jGuateAmala! translates from Spanish to 'Love Guatemala'. It is a long- term project campaigning to encourage Guatemalans to think positively about their country's future. Alice Rawsthorn's article in the Herald tells how Bruce Mau's design thinking reached beyond the creation of a visual identity for the campaign, and helped redefine the vision. Rawsthorn talks about geodesign or 'new design' as an emerging field in which design thinking is used to address social and political problems. Mau's Massive Change project (exhibition, book, events) had previously 'explored paradigm-shifting events, ideas, and people, investigating the capacities and ethical dilemmas of design'. Of jGuateAmala! Mau says "Of course, we can't solve Guatemala's problems, that can only be accomplished by Guatemalans. But by sharing our communication tools, we can help. What could be better than that?"
Alice Rawsthorn was Director of the Design Museum before becoming design critic of the International Herald Tribune. Read the article here.
New improved Coroflot site
Coroflot.com, the online portfolio site from Core77 has re-launched with a whole new design and feature set. Highlights include: unlimited upload, public & private sets, image tagging, networking, and of course personalized job alerts. The best thing is that it's still 100% free for designers to create a portfolio.
Our favorite new feature is CoroSpy, a real-time feed of site activity.
Homepage here: http://www.coroflot.com
New IID in Copenhagen
Simona Maschi and Heather Martin will head up the new Institue of Interaction Design in Copenhagen. Whilst it is early days yet, the Institute is set to include a school and research lab and will incorporate an integrated plan of teaching, research and consulting. The school will open officially in September '07. After the closure of IID Ivrea last year it's great news to hear that a new Institue is on the horizon.
Is design political?
'My policy colleagues say they went into politics because they wanted to challenge the status quo and make things better for ordinary people. That's certainly why I went into design. So maybe design is more political than you think.'
Writing for Core77, RED Senior Design Stategist, Jennie Winhall, gives her take on the question, 'is design political?'
Hilary's Davos Journal
Earlier this year I was elected a 'Young Global Leader' by the Davos World Economic Forum. I have also had a baby and am rather averse to travelling but in the end I decide on a compromise - to go for just half the week and so, on a diamond bright afternoon I find myself at the Schatzalp - a romantic location above the Swiss village of Davos, the inspiration for Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain
Our first session is titled the Art of Leadership. Art as opposed to science sounds promising. A few fellow YGLs are invited to stand up and tell their personal stories of leadership. Two tell of personal danger in pioneering freedom of the press against opposing regimes, another has overcome personal disability, a fourth has abandoned a lucrative position at the head of a global company to start an education venture. They are powerful stories - the theme and so the art is one of moral courage.
The key to creativity
Is "A healthy disrespect for the impossible" combined with the virtues of constraints the key to creativity, as espoused by Marissa Meyer from Google in a recent discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos? Or would you side with Ideo's Tim Brown, who suggested that creativity is spurred by approaching problems with a beginner's mindset, and by exploring ideas through the use of rapid prototyping?
See Fast Company's weblog for the background.
Social Capitalist Awards 2006
Fast Company and Monitor Group named the top 25 groups who are changing the world through social entrepreneurship yesterday. According to Fast Company - 'What defines an entrepreneur (as well as an entrepreneurial organization) is that relentless problem-solving approach, not the specifics of the problem itself.'
With that said you'd think that designers should be up there at the top of the list? Check out this year's winners here.
A similar vein - research at the LSE
The London Multimedia Laboratory for Audiovisual Composition and Communication(LML) is a research unit at the Institute of Social Psychology, at the London School of Economics (LSE). It provides an international research basis for resource, curriculum and policy development in three sectors:
. Development, Health and Community Enhancement
. Innovation and Creativity in Organisations
There are definietly parallels here with RED's work and it may be of interest to those working in these areas or just interested in the processes. The Newsletter has further details.
Signs of the times
The Design Council's Director of Design and Innovation, Richard Eisermann, speaks out against brand pollution on British motorways - see the BBC for the article.
This made me think perhaps we could have designated quiet streets / suburbs / towns - like the quiet carriages on our trains - where signage, particularly advertising material, is kept to a bare minimum? Or maybe advertising for things like MacDonalds on motorways should be communicated to potential customers via a signaling device in all cars - if you're looking for a burger you turn it on and it pings you when there's an appropriate outlet up ahead. If you're not in the market you turn it off or switch it to a healthier frequency for alternative purveyors. Just some thoughts.
DMI Innovation blog
The Design Management Institute (DMI) has just launched an innovation blog. I haven't tracked much of the content as yet but the site is set to feature 'visionary guest bloggers who will drive the innovation discussion' - may be worth keeping an eye on.
THE BEST DESIGNS NEVER SEEN
A Mintat G3 transportable petrol station (by Marcello Minale) has never made it beyond concept. This is just one example of numerous brilliant designs that, for a variety of reasons, have never seen the light of day.
The Best Designs Never Seen forms part of the Best Never Seen - an initiative dedicated to identifying and paying tribute to great creativity that has never seen the light of day. And the search is now on.....
Social Design Notes
Having a browse around today and I discovered the Social Design Notes blog with a nice range of stuff on energy in particular an article from Turning Down the Global Thermostat by Christopher Hawthorne in the October 2003 issue of Metropolis (and in fact a nice range of stuff on a whole host of other stuff as well!) Social Design Notes is a web log of notes and clippings on design and the public interest. For anyone who hasn't already seen it have a squizz.
Better by Design
Better by Design, in this month's edition of the RSA journal reads... "Design used to be associated purely with aesthetics. Today it has been embraced by business leaders and is advocated for social policy development. Nico Macdonald investigates..." Download file
A new blog on the block
There's a new design blog on the block - they like ours, and as it turns out we think theirs is very nice too. The guys at CPH127 are on about the influence of design as a motor for innovation and vice versa. Have a look.
Global Ideas Bank
The Global Ideas Bank's work is led by this website, www.globalideasbank.org, which has a database of nearly 4000 ideas online. Hundreds of ideas are submitted each month by people from all over the world, and over 160,000 visitors have voted on the site with a rating, which allows the best ideas to rise to the top democratically. It currently attracts a quarter of a million unique visitors annually.