"This paper focuses on how designers can contribute to enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities, especially communities of people with physical disabilities. This is a new area of design research and practice. The paper draws on a case study of the role and contribution of designers in one of the most disadvantaged communities in a semi-urban area of Thailand between 2007 and 2010. This was a collaborative project with nineteen community members with physical impairment in the Samutprakran province. This community had a long history of developing crafts for income generation. The aim was to explore and test new approaches that would result in a model leading to alternative livelihoods, including transforming their capabilities and using available resources in their community to achieve positive outcomes. Participatory Action Research (PAR), Human-Centered Design (HCD) and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) were employed as research strategies and approaches. The project was structured around three workshops targeting three successive stages: 1) recruiting participants for a case study and facilitating the gathering of their own data and doing the necessary analysis; 2) enabling them to create and make their own choices to improve their situation; and 3) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implementation. There were four key findings. Firstly, the community participants stated that they had achieved the livelihood goals that they desired. They also devised a complementary income-generating activity which enabled them to continue to improve their capabilities, earn income and reinforce their value in their community, and to reduce their vulnerability. From the researcher's perspective, PAR integrated with HCD and combined with SLA were shown to be effective strategies and approaches because they facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the participants, giving them both incentive and ownership in their ideas and actions, enabling them to create and pursue their own solutions. Finally, this study demonstrated the benefits of reorientation of the designer's role from that of a solution provider to that of an agent of sustainable change."
(Siriporn Peters, 4 May 2011)
2). Siriporn Peters (2011). "Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities", Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research ISSN 1923-5003.
"Well a couple of years ago, a friend of mine emailed me a link, a YouTube link, and said, 'You have got to see this.' And it was this young woman who had posted a fan video to me, singing the soprano line to a piece of mine called 'Sleep.'
(Video) Britlin Losee: Hi Mr. Eric Whitacre. My name is Britlin Losee, and this is a video that I'd like to make for you. Here's me singing 'Sleep.' I'm a little nervous, just to let you know. ♫ If there are noises ♫ ♫ in the night ♫
Eric Whitacre: I was thunderstruck. Britlin was so innocent and so sweet, and her voice was so pure. And I even loved seeing behind her. I could see the little teddy bear sitting on the piano behind her in her room. Such an intimate video.
And I had this idea: if I could get 50 people to all do this same thing, sing their parts -- soprano, alto, tenor and bass -- wherever they were in the world, post their videos to YouTube, we could cut it all together and create a virtual choir. So I wrote on my blog, 'OMG OMG.' I actually wrote, 'OMG,' hopefully for the last time in public ever. (Laughter) And I sent out this call to singers. And I made free the download of the music to a piece that I had written in the year 2000 called 'Lux Aurumque', which means 'light and gold.' And low and behold, people started uploading their videos.
Now I should say, before that, what I did is I posted a conductor track of myself conducting. And it's in complete silence when I filmed it, because I was only hearing the music in my head, imagining the choir that would one day come to be. Afterwards, I played a piano track underneath so that the singers would have something to listen to. And then as the videos started to come in ...
(Singing) This is Cheryl Ang from Singapore.
(Singing) This is Evangelina Etienne
(Singing) from Massachusetts.
(Singing) Stephen Hanson from Sweden.
(Singing) This is Jamal Walker from Dallas, Texas.
There was even a little soprano solo in the piece, and so I had auditions. And a number of sopranos uploaded their parts. I was told later, and also by lots of singers who were involved in this, that they sometimes recorded 50 or 60 different takes until they got just the right take -- they uploaded it. Here's our winner of the soprano solo. This is Melody Myers from Tennessee. (Singing) I love the little smile she does right over the top of the note -- like, 'No problem, everything's fine.'
And from the crowd, emerged this young man, Scott Haines. And he said, 'Listen, this is the project I've been looking for my whole life. I'd like to be the person to edit this all together.' I said, 'Thank you, Scott. I'm so glad that you found me.' And Scott aggregated all of the videos. He scrubbed the audio. He made sure everything lined up. And then we posted this video to YouTube about a year and a half ago. This is 'Lux Aurumque' sung by the Virtual Choir.
I'll stop it there in the interest of time. (Applause)
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. So there's more. There's more. Thank you so much.
