It appears that global warming has finally created its own version of the Wounded Veteran. Sitting in a puddle of himself in Buenos Aires’ Plaza Francia, a young man from Red Cross Argentina issued pleas to passers-by: not for spare change, but for action against climate change.
BEIJING (AFP)–China on Tuesday laid part of the blame for poor product safety on foreign companies whose designs were flawed, as millions of parents around the world prepared to buy Chinese-made toys for Christmas.
In a defiant response to a reporter’s question on toy safety, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China took product safety seriously but toy producers in the country should also be careful of foreign-made designs.
“Some Chinese toy producers produce their products according to the designs of their foreign clients and then it turns out that there are problems with the designs of these products,” Qin said.
“Those designs were produced by the foreign side so here we remind our Chinese producers to not only pay attention to production, but also be careful with the designs by the foreign parties.”
China is the world’s biggest toy exporter, with total sales of 60 billion toys in 2006, amounting to 60% of the world market.
The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning recently launched the Design Lab, an innovative new centre for digital design.
The Design Lab brings together engineers, designers, artists and architects – all linked by their passion for design and its interface with technology. The lab reflects the exciting innovation and teaching happening in the Faculty.
Its previous incarnation was known as the Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition (KCDCC), which has been at the cutting edge of its area since the sixties. As Dr Michael Rosenman, Head of Design Lab, points out: “Back then, computers were mysterious, new, occupying large rooms visited only by boffins in white coats. Today is a different world, computers are ubiquitous and becoming even more so.
“In future we will see them in the clothes we wear, in wallpaper or even in paint. Everyone has contact with computing whether it is their watch, mobile phone or washing machine.”
Dr Rosenman continues: “The Design Lab shifts focus from traditional computing to design using information and interaction technology. This is the future – creating, designing and refining our experience of the world through technology.”
New IDEA course launched
As part of the evening, the innovative postgraduate Interaction Design & Electronic Arts (IDEA) program was launched. This new program is the only one of its kind offered in Australia and allows students to explore new forms of technology to create, design and re-invent our daily experience. The new degree is a research-focused degree, allowing students to design objects, environments and art with technology.
Leading artist and lecturer Dr Petra Gemeinboeck is excited about the possibilities of this new program: “The IDEA course welcomes local and international students to join a cutting-edge studio-based and research-focused study environment.”
The IDEA program seeks to create opportunities for a new generation of designers and artists who are at the forefront of new technology.
Any object that has been used, modified, or manufactured by humans, such as a tool, weapon, or vessel. In art, an artefact is a product of human skill and creativity, while in archaeology, the object may be a simple item of importance and interest.
Any small object that has been manufactured, used, or modified by humans.
A product of human manufacture or art, e.g. tools of bone, stone flakes, etc., paintings, engravings. In caves, tools are often buried in sediment.
[Q] From John Weiss: “Could you give a note on the historical or geographical divide between artifact and artefact? I was brought up to stick with artefact, much as the incompatibility with artificial annoyed me, and I was surprised to see you use artifact. I suppose I could look it up, but your explanations are more fun.”
[A] Flattery will get you everywhere …
Presumably you are referring to the recent piece on ecofact? In the newsletter I was inconsistent, using artefact one week (while noting that Americans spelled it artifact), but the next week accidentally spelling it artifact (I put in as evidence for the defence a saying of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”).
In saying that the British spelled it with an e, while Americans spelled it with an i, I was guilty of a sweeping generalisation that needs some qualification and footnotes.
Both spellings may be found in both countries. In Britain, the preferred form given in dictionaries is artefact, though the other often appears as an alternative. The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors firmly suggests spelling it with an e, as does Bill Bryson in The Penguin Dictionary for Writers and Editors. However, the style guide of The Economist, with a large international circulation, suggests using artifact, since it is acceptable, it says, both to American and British readers. Americans prefer the i form by a large majority, but not exclusively so — newspaper practice seems to vary considerably, some insisting on the i form, others being more relaxed about it.
Today, if any realm can claim the conceptual high ground of design research, it is interaction design–the perfect intersection of objects, systems, and social behaviors. Interaction design has become a separate branch of design discourse, a friendly sibling of industrial design with it’s own unique vocabulary and community of practice. IAD contains a universe of new theoretical questions that promise to transform daily experience. As physical stuff is enabled by networked data, a world of new experiences and cultures open up, along with the anxieties and fears triggered by accelerated change. Who will be best qualified to explore these concepts? Architects? Object makers? Interface makers? Social scientists? And which of these is likely to build a truly human poetics of interaction? Pioneering hybrid thinkers, and hybrid teams already begin to point the way.
I finally started writing – the tool kit for a new School of Design. A tool kit because a vision is so self aggarandising. Tool kit is so much more participative. For now the tool kit has three parts – a way to do a take on design.
1. The Agenda – which in this case is a social agenda. As against a technological agenda. A social agenda where design is a community engagement discourse. The BOP is one core context of practice – and ‘for the marginalised’ is the defining focus.
2. The Approach – which in this case is porous to allow in local practices of engagement. PRA re Chambers being one of them. I add to this a version of design process which is designed for long and slow projects. Design then is fundamentally not an expert discourse (with a quick fix and get away strategy) but a community involvement discourse. I situate a critique of the ‘Technology for the marginalised’ as a key way to think of the approach.
3. The Artefact – which is a way to define profesional specializations. For now I have ‘social innovation’ and ‘social enterpreneurhsip’. Then I have service design. The big question is how much of the conventional courses can one let in – and will they be a contaminant. Industrial design will eventually become egaged in the making of the sofa!
Will leave ths for a bit.