A Birthing Centre story

Maternal instincts Gold Coast News | goldcoast.com.au | Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

She had read that every second baby born to privately insured women in Queensland will be delivered via caesarean section. There was also anecdotal evidence. Friends who had gone private more often than not seemed to end up having c-sections. My wife didn’t want that. What she wanted was another option.

That’s when a friend told her about a relatively new initiative at the Gold Coast Hospital — a midwife-run birthing centre that works on the philosophy of continuity of care.

Expectant mothers are assigned one midwife to guide them through their pregnancies. She is on-call 24 hours a day and visits the mum-to-be’s home for their appointments. The same midwife attends her at birth. There would be no pressure to induce labour or speed it up with drugs. There are no caesareans in the birth centre.


Most expensive

Is Design about designing really expensive things for the super rich? Take a look at these sites and comment if you want.

Born Rich: Cruise to the luxury

In a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea, divers
have found what is being thought to be the world’s oldest and most
expensive drinkable champagne. Believed to be around 230 years old, each
bottle found is expected to go for around $68,000.

World's Most Expensive Cell Phones - Sony Ericsson Black Diamond
Most Expensive Cell Phones in the World -Sony Ericsson Black Diamond $300,000
The World’s Most Expensive Stuff 2010: The Rich Spend Richer – BusinessWeek
The World’s Most Expensive Stuff 2010 – click above to go to slide showThe Rich Spend Richer

Urwerk UR-202 “White Shark” Highly Limited Watch – Timepieces Luxist

Sonoro Stardust Elements ($2,500) – Gift Guide 2008: 10 tech toys for the filthy rich | DVICE

Short of bedazzling an Aston Martin, the Swarovski crystal-coated clock radio is as showy a gift as you’re going to find. Sure, AM/FM radio and an input for an MP3 player is a staggeringly simple recipe for a single-speaker system, but this does simple in the cutest package since Britney married the first time.

Behind golden Gates

Is it a good this? This Gates Foundation.

via Behind golden Gates.

IN A forthcoming article for The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Devi Sridhar, a global health specialist at Oxford University, describes as a ”particularly serious problem” the ”loss of health workers from the public sector to better-funded NGOs offering better remuneration”.

The foundation responds: ”Much of our grant-making goes to large intermediary partners that in turn provide funding and support to those doing the work in the field, often to developing country institutions. We’re not able to provide a simple funding breakdown.”

The rise of the foundation has been part of a larger revival of interest in the West in the problems of poor countries. This phenomenon has encompassed increased government aid budgets, initiatives by the World Health Organisation and World Bank, celebrity-led events and countless private ventures.

What is grassroots Dad?

My daughter had a homework assignment that was a quote from an article by Anita Roddick. The task was to identify which were the ‘persuasive’ words and which were ’emotive’ words. I read the article and got excited by the text – and so got my daughter to see on the internet – RAN, Anita Roddick and then youtube videos of RAN. Along the way we explored the meaning of the word ‘grassroots’. I said to her that I worked at the grassroots level, and that her mother had worked for years as a designer for grassroots organizations. I was impressed that school education – which I dont usually think very much about – was raising consciousness and potentially making kids into activists. This was good.

I then naturally turned my mind to other groups of students – uni students – do they get this sensitization? And we wrong in expecting them to come into uni with a conscience? I am putting the links we looked at today here – and hope its useful.

Video about RAN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xPkB9gm3Ec&feature=channel

Kids “changing the world”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oROsbaxWH0M&feature=related

Kids and technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8&feature=related Our

Mission and History | Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action.

Welcome to AnitaRoddick.com by Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

I have spent a great deal of time in Brazil, often dealing directly with the struggles of Amazonian Indians struggling to protect their rainforest from poachers and their way of life from disease and discrimination. But for such a beautiful nation, Brazil’s ills aren’t isolated in the trees. On the streets of Brazil’s cities, dozens of children die violently every week, hundreds more are savagely beaten, and thousands live in squalor, neglect, and persecution on the streets.

Co-Editor – Encyclopedia of Asian Design

I am writing the section on South Asia and South East Asian Design – for the Encyclopedia of Asian Design.

Southeast Asian Design Reflects Diversity — AIGA | the professional association for design

Vietnam Vietnam underwent a dramatic transformation in the mid 1990’s. The dour, Soviet-style police state is changing into a vibrant, dynamic and increasingly open society. However, the old mindset and the new open-mindedness co-exist rather comfortably. It is not uncommon to find the streets plastered with emblems of the Party next to the Swoosh and Party officials spewing Marxism-Leninism wisdom as they embrace consumerism.


