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  • Spotlight on Suffering

    Aid, Communication Design

    I came across this incredible documentary today about the civil strife in the Congo. It's called Rape of a Nation.

    My question is why are places such as Darfur getting more media attention and response? Is it because it has been called a civil war as opposed to genocide?

    What is it that makes us take action against suffering?

  • Nature Giving Way to Virtual Reality

    Community, Environmental Design


    There have been a few Design21 competitions that focus on "awareness campaigns" with the idea that if people don't know about a problem or issue, not much will happen. I saw this article in Wired which demonstrates, I guess, the converse argument. Some researchers from the Nature Conservancy found a correlation (which isn't causation) between the rise in video games and the internet with a drop in fishing and hunting permits. "Good!" some may say...."people are enjoying nature without killing it." But I think, sustainable use of natural resources creates a population of people inspired to preserve nature.

    Along with the awareness campaigns we're building we should support causes that bring kids into the wilderness, building the next generation of Nature's protectors.

  • Student contest 2007 Let's make it in 3D!

    Education, Industrial Design


    Hi all!

    Here is one interesting free [url=,en/url] Student Contest 2007 Let's make it in 3D![/url].

    This year the main topic is scanning and/or modelling in CAD software works of Art, Architecture or your own composition.

    Awards: Author of winning 3D model selected by FESPA 2007 visitors will receive a cheque for 3D colour printed model in value of 2.000 €. Authors of at least of the three best 3D models from each category (together at least 6 models) will receive their own 3D printed model (average value of a single model costs at least 500 €) and valuable awards from the sponsors. Every awarded model will be exhibited at the FESPA fair in Berlin, from 5th to 9th of June 2007.

    May 04, 2007 – Deadline for sending 3D models

  • Lets enjoy the "ACT OF DRINKING WATER"

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    Drinking water is such a common activity which every human being on this earth does number of times. But does he really ever gives a second to think about the act of it. NO ! So lets start thinking about this....TODAY . What I have in mind is to come up with something which can make people enjoy this activity ( which is also an important activity to survive) and also promote this habit of drinking water, for healthy living. WAT SAY YOU ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Think what it could be ?

    Image has been taken from corbis

  • Designism Podcast



    It may be a day late and a dollar short, but the good folks at Designism 2.0 emailed me that their full podcast is online here. Relive all your favorite moments! Mine, as you know, was Mr. Wolff hushing the whole crowd with his "Stop designing stuff" rant. And then Dr. Milton Glaser operating on him.


    Do check it out. The enthusiasm and hope is a great thing. Design can make a difference.

  • Groundswell Weekly Review: Jan. 26 - Feb. 02, 2008

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design


    This has been a very busy and exciting week for us. Thanks to our friends who weighed in on Designing the Revolution, and our article on Disaboom. Here's your regular weekly roundup:

  • Preface to a Thesis

    Communication, Communication Design

    [section 01] - 1st draft

    On Christmas day in 1987, a grenade exploded in the small coffee farming town of Matagalpa in the Central American country of Nicaragua. Though now a distant event, both in time and space, back then the shock waves of that explosion reverberated all the way back to Canada and and its debris found a place on the front pages of every national newspaper. For most in Canada the news was of a Canadian social worker violently killed in what appeared to be one strange accident with many unanswered questions. Back in Matagalpa, a sterile room held Jenny's body and with her, my inconsolable grief. As I looked out the window on the waking town, behind me the sun was beginning to break through the trees. Morning light had begun to fill the streets and with it came a new day, the end of a vigil, and the end of an unfulfilled life. Slowly, sunlight began to mingle with a mist that seemed to rise in the distance, and soon a brilliant rainbow enveloped the entire valley.

    How could it be that a scene so sublimely beautiful could be laid out before me while behind me lay the desolation of the deepest love I had ever felt? How could I turn my back on that pain to look upon a serenity that seemed to speak of a world of wonder and a future of promise? That morning I chose to find solace in the sunrise, if only with the hope that it might temper the cold of my grief and keep back a slowly creeping depression. In the end nothing could keep away the anguish that would l...

  • Not Here, but Now

    Poverty, Communication Design


    When the demands of Neoliberalism play havoc with our lives, it is time to fight back, and designers wield the sharpest tools.

    "Not Here, but Now" is an example of how sharp our designer tools can be. Not only for the fact this campaign is visually intelligent, but it was also a pro bono campaign, designed for Amnesty International (Switzerland), by Walker Werbeagentur.


  • What to Wear to Fashion Week

    Environment, Fashion Design


    Another round of fashion week shows are upon us, and I will be attending several collections in order to assess the trend towards sustainable eco-fibers in garment production. I am not at all a fashionista, but given that I have an interest in textiles, environmental installation work, and the environment, this is an inevitable foray into territory that shares certain threads with my own practice.

    A friend asked me yesterday, "What I would wear to NY Fashion Week?", and honestly, the thought had not crossed my mind. Must one wear eco-fibers to an eco-oriented fashion show? Will folks know if I am wearing conventional cotton rather than organic cotton? Will I get extra point for sporting the new 'bamboob bra"?

    I think that I will wear an old Pucci knock-off dress, as this is as sustainable as I can get on short notice. Purely vintage and recycled from my mother-in-law's closet, it is totally sustainable or at least multi-generational, no?

    EarthPledge's FutureFashion show is really uppping the ante this year. All the big names are contributing a piece. I am so curious to see whether Givenchy will take on hemp? Or whether Marc Jacobs will play by the rules?

    Rodarte, the team that some are cailling the new Sustainable Sartorialists, also promise to put on quite the eco-fete.

    I am hoping that 'what to wear' also translates to 'what to be weary of' as we learn more and more about what constitutes real style and our shared runway with the best of nature.

  • Designing the Revolution

    Community, Audio/Visual Design

    Originally published here by the Groundswell Collective.

    Alix Rule recently penned an article titled The Revolution Will Not Be Designed for In These Times. The article centers around a criticism of Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design for their consideration that design - or more precisely, design thinking - is a "powerful corrective force" in addressing social problems. I invest considerable time, effort, and money in designing for social change, so when I first stumbled upon the article I was outraged. After a closer look, though, and after mulling over Alix's arguments, I began to see that she may be right on some accounts.

    Social justice inherently seeks systemic change to redress oppression. Rule's objection to design thinking is that it serves as a"post-ideology" ideology, one which is stripped of considerations for "the long process by which consensus is built—a.k.a. politics." Her case is that:

    In particular, design metaphors obscure the ideological—and political—decisions involved in tackling societal issues. Depending on your perspective, “drunk driving” can be a symptom of some broader systemic failure (from un-walkable suburbs to deficient public education), a lapse of individual responsibility, or a right to be defended. The solution to the problem is inseparable from its conception. Conceiving of global ills as design challenges may sometimes be in order, but only when a consensus exists on goals, budgets and rel...

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