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The Tyranny of Convenience - The New York Times
"Convenience has the ability to make other options unthinkable. Once you have used a washing machine, laundering clothes by hand seems irrational, even if it might be cheaper. After you have experienced streaming television, waiting to see a show at a prescribed hour seems silly, even a little undignified. To resist convenience — not to own a cellphone, not to use Google — has come to require a special kind of dedication that is often taken for eccentricity, if not fanaticism.

For all its influence as a shaper of individual decisions, the greater power of convenience may arise from decisions made in aggregate, where it is doing so much to structure the modern economy. Particularly in tech-related industries, the battle for convenience is the battle for industry dominance.

Americans say they prize competition, a proliferation of choices, the little guy. Yet our taste for convenience begets more convenience, through a combination of the economics of scale and the power of habit. The easier it is to use Amazon, the more powerful Amazon becomes — and thus the easier it becomes to use Amazon. Convenience and monopoly seem to be natural bedfellows.

Given the growth of convenience — as an ideal, as a value, as a way of life — it is worth asking what our fixation with it is doing to us and to our country. I don’t want to suggest that convenience is a force for evil. Making things easier isn’t wicked. On the contrary, it often opens up possibilities that once seemed too onerous to contemplate, and it typically makes life less arduous, especially for those most vulnerable to life’s drudgeries.

But we err in presuming convenience is always good, for it has a complex relationship with other ideals that we hold dear. Though understood and promoted as an instrument of liberation, convenience has a dark side. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life. Created to free us, it can become a constraint on what we are willing to do, and thus in a subtle way it can enslave us.

It would be perverse to embrace inconvenience as a general rule. But when we let convenience decide everything, we surrender too much."



"By the late 1960s, the first convenience revolution had begun to sputter. The prospect of total convenience no longer seemed like society’s greatest aspiration. Convenience meant conformity. The counterculture was about people’s need to express themselves, to fulfill their individual potential, to live in harmony with nature rather than constantly seeking to overcome its nuisances. Playing the guitar was not convenient. Neither was growing one’s own vegetables or fixing one’s own motorcycle. But such things were seen to have value nevertheless — or rather, as a result. People were looking for individuality again.

Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that the second wave of convenience technologies — the period we are living in — would co-opt this ideal. It would conveniencize individuality.

You might date the beginning of this period to the advent of the Sony Walkman in 1979. With the Walkman we can see a subtle but fundamental shift in the ideology of convenience. If the first convenience revolution promised to make life and work easier for you, the second promised to make it easier to be you. The new technologies were catalysts of selfhood. They conferred efficiency on self-expression."



"I do not want to deny that making things easier can serve us in important ways, giving us many choices (of restaurants, taxi services, open-source encyclopedias) where we used to have only a few or none. But being a person is only partly about having and exercising choices. It is also about how we face up to situations that are thrust upon us, about overcoming worthy challenges and finishing difficult tasks — the struggles that help make us who we are. What happens to human experience when so many obstacles and impediments and requirements and preparations have been removed?

Today’s cult of convenience fails to acknowledge that difficulty is a constitutive feature of human experience. Convenience is all destination and no journey. But climbing a mountain is different from taking the tram to the top, even if you end up at the same place. We are becoming people who care mainly or only about outcomes. We are at risk of making most of our life experiences a series of trolley rides.

Convenience has to serve something greater than itself, lest it lead only to more convenience. In her 1963 classic, “The Feminine Mystique,” Betty Friedan looked at what household technologies had done for women and concluded that they had just created more demands. “Even with all the new labor-saving appliances,” she wrote, “the modern American housewife probably spends more time on housework than her grandmother.” When things become easier, we can seek to fill our time with more “easy” tasks. At some point, life’s defining struggle becomes the tyranny of tiny chores and petty decisions.

An unwelcome consequence of living in a world where everything is “easy” is that the only skill that matters is the ability to multitask. At the extreme, we don’t actually do anything; we only arrange what will be done, which is a flimsy basis for a life.

We need to consciously embrace the inconvenient — not always, but more of the time. Nowadays individuality has come to reside in making at least some inconvenient choices. You need not churn your own butter or hunt your own meat, but if you want to be someone, you cannot allow convenience to be the value that transcends all others. Struggle is not always a problem. Sometimes struggle is a solution. It can be the solution to the question of who you are.

Embracing inconvenience may sound odd, but we already do it without thinking of it as such. As if to mask the issue, we give other names to our inconvenient choices: We call them hobbies, avocations, callings, passions. These are the noninstrumental activities that help to define us. They reward us with character because they involve an encounter with meaningful resistance — with nature’s laws, with the limits of our own bodies — as in carving wood, melding raw ingredients, fixing a broken appliance, writing code, timing waves or facing the point when the runner’s legs and lungs begin to rebel against him.

Such activities take time, but they also give us time back. They expose us to the risk of frustration and failure, but they also can teach us something about the world and our place in it.

