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Urban Omnibus » Precedents for Experimentation: Talking Libraries with Shannon Mattern and Nate Hill
"Mattern: That’s interesting. In the branch library design study I’m working on with The Architectural League and the Center for an Urban Future, one of multiple challenges is to “find closets,” which is to say, to make minor modulations in order to offer the kind of access you are able to provide in Chattanooga.

Hill: I know what you mean. But it’s not always about the size of the space. When I talk to other library systems around the country about how they can take on the types of activities that we support here, it’s about making decisions. It’s about observing how library users are actually using the facility and then creating structures to enable those users to engage in the different activities they want to be doing.

When you look at the branches in New York City, some library advocates like to cite the high circulation statistics as a means of measuring success. But then you see the banks of public computers and how long the wait is to get online. I think there are great opportunities for branch library systems to diversify what public computing is, and to make some hard decisions about how to use your space.

Earlier today I was speaking with a council of local mayors about the work we do at the library and its context within downtown redevelopment. And the ideas that you have written about — the notion of the library as a piece of flexible infrastructure — really resonated with these officials. Your mention of the Rem Koolhaas design for the Seattle Public Library reminds me of an issue of Volume magazine about architecture as a content management system. That was a powerful read for me. Our job is to move information objects around a complex system, and a library user’s view of the data depends on where she is and how the information is being sorted."



"Hill: I hear a lot about how browsability and serendipity are essential to the library experience. Personally, I love looking through shelves and stacks. But it’s not an efficient way to use the prime real estate where libraries should ideally be located. Browsing has moved online. In New York as well as here in Chattanooga, I see a huge shift in people wanting to pick up their materials wherever is most convenient to them. If the buildings have fewer stacks of books, those spaces can become community platforms, where people can engage with one another and with the distributed nature of knowledge in that community. The content, the collection, can be sent there."



"Hill: Looking around the US, most of the excellent libraries in our country are in smaller systems that are able to be more agile. The state of Colorado is filled with good library systems, such as Douglas County or the Rangeview Library District, which rebranded itself “Anythink.”

But we need to figure out how to get this right in our big cities. I think they’re working really hard in Chicago. It’s a massive challenge and very exciting.

I just came back from checking out a fascinating project in Greece, where the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is building a cultural center that will house the national library, an opera house, and a botanical garden. I’ve spent some time checking out branch libraries in Copenhagen; I regularly look to Scandinavia for inspiration.

Aarhus, Denmark, is a good example. One of the smartest things about their project was that they started doing transformation work early on: an iterative process of trying out new services and community engagement techniques in their old building. So by the time that they open this new, incredible space, there won’t be any surprises about the services being provided or how it will be staffed.

In Helsinki, there’s a project called Library 10. In the US, we give a lot of lip service to the idea of co-working in the library. But in Finland, it really works: people come in and use their library cards to check out portable screens and create a work area."



"Mattern: I think the social service sector needs to be engaged. Returning to the notion that libraries often pick up slack where other institutions fall short, I think we need to recognize the library as part of an ecosystem of social-cultural knowledge resources. I think the library conversation needs to include university presidents; school superintendents and principals; advocates who deal with affordable housing, recent immigrants, or other disenfranchised populations; real estate developers; and other people with innovative ideas for co-location or partnerships."
2014  shannonmattern  architecture  libraries  design  engagement  servicedesign  natehill  chattanooga  bookmobiles  aarhus  makers  makerspaces  lcproject  openstudioproject  browsability  serendipity 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Social Design Toolkit | Change for Social Design
[See also: http://www.thesis.mlamadrid.com/ ]

"The Social Design Toolkit is a guide for the community leader in Latin America who want to use post-colonial theory to help social designers understand how neoliberalism promotes unequal power dynamics."

***

"The Context
A toolkit is usually a set of tools and condense knowledge to facilitate a task for its user. Toolkits can take many shape and sizes. Within the emerging field of Social Design, toolkits are seen as a useful way to organize and support innovation by collaborating with people, thus shortening the time of assessing needs. However, some can be conceptually problematic.

