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  • Kitchen tools by Dick van Hoff

    Environment, Environmental Design

    Kitchen-tools

    Utrecht Manifest, biannual for Social Design published several articles on design and sustainability. We have selected some products and questioned ourselves about what the sustainable factor is.

    One of the most important factors that ought to be taken into account is extraneous to the product: the consumer’s habituation to specific types of products. Take, for example, our addiction to electrical equipment. Since the invention of the electric vacuum cleaner and the electric lemon squeezer, a massive industry has developed with the aim of avoiding as much manual labour as possible in home and kitchen. This has spawned a never-ending stream of products for our comfort and convenience, but these appliances have undesirable side-effects even without their guzzling of energy. In his introduction to the 1981 book, Design ist Unsichtbar (Design is invisible), design historian Lucius Burckhardt tackles böse Objekte – ‘malign objects’ – and uses the example of the electric onion-cutter, which is intended to cut onions swiftly without the user enduring malodorous hands. However, in order to clean the machine it has to be dismantled, thus losing any time gained and leaving the user with smelly fingers all the same. The usual solution devised by designers, who think in terms of objects instead of problems: an onion-cutter cleaning machine. Ad infinitum. Burckhardt was saying that designers should devote more attention to cohesive systems than to autonomous objects that completely ignor...

  • Living and Working together

    Community, Environmental Design

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    'Living and Working together' was an exhibition from November 25th 2007 to January 11th. It was organised within the context of Utrecht Manifest, a design biannual for Social Design. Some of the products or ideas can now be seen until May the 12th in the exhibition 'Design and the elastic mind' in the MOMA New York

    Living and Working together showed about twenty inspirational graduation projects from international design courses. A growing social awareness is a characteristic of many young designers. The exhibition presented fresh concepts and products for the international society of the future, sometimes bluntly simplistic and sometimes highly detailed.

    The participating schools were: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, England Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands Escola Superior de Artes e Design, Portugal Fabrica, Italy Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy George Brown College, Institute without Boundaries, Canada Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), the Netherlands Izmir University of Economics, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Turkey Royal College of Art, England Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany

  • Lovely Language, words divide images unite

    Communication, Communication Design

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    Urtrecht Manifest is a biannual focussing on social design. In 2005 was the first edition. In 2007 I was asked to make the program for edition 2007. Within an international context and a small concept driven energetic group of individuals we where able to realise an interesting chain of exhibitions, workshops, documentary screenings and discussions. A one day theory program with lectures of among others Enzo Mari, Braungart, Fiona Raby was sold out.

    The main exhibition Lovely Language in the Centraal Museum Utrecht was vsiited by almost 30.000 visitors. In the 1920s, the Austrian sociologist Otto Neurath (1882–1945) developed an international visual language, for which the German-Dutch graphic artist Gerd Arntz (1900–1988) designed more than 4,000 pictograms. Neurath’s motto – ‘words divide, images unite’ – is the point of departure for the Lovely Language exhibition. Many of the duo’s designs were the forebears of pictograms we now encounter everywhere, such as the man and woman on toilet doors. How tenable is the ‘ISOTYPE’ (International System of Typographic Picture Education) by Neurath and Arntz in the 21st century? Lovely Language presents Neurath and Arntz’s visual language and the way it was employed as the basis for the development of an international visual language. Also on show is recent and inspiring work at the frontiers of word and image by Mieke Gerritzen, Koert van Mensvoort, the British-Finnish artist Charles Sandison and others.

    ...
  • Bounce Logo

    Communication, Industrial Design

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    BOUNCE logo

    best, Michael

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    My recent artistic research on the mainstream capitalistic South-Korean society brought me to a remote region in Jeollabukdo. A French and I are working as volunteers with the Korean organization IWO in this interesting community in the city of Sannae (산내).

    I wanted to put attention to this, because I believe the combination of traditional Buddhist education, co-organized farming by temple, community, and school is seriously an alternative to what I have seen sofar.

    The schools curriculum features classes like world peace, argricultural education, and Indian philosophy. It also teaches to life traditional Korean lifestyle and the gratetiude of monks. It has been very open-minded and therefore does freely inbed Christian and Atheist. Probably also Moslems, but I have not seen any around, yet.

    SilSangSa Little Middle School(KOREAN) 실상사작은학교

  • Interview: Deborah Szebeko

    Community, Communication Design

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    I have just listened to an interesting interview with Think Public's Deborah Szebeko, via Wodcast.

    Szebeko opens the discussion to talk through her definition of "Public Service Design". She continues to discuss Think Public's recent project "The Real Work Experience" - which I am ever more inspired by having (like many of those involved) left my BA degree in Graphic Design a bit lost at how to vehicle my work/skills/education toward positive change, rather than choosing a career path toward the more typical designer routes of advertising, for example. Szebeko further explains her motivation for starting Think Public and the Real Work Experience to have been driven from a frustration that designers have so little awareness as to where they can use their communication skills to design for greater good. Worth taking 12 mins to listen to the interview if you haven't come across Szebeko's work yet.

    - Wodcast_thinkpublic.mp3

  • TCT at The Royal Albert Hall.

    Aid, Communication Design

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    Previously unreleased footage from the legendary TCT at The Royal Albert Hall will be available on DVD from 14th April 2008.

    Packed with performances that capture the spirit of this unique event, including one-off collaborations between Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller and Razorlight and The Who’s Roger Daltrey, the DVD will be available from the Teenage Cancer Trust website immediately at a special preview price. All profits from the sale of the DVD will go to Teenage Cancer Trust, helping them to continue to build specialist teenage cancer units within the NHS for young people with cancer.

    Filmed live at London’s spectacular Royal Albert Hall, artists featured in the DVD include The Who, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, The Cure, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Bloc Party and Judas Priest.

    What a great contemporary design for such a great purpose!

    - TCT at The Royal Albert Hall.

  • Building on the Green Agenda

    Environment, Industrial Design

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    Great TED talk from Norman Foster, Building on the Green Agenda.

    Recorded at the DLD Conference, Munich, Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and "basically pollution-free." He shares projects from throughout his career, from the pioneering roof-gardened Willis Building (1975) to the London Gherkin (2004). He also comments on two upcoming megaprojects: a pipe to bring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, and the new Beijing airport.

    The DLD (Digital Life Design) Conference, in Munich, Germany, is hosted by publisher Hubert Burda and Israeli investor Yossi Vardi, covering digital innovation, media and design.

  • boh over the grass: a visitor centre

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    boh was created to spell a corporate care program for visitors to appreciate the tea estate and its economic importance for malaysia: a visitor centre was derived from minimising impact to the environment, special care was taken to employ readily available materials, and using the most economic construction techniques. to this day the tea made from this estate are plucked by hand and made entirely by hand.

    http://www.zlgdesign.com

  • Dott 07 Manual

    Environment, Communication Design

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    In this months Doors of Perception Report, John Thackara offers some sample spreads of the Dott 07 Manual. The Manual explores two questions: "What could life in a sustainable region be like?" and, "how can design can help us get there?" Certainly worth a look.

    Thackara is currently programme programme director of Designs of the Times aka. Dott 07 in England, and commissioner of an event called Tools for Survival at the St Etienne Design Biennial in France, in November.

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