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15 JANUARY 2016

Rick Smolan: The Human Face of Big Data

"The Human Face of Big Data is a multi-platform media project that explores the world of Big Data. The project’s intention is to start a global conversation about an information revolution that tracks our existence in ways never before possible. The book, interactive viewer app, iPad ebook and documentary invite us to consider the promise and the peril of humanity’s ability to collect, analyze and visualize the vast amounts of data generated by modern existence."

Video published on 24 Jan 2013

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2012 • Against All Odds Productions • aging • big data • Bright Simons • child birth • cholesterol • chroniclecloud computing • counterfeit drugs • digital health • digital landscape • energy consumption • global projects • Gordon Bell • Jack Dorsey • Jennifer Erwitt • Katy Marriner • Marshall McLuhanmemorabilia • Mike Malone • mPedigree • MyLifeBits • new technologies • Nigel Holmes • personal monitoring device • personal photographs • personalised healthcarephotography projectsretirement communityRick Smolan • Said Business School • Sandy Smolan • Scott Wiseman • SenseCam • ShotSpotter • Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford • smartphone payments • Stephen Wilkes • study guide • tentacles • The Human Face of Big Data • Times SquareUniversity of Oxford • verification system • video lecture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 JUNE 2015

The Next Black: a film about the future of clothing

"People say that fashion moves faster and faster. More colours, more collections, more brands, more styles. But in reality the clothing industry has been crawling, in terms of innovation, for the last hundred years. Up until now. For the first time in history, the concept of clothing is about to change. And it’s our mission to explore it.

This film is not about the new, it’s about the next. Will mass consumption of clothing continue to escalate? Or will we return to creating quality and caring about what we wear?

Will the future be centred around smart clothing and new technologies? Or will we find innovation within organic and traditional methods? We meet with some of the world’s most progressive people in search of the answers.

The Next Black is produced by home appliance manufacturer AEG, with the goal to anticipate future washing needs and contribute in making the clothing industry more sustainable."

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20143D printingAdidas • AEG • Arcade Fireart of recycling • Biocouture Ltd • Black Eyed Peas • climate change • clothes dye • clothing and accessories • clothing design • clothing industry • clothing technologyCoco Chanelcorporate responsibilitycutting-edge innovations • cutting-edge technology • design engineeringdesign responsibilitydocumentary filmdye • dye chemicals • environmental initiatives • fashion future • fashion industry • fashion meets technology • fashion techology • fast fashion • future of clothing • heroes of sustainability • House of Radon • incentivising recycling • individual responsibilityinnovative companies • Lady Gaga • laundry care • manufacturing industries • Matt Hymers • MiCoach Team Elite • Nancy Tilbury • new technologies • organic materials • Patagonia • performance tracking • physiological • real-time data • Rick Ridgeway • slow fashion • smart designsmart materials • Sophie Mather • speculative fashion • sportswear manufacturing • sportwear design • Studio XO • sustainable companies • sustainable consumptionsustainable fashionsustainable future • sustainable practices • Suzanne Lee • Team Elite System • textiles industry • The Next Black (2014) • wearable technologies • woven sensors • woven textiles • Yeh Group

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 NOVEMBER 2013

DesFi (Design Fictions) MA study at QUT

"I use the term 'DesFi' as a play on 'SciFi'. In that 'SciFi' narratives and visualisations are fictional scenarios based on scientific discoveries and discussions. Im particularly interested in how the genre of 'science fiction' can provide an example approach for design students to consider when they are conceptualising potential designs for future contexts.

The DesFi approach allows design students to put aside existing limitations… such as current issues around voice recognition, language translators or even access to personal data. These limitations are based in technical, political and sometimes ethical arguments that, although undeniably critical to design feasibility, can suspend design innovations if we only consider the policies, technologies and processes that exist right now.

My premise to the students is that such contemporary concerns may be solved by another discipline in the near or far future. Consequently, attitudes will shift, new technologies will emerge and the criteria and inventory for design specifications will change.

