Jun 28, 2009

creative vs. vandalism

poster graffiti in dublin
masterful graffiti in zanzibar, tanzania
vandalism in sandymount

The somewhat blurry line between creative street art and senseless vandalism.

The channel is no less important then the message.

Jun 27, 2009

creative preventive destruction

creative preventive destruction

To prevent the small crack in his windscreen from spreading, this safari guide regulated the crack in a circle.

The socially accepted, legal norms of preservation, repair, reuse of objects.

Jun 26, 2009

crowdfunding, microlending


Kiva.org is already well known. Use it to lend small amounts to specific poor entrepreneurs to allow them to enhance their lives. Once the loan is repaid, you can lend it again :)

Kickstarter.com is a newer concept, here you can support projects, initiatives you find worthy. This is no lending, not even investing, there won't be any repayments, nor stakes in the kickstarted entity. Do it just for the kicks of it.. :)

As a consequence:
- the effects traditional charities, aid organizations,
- the ease of asking, giving,
- reputations built and lost.


Jun 25, 2009

smoking on the retreat

smoking room in vilnius airport
Photo: airport smoking room, Vilnius, Lithuania

The changing global patterns, contexts of smoking. Production, as well as consumption is shifting east and south. Airport smoking rooms in recent times became as frequent as airport chapels.

Jun 23, 2009

benevolent, transformational consumerism



The 21st century transformation of boycotts. Consumers use their purchases to vote for environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility. Turning traditional activism on its head, carrotmobbing steers away from conflict towards dialog and incentive.

Jun 21, 2009

signaling interaction preferences

spice market in Deira, Dubai old town
Photo: spice market in Deira, Dubai old town

The experience of help gotten from a store salesman, street vendor, or service agent on a scale ranging from harsh annoyance to pure pleasure.

How to best signal your interaction preferences to retail personnel? The sales strategies ranging from respecting these (unspoken, but signaled) preferences in high-end retail units to selling via annoyance in street markets.

Jun 19, 2009

financial crisis responses

financial crisis of '08 in Dublin

Crisis for some, opportunity for others. The right moments for an ideology to ride the social mood.

Jun 17, 2009

silence and stimulus

view on Kolkata, India

The reasons for traveling, the motivations in choosing destinations.

The periods in ones week, year, decade, life, in which different experiences are craved.

holding the sun above the horizon in Pamba, Tanzania
meditation on a lake, deep in Finland

Jun 15, 2009

essential message delivery through signs

signs on a sailing boat
Photos: signs from sailing boats in Dublin, Ireland

Signs for explaining usage, signs for indicating contents. Success rate of message delivery with illiterate people, with people who don't know English, with people in panic/shock.

The time to decipher a sign with the above conditions vs. the time available in an emergency situation. The possible costs and risks of delay and speed.

signs on a sailing boat
signs on a sailing boat
signs on a sailing boat

Jun 14, 2009

joke or serious

spitting cobras sign
Photo of a sign in a diving resort in Pemba, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The context in which a sign is taken seriously, and in which it is just funny.

Jun 13, 2009

today's home

today's home

Homeless people sleeping in Sandymount, Dublin on the street.

In this public space, how far their 'home for tonight' extend?

What is the difference in the distance people keep:
- at night or at day
- in a Dublin suburb, in Manhattan, downtown Nairobi or in Kolkata
- if they have seen these homeless people for the first time, or they pass by them every day while heading home...

trusting the trusted source

travel guides, camera bag, moleskine..

The correlation between the success of a particular guidebook, and the need for a higher frequency to refresh it.

Lonelyplanet effect. The possible benefits and harms incurred by being listed in a LP guide:
- for the restaurant, hostel, taxidriver ...
- for the tourists who arrive 1-6-12-24 months after the publication of the book

Jun 11, 2009

digital tagging, online tracking

mischief is my middle name..

If only objects could speak!

Today we are tracking trucks, we are able to locate mobile phones (and the people carrying them) and a couple other things. Eventually, nanotechnology will deliver us to a time where digital tagging and online tracking of infinitely small objects becomes free and invisible.

Then we'll be able to ask the boy's white shirt (via our pocketable smart device) about where and when the cotton was grown (say Brazil), which company produced the textile, which cargo ship transported it to China, in which EU city it was then sold, how long it was used before its owner got bored with it and put it in a charity clothes bin, which NGO brought it to Tanzania, so that this shirt (after wondering across 4 continents) now can spend the rest of its days on this proud little Zanzibar boy.

How will such information optimize object lifecycles? Our purchase decisions? Our communication with the people who we are connected to via our objects?

UPDATE 2nd Nov, 2009:
SourceMap, from the MIT media lab is a great tool towards awareness about the stories of the parts in our everyday objects, food products, etc.

Jun 10, 2009

branding change ripples

pepsi cans in tanzania

pepsi products in tanzania

Photos: Pepsi products in Zanzibar, Tanzania, January 2009

Pepsi changed their logo and type design around mid 2008. How long until the new look ripples into all corners of the world, and replaces the old design on publications, correspondence, uniforms, trucks, products on shelves, billboards, branded fridges, store marketing elements, etc.?

Jun 8, 2009

throwaway design

throwaway design
this cup is designed to carry a hot beverage, keep it warm, spill safe, while not burning the hand. it is also designed to carry a brand, an ad. and it is also designed to be thrown away, shortly after being used.

squeezing the many desired features into a design that is cheap to manufacture, is cheap to transport and store (stackable, not sensitive to temperatures, shock..), and is easy to brand is a challenge in itself, even without taking the throwaway part of the lifecycle into account.

this cup spends 99.9% of its lifecycle post throwaway, in the landfill. the value add section of its lifetime is usually not longer then 10 minutes. how is this ratio affected by the materials used? a mixture of paper and different plastics? compostable materials? how will it affect the post throwaway duration? or the destination? landfill, recycling? or maybe even reuse, that would add to the value add duration?

Jun 7, 2009

trust enhancing

trust enhancing - surgeon sign
B.A. B.Dent.Sc T.C.D.
How decipherable these codes are? And do you need to decode them to be able to trust this service? Maybe their mysteriously unknown (but assumed) meaning adds to the trust you gather from the name of the surgeon, the location, the door.

I would like this sign to communicate with my pocketable smart device and let me know at least:
  • the practice profile of this dental surgeon (tenure, specialization)
  • all client reviews, satisfaction and returning client rates, all these ranked compared to others in the area, city, country
  • free appointment times in the near future, prices.