In the article, Frog Creates An Open Source Guide to Design Thinking by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan for FastCo, the vice president of creative at Frog is quoted as saying: “These [NGOs] are organizations focused on how to crowdsource design,” says Robert Fabricant, vice president of creative at Frog. “Yet most of the people they’re trying to reach don’t have any pattern for how to collectively approach a problem.” (Campbell-Dollaghan). Fabricant makes no distinction to what people the NGOs are trying to reach and assumes that collective problem solving is a design method only.

Such as The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) by Frog. This toolkit’s aim is to help people develop problem-solving skills. However, it assumes that its targeted audience does not have a framework for collective problem solving to begin with.

His statement becomes even more problematic when considering the fact that the toolkit was inspired by an initiative Frog carried out in Nairobi, negating models for collective organizing like Savings and Credit Co-operative. SACCO is credit union model owned, governed and manage by its members. While a SACCO model might not be a scalable framework to solve every problem (it is meant to solve a finance issue), neither is Design Thinking.

Tim Brown, CEO of the design consultancy IDEO, defines design thinking as “…a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity”(Brown, Design Thinking). While this is not the only definition of Design Thinking in existence, it seems to imply that commerce is key which means that it is not necessarily concern with ideas like social equity, governance or post-colonial theory."

***

"The Concept
The Collective Action Toolkit seems to foster ideation hegemony of First World Industrialized values. Frabricant’s view seems similar to those of the US idealist Ivan Illich talks to in To Hell with Good Intentions. “You, like the values you carry, are the products of an American society of achievers and consumers, with its two-party system, its universal schooling, and its family-car affluence. You are ultimately-consciously or unconsciously – ‘salesmen’ for a delusive ballet in the ideas of democracy, equal opportunity and free enterprise among people who haven’t the possibility of profiting from these” (Illich). The kit creates a small elite of people that can validate their approaches instead of being culturally sensible to their own problem solving methods.

Confronted with the CAT and inspired by Illich, the Social Design Toolkit was born. The Social Design Toolkit mimicks the visual language of the CAT to explain two complex concepts: how neoliberal strategies replicate unequal power dynamics and ideation hegemony."

***

"The Twist
When social designers frame their design consumer products as acts of generosity, they replicate the material dominance of First World industrialized countries with their Third World post-colonial counterparts and create more entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves. Some argue these contributions become nonreciprocal gifts: Third-World populations are not able to economically gift back the same way, thus placing them always at the receiving end. However, Illich suggest that while this type of tactics are definitely for the benefit of the giver, he also argues that Third-World populations can reciprocate, just on form that is unrecognizable to the Third-World dweller.

The Social Design Toolkit allows the community leader in Latin America to reciprocate with a palpable gift of knowledge. The kit uses post-colonial and populist theory to help social designers learn real collaborative practices through the principles of “horizontalidad” and explain how neoliberalism promotes unequal power dynamics."

***

"The Golden Nugget
During Mid-terms, the Social Design Toolkit was presented to one of the Frog designers that participated in designing the Collective Action Toolkit. The intention was to use the guide as a prompt; a conversational object that would allow me to discuss the idea of neutrality within the field of Social Design. Upon reviewing the kit the designer said:

“…You can hijack the Social Designer’s power position and use it against them? So you are saying you are interested in a Social Design-Free Environment? This is extremely political”"
servicedesign  socialdesign  socialimpactdesign  latinamerica  postcolonialism  toolkits  designthinking  ivanillich  collectiveaction  horizontality  neoliberalism  power  powerdynamics  maríadelcarmenlamadrid  criticaldesign  designimperialism  economics 
july 2014 by robertogreco
New course in multispecies design | Design Culture Lab
"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to design with, and for, animals instead of people? How would that change the way we understand them–and ourselves? What would we design?