So let’s reflect on the tyranny of convenience, try more often to resist its stupefying power, and see what happens. We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest. The constellation of inconvenient choices may be all that stands between us and a life of total, efficient conformity."
timwu  convenience  efficiency  psychology  business  2018  inconvenience  effort  technology  economics  work  labor  conformity  value  meaning  selfhood  self-expression  change  individuality  slow  slowness  customization  individualization  amazon  facebook  apple  multitasking  experience  human  humanness  passions  hobbies  resistance  struggle  choice  skill  mobile  phones  internet  streaming  applemusic  itunes 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Structure | The New Yorker
"He wrote Structur. He wrote Alpha. He wrote mini-macros galore. Structur lacked an “e” because, in those days, in the Kedit directory eight letters was the maximum he could use in naming a file. In one form or another, some of these things have come along since, but this was 1984 and the future stopped there. Howard, who died in 2005, was the polar opposite of Bill Gates—in outlook as well as income. Howard thought the computer should be adapted to the individual and not the other way around. One size fits one. The programs he wrote for me were molded like clay to my requirements—an appealing approach to anything called an editor."

[via: "Software written for an audience of one: I love John McPhee's meditation here -- https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/01/14/structure "
https://twitter.com/pomeranian99/status/935221709698949121 ]
customization  software  johnmcphee  howardstrauss  2013  small  audience  bespoke  individualization  personalization  audiencesofone 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Building Flexible Design Systems // Speaker Deck
[via: "I’ve quoted from this deck more than any other this year. “No hypothetical situations” applies to all kinds of problem sets—not just design. https://twitter.com/yeseniaa/status/925840684715782145"
https://twitter.com/tangentialism/status/925842143540805638

"(Also, one reason I love this framing is that it calls implicitly for close listening and observation to unearth hidden problems)"
https://twitter.com/tangentialism/status/925848643550183424 ]
design  webdesign  webdev  yeseniaperez-cruz  listening  obsrvation  systemsthinking  flexibility  systems  layout  scenarios  patterns  christopheralexander  donellameadows  audience  content  modularity  customization  designsystems 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Zebreda Makes It Work | Assistive Technology & Creativity
"Welcome to Zebreda Makes It Work!—a series of videos, demonstrations, reflections and shared experiences on the practical use, customization, adaptation and creation of a wide range of Assistive Technology. Zebreda Dunham is your guide and as she proves that Assistive Technology comes in all shapes and sizes without limitation. And the best part, it’s all within your reach—and budget!"

[via: http://engineeringathome.org/ ]
zebredadunham  customization  adaptation  assistivetechnology  technology 
february 2016 by robertogreco
The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing - YouTube
"The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories.

Learn more about the project: http://www.aeg-home.com/thenextblack

Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and on the hashtag #thenextblack

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AEG-Global/586037381449750
https://twitter.com/aeg_global "

[See also:
http://www.studio-xo.com/
http://www.biocouture.co.uk/
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear
https://www.ifixit.com/Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear-repairs
http://www.patagonia.com/email/11/112811.html
http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=106223
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-patagonia-136745
https://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2388
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-11-25/patagonias-confusing-and-effective-campaign-to-grudgingly-sell-stuff ]
design  documentary  fashion  video  clothes  clothing  glvo  reuse  mending  repair  materials  textiles  studioxo  biocouture  adidas  patagonia  recycling  waste  consumerism  consumption  capitalism  biology  wearable  wearables  suzannelee  technology  nancytilbury  suzanne  slow  slowfashion  fastfashion  dyes  dying  industry  manufacturing  globalization  environment  rickridgeway  uniformproject  customization  ifixit  diy  alteration  resuse  repairing 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Residential Archaeology – MAS CONTEXT
"The cultural phenomenon of customization, the appropriation of things to make them personal, has been the focus of study for years. We can see it daily in the objects that we transform and recycle, between efficiency and aesthetics. If we extrapolate this idea to the discipline of architecture, it becomes even more interesting, albeit of varying intensity: from the wallpaper to the added floor level and through various degrees of appropriation in between.

The approach of Modern Architecture, such as the universal space from the early 20th Century, becoming even more common in the 1950s in houses by Craig Elwood or Richard Neutra among others, has been transformed nowadays into the idea of neutral space, empty, ready to be occupied.

There are also curious examples such as the Appliance House and the Put-Away Villa by the couple formed by Peter and Alison Smithson. In the first one, architecture and household goods are the same, taking to the limit the idea that we are only passing through the spaces. Ideas such as comfort are taken to the extreme in the growing amount of advertising of autos and appliances.

From the industrialized architecture of those spaces we had to extract the particular aesthetic related to the prefabrication process. It is time for architects and manufacturers to address the problem from the opposite end of the scale and make buildings that emanate living habitats and reflect the needs of those who inhabit the spaces.

