Pilot Drawing Community

My fellow M.Des classmate Arlene introduced us to a really interesting idea today...she is creating a 'pilot drawing community' . This involves Arlene, who comes from a background in textile design, drawing all of us, tutors and visitors etc and then visually mapping out the sketches. Apart from being a very exciting visual project, I think it is a great experiment to encourage conversation and information exchange amidst our new classroom. It is all about creating 'links' between all the 'participants'. There is something about these little sketches that captivates me, I find her approach very honest and truthful. If drawing can even be such things? See more on Arlenes new blog.

Self - analysis for Narrowcasting

Having spent an afternoon watching the travellers and being a new traveller in Holland myself...what are my perceptions of new opporunities for narrow casting? This little diagram shows a my journey from my house to the train station...

The time that occurs before leaving the house is interesting, because this time consists of many different things, depending of course on what kind of traveller you are, who you are travelling with and where you are going.

For some it this time is chance to turn drawers inside out scrambling to find your ticket...

For others this is time to double check and go through the journey in their minds to ensure everything is organised and in it's place.

Both scenarios are a little extreme, somewhere in the middle is where you would find me :)

Indeed, the most important thing is getting the right message across at the right place and time.

Time is also interesting when you look at how your mood is effected by the time of day. For instance, rush hour is an anxious and stressfull time, full of irritable workers itching to get home.

The morning may mean grumpiness at the thought of a day of work, or if you are lucky excitement at the thought of the day ahead...

Perhaps, the narrowcasting could address these moods and the emotions that go with them. The day of the week is also important, we all know what message we'd like to see on a train on a busy monday morning...

Little thoughts I had

When you go on a journey you are familiar with, you have landmarks in your head that you recognise and they reassure you that you are indeed going the right way and perhaps indicate how many more miles you have left till you reach your destination.

Could the narrowcasting tell us landmarks to look out for on a new journey? This could also be fun for children to do and keep them amused during the journey.

I noticed that current narrowcasting in train stations in Holland are mostly in Dutch. As a foreign traveller this reminds me that I am very much outside my comfort zone and in an unfamiliar area, which can often highten anxiety. A way round this would be to use universal symbols and imagery.

“There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all.”

We Think

We Think, by Charles Leadbeater is all about communities, mass innovation, the power of mass creativity and how it all fits together within the internet.

Watch a nice little video that illustrates what this book is all about, I like Leadbeaters style - black and white, handwriting and simple statements get across his complex ideas really well.

This book is different from any other book I have ever read because of the way it was put together and distributed. The first three chapters can be read online, which is unusual. It started on-line through a unique experiment in collaborative creativity involving hundreds of people across the world.

You are what you share. That is the ethic of the world being created by YouTube and MySpace, Wikipedia and Facebook. WeThink is a rallying call for the shared power of the web to make society more open and egalitarian.

We Think reports on an unparralleled wave of collaborative creativity, as people from California and China devise ways to work together that are more democratic, productvie and creative. This book is a guide to the new culture of mass participation and innovation - the generation growing up with the web will not be contect to remain spectators. They weant to be players and this is their slogan: we think therefore we are.

He discusses the idea of a commons, which I found really interesting. A commons is anything like the street on which we drive, the skies through which planes fly, public parks and the beaches on which we relax. A commons belongs to a community- sometimes a tightly defined community - sometimes everyone.

A day on a public beach exemplifies the commons in action. Beaches are ordered without being controlled. No one is in charge. A publicj beach is a model civil space - tolerant, playful, self-regulating, democratic in spirit. As the day unfolds everyone takes their spot, adjusting to where everyone else has pitched their towel. Normal rules do not apply because there is no private property. The web is bringing the spirit of the beach into the sharing of ideas and information.

The more content we create, blogs, videos, myspace, bebo etc.. the more we need We Think to sort it. When you think of pre-industrial forms of organisation - the commons, peer to peer working, community innovation and folk creativity. These are all very old.

Where as if you mix this with the brand new blogs and wikipedias etc, you have a new working model - a social form of creativity for everyone - giving us the capacity and tools to think, act and experiment.

Another book which I have been reading online is Back of The Napkin by Dan Roam it is easy to read and digest. I have also been interested in visual thinking within design and this book is helping to to visualise my ideas more freely. "Doodle aloud and erase even louder...the combination of simultaneous creation and narration is magic..." Check out his blog , I am keen to try out the 'best ever visualisation tool' that we all have on our computer within Microsoft powerpoint.

I liked this phrasing on what The End of the World could potentially be. We Think is creating new ways for these conversations to emerge - conversations that enable people who combine their different skills, insights and knowledge to explore a problem.

I also liked Leadbeaters interpretation on language - service designers are striving to create a universal design language to help others understand and relate to the work they do.