Archive for October, 2010

Plant plant!

My Sweet pepper is growing fast and now flowers are coming out! And a couple of weeks ago I also tried to plant Basil and Rocket. They seem to be doing ok as long as they get some artificial sun light provided by my kitchen spot lights. Cress grows at any time of year and are actually quite versatile, I’ve so far tried it in tomato soup, gravy, on my toast and in salads..mmm..For the spring I’ll attempt to grow tomatoes and cucumber!

October 12, 2010 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

How To Save The World?

Providing the public with important information can be a good start. One thing that I am very concerned about is how much stuff we buy despite the fact that we don’t really need it, especially clothes, shoes and accessories. I think that most of us have a wardrobe full of stuff we never use or sometimes doesn’t know that it even exists. A very handy place to put all of this stuff is clothes disposal bins or charity shops (most of them welcome donations). I have been trying to search online to find one web-page that could provide details of what possibilities I have for where to dispose unwanted stuff in my area or other places in the UK. I found information only on individual pages such as councils, charity shops and similar but none where all of the information was gathered. That’s a shame I thought so I created a web-page prototype called Clothes Disposal:

The set-up of the page is very simple: Top header, header menu, site content (right side), advertisement (left side) and footer. This stays the same for all the pages while the main content changes to the relevant information. The page includes information on disposal bins, charity shops, home collect service and other ways to dispose unwanted clothes and items. One can browse by area and postcodes in the whole of UK. There is also a link to Greener Living which provides information on what you can do in your live to promote a sustainable future.

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I was inspired by a class where Corrine introduced us to web page prototyping and it was indeed a great way to explore a possible layout and page orientation. Of course, it looks clumsy on paper but it was a lot of fun to make as well as you can just cut and tape when you do a mistake!

October 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

RSA Animates

The video The Empathic Civilization was introduced to us in class and I really liked the way it projected important information through animation. As the speakers voice is heard one can follow images being drawn as he speaks. The audio-visual learning is also supported through words and sentences actually being repeated, written on the canvas.

On the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts’ webpage one can find more RSA videos like this one which provides you with a lot of interesting information:

The following video is in fact relevant to all I have written about so far in my blog (and in general the ways in which we choose to live and act in the 21st Century). It covers such a broad area that could be elaborated on forever. It seems somewhat overwhelming to try to describe what I think about it, but it sums up a lot of my ideas and ideals. Pay attention to the final comment:

21st Century Enlightenment

October 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

Innovacy and Empathy

Paul Burns emphasizes the fact that it is difficult to define the word entrepreneurship but he suggests that entrepreneurs welcome change and through new-thinking they see possible openings to a new business. He actually claims that the ability to be innovative and wanting to gamble are key factors to success: ‘Most ‘ordinary people find change threatening. Entrepreneurs welcome it because it creates opportunities that can be exploited and often create it through innovation.’ (Burns, P (2007) Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Second Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire).

I am still like most ‘ordinary people’ and have yet to find change un-threatening. Being introduced to entrepreneur thinking I realize how comfortable it is to play safe, stick to safe grounds and seek stability. Now I, and I am sure all my peers, are being challenged to think in new ways and there might be times of frustration ahead but definitely, and most importantly, we are accumulating skills and experiences that will be beneficial in our innovative and entrepreneurial future.

I find the USER model, introduced by Corrine in her Phd, a good approach to evaluating a specific project or idea. All though it took a while to understand, I now think it will be a great tool to incorporate in our business developments. In human centered design there are three main sources to consider: The Designer (you as ‘designer’), the User (costumer or person using the product) and the Community (family, friends and other (i.e plumber who fix the toilet) who are involved in the creation and/or use of the product. Their behavior will be shaped by Objects (physical features), Rules (finance, natural laws, culture etc.) and Roles (skills and responsibilities). Through a cycle based and repeated reviewing of the product through this model one can locate its defects or strengths and improve the product until it is sold. The User, the Designer and the Community will experience every aspect of the product through an empathic experience which is a:cognitive, b:emotional and/or c:physical.

So, even from the first steps in creating a product, like prototyping, the USER model can be incorporated to achieve a design that focuses on its user (human centered design): To understand its users needs and satisfy their empathic experiences.

For me: A lot of new thinking! For you: If anyone have inputs on this, please leave a comment.

October 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

An Important Message About The Arts

Save The Arts is a campaign fronted by British artists working together against a 25% cut in the governmental arts funding.

October 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

Elevator Notes

We made a prototype and tested it in class. The idea was a sensor controlled foot-pad that would let one open the elevator without having to touch buttons. This would be very good news for people with bacteriophobia (most of us developed this after the world-media informed us about how dangerous the swine flu is, or was cause they don’t talk about it anymore). With this foot pad even wheelchair users or elderly would manage to open an elevator without having to stretch or lift their hand! So we made this from paper and rubber and exhibited it to our peers. Luckily our team expanded and we got more and more ideas involved, resulting in a high tech elevator system that could inform its passengers before they even stepped into it: How many passengers are already inside the elevator (so that you know if you will fit in), how many were getting off/on on each floor. This would be solved by cameras or a weight scale system for instance. Live music was suggested as well!
The prototyping was done in very short time and we all produced a lot of ideas and prototypes, some groups more than others. And it gave us good prospects on our future careers as entrepreneurs, designers and creative managers: Do – Don’t Talk!

October 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

Halfmoon Unplugged – Great night to see upandcoming bands

If you’re interested in music and would like to see some more live performances, the renown Halmoon Unplugged (Putney, SW London) is the place to go. Every Monday night you get the chance to see a variety of artists perform. The atmosphere is great as the venue is set up with tables and candle lights. People are there to listen to music!

October 3, 2010 at 10:24 am Leave a comment

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