In the second example, a few years later and almost in opposition, the warehouse house, where we all collect, resulting in the need for a deposit, which requires the occupation of a third of the house: the place for objects-that-you-don’t-use-now-and-that-perhaps-won’t-be-used-anymore. Ultimately, it is the domestication of the spaces.

Let’s recall the performance “I Like America and America Likes Me” (1974) by Joseph Beuys. In it, Beuys is separated from his usual space in order to be placed in a single space along with a coyote, also separated from its natural habitat. Cohabitation and making the space human, space domesticated.

Finally we are generally talking about two things: first, how we get to the spaces and second, how we fill them and therefore, how we transform them.

We must pause and think, how do users (of different social class) personalize their spaces? What can we learn and understand from the materiality of life? Does this have anything to do with the materiality of the projects designed by architects and with any social commitment?

Le Corbusier, Mario Pani, Teodoro González de León, among others, have focused on the constructive materiality, in methods of self-construction or low-cost construction. But, what about the materiality of the everyday? What happens between the mere representation that the architect proposes and the everyday occupation by the resident?

Residential Archaeology consists, therefore, of:

1. Drawing in an archeological way three things: the space occupied by the architecture itself; the everyday life infrastructure, that is, furniture; and the elements that provide use to the furniture, those that humanize them.

2. Studying the impact in terms of occupancy, density and time. An archaeological GPS that subtly gets transformed by the passing of the hours and the collecting of objects, and sometimes their final destination. What we called earlier the objects-that-you-don’t-use-now-and-that-perhaps-won’t-be-used-anymore. How do they alter and reconfigure the space?

3. As a result, the project proposes the registration of these styles-modes-adjustments of life in an electronic file in order to observe their impact and make the design and use evident. Additionally, the project makes a 1:1 scale comparison of each unit: a rug-map, as if drawn by hand on the floor itself, recalling the images we have of when we did so as children on the street or sidewalk. It is, in the end, a recording as George Perec explains in Life A User’s Manual.

The project places the Unité d’habitation in Marseille, the Tlatelolco housing complex, the Mixcoac Towers, the CUPA and Unidad Esperanza under equal conditions, like it does with its authors: Le Corbusier, Mario Pani and Teodoro González de León. All are perhaps pieces of the same puzzle that builds and shows more faithfully what, perhaps, we should take more into account, how we domesticate the spaces.

Citing [furniture and interior designer] Clara Porset, “we could not impose the tenant to acquire the furniture that had been created specifically for his home, nor did we think about convincing him. Instead, we chose to instruct him about design in general, providing him with a culture of housing.”"
housing  architecture  archaeology  residentialarchaeology  tlatelolco  mixcoactowers  lecorbusier  mariopani  teodorogonzálezdeleón  space  everyday  infrastructure  furniture  juancarlostello  residential  cupa  mexicocity  mexico  marseille  france  customization  josephbeuys  humans  domestication  habitat  craigelwood  richardneutra  modernism  df  mexicodf 
march 2015 by robertogreco
csscomb/csscomb.js · GitHub
"CSScomb is a coding style formatter for CSS. You can easily write your own configuration to make your style sheets beautiful and consistent.

The main feature is sorting properties in a specific order. It was inspired by @miripiruni's PHP-based tool of the same name. This is the new JavaScript version, based on the powerful CSS parser Gonzales PE."

[See also Max's settings: https://gist.github.com/maxfenton/12678275731649dfa561 ]
css  coding  customization  tools  webdev  via:tealtan  maxfenton  webdesign 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Customizing calibre — calibre User Manual
"calibre allows you to override the static resources, like icons, javascript and templates for the metadata jacket, catalogs, etc. with customized versions that you like. All static resources are stored in the resources sub-folder of the calibre install location. On Windows, this is usually C:/Program Files/Calibre2/resources. On OS X, /Applications/calibre.app/Contents/Resources/resources/. On linux, if you are using the binary installer from the calibre website it will be /opt/calibre/resources. These paths can change depending on where you choose to install calibre.

You should not change the files in this resources folder, as your changes will get overwritten the next time you update calibre. Instead, go to Preferences->Advanced->Miscellaneous and click Open calibre configuration directory. In this configuration directory, create a sub-folder called resources and place the files you want to override in it. Place the files in the appropriate sub folders, for example place images in resources/images, etc. calibre will automatically use your custom file in preference to the built-in one the next time it is started.

For example, if you wanted to change the icon for the Remove books action, you would first look in the built-in resources folder and see that the relevant file is resources/images/trash.png. Assuming you have an alternate icon in PNG format called mytrash.png you would save it in the configuration directory as resources/images/trash.png. All the icons used by the calibre user interface are in resources/images and its sub-folders."