I’m excited to be teaching a new course next term that will explore these and related questions.

CCDN384: Multispecies Design

Understanding relationships between people and animals is central to future ecological sustainability. This course introduces students to cultural, political and economic forces that shape our interactions with pets, livestock, and wildlife in order to critically and creatively explore how different kinds of design can foster animal, environmental, and human well-being.

This special topic course comprises a weekly lecture that introduces students to a variety of human-animal relations and their cultural, political, ethical, economic, and environmental implications. Weekly tutorials connect these relations and issues to narrative, image, product and service-based design practice. Students are expected to demonstrate their comprehension of these relations, issues, and practices through a pair of creative projects: one visual design and one object or service-based design."
annegalloway  multispecies  animals  2014  multispeciesdesign  human-animalrelations  relationships  sustainability  classideas  culture  ethics  politics  servicedesign  well-being  pets  livestock  humans  wildlife  human-animalrelationships 
june 2014 by robertogreco
UX Week 2013| Ian Bogost | Fun on Vimeo
"Lately, there’s a lot of interest in borrowing design techniques from game design. At worst, such approaches mistake games for Skinner Boxes, incentive dispensers that dole out rewards for attention. But even at their best, designers’ adoption of game principles run up against the fact that games are fundamentally opposed to product and service design principles. Games are inefficient; they serve no purpose but to provide the experience that is their very playing. Yet, perhaps the most misunderstood concept in game-inspired design is also misunderstood within game design itself: the concept of fun as an end goal and aesthetic. This talk offers a surprising new theory of fun that can help anyone make, use, and appreciate things with greater satisfaction."
ianbogost  games  gaming  play  design  ux  gamification  gamedesign  2013  psychology  servicedesign  experience  fun 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
"The integrated structure of CIID incorporates education, research and consultancy. We encourage a cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment.

The School and Research Lab at CIID provide a platform for intensive training, an interface to academia and the creation of new knowledge. The Consultancy works independently and allows development of pragmatic, real-world ideas and works on business focused cases for industry.

CIID aspires to be a hub blending design and technology. Design is a major innovation driver towards a knowledge-based economy, and new research models that interface with both academia and industry are required to reflect this.

Academics and industry professionals from Denmark and all over the world come to CIID to work on innovative products, services & technology."

[See also: http://ciid.dk/education/ and http://ciid.dk/about/ ]
multidisciplinarythinking  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  experiencedesign  strategicdesign  servicedesign  interaction  interactiondesign  denmark  copenhagen  design  ciid  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  education  altgdp 
november 2012 by robertogreco
AIGA | Video: Allan Chochinov
"From aesthetics and utility to sustainability and value, the intentions of most designers are too often distorted through the presumptions they hold around what they’re supposed to be providing and to whom they’re providing it. Rather than a group of practitioners in the service of industry, designers need to see themselves as connective tissue—translating between stakeholders, reframing problems, revealing opportunities and championing change. It is through scale that they wield their might and earn their keep, and that’s what makes them both powerful and dangerous. Design is now seen as a strategic global resource, enabling innovative brands and companies to compete more effectively. There has to be more to it than that."
design  aiga  2011  aigapivot  allanchochinov  core77  servicedesign  towatch 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Mr Cameron, it's time to get the designers in | Art and design | guardian.co.uk
"If a country has the best education system in the world, it could be forgiven for resting on its laurels. Yet Finland, which routinely tops the Pisa education rankings, refuses to do so. The country has other major issues on the agenda, such as how to become carbon neutral and how to look after the most rapidly ageing population in Europe. And when the nation wants to address these questions, it turns to Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. Most governments have a cluster of thinktanks and policy groups at their disposal to tackle their country's challenges. But what's different about Sitra is that it uses designers.