Fifth Goal

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3878014&dest=33493]

A project to look at Design Solutions for the Millennium Goal #5.

World Changing

[blip.tv ?posts_id=3878085&dest=33493]

Designers are talking about changing the world. Some call is social design, some call it service design, many call it design thinking. What is this? These are new ways of thinking, new wasy of solving probelms and new problems. Its sayonara to object design!

Fifth Goal

The Fifth Goal is a Studio course. Here is the blurb about the project.

The Fifth Millennium Development Goal: Improve maternal health Since december 2009 I have been working on a project that aims to reduce maternal deaths. My proposition is that though this is a medical problem – design can contribute too. And possibly in innovative ways. My research has taken me into the homes of families where there has been a maternal death, to NGOs who are doing amazing work in incredibly tough circumstances, and I have met many who have been fired up with the common global project of working together to make motherhood safe. Many have looked at me with curiosity and then been amazed at what design could do. It all comes down to having really good ideas and innovations to contribute to the project. I am at this stage looking at you all as possible collaborators – as people who can work with me on this project. And together we can make a difference. So do give it some thought – and look up this link for more info:

  1. My Blog for this project: Every Eight Minutes.
  2. The Research Group Site: Maternal Health Research Group.

External Sites and blogs:

  1. Women Deliver
  2. WHO MDG 5
  3. Maternal Mortality Daily
  4. Karen Grepin’s Blog

And of course:

On Sustainability – from the inside looking out

An abstract of an article I am working on.

The meaning of craft changes as we move through different contexts. The fact that it is an art form in the developed world takes it out of contention as a contributor to green house gases. The fact that it is a source of livelihood in the developing contexts holds portents of an un-realised consumption potential in these populations. A simplistic take on craft as an object-creating field will give us an industrial-take on sustainability, which is one way to do sustainability and craft though a way that looks in at craft from the outside. Another way is to look at the craft activity as a shared principle – as an engrossment that cuts across income, education and geographical lines – and thus as a sorority or brotherhood with a potential for a value laden discourse and thus amplify the neglected and marginal notions that chracterise acute engrossment. Might it be possible to imagine a sphere of craft – makeosphere – that can be imagined alongside the biospehere? And if so what manner of discourse would this sphere construct? My intention is to look into the future and propose that craft make its own contribution on ideology and practice into the ongoing sustainability debate. I will then go on to take on the onerous task of constructing the elements of this discourse.

World Changing

An Idea of a course: The book – world changing – links its lineage to the whole earth catalog. Reason enough for the book to be a must read for designers. And wouldn’t this area of exploration completely and totally charge up an idealist student?

People’s desire to do good has been called many things in the past. These days it seems to be referred to as world changing. For some it is a large term, an ambitious term – for how can we individuals be arrogant and make such tall claims about our work. For many who use it to describe their work this is a correct description of what they do – they see themselves as world changers. In this global movement to change the world can be found many design students and professional designers – and of course all manner of people from all kinds of backgrounds for change and idealism is not the prerogative of any one person or professional calling. Many of the change makers were fortunate in finding an environment in their youth that kept the cynics in one corner, possibly the smoking room, and let hope and romance occupy most of the space. They grew up believing they had a good life and so aspired to give others less fortunate a shot at a better life. This kind of spirit has taken many young and old Australians to the farthest reaches of the globe and to the remotest and poorest hamlets to give their time, energy and ideas to make life better for others. This same spirit lurks in the deepest reaches of the hearts of many of the humans you encounter on the streets of Melbourne every day. It is possible you too burn a small candle somewhere for a small pot of idealist thoughts of things you make like to accomplish in this life. It is possible this elective is a place for you to find that idealism in you – and for you to imagine what you would like to do. To change the world in your own small way.

Email me to find out more. Or see these videos and move on.

Then there is http://playingforchange.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/PlayingForChange

5 Things that wont work

From Karen Gripin’s blog:

… my list of things that I believe do not work in reducing maternal mortality in hopes that such missteps are not repeated again.

1.  Making it all about abortion

2.  Looking for a magic bullet

3.  Advocating for “low-cost” solutions only

4.  Confounding addressing maternal health and child health issues

5.  Setting grand and completely unrealistic targets