[See also: https://bugs.launchpad.net/calibre/+bug/789812 ]
calibre  icons  osx  mac  applications  customization 
august 2014 by robertogreco
What Screens Want by Frank Chimero
"We need to work as a community to develop a language of transformation so we can talk to one another. And we probably need to steal these words from places like animation, theater, puppetry, dance, and choreography.

Words matter. They are abstractions, too—an interface to thought and understanding by communication. The words we use mold our perception of our work and the world around us. They become a frame, just like the interfaces we design."



"When I realized that, a little light went off in my head: a map’s biases do service to one need, but distort everything else. Meaning, they misinform and confuse those with different needs.

That’s how I feel about the web these days. We have a map, but it’s not for me. So I am distanced. It feels like things are distorted. I am consistently confused.

See, we have our own abstractions on the web, and they are bigger than the user interfaces of the websites and apps we build. They are the abstractions we use to define the web. The commercial web. The things that have sprung up in the last decade, but gained considerable speed in the past five years.

It’s the business structures and funding models we use to create digital businesses. It’s the pressure to scale, simply because it’s easy to copy bits. It’s the relationships between the people who make the stuff, and the people who use that stuff, and the consistent abandonment of users by entrepreneurs.

It’s the churning and the burning, flipping companies, nickel and diming users with in-app purchases, data lock-in, and designing with dark patterns so that users accidentally do actions against their own self-interest.

Listen: I’m at the end of a 4-month sabbatical, and I worry about this stuff, because the further I get from everything, the more it begins to look toxic. These pernicious elements are the primary map we have of the web right now.

We used to have a map of a frontier that could be anything. The web isn’t young anymore, though. It’s settled. It’s been prospected and picked through. Increasingly, it feels like we decided to pave the wilderness, turn it into a suburb, and build a mall. And I hate this map of the web, because it only describes a fraction of what it is and what’s possible. We’ve taken an opportunity for connection and distorted it to commodify attention. That’s one of the sleaziest things you can do.

So what is the answer? I found this quote by Ted Nelson, the man who invented hypertext. He’s one of the original rebel technologists, so he has a lot of things to say about our current situation. Nelson:
The world is not yet finished, but everyone is behaving as if everything was known. This is not true. In fact, the computer world as we know it is based upon one tradition that has been waddling along for the last fifty years, growing in size and ungainliness, and is essentially defining the way we do everything. My view is that today’s computer world is based on techie misunderstandings of human thought and human life. And the imposition of inappropriate structures throughout the computer is the imposition of inappropriate structures on the things we want to do in the human world.



We can produce a vision of the web that isn’t based on:

consolidation
privatization
power
hierarchies
surveillance

We can make a new map. Or maybe reclaim a map we misplaced a long time ago. One built on:

extensibility
openness
communication
community
wildness

We can use the efficiency and power of interfaces to help people do what they already wish more quickly or enjoyably, and we can build up business structures so that it’s okay for people to put down technology and get on with their life once their job is done. We can rearrange how we think about the tools we build, so that someone putting down your tool doesn’t disprove its utility, but validates its usefulness.



Let me leave you with this: the point of my writing was to ask what screens want. I think that’s a great question, but it is a secondary concern. What screens want needs to match up with what we want.

People believe there’s an essence to the computer, that there’s something true and real and a correct way to do things. But—there is no right way. We get to choose how to aim the technology we build. At least for now, because increasingly, technology feels like something that happens to you instead of something you use. We need to figure out how to stop that, for all of our sakes, before we’re locked in, on rails, and headed toward who knows what.

One of the reasons that I’m so fascinated by screens is because their story is our story. First there was darkness, and then there was light. And then we figured out how to make that light dance. Both stories are about transformations, about change. Screens have flux, and so do we."
frankchimero  2013  screens  flux  build2013  plasticity  jamesburke  plastic  skeoumorphs  containers  materials  change  transitions  perception  flatdesign  windowsphonemetro  ios7  software  replacement  shape  affordances  grain  design  paper  print  eadwardmuybridge  movement  motion  animation  customization  responsivewebdesign  responsiveness  variability  mutability  mutations  ux  interactiondesign  interfaces  language  ethanmarcotte  maps  mapping  representation  cartography  embodiedmeaning  respresentation  tednelson  computersareforpeople  softwareisforpeople  unfinished  responsivedesign 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Age of the Anti-Logo: Why Museums Are Shedding Their Idenities
"This month, the Whitney Museum… unveiled a newly revamped identity courtesy of Experimental Jetset (and a website designed by Linked by Air), a trio of Dutch designers known for their theory-based work. Experimental Jetset describe their design as a “toolkit,” which is easily adaptable to contexts ranging from buttons to stationary to games. The sparse logomark itself is based on a heavy black Neue Haas Grotesk text, while a system of jagged lines forming a “W” change based on context.