Sitra's strategic design unit is made up of an international team with backgrounds in architecture and urban planning, web and interactive design, and they are used to thinking at varying scales – from the pixel to the city. "Strategic design" is still a nascent discipline but, put simply, it means applying a design method to a system, rather than an object."
danhill  sitra  design  finland  strategicdesign  policy  servicedesign  systemschange  systemicimagining  well-being  2011  bryanboyer  government  forwardlooking  forwardthinking 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Austin Center for Design | An educational institution in Austin, Texas, teaching Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship
"Austin Center for Design exists to transform society through design and design education. This transformation occurs through the development of design knowledge directed towards all forms of social and humanitarian problems.

AC4D offers a one year program - held on site (on nights and weekends) in Austin, Texas - emphasizing creative problem solving related to human behavior, through the use of advanced technology and novel approaches to business strategy.

The program is ideal for designers, artists, business professionals and technologists with 2-5 years experience doing professional work, or for more seasoned professionals looking to change the trajectory of their careers.

Our curriculum includes instruction in ethnography, prototyping, service design, theory, usability testing, and financial company structures."
education  design  teaching  schools  highereducation  alternative  highered  jonkolko  austin  texas  lcproject  incubator  designthinking  human  behavior  business  technology  humanitarian  humanitariandesign  socialentrepreneurship  entrepreneurship  prototyping  servicedesign 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Rockefeller Foundation on “the future of crowdsourced cities” « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird [Great post as Adam shutters Speedbird.]
"These are some easily-foreseeable problems w/ purely bottom-up approaches to urban informatics. None of this is to denigrate legacy of Jane Jacobs…remains personal hero & primary touchstone for my work. & none of it is to argue that there oughn’t be central role for democratic voice in development of policy, management of place & delivery of services. It’s just to signal that things might not be as clearcut as we might wish—especially those of us who have historically been energized by presence of clear (& clearly demonizable) opponent.

If I’ve spent my space here calling attention to pitfalls of bottom-up approaches…because I think the promise is so self-evident…delighted to hear Anthony Townsend’s prognostication of/call for a “planet of civic laboratories,” in which getting to scale immediately is less important than a robust search of possibility space around these new technologies, & how citydwellers around world will use them in their making of place."
cities  technology  bottom-up  crowdsourcing  action  activism  datavisualization  urbancomputing  urban  urbanism  janejacobs  robertmoses  anthonytownsend  urbaninformatics  place  civiclaboratories  lcproject  possibilityspace  systems  government  democracy  policy  servicedesign  transparency  collaboration  scale  consistency  infrastructure  intervention  offloading  responsibilization  municipalities  seeclickfix  entitlement  moderation  laurakurgan  sarahwilliams  spatialinformation  maps  mapping  statistics  benjamindelapeña  carolcolletta  ceosforcities  rockefellerfoundation  greglindsay  lauraforlano  spatial  humanintervention 
december 2010 by robertogreco
interactions magazine | Time Goes By, Everything Looks the Same.
"Working at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, Elliot and I set up a small nonprofit, Big Picture Learning. Working with the commissioner of education in Rhode Island, we had the opportunity to start a high school, The Met, as a model of what the schools of the future should look like. We started with a simple concept: one student at a time and what’s best for kids?
bigpictureschools  dennislittky  interestdriven  student-centered  studentdirected  students  tcsnmy  learning  schools  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  curriculum  design  life  education  servicedesign 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Quo vadis guiri? Get on the bus with mycitytrip!
"Mi amigo Marco nunca coge el autobús, dice que es el medio de transporte menos accesible para alguien que viene de fuera. Y no me extraña. Para utilizar el bus tienes que, además de tener tiempo o ser tu única opción, conocer la ciudad con cierta soltura. Nada ha aprendido el bus del metro con sus planos y sus paradas bien señaladas en los recorridos, en los andenes y en el interior de los vagones.
via:adamgreenfield  buses  travel  staycation  tourism  subways  maps  mapping  online  mycitytrip  cities  urban  information  interaction  urbanism  services  servicedesign  transit  urbancomputing  mobility 
may 2010 by robertogreco
adaptive path » blog » Henning Fischer » Mission Bicycle and Adaptive Path: Experience Design in Retail
"As we talked the idea of a collaboration between Mission Bicycle and Adaptive Path began to take shape. Zack had plans for the shop’s interior design, but the experience of the retail environment was still missing. The goal was to design a simple retail experience that would help customers assemble their perfect, custom bike. Some of the fundamental questions that needed to be answered were:

