Problem is, education, science and health care aren’t exactly the stuff of exciting entertainment, let alone video games. While the military provides plenty of fodder for gamers, cosmologists like Carl Sagan or famous physicians like Jonas Salk aren’t exactly the stuff of the multiverse. So what to do about it?
Some management experts believe MacDowell’s approach could be useful in business. "Managers typically tap only a small portion of workers’ creative capabilities," says Richard Florida, a public policy professor at George Mason University and the author of The Rise of the Creative Class. Successful companies increasingly "will look more like an artist colony or inventor’s laboratory than the office of today." [...]
Some bigger businesses have also embraced policies that echo aspects of MacDowell’s approach. Google Inc. engineers and technical staffers can devote 20% of their time to any projects they choose. The arrangements helped give birth to news and social-networking products, among others.
[Full story not available online without newspaper subscription]
It has become routine for kids to conduct six IM conversations, watch American Idol on TV and Google the names of last season’s finalists all at once.
But what’s the impact of this media consumption? And how are these multitasking devices changing how kids learn, reason and interact with one another?
Social scientists and educators are just beginning to tackle these questions, but the researchers already have some strong opinions.
Key hypotheses include that building-in experiences into services will lead to competitive advantage, that experience is an emerging mechanism for communication with customers, that customer satisfaction is an inadequate measure in experiential environments. These and many other hypotheses are emergent and raise issues of definition and measurement.
Recent research developments are outlined in the report ‘Trends in the Experience and Service Economy: The Experience Profit Cycle’. The report by Chris Voss gives the results of research that set out to identify some of the key management and business trends in the realm of experience.
To obtain an electronic copy of the report, please email email@example.com.
(via Lex Dekkers)
The event concludes the two-year Emude (Emerging User Demands for Sustainable Solutions) project that explored social innovation in 10 European countries. The research suggests possible links between the emergence of creative communities and new ideas on welfare – active welfare.
The seminar will present the main findings of the research plus a discussion of enabling platforms for active welfare, and their implications for European R&D policies. (An online book about the 56 cases at the centre of Emude will be published in April).
The Emude consortium includes
- Politecnico di Milano, INDACO Department, Italy
- National Institute for Consumer Research, Norway
- Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Netherlands
- Strategic Design Scenarios, Belgium
- Doors of Perception, Netherlands
- Philips Design, Netherlands
- Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Belgium
- Central European University, Budapest Foundation, Hungary
- Consumers International, UK
- United Nations Environment Programme, USA / Kenya
Milan, 28 March, 09.30-13.00h. Politecnico di Milano, Campus Bovisa, Via Durando 10, Aula CT46.
Download invitation (pdf, 321 kb, 1 page)
Also listed on Eventful calendar on experience design
(via Doors of Perception)
The Institute for the Future reports that the Foresight & Innovation team at Arup has devised a set of 50 cards which identify some of the leading trends affecting the future of the world — what they call ‘drivers of change’. The drivers are arranged and presented within societal, technical, economic, environmental and political domains, with each two-sided card depicting one driver. As well as vibrant visual record of research, these cards can be used as a tool for discussion groups, as personal prompts for workshop events or as a ‘thought for the week’.
Arup is a global design and engineering firm and a leading creative force in the built environment. It was founded 60 years ago by the engineer and philosopher, Sir Ove Arup (1895-1988), who instigated the concept of ‘total design’, in which teams of professionals from diverse disciplines work together on projects of exceptional quality.
In keeping with Arup’s holistic approach to problem-solving, the design of these cards aims to encourage deeper consideration of the forces driving global change and the role that all of us can play in creating a more sustainable future. The cards have been published by the Spanish architecture and design publishing house, Editorial Gustavo Gili. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
UPDATE (7 April 2006)
Arup has meanwhile launched a website dedicated to these foresight cards and they can also be ordered online for £19.95.