According to the designers, the “responsive W” is meant to fit around news, artwork, and other pieces of content, like a simple black-and-white frame. “One of the main subjects we tried to explore was the notion of a graphic identity that wouldn't consists of a static, single logo,” they told me over email, “but one that would be able to change shape, reacting to ever-changing proportions and surfaces.”



But these days, developing a museum “brand” is a complicated chore. The visual identity of an arts institution has attract visitors and donors, and it also has to say something about the curatorial stance of a museum. That’s a difficult thing to convey in a single shape or form—and many museums, instead, are turning to “flexible” identities.

For example, the Brooklyn Museum of Art adopted a flexible logomark in 2004, designed by 2x4 to “better reflect the visitor-centered goals of the Museum.” Then there’s the Museum of Arts and Design, which adopted a Pentagram-designed customizable logotype in 2008. Perhaps the most famous—and successful—example of a flexible identity is MIT Media Lab’s algorithmic logo, designed by E Roon Kang and Richard The. Sure, Media Lab isn't an arts institution, but the logo set the tone for dozens of identities that came after it. The design is based on three spotlights, which change according to each permutation—there are over 40,000 unique logos available—and it was so successful because it spoke to what makes Media Lab so successful.

The notion of adaptivity and flexibility in graphic design seems to appeal particularly to the art world, which makes a modicum of sense: galleries and modern museums focus on visual culture as it evolves, and their graphic representation should reflect that. But as logos and identities get less specific and more scalable, is something lost in the exchange?

The original purpose of arts organizations like the Whitney was to guide the unwitting public through the currents of contemporary art with an unpretentious, decisive voice. As far as we can intuit anything about a museum from its identity, are we witnessing a curatorial crisis of confidence? Maybe, but maybe not. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see whether this elegant new identity outlasts its predecessor."
whitney  branding  design  museums  identity  art  medialab  mit  experimentaljetset  brooklynmuseumofart  museumofartsanddesign  pentagram  customization  2x4  adaptability  flexibility  graphicdesign  2013  logos  mitmedialab 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Experience Passports | Design | Alex Egner's Log of Web
"…a list of life experiences…we feel budding young designers should have in addition to their in-class studies. We want to occasionally push students away from their computer screens and out into the world. I formatted this list of experiences into a series of four passport books, one for each year of our degree program. Students can work through the list—visiting museums, viewing films, listening to the news, etc.—and collect passport stamps along the way. At the end of four years, each student will have hopefully learned a tiny bit more about that ‘everything’ and, by extension, about design.

The experience passports were distributed to students simply as black & white print-ready PDFs. Each student could then select a paper stock of their choice and complete the printing and binding. Not only did this approach save on printing costs, it enabled each student to customize their books. Faculty can confirm that the various experiences were completed using a series of 12 ink stamps…"

[See also: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671484/a-student-workbook-for-observing-life-like-a-designer#1 ]
culture  customization  observation  noticing  graphicdesign  typography  booklets  books  suggestions  exploration  experience  learning  2012  alexegner  guidelines  glvo  stamps  passports  classideas  design  teaching 
january 2013 by robertogreco
An e-reader is more like a book than you think | Books | The Observer
"I broke my book. …

The new e-reader is not like the old one. It doesn't have the scars of the old one – the coffee stain on the corner, the crack in the casing where I fell off my bike – and I have yet to rim it with gaffer tape to cover the logo of the Large Corporation (it's not personal, it's just a bit much having its logo at the top of every page). I haven't meddled with the code yet either. I must do that soon. It's a little like writing your name in the front of a book, setting the screensaver. I hate Harriet Beecher Stowe – I need to change that.

My e-reader is more like a book than I expected, in all the ways I know books to be special. For their role as bearers of memory, companions on adventures, for the experiences we encode – sometimes quite literally engrave – into them. And losing the e-reader felt something like losing a book too."
hacking  memoty  personalization  humantouch  customization  fingerprints  traces  kindle  ereaders  ebooks  2012  jamesbridle 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Prosthetics get the personal touch - latimes.com
"Synthetic legs have become a medium for self-expression, thanks to customization made possible by sophisticated technology. It's a bold melding of modern science and fashion statement."
2012  customization  fashion  science  technology  design  prosthetics 
april 2012 by robertogreco
leading and learning: Let's celebrate those few creative teachers -and even fewer creative schools. They are the future.
"If teachers have in their minds the need to develop their class as a learning community of scientists and artists then during the year, as skills develop, greater responsibility can be passed over to students…

The success of any class will depend on the expectations, attitudes and skills the students bring with them ; what they are able to do with minimal assistance.

