Putting People First

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August 2005
24 August 2005

Koolhaas and Thackara discussing design and globalisation at London’s V&A

Rem Koolhaas, Founder and Director, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, and John Thackara, Director, Doors of Perception, will be the keynote speakers at the 2005 Global Design Critical Debate on design and globalisation at London’s V&A Museum on Friday 14 October 2005.

In the 21st century, design appears to have become a truly global art form. This Critical Debate takes a closer look at design, the nature of globalisation and how the two spheres interrelate, and raises a number of pertinent questions. Is design contributing to the more positive effects of globalisation, or does the design industry simply chase commercial opportunities and devise better products to serve an international elite? What happens to local identity in global design culture? Have today’s global design hotspots migrated East to Bangalore and Shanghai or are London, Milan, Rotterdam and New York still home to the questions and the answers that push contemporary design forever onward?

Read full announcement

24 August 2005

The art of work [Fast Company]

What would happen if the best moments of your life happened at the office? That would be “flow,” and thanks to a guy with an unpronounceable name, more and more businesses want to know about it.

Read full story

24 August 2005

Website lets children design, share and order their own Lego sets [Business Week]

Lego released a new version of Lego Factory, a recently launched brand that combines Digital Designer — free software that lets children create their own 3D models — with the ability to let customers to share their personal designs as well as order the bricks necessary to build those custom models.

Read full story

Related: Metropolis story on the same topic

22 August 2005

Denmark in the culture and experience economy – 5 new steps

In this publication the Danish Government* presents initiatives within five new strategic target areas designed to create favourable frameworks capable of reinforcing development and growth potential in the culture and experience economy.

The five target areas include the sports industry, design, architecture, interaction between cultural institutions and commercial enterprises, and events.

(* In particular its Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs and its Ministry of Culture)

Go to publication download page

(See also my post on how to best face globalisation)

22 August 2005

Betting a network on youths who think [The New York Times]

For all its rough spots and blog pretensions, Current is for-profit public-access television, an attempt to add grass-roots diversity to a television universe that is ever more controlled by a few media conglomerates.

Current is easily mocked, but it is at least one youth-oriented cable network that does not dance to the tune of the 82-year-old Sumner Redstone, the chairman of Viacom.

Read full story

21 August 2005

How to best face globalisation? [CPH127]

The following CPH127 post features an analysis about innovation strategies in Denmark, but the implications of this reasoning are relevant for many other European countries.

“During the last year there has been a lot of discussion in Denmark around how to cope with the globalisation – until now the governments answer has been the “Technology, Research and Innovation Fund”, which is to support strategic efforts in areas like information and communications technology, bio-technology and nano-technology.

But if you ask one of Denmark’s leading experts in globalisation, professor Anders Drejer, this Fund is a huge mistake if the goal is to improve the possibilities for Danish businesses in a globalised world.”

Read full post

(Related story: NextD interview with Anders Drejer on reconceiving innovation in Denmark)

21 August 2005

Magical history tour [CIO magazine]

[A number of] museums are busily implementing a variety of forms of ubiquitous (a.k.a. pervasive) computing to assist customers. [...]

What the museums learn about things such as delivering personalised multimedia content to mobile users, luring visitors to lesser-known exhibits and identifying how people react to interactive surroundings will help create applications for retail, entertainment and other industries.

Read full story

(via Institute for the Future’s Future Now blog)

20 August 2005

Paul Graham on what business can learn from open source

Paul Graham is at it again.

Just one random quote, when he is arguing that bloggers working at home are often much more productive than the so-called “professionals”:

“The atmosphere of the average workplace is to productivity what flames painted on the side of a car are to speed.”


20 August 2005

Neopets CEO on the future of children’s site [Red Herring]

On Neopets’ candy-colored, youth-oriented web site, kids create virtual pets and send them cruising the streets of the online land Neopia. They play games, shop, or make artwork for the site’s online galleries, which all sounds like harmless, creative fun.

But the company’s business model is more than just pure play. Big-name brands like McDonalds General Mills, and Disney have staked claims throughout the site in what the company has termed and trademarked “Immersive Advertising.” The idea is to blur the ads with content, rendering the pitch easier to swallow.

Insidious, brilliant, or both, the site’s 25 million-plus visitors have turned Neopets into one of the stickiest sites on the web, according to comScore Media Metrix. Avid fans send in more than 11,000 pet stories and 30,000 pictures per month, and the site has been translated into 10 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. More importantly, the company’s ability to generate more than $10 million in ad revenue last year recently prompted a $160-million buyout by Viacom’s MTV Networks.

