A brief post-election, pre-Christmas weeknotes – I’m afraid i didn’t do one last week as I was still reeling from the shock, anger and disappointment of the election result.
I’ve had my head down on a few things over the last couple of weeks – getting the first version of the Adia personalised fertility profile out of the door – it’s now live to a small group of beta-testers and we’re monitoring and learning from their use of it. I’ve also started a few bits of work for old friend Marco at Retechnica – a Natural-Language-Processing-as-a-service startup I last worked with some years back, and with whom it’s great to be reacquainted!
In addition – a couple of other projects are taking shape nicely – I submitted a workshop proposal entitled “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Waste phenomenologies for sustainable computing” to IAM Weekend 2020, happening here in Barcelona in March, and have been doing lots of reading and research in preparation for that – more details here if it’s accepted (or even if it’s not)! I’m also working with a few friends on a super interesting project proposal related to poetry and film – I can’t say much about that yet but looking forward to sharing if it goes ahead!
The weekend after the UK general election I went to Barcelona Museu del Diseny to see their big retrospective on Victor Papanek entitled “Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design”.
I loved this summary of Papanek’s ethos, and it seemed all too pertinent amidst the reflection and recrimination on the UK’s election result, and the deep divides in UK society it reflected:
Is Anyone Here Normal?
The Underlying question centers on how to challenge design’s assumptions around normality – What is normal and how best might we design our material environment for social inclusion? Can design, as fostered for example by makers and maker culture actually empower individuals by its promotion of self-determination?
I’ll leave you with that for now. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year – I’ll be back in mid January with more updates!
Suzanne Ciani (who I saw give a performance and an interview at CCCB last weekend, and as always was fascinating).