If the school has a clear vision of the attributes they would like their students to achieve then there will be a continual growth  of  independent learning  competencies from year to year.   Schools that achieve such growth in quality learning usually have spent considerable time developing a set of shared teaching and learning beliefs  that all teachers agree with and see purpose in. Underpinning such beliefs are assumptions about how students learn and the need to create the conditions for every learner to grow towards their innate potential."
tcsnmy  teaching  leadership  administration  toshare  schools  schoolculture  newzealand  progressive  art  science  learning  emergentcurriculum  relationships  growth  unschooling  deschooling  sharedvalues  sharedbeliefs  howchildrenlearn  discussion  management  whatmatters  customization  control  bestpractices 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Customized Learning - The Slideshow | Education Rethink
Great set of slides from John T Spencer. Notes are forthcoming, but the slides should speak for themselves. These were for his Reform Symposium presentation in 2011. (I missed it, so I'm glad it put them online.)
johnspencer  teaching  learning  tcsnmy  differentiatedlearning  customization  self-directedlearning  student-centered  studentdirected  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  standards  mastery  presentations  classideas  networking  hierarchy  freedom  autonomy  projectbasedlearning  science  socialstudies  reading  writing  flexibility  choice  dialogue  relationships  conversation  assessment  metaphor  ownership  empowerment  fear  dialog  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Life is Not Standardized
"Life is Not Standardized:

One of the most powerful sentiments expressed by these students was that “life is not standardized nor should education” and it links many of the common threads from the presentations about the experience that students desire and feel are needed in education:

Engaged; Learner-Centered and Participatory; Passion-Based; Personalized; Customized; Intrinsically Motivated; Exploratory and Inquiry-Based; Real World, Interdisciplinary Project-Based Learning; Community and Change Focused; Collaborative and Cooperative Learning; Creative and Critical Thinking…

…students wanting to find ways to de-emphasize grading and shift our focus to intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation…

…[students] cut right through the idea [of flipping the classroom] and saw it as nothing more than the same ol’ homework assignment dressed up in new media…"
homework  ryanbretag  education  lcproject  tcsnmy  teaching  pedagogy  learning  unschooling  deschooling  standardizedtesting  standardization  learner-centered  student-centered  studentdirected  self-directedlearning  intrinsicmotivation  progressive  schools  customization  passion-based  exploration  collaboration  cooperative  engagement  participatory  criticalthinking  creativity  realworld  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Three Trends That Will Shape the Future of Curriculum | MindShift
1. Digital Delivery [explained]

2. Interest-driven: Though students typically have to wait until their third year of college to choose what they learn, the idea of K-12 education being tailored to students’ own interests is becoming more commonplace. Whether it’s through Japanese manga art, Lady Gaga, or the sport of curling, the idea is to grab students where their interests lie and build the curriculum around it.

The idea of learner-centered education might not be new — research from the 1990s shows that students’ interests is directly correlated to their achievement. But a growing movement is being propelled by the explosive growth in individualized learning technology that could feed it and we’re starting to see the outlines of how it could seep into the world of formal education…

3. Skills 2.0 [explained]"

[Related: http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/02/three-trends-that-define-the-future-of-teaching-and-learning/ ]
education  curriculum  trends  technology  future  tcsnmy  lcproject  learner-centered  student-centered  teaching  schools  learning  criticalthinking  communication  innovation  collaboration  willrichardson  customization  democracy  digital  skills  content  projectbasedlearning  culture  pbl 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Dean Shareski: Personalization vs. Standardization: It's Tough To Do Both
"current system & structure fights personalized learning w/ nearly every new policy & protocol it can generate…system craves standardization while we desperately need customization. These competing ideals butt heads constantly & for those teachers who do believe in personalizing learning, they live in perpetual frustration...In the end, w/out restructuring of time & current curriculum requirements best we can hope for is small pockets of success or the 0.02% of students whose passion happens to be trigonometry or Shakespeare…

While I'm busy advocating for changes that might support an education that fuels & fosters students' passions, I worry that we lose sight of what a liberal education is all about. They don't know what they don't know. Providing students w/ broad experiences that invites them to develop a variety of skills, understand & appreciate diverse perspectives & potentially uncover hidden talents & interests speaks to a fairly well accepted purpose of school..."
deanshareski  education  standardization  learning  schools  teaching  customization  liberalarts  policy  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  onesizefitsall  change  restructuring  personalization  tcsnmy  instruction  exams  standardizedtesting 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Listen, Learn, Share: My Vision for Education [Another "vision of the future of education" that approximates what we've been up to at TCSNMY. Now to eliminate grade levels completely.]
"...implementation of apprenticeship model. Grade levels where EVERY student has to move up at end of 9-10 month cycle do not exist. Not to mention fact that if student isn't able to move up at end of cycle he has to wait another 12 months for opportunity to move up again. Instead of grade levels, students just move to next topic/skill.

The activities would center either on completion of a project or solving a problem that requires use of current & topics being studied. People, like parents, w/ real live jobs relating to these issues can serve as mentors, guest speakers, & knowledge resources. Students would be able to choose which problem or project they wish to complete based on their interests.