* How do you showcase and sell a great but complex product in a constrained environment? * How do you create a space that extends and supports other brand experiences? * How do you sell in-store if you’ve only sold online?"

[via: www.brianoberkirch.com/2009/12/19/zacks-bike-shop/ ]
design  experiencedesign  bikes  experience  ux  adaptivepath  experiential  servicedesign  missionbicycle  biking  sanfrancisco 
december 2009 by robertogreco
sevensixfive: Losing My Edge: Architectural Informatics (and others)
"(Disclaimer: This is quick and unconsidered)

It is fascinating to watch other disciplines inch closer and closer to the territory that was once claimed by architects. As the profession of architecture continues to shrink, the ground that is ceded does not remain unclaimed for long, and there is new and interesting territory to be discovered at our borders that we no longer seem to have the resources to explore.

Sustainability Consulting, Strategic Masterplanning, Landscape Architecture - all of these other disciplines are very interested in architecture: its literature, its history, and its scope of services. Now add to that the relatively new fields of Service and Interaction Design. Recent articles here and here (and here(and here!)) have all implied that there is a strange relationship between services, distributed computing and cities, with a parallel strangeness in the design of interactions and the design of buildings.

Despite having several friends who are actively working in these fields, I admit that it is sometimes very difficult to understand what it is that they actually do (besides organize, attend, and speak at conferences). Many of them have backgrounds in architecture, and almost all of them are avidly reading Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, Archigram, Situationists - all of this neglected literature from the 60s and 70s that architects themselves had almost forgotten, in our (perhaps bubble-powered) accelerated criticality (and the inevitable post).

So there are all of these people moving in this direction, and there are a few general observations that are worth making about that:

- They seem to think that they have something to learn from the theory and practice of architecture, so let's help them figure out what that is.

- They are creating their own discourse from scratch, outside of academia. Architectural discourse has been supported by schools for so long that it is difficult to remember any other way. The fields of Service and Interaction Design seem to be supported by something more like the feudal corporate patronage structure that architects relied on in the Renaissance. That's very interesting, no? Not the least because despite any purse or apron strings linking them to the corporate world, they still seem to want to talk about ideas, even some of the more out-there quasi-marxist corners of critical theory that academic architects like to frequent. That's kind of fun, right?

- They have no history. Though some might disagree, this is probably a good thing for now (but not for much longer).

- They bring an entrepreneurial startup culture with them. A lot of the work in this area is coming directly out of computer science by way of the old dot.com and web 2.0 pathways, but the thing is, these aren't the casualties, they are the survivors. Many of the people involved with these offices have lived through several busts, and they are thriving. They know about venture capital, public offerings, and bootstrapping. They have business plans. This is kind of exciting, yeah?

For Archinect's '09 predictions last year, I hoped that there would be this massive flow outward from architecture to other disciplines: underemployed architects as secret agents, implanting methodologies into other fields from the inside out. It hasn't happened. Instead, we've lost even more ground to others who are doing the things we do, and it's like the song says: "... to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent ... and they're actually really, really nice." They want to be friends, they want to talk about cities and buildings.