Nike and Google, hoping to take social networking to a new realm, have quietly launched the first invitation-only Web site for soccer-mad fans around the world. Joga.com went live late last week and will soon be running in 140 countries and 14 languages.
Joga.com is a free network where members will be able to create Web sites and send e-mail, photos, and video clips, as well as access Nike content related to its sponsored athletes such as Brazilian superstar Ronaldino or U.S. soccer prodigy Freddy Adu, according to Nike officials who confirmed the new initiative.
He said one in every nine Africans subscribes today to a mobile phone, and noted that Kenya was one of the fastest growing markets in the world in the telecommunications industry.
Speaking during the official opening of the Nokia Kenya office, the minister said mobile telephony was “not a luxury anymore in the African context”, and had become “a prerequisite” for the economic development of the region.
“Recent studies have found a link between mobile phone penetration and economic growth in developing countries, especially where fixed-line networks are sparse,” he said.
In this thought-provoking talk, best-selling author Peter Morville explores the future present in mobile and embedded devices, GPS and RFID technologies, search algorithms, findable objects, evolutionary psychology, and the long tail of the sociosemantic web.
Many of the robotic toys shown at the American International Toy Fair last month in New York were engineered to conceal their joints and metallic jowls beneath furry pelts and cute doll faces. Even traditional robots were packed with more personality than previous models.
The article goes on to talk about the emotional attachment some people feel for their Roomba vacuum cleaners and Scooba floor washers.
- Scoty by WowWee, co-developed with Philips Home Dialogue Systems
- Robosapien series by WowWee
- FurReal series by Hasbro, including Cuddle Chimp and Butterscotch Pony
- I-Dog and I-Cat by Hasbro
- Roomba and Scooba by iRobot
- Amazing Amanda by Playmates Toys
There’s one unifying theme here: "We are on the verge of the greatest age of creativity and innovation the world has ever known," thanks to revolutionary advances in the way that we approach innovation. Call it "open-source innovation," or "open innovation" or "collaborative innovation" or anything you want, but it’s clear that something very interesting is happening in the innovation space:
"Things, broadly speaking, used to be invented by a small, shadowy élite. This mysterious group might be called the People Who Happened to Be in the Room at the Time. These people might have been engineers, or sitcom writers, or chefs. They were probably very nice and might have even been very, very smart. But however smart they were, they’re almost certainly no match for a less élite but much, much larger group: All the People Outside the Room.
Historically, that latter group hasn’t had much to do with innovation. These people buy and consume whatever gets invented inside the room, but that’s it. The arrow points just the one way. Until now it’s been kind of awkward getting them involved in the innovation process at all, because they’re not getting paid; plus it’s a pain to set up the conference call. But that’s changing. The authorship of innovation is shifting from the Few to the Many. Take as an example something called the open-source movement…"
In an announcing article in the current issue of the magazine, Fred Sampson asks a number of interesting questions, and attempts some answers:
"Is gadget design driven by user requirements, or by novelty?"
"Are researchers and designers focused on usability and user-driven functionality?"
"Does any of the Mobile HCI research make it into real products that real users need or want?"
"Do designers of gadgets try to anticipate or control the uses to which users will put their devices?"
"Do they design for unintended consequences, positive or negative? Should they?"
"Can they encourage innovation after the device has left the manufacturer?"
"What’s the best design for any gadget when you don’t know the range of eventual creative uses?"
"What does HCI have to say about designing for unintended consequences, and about encouraging modifications and novel uses?"
Articles include: "Towards user design? On the shift from object to user as the subject of design" by Johan Redstrom and "Architect and user interaction: the spoken representation of form and functional meaning in early design conversations" by Rachael Luck and Janet McDonnell.
ScienceDirect gives free access to abstracts and charges for the full paper.
The next issue in May 2006, will be a special issue on Digital Design, guest edited by Rivka Oxman. The papers for this issue (and others already in accepted proof) are also now available online.