Gone also are the needs for standardized testing & various abuses of proficiency data relating to teacher & school evaluations. Are students growing? ...moving forward? If not, why?... Community is built into the school. Students help one another. Collaboration is encouraged..."
education  future  tcsnmy  lcproject  cv  schools  learning  projectbasedlearning  collaboration  community  progressive  teaching  customization  abritrary  gradelevels  standardizedtesting  proficiency  problemsolving  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentors  pbl 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Time magazine = traditional schools « Re-educate
"This is a revolution in our society, and education policymakers and legislators are either unaware or acting as if they hope it will go away. It’s not going to. The days of average schools for average kids—and pre-fab curricula passed down from above—will soon go the way of Time magazine. People will simply stop settling for an average education for their kids when they can choose from the rising number of options that are customized just for them."
stevemiranda  schools  education  future  changer  revolution  botiqueschools  scale  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  tcsnmy  choice  customization  policy  us  society  differentiation  differentiatedlearning  options  charterschools 
june 2010 by robertogreco
H. B. Industries Home Page
"Hi, I'm Bob Rowsell,

My company, H. B. Industries, specializes in beautiful Custom Motor Coach conversions and in the restoration of classic automobiles. Above are my own prize-winning 1950 Mercury and my Classic Coach. They show you the same level of care and attention to detail that your own coach, car or truck will enjoy here."
sandiego  cars  rvs  mechanics  customization  restoration 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Dr. Jim's Really Nice
"If you're going to rent, why not design the space first? The guts are in place. You decide the rest. Get $10,000 toward your creative build-out and 3 months free rent to start using it. 16' celiings. Fabulous neighbors. Bike routes. Design it, build it, live in it. Sublease it if you want. Just don't get a giant mortgage."