Read (short) interview with Neopets CEO Doug Doughring

20 August 2005

Community search and the threat to branding [Fast Company]

Sites like Shadows and MyWeb 2.0 could represent a huge threat to corporations that try to control how their brands are perceived. After all, if you can leave a comment about crappy service or shoddy products on a company’s shadow page – out of the company’s reach but right there for all to see — the power of information vs. perception shifts firmly in the consumer’s direction.

Read full story

20 August 2005

Design for learning [CNN]

To prepare students for an evolving information-based society, architects are designing innovative schools to support new models of teaching and learning.

Read full story

(Related story: Students at Roy Lee Walker Elementary School don’t just study textbooks to learn about the environment and sustainability. They’re surrounded by it. [Edutopia Magazine]

20 August 2005 ranks in top 75 blogs

Missing from yesterday’s Feeedster’s Top 500, was Régine Débatty’s cult blog (which has been a favourite link on this blog pretty much from its beginning).

Feedster has now rectified the error and not only does make the list, but ranks in the top 75! Congratulations Régine!


20 August 2005

How mobile phones conquered Japan [Wired News]

Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life is the title of a new book published by MIT Press that attempts at understanding how mobile technology shapes Japan’s culture — and our own.

Co-edited by University of Southern California research scientist Mizuko Ito, Keio University lecturer Daisuke Okabe and Misa Matsuda of Tokyo’s Chuo University, the book examines, through a series of real-world case studies, the relationship between mobile technology and Japanese society. In doing so, it sheds light on the way handheld connectivity tends to reshape cultures worldwide.

Read full story

20 August 2005

Overview of experience design companies

This list has been replaced by a shared list on The tag is xdcompanies.
19 August 2005

Designing from the user’s experience [DMI eBulletin]

Peter Jones of Redesign Research has written a viewpoint article on Designing From the User’s Experience for the August 2005 Design Management Institute eBulletin.

In the article, he ties the broad the user experience concept to product and user research. He advises design managers on how to enable an understanding of experience instead of simply observing it.

“Analysing customer needs and market trends are essential competencies for managing complex design projects. However, after confirming user needs through market research, design teams often focus on the product, neglecting users until completing the product, or at best, usability testing. From consumer goods to websites, many design-driven projects limit front-end analysis to market research, focus groups or concept demonstrations. While these approaches are necessary, they overlook the opportunity for designing from understanding the user’s authentic experience.”

(via UserExperienceNetwork)

18 August 2005

I’m running late because of my phone [Daily Telegraph]

Mobile phones have made people less organised and more willing to be late when meeting their friends, according to a survey.Nearly one in five people admitted to being unreliable about timekeeping because they had the “safety net” of a mobile. Three quarters said mobiles had made them more “flexible” when meeting friends – allowing them to arrange or cancel social gatherings at the last minute.

The findings came from a study of 1,000 adults and was carried out by Intel.

Read full story


18 August 2005

Experience diagram [Designing Great Experiences]

A digital diagram by Matt Zellmer shows how the “Experience” a company delivers to its customers (no matter what is sells) differs from “Experience” as a separate offering for which a company charges money.

Read full post

16 August 2005

Chris Lawer on how firms can co-create knowledge with their customers

In his blog Chris Lawer of The OMC Group just posted a copy of the presentation he gave to the research panel at Cranfield University School of Management.

The pdf paper defines the “story of co-creation”, explores his research question, presents a conceptual framework for market-learning capabilities (before and after co-creation) and suggests some of the challenges to be resolved when conducting the research.

Download presentation (pdf, 932 kb)

(via Customer Experience Strategy)

16 August 2005

Project Fusion: an Adidas/Polar collaboration on sports wearables

Polar Electro, the innovative leader in heart rate monitoring, and adidas, one of the world’s leading sports brands, have formed a partnership that will introduce the world’s first completely integrated training system. Called “Project Fusion”, it seamlessly integrates Polar heart rate and speed and distance monitoring equipment into adidas apparel and footwear.

Press release
How does it work?
View photos

12 August 2005

Wiki-mania [AlterNet]

The latest ‘Big Bang’ in information-sharing is free, and its flagship already gets more traffic than the New York Times and USA Today combined: Meet the ‘wiki.’

Read full story