So in the New Year, let's all spend more time hanging out: architects can trade some of our thoughts on cultural context, historicity, and the public realm for some of you all's ideas about agility, narrative, strategery, and business planning, and we'll all hopefully learn a lot."
design  architecture  history  discipline  discourse  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  janejacobs  christopheralexander  archigram  fredscharmen  interaction  interactiondesign  reanissance  academia  patronage  servicedesign  situationist  theory  criticaltheory  via:migurski  baltimore  cities  culture  designthinking  interdisciplinary  urbanism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Products are Worthless
"Social Media and Utilities introduce a much healthier and useful form of marketing, focusing on understanding how and why products and companies are valuable – and then further establishing and building on their situational value, rather than trying to squeeze some artificial attention out of a dead horse."
userexperience  education  design  psychology  innovation  context  brands  marketing  products  services  servicedesign  socialinnovation 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser: Maps as service design: The Incidental
"From the early brainstorms we came up with idea of a system for collecting the thoughts, recommendations, pirate maps and sketches of the attendees to republish & redistribute the next day in a printed, pocketable pamphlet, which, would build up over the four days of the event to be a unique palimpsest of the place and people’s interactions with it, in it. ... One thing that’s very interesting to us that is using this rapidly-produced thing then becomes a ’social object’: creating conversations, collecting scribbles, instigating adventures – which then get collected & redistributed. As author/seer Warren Ellis points out, paper is ideal material for this: “…cheap. Portable. Biodegradable/timebound/already rotting. Suggestion of a v0.9 object. More likely to be on a desk or in a pocket or bag or on a pub table than to be shelved. More likely to be passed around.” ...The Incidental is feedback loop made out of paper & human interactions - timebound, situated and circulating in a place."

[more here: http://magicalnihilism.com/2009/04/22/a-palimpsest-for-a-place/ ]
papernet  schulzeandwebb  mattjones  theincidental  maps  post-digital  paper  newmedia  print  servicedesign  papercamp  mapping  interactive  berg  berglondon 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Creative solutions in tough times - International Herald Tribune
"But the recession will also create opportunities for designers to help us to adjust to economic austerity. Consumers will still want to score sustainability points, but to save money while doing so. The new cadre of "service designers," who apply design thinking to help organizations structure themselves more efficiently and behave differently, will be called upon to develop new business models to address this. One example is the recent flood of "rentalist" services, whereby you acquire the right to use, say, a car or bicycle, for period of time rather than buying it outright.
design  crisis  economics  socialentrepreneurship  thinking  servicedesign  society  future  environment  sustainability  gamechanging  organizations  efficiency  healthcare  2008 
december 2008 by robertogreco
WorldChanging: Web 2.0, Ubiquity, Sustainability and Consumer Rights
"If we are going to interact with companies in intimate ways -- in ways that impact our deepest life choices -- those interactions ought not only to be held to a higher standard of transparency and public accountability; they ought to be safe-guarded in formal ways as well by having corporate decision-making structures that protect the user rights of the people involved."
sustainability  servicedesign  mattjones  tomcoates  ubicomp  everyware  socialmedia  worldchanging  dopplr  environment  ethics  informatics  privacy  unproduct  innovation  urban  web 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Library Outposts, a new service model for urban public libraries « Catch and Release
"strategic location (Rather than bring patrons to library, Outpost brings library to patrons) + Extended service hours + collection via hold system+reference service + wireless access + programming & exhibition space"
brooklyn  libraries  lcproject  communitycenters  community  urban  servicedesign  urbanism  nyc  futureoflearning  school2.0  schools  schooldesign 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Service Design Research
"This list represents a summary of the past thirty years of service design literature."
servicedesign  research  design  innovation  reference  resources 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Small Surfaces - Heuristics for mobile design
"Giant Ant has published a paper describing ten heuristics for mobile design. A nice, clear encapsulation of some of the primary issues for designers of mobile devices."
experiencedesign  ux  context  design  mobile  phones  servicedesign  research  theory 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Teaching the Bigger Picture
"Design schools need to shift focus from the form of objects to understanding the systems that produce them."
design  education  colleges  universities  architecture  teaching  learning  accd  mapping  pedagogy  servicedesign 
april 2007 by robertogreco

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