Design Studies prides itself on providing a forum for the development and discussion of fundamental aspects of design activity and experience, from cognition and methodology to values and philosophy. It is
published in co-operation with the Design Research Society.
(via Usability News)
Think back to John Henry racing a steam drill and forward to Garry Kasparov trying to outmaneuver IBM’s Deep Blue in 1997 to the Onion tweaking the genre with its accountant battles Excel story.
But the latest twist on the meme takes it to the meta-level by raising the question: in the future, will you find your man vs. machine story relying on a human-edited source or from an algorithm?
Wired News argues that the smart money is on automated news readers soundly defeating human filters in the years to come.
The firm made its name in designing products, including the Palm V hand-held organizer, but it has been turning its attention to spaces, or environment design.
IDEO, founded in San Francisco in 1991, is delving into the psychology of space and coming up with unusual approaches for companies like Marriott International and Forest City Enterprises, two of the largest real estate businesses in the country.
With a major report on the BBC’s future due out tomorrow, David Smith and Alice O’Keeffe of The Guardian look at what the next decade holds for the box in the corner.
Read full story (The Guardian)
Related story (New York Times)
Download report "A public service for all: the BBC in the digital age" (pdf, 819 kb, 76 pages)
It blames France and Germany which are criticised for mediocre education systems and their inherent class bias.
“France and Germany, which make up 35 per cent of the European Union’s economy, are no longer among the world’s leaders in developing knowledge and skills,” the study said.
China and India, on the other hand, are starting to deliver “high skills at low costs and at an ever increasing pace”.
The report’s author, Andreas Schleicher, makes five main recommendations.
He said countries must set up a network of diverse, high-quality institutions free to respond to demand and accountable for their results.
Access to schools which are better and fairer has to be improved, and public and private funding must be encouraged.
Universities must also evolve in a way that matches their strategies to those of modern enterprises, the report said, recommending that they be governed by bodies other than just academic ones.
"Companies are now paying attention to some of the major socioeconomic problems in the First and the Third World. We have a billion people using computers in the First World. It is still limited to wealthier societies."
"In the next 20 years we will see the adoption (increase) to 5 billion to 6 billion. And the kinds of killer apps that are important in that world are not those necessarily centered on communication and commerce."
"I think as we experience the problem of aging populations we will need to supply different ways to educate, and traditional schools are not the way to go. We will see technology dramatically change the way kids learn. We will see health care without hospitals. That is where the action will be. Just another tweak to a telephone or a handheld device will happen, but it will not be a major source of growth. That is becoming a commodity."
For nearly 30 years, product design has been taught at Stanford University through the School of Engineering. Today that topic has been expanded via an organization nicknamed the d-school , which through its multidisciplinary approach brings together seven core faculty members from the Business School and the departments of computer science, mechanical engineering, and management science and engineering in the School of Engineering to help graduate students from across the University address design issues in new ways. In October the d-school formally became the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, named for the co-founder of the business-process software giant SAP who provided a $35 million gift.
“We do not see design as a discipline, but as a way of life,” said David Kelley, chairman emeritus of IDEO, the design firm that gave us the computer mouse. A professor of mechanical engineering, Kelley heads the Institute. “We hope we can teach our students to have confidence in a methodology of how to innovate routinely.”
Just an apetiser:
"The primary advantage of an Internet of Things is that I no longer inventory my possessions inside my own head. They’re inventoried through an automagical inventory voodoo, work done far beneath my notice by a host of machines. So I no longer to bother to remember where I put things. Or where I found them. Or how much they cost. And so forth. I just ask. Then I am told with instant real-time accuracy.
"I have an Internet-of-Things with a search engine of things. So I no longer hunt anxiously for my missing shoes in the morning. I just Google them. As long as machines can crunch the complexities, their interfaces make my relationship to objects feel much simpler and more immediate. I am at ease in materiality in a way that people never were before."
Just read it (and enjoy)