Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Universal Traveler

Getting stuck and frustrated sometimes on the design process, I have found my companion that always helps me in these moments… “The universal traveler: a soft systems guide to creativity, problem-solving and the process of reaching goals“, by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall. A classic book of 1973 that guides you to creative problem-solving in a very friendly way, by using the analogy of travel. Great insights, beautiful graphics… Definitely, a must have book for every designer, engineer and problem-solver out there!

In the flow…

The last 2 weeks I was  facing a quite unproductive, inefficient work from myself…questioning everything…my process, my ideas etc, which of course had slowed me down a lot, and had affected my morale. I guess something that a lot of graduate students face, while they work. Fortunately my analysis presentation, last Thursday, gave an end to all these doubts, receiving very positive comments.

So, the lesson that I learned is that you have to keep yourself in the flow. You have to keep moving, trusting  your skills and thoughts, setting deadlines and goals (even if there aren’t any) and trying to meet them. Otherwise the retrospective attitude (always very important) gets bigger and bigger, and you start to focus on very small details, and questions that only lead you backwards…

Sometimes you just have to be in the flow, or in other words just do it!

p.s for more, read also the “In the Flow” article from the frog design magazine…

Improv City

Well, today I attended the well anticipated presentation by John Ehrenfeld, writer of the book “Sustainability by Design“, but I am not going to write about it…The lecture didn’t really moved me, neither did the book …But if you want to get an impression of it, I’m sure my friend Shauna is going soon to give a nice overview of the lecture at her blog.

What I would like to present is the upcoming Masters of Intervention lecture by Alex Scordelis, at de Balie in Amsterdam. I went last time to Stefano Boeri’s lecture on sustainable cities and I found it quite interesting;giving different perspectives on the theme. But now I am very curious about Scordelis’ lecture, as  appart from being a New York based writer, he is also agent in the prank collective Improv Everywhere, was involved in numerous collective performances, such as No Pant’s Day in the New York subway and has co-authored the book Causing a Scene. Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Impro Everywhere. Engineering some chaos, is exactly what this country needs! Don’t forget to watch Alex’s pranks at his site…Enjoy!

DIY, Delft!

I believe that participatory design, e-democracy and crowdsourcing is the way to redesign our cities. This is why I am also pushing my graduation project towards this direction. I believe that local, social support can celp to reduce our domestic energy consumption. There are already wonderful tools to use and base my research on, without having to start from the scratch. One of them is, where I just started the DIY, Delft.

If you live or study in Delft, join the group and lets explore solutions for how we can reduce domestic energy consumption (as a start 😉 )

Two inspirational lectures…

Two inspirational lectures for your Sunday morning

by Ezio Manzini on social innovation and creative communities

and a complementary one by John Thackara on designing for business as unusual. As the video is around one hour, I would suggest you to skip the first half and jump to the second part which refers to the challenges for designers. For the video click here as the embed function did not work…Enjoy!