[via: http://www.dwell.com/daily/blog/39792687.html ]
architecture  design  hackingbyconsent  housing  retail  business  renting  portland  oregon  leasing  space  cascadia  non-project  unproduct  customization  usercreated  userdesigned  flexibility 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Joseph Pine on what consumers want | Video on TED.com
"Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but "Mass Customization" author Joseph Pine says selling authenticity is tough because, well, there's no such thing. He talks about a few experiences that may be artificial but make millions anyway." Shifting from a service economy to an experience economy.
experience  marketing  authenticity  ted  consumerism  innovation  branding  markets  customization  masscustomization  customers 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser: Adaptive interfaces
"Steven Chapman has created a way to control his DSLR camera with a custom interface on his Nintendo DS....The power of adaptation. Imagine Canon had meant for this to happen. Imagine they had an App Store to allow people to share and to build businesses around this kind of activity. Users are in a better position than designers to discover better products and experiences and, increasingly, better positioned to create them too. (Of course the best situation is that designers are also users… which is surprisingly often not the case.) Adaptive design is not just an approach but an opportunity."
mattwebb  electronics  customization  ds  canon  photography  interface  usergenerated  adaptation  schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon 
september 2008 by robertogreco
lorbus » Blog Archive » 10 Ways To Make An iPhone Killer
"device is screen. Preload with basic software. Allow complete software personalization. Free idea, mods & software exchange. Phones fall, design accordingly. Involve more senses. Camera companies are dead. Charge through induction. More status levels."
iphone  mobile  phones  design  android  google  computing  haptics  induction  senses  customization  open  freedom  personalization 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Do-It-Yourself Logos for Proud Scion Owners - New York Times
"personalized crests, Scion owners can choose from among hundreds of symbols...download their designs & have them made into window decals or take them to an auto airbrushing shop to have them professionally painted onto their cars."
scion  personalization  toyota  customization 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Distributed Mass Customization: Is Etsy the Next eBay? - ReadWriteWeb
"mass customization has taken longer than predicted [beacause] been looking in wrong place. Re-tooling large companies to do mass customization is too hard, micro-niches are too small, too much fear of cannibalization, resistance to change."
business  craft  etsy  masscustomization  glvo  handmade  customization  gamechanging  micromarkets  longtail 
february 2008 by robertogreco
textually.org: Build-to-order cell phone store launched
"zzzPhone offers handsets you can customize during your order on their Web site -- like you do when buying a Dell PC...choose "base model" and color, then hand-pick components like GPS, high-rez camera or additional storage."
mobile  phones  customization  builttoorder  personalization 
february 2008 by robertogreco
PopMatters | Columns | Rob Horning | Marginal Utility | The Design Imperative
"We are consigned to communicating through design, but it’s an impoverished language that can only say one thing: “That’s cool.” Design ceases to serve our needs, and the superficial qualities of useful things end up cannibalizing their functionality. The palpability of the design interferes, distracts from the activity an item is supposed to be helping you do. The activity becomes subordinate to the tools. You become the tool."
design  critique  criticism  function  form  utility  popular  aesthetics  retail  target  consumerism  consumer  society  competition  popularity  symbolism  industrial  products  customization  hipsters  marketing  image  personality  handmade  books  possessions  materialism  objects  fashion  style  commerce  variety  hipsterism 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Shift6 » Fear of customising
"Handholding of this kind is exactly what people need in order to get the most out of technology and the comments on Fry’s post suggest his readers (of all ages) are grateful for it."
customization  user  software  firefox  browser  learning  teaching  browsers 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Article on Mass Customization
"Mass Customization is the new paradigm that replaces mass production, which is no longer suitable for today’s turbulent markets, growing product variety, and opportunities for e-commerce."
customization  industry  manufacturing 
november 2007 by robertogreco
What Will Google Mean to Phones? - WSJ.com
"1. Multi-player mobile games 2. customized phone screens 3. Location-aware application"
google  mobile  phones  googlephone  arg  location-based  locative  location  gamechanging  awareness  games  play  customization  open 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Bronson Beta - Mail.appetizer
"Have a look at your incoming email without switching to Mail. Mail.appetizer is a plug-in for Apple's Mail and integrates seamlessly. The moment a new message is received, Mail.appetizer displays an onscreen notification window. It gives you a brief summ
mac  osx  applications  mail  email  extension  customization  productivity  software  utilities 
october 2007 by robertogreco
At fast-food joints, try the secret menu | csmonitor.com
"Unimaginable fast-food combos are available for those who utter the right code words at the take-out counter."
food  business  customization  restaurants  psychology  cocreation 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Subtraction: Preserving Preferences
"Elevating preferences preservation to another level would be a meaningful first step towards that kind of deeper bond between users and software...You should only ever have to set up...once; the rest of the time...get[ting] your work done — and liking
design  software  preferences  customization  photoshop  mac  osx  windows  portability  upgrades 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Ponoko
"Ponoko is the world's first personal manufacturing platform. It's the online space for a community of creators and consumers to use a global network of digital manufacturing hardware to co-create, make and trade individualized product ideas on demand."
design  manufacturing  ponoko  networking  objects  business  internet  personal  printing  shopping  spimes  technology  platform  industry  glvo  fabrication  crowdsourcing  customization  construction  crafts  creation  entrepreneurship  engineering  diy  services  inventions  make  invention  personalization  socialnetworking  prototype  products  global 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Mobile Technology: 2012: Online Only Video: The New Yorker
"Younghee Jung leads a multidisciplinary research team at Nokia called “Insight and Innovation.” She talks about what to expect next from your mobile phone, the newest ideas in the pipeline, and the questions that Nokia is asking women."
design  future  futurism  nokia  research  technology  video  women  mobile  phones  culture  japan  korea  etiquette  society  presentations  norms  behavior  customization  personalization  public  world  global  africa  ethnography  interactiondesign  interface  wireless  usability  gender 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Extreme Personalisation
"working Nokia phones hacked/customised by Mehmet Erkök, industrial design lecturer at İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi's Department of Industrial Product Design"
mobile  phones  nokia  design  hacks  technology  personalization  janchipchase  customization  modding  wow  wireless  unproduct  prototyping 
may 2007 by robertogreco
'Fabbers' could launch a revolution
"Low-cost, home-built 3-D printer could launch a revolution, say Cornell engineers"
3D  diy  fabbing  fabrication  innovation  longtail  printing  science  customization  computers  manufacturing  printers  engineering 
march 2007 by robertogreco
GENERATION C | An emerging consumer trend and related new business ideas
"The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the an avalanche of consumer generated 'content' that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an ongoing basis. "
consumer  content  creative  creativity  crowdsourcing  culture  customization  diy  advertising  education  ethnography  future  generations  ideas  innovation  internet  longtail  marketing  media  online  trends  technology  students  sociology  society  socialsoftware  research  social  reference  participatory  video  viral  web  business  user  remix  lcproject  schooldesign 
october 2006 by robertogreco
CUSTOMER-MADE | Co-creation, user-generated content, DIY advertising and more!
“The phenomenon of corporations creating goods, services and experiences in close cooperation with experienced and creative consumers, tapping into their intellectual capital, and in exchange giving them a direct say in (and rewarding them for) what act
content  creative  creativity  crowdsourcing  culture  customization  diy  advertising  education  ethnography  future  generations  ideas  innovation  internet  longtail  marketing  media  online  trends  technology  students  sociology  society  socialsoftware  research  social  reference  participatory  video  viral  web  business  user  remix  lcproject  schooldesign  consumer  collaboration  design  entrepreneurship  usability  community  news 
october 2006 by robertogreco
frog Design Mind - Gizmodo: 'Question (is) Everything: Design that answers unimagined questions'
"Who could have guessed that someone would want to use Yahoo! Maps to create a pirate map? And would anyone but the person who did it want to put the time into creating it? What would the equivalent be for users who wanted to customize their gadgets? "
design  products  gadgets  electronics  software  customization  personalization 
december 2005 by robertogreco

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