing is often a crucial skill in the professional world. Yet whereas being articulate and knowledgeable in written composition in the workplace is a prized skill, academic writing demands even more. To do academic writing you must not only develop the ability to express yourself in words but also the ability to gather information from a variety of sources and select and present relevant
nuggets of fact from those sources. You must be able to appropriately sprinkle in your own observations, determinations and conclusions. And you must document precisely where you obtained your facts. Academic writing is not about expressing your own opinions alone but rather expressing facts established by others and your reasoned observations and conclusions based on them.”

how_to_write_a_paper.pdf

writing-resources.doc

Reading India

Industrial Design Studies, 12 Credits, February 2007 
Lecturer: Soumitri Varadarajan (soumitri.varadarajan@rmit.edu.au)
Contact Hours / Duration: 3 hours per week over 13 weeks. [39 hours contact]
Non-Contact / Self Directed Hours: 6 hours per week over 13 weeks [78 hours expected]
Location: Building 87 [rooms TBC, levels 4 & 5]
Time: 9.30am –12.30pm Fridays

Introduction
I applied for and got a grant to pay for a few RMIT students to spend a semester in India (@www.nid.edu), and for a dozen Indian (NID) students to spend a semester at RMIT. In this way India becomes significant and is a something and somewhere that we need to know. ‘Reading India’ is an exploration of India as a significant destination in the future for practicing designers – a place where you will look for work, where your clients will live and where you may spend a lot of time. My India is in books and in ideas and I invite you to explore a very particular India through readings and investigation.

Key Learning objectives
The course has a specific area – India – and a particular way – provocation – to go about the semester.
Content

  1. Understanding Indian society and industry

Methods

  1. Research and Paper Writing

Online Resources
http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEnglish/imperial/india/biblio.htm
http://www.dalitnetwork.org/, http://www.tewfi.org/, http://www.theotherindia.org/

Activities
There are three things you have to do in this course: Participate in the events, Study India for its culture and the state of design, and write papers.

Indian Culture and Society
You have to choose a topic and read in that area. You also have to do research on the internet and through conversations with Indians.  You then have to write an original paper on the topic of your study. Eg: What do Indians do over the weekend? OR Seeing India through the eyes of the women who live there. 
Design and Industry in India

You have to choose a sector of design practice, say furniture design or transportation design, in India and do your research in that area. Your paper has to be written in the form of ‘state of art’, and be an informed comment on the situation.

Deliverables
Indian Culture and Society Project: 3000 word paper, Due 30th March
Design and Industry in India Project: 3000 word paper, Due 1st June

Format
All papers have to be submitted in a prescribed format.

Essays For Reviewing

Below you will find the first Essays – On Indian Culture and Society.

Atoosa atoosa.doc

Fiona fiona.doc

Jumlie jumlie.doc

Kath kath.doc

Louisa louisa.doc

Philippa philippa.doc

Sadira sadira.doc

Tosika tosika.doc

If you click on the link it will open the essay or it can be saved onto your desktop.

Reading India

Industrial Design Studies, 12 Credits, February 2007
Lecturer: Soumitri Varadarajan (soumitri.varadarajan@rmit.edu.au)
Contact Hours / Duration: 3 hours per week over 13 weeks. [39 hours contact]
Non-Contact / Self Directed Hours: 6 hours per week over 13 weeks [78 hours expected]
Location: Building 87 [rooms TBC, levels 4 & 5]
Time: 9.30am –12.30pm Fridays

Introduction
I applied for and got a grant to pay for a few RMIT students to spend a semester in India (@www.nid.edu), and for a dozen Indian (NID) students to spend a semester at RMIT. In this way India becomes significant and is a something and somewhere that we need to know. ‘Reading India’ is an exploration of India as a significant destination in the future for practicing designers – a place where you will look for work, where your clients will live and where you may spend a lot of time. My India is in books and in ideas and I invite you to explore a very particular India through readings and investigation.

Key Learning objectives
The course has a specific area – India – and a particular way – provocation – to go about the semester.
Content

  1. Understanding Indian society and industry

Methods

  1. Research and Paper Writing

Online Resources
http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEnglish/imperial/india/biblio.htm
http://www.dalitnetwork.org/, http://www.tewfi.org/, http://www.theotherindia.org/

Activities
There are three things you have to do in this course: Participate in the events, Study India for its culture and the state of design, and write papers.

Indian Culture and Society
You have to choose a topic and read in that area. You also have to do research on the internet and through conversations with Indians. You then have to write an original paper on the topic of your study. Eg: What do Indians do over the weekend? OR Seeing India through the eyes of the women who live there.
Design and Industry in India

You have to choose a sector of design practice, say furniture design or transportation design, in India and do your research in that area. Your paper has to be written in the form of ‘state of art’, and be an informed comment on the situation.

Deliverables
Indian Culture and Society Project: 3000 word paper, Due 30th March
Design and Industry in India Project: 3000 word paper, Due 1st June

Format
All papers have to be submitted in a prescribed format.