Limiting our design ideas to current issues may dilute the potential for innovation… but more importantly, by prototyping great imaginative design solutions, we can increase the demand for change through demonstrating the possibilities that emerge from overcoming the conditions and contingencies of designing products for only todays market and todays user."

(Deb Polson, 25 November 2013)

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2009AustraliaBruce Sterlingcommunication design education • contemporary concerns • Debra Polson • DesFi • DesFi prototypes • DesFi tangents • design educators • design feasibility • design fictions • Design Fictions (course) • design innovation • design specifications • design students • design studio programme • designing products • designing prototypes • diegetic prototypes • ethical arguments • fantasticfictional scenariosfuture contextshistory of ideasimaginative design solutions • Interactive and Visual Design Course • Julian BleeckerMA • Masters of Creative Industries • near future design • new technologies • potential designs • prototypingQUTsci-fiscience fictionscientific discoveriesscientific observationsspeculative designsuspend disbeliefwhat if

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 NOVEMBER 2013

The struggle for technology: instrumentalism versus culture

"This age–old conflict about social status remains at the heart of present–day struggles over the meanings of technology. On one side, defenders of technicians view technologies as creative expressions of human culture. In this view, technology is imbued with human values and strivings in all their contradictory complexity. I term this position the 'cultural' approach to technology. On the other side are those who see technological action as a narrow form of rationality that seeks only the best means for a given end. For such people, technology is something purely technical, essentially uncreative and devoid of values, subordinate to ends given by others. I call this second position the 'instrumental' conception of technology. ...

the discourse of technology favors the instrumental over the cultural. An entire tradition of philosophical critique is based on a reduction of technology to instrumental rationality. But technological enthusiasts also embrace the instrumental definition of technology. From their perspective, our modern technological civilization represents the embodiment of reason in the world, with new technologies as the vanguard of progress. Technological utopians like Kevin Kelly epitomize this instrumental perspective. In contrast, the cultural understanding of technology recognizes the creativity expressed in everything from steam engines to iPhones. But the cultural approach is definitely in the minority. This view is most common among people like me, historians of technology and other scholars who connect technological choices to specific aspects of culture and society."

(Eric Schatzberg, Rethinking Technology)

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aesthetic creativity • aesthetic sensibility • aristocratic hierarchies • concrete material practices • contradictory complexity • craft skills • creative expression • creativity and craft • cultural concept of technologycultural practicescultural technologycultural understanding of technologyculture and society • Eric Schatzberg • fear of technology • formal knowledge • genius of the individualhuman agencyinstrumental conception of technology • instrumental means • instrumental rationality • instrumentalism • inventive genius • just a tool • Karl Capek • Kevin Kellylate modernitymaterial culture • means to an end • modern technological civilization • new technologies • non-technical qualities • out of controlprogress narrativesscientific knowledgesocial hierarchiessymptomatic determinism • technical elite • technical skill • technician • technological action • technological choices • technological determinism • technological enthusiasts • technological instrumentalismtechnological utopianismtechnology as neutral • technology discourse • technology is a tooltechnology neutralitytechnology transparency • transparent technologies • value ladenvalues

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 MARCH 2013

Radical Pedagogies in Architectural Education

"Pedagogical experiments played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, the key hypothesis of our Radical Pedagogy[1] research project is that these experiments can be understood as radical architectural practices in their own right. Radical in the literal meaning from the Latin radice, as something belonging or relating to the root, to its foundations. Radical pedagogies shake foundations, disturbing assumptions rather than reinforcing and disseminating them. This challenge to normative thinking was a major force in the postwar field of architecture, and has surprisingly been neglected in recent years. ...

Architectural pedagogy has become stale. Schools spin old wheels as if something is happening but so little is going on. Students wait for a sense of activist engagement with a rapidly evolving world but graduate before it happens. The fact that they wait for instruction is already the problem. Teachers likewise worry too much about their place in the institutional hierarchies. Curricular structures have hardly changed in recent decades, despite the major transformations that have taken place with the growth of globalisation, new technologies, and information culture. As schools appear to increasingly favour professionalisation, they seem to drown in self–imposed bureaucratic oversight, suffocating any possibility for the emergence of experimental practices and failures. There are a few attempts to wake things up here and there but it's all so timid in the end. There is no real innovation.

In response to the timidity of schools today, the Radical Pedagogy project returns to the educational experiments of the 1960s and '70s to remind us what can happen when pedagogy takes on risks. It's a provocation and a call to arms."

(Beatriz Colomina with Esther Choi, Ignacio Gonzalez Galan and Anna–Maria Meister, 28 September 2012, The Architectural Review)

1). Radical Pedagogy is an ongoing multi–year collaborative research project by a team of PhD candidates in the School of Architecture at Princeton University, led by Beatriz Colomina and involving seminars, interviews and guest lectures by protagonists and scholars. The project explores a remarkable set of pedagogical experiments of the 1960s and '70s that revolutionised thinking in the discipline. Each student is working on one of these experiments and collectively mapping the interconnections and effects of these experiments towards a major publication and exhibition.

Fig.1 Tournaments in the Course 'Culture of the Body', at the Valparaíso School, 1975. Courtesy of Archivo Histórico Jose Vial, Escuela Arquitectura y Diseño, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

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1960s1970s20th centuryacademic disciplinesactivism • Alberto Perez-Gomez • Alexander Girard • Alexis Josic • alternative visions • Anna-Maria Meister • architectural discourse • architectural educationarchitectural pedagogyarchitectural practice • architectural radicalism • architecturearchitecture schoolsartificial intelligence • autochthonous tools • Beatriz Colomina • brave new worldBuckminster Fullerbureaucratic reduction • bureaucratic structures • call to arms • capitalist structures • Cedric Price • challenging conventionsCharles Eamescold war • collective defiance • conceptual speculation • consumable plastics • conventional logicconventionalityconventions • cultural milieu • cultural transformation • curricular structures • curriculum innovation • cybernetics • Dalibor Vesely • Daniel Libeskind • David Leatherbarrow • decentralised university • Denise Scott Brown • design disciplinedesign educationdesign formalismdesign fundamentalism • disciplinary assumptions • disciplinary limits • disciplinary protocols • disciplinary self-reflexivity • emerging practices • Emilio Ambasz • Esther Choi • experimental pedagogy • experimental practices • experimental teachinggeopolitical landscape • George Candilis • George Nelson • Germano Celant • Giancarlo De Carlo • Gillo Dorfles • globalisationGyorgy KepesHannah Arendthegelian dialecticHenri Lefebvrehermeneutics • Ignacio Gonzalez Galan • information culture • institutional authority • institutional critique • institutional hierarchies • institutionalisation • instrumentality • Jean Baudrillard • Joseph Rykwert • linguisticsman machine • mass produced desire • mass productionmodernist tradition • Mohsen Mostafavi • new social ordernew technologiesNicholas Negroponte • non-architecture • non-school • Octavio Paz • pedagogical experiments • pedagogical institutions • pedagogy • pedagogy experiments • phenomenology • post-technological society • professionalisation • progressive pedagogical initiatives • provocationquestioning traditions • radical architectural pedagogies • radical architectural pedagogy • radical architectural practices • radical pedagogical experiments • radical pedagogies • radical pedagogy • radical practice • radical practices • radical strategies • radical upheaval • radicality • radice • rapidly evolving world • Ray Eamesreconceptualisationredesigningreinterpretationresearch project • retreat into formalism • return to order • Robin Evans • science fictionself-reflexivity • Shadrach Woods • socio-political • socio-political efficacy • spaceships • speculative interventionsspeculative proposalssubversive actions • Suzanne Keller • taking risks • techno-utopia • technological • technological advancestechnological determinism • Texas Rangers • The Architectural Review • transformational engagementUmberto Ecoutopian perspectiveutopian technological prophecyVietnam war

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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