And I had the same reaction you did. I actually was moved to tears when I first saw it. I just couldn't believe the poetry of all of it -- these souls all on their own desert island, sending electronic messages in bottles to each other. And the video went viral. We had a million hits in the first month and got a lot of attention for it. And because of that, then a lot of singers started saying, 'All right, what's Virtual Choir 2.0?' And so I decided for Virtual Choir 2.0 that I would choose the same piece that Britlin was singing, 'Sleep', which is another work that I wrote in the year 2000 -- poetry by my dear friend Charles Anthony Silvestri. And again, I posted a conductor video, and we started accepting submissions. This time we got some more mature members. (Singing) And some younger members.
(Video) Soprano: ♫ Upon my pillow ♫ ♫ Safe in bed ♫ EW: That's Georgie from England. She's only nine. Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen?
Someone did all eight videos -- a bass even singing the soprano parts. This is Beau Awtin. (Video) Beau Awtin: ♫ Safe in bed ♫
EW: And our goal -- it was sort of an arbitrary goal -- there was an MTV video where they all sang 'Lollipop' and they got people from all over the world to just sing that little melody. And there were 900 people involved in that. So I told the singers, 'That's our goal. That's the number for us to beat.' And we just closed submissions January 10th, and our final tally was 2,051 videos from 58 different countries. Thank you. (Applause) From Malta, Madagascar, Thailand, Vietnam, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, as far north as Alaska and as far south as New Zealand.
And we also put a page on Facebook for the singers to upload their testimonials, what it was like for them, their experience singing it. And I've just chosen a few of them here. 'My sister and I used to sing in choirs together constantly. Now she's an airman in the air force constantly traveling. It's so wonderful to sing together again!' I love the idea that she's singing with her sister. 'Aside from beautiful music, it's great just to know I'm part of a a worldwide community of people I never met before, but who are connected anyway.' And my personal favorite, 'When I told my husband that I was going to be a part of this, he told me that I did not have the voice for it.' Yeah, I'm sure a lot of you have heard that too. Me too. 'It hurt so much, and I shed some tears, but something inside of me wanted to do this despite his words. It is a dream come true to be part of this choir, as I've never been part of one. When I placed a marker on the Google Earth Map, I had to go with the nearest city, which is about 400 miles away from where I live. As I am in the Great Alaskan Bush, satellite is my connection to the world.'
So two things struck me deeply about this. The first is that human beings will go to any lengths necessary to find and connect with each other. It doesn't matter the technology. And the second is that people seem to be experiencing an actual connection. It wasn't a virtual choir. There are people now online that are friends; they've never met. But, I know myself too, I feel this virtual esprit de corps, if you will, with all of them. I feel a closeness to this choir -- almost like a family.
What I'd like to close with then today is the first look at 'Sleep' by Virtual Choir 2.0. This will be a premier today. We're not finished with the video yet. You can imagine, with 2,000 synchronized YouTube videos, the render time is just atrocious. But we do have the first three minutes. And it's a tremendous honor for me to be able to show it to you here first. You're the very first people to see this. This is 'Sleep,' the Virtual Choir. ...
Eric Whitacre: Thank you very, very much. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you."
(TED Talks, 2011)
Fig.1 'Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong', filmed March 2011, posted April 2011
Fig.2 'Lux Aurumque'
Fig.3 Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0, 'Sleep'
"Wikileaks, with its simple 'keep the bastards honest' ethos, aims to discourage unethical behaviour by airing governments' and corporations' dirty laundry in public, putting their secrets out there in the public realm. The site won Index on Censorship's 2008 freedom of expression award because it's an invaluable resource for anonymous whistleblowers and investigative journalists.
Among Wikileaks' recent triumphs are its publication of top-secret internet censorship lists. The blacklists from Australia, Thailand, Denmark and Norway demonstrate exactly how censorship systems are abused to suppress free expression. The Thai list featured sites criticising the country's royal family and the Australian blacklist turned out to include a school canteen consultancy. Despite its child porn mandate, less than half of the Australian blacklist were linked to paedophilia. Also on the list were satanic and fetish sites, anti-abortion websites, and sites belonging to a kennel operator and a dentist. Publication highlighted the lack of transparency in the process and gave impetus to the 'No Clean Feed' campaign which opposes the Australian government's internet filter proposals."
(Emily Butselaar, guardian.co.uk)
"NativeWeb is a project of many people. Our vision touches ancient teachings and modern technology. Our purpose: to provide a cyber-place for Earth's indigenous peoples.
As access to the Web grows and indigenous peoples reach out through cyber-space, NativeWeb will grow also. Through NativeWeb, indigenous people (and peoples) become visible to each other and themselves and organize actions in a multitude of local, national, and international institutions. The shape of indigenous social action changes as wider audiences are created and especially as the means of creating audiences become the means by which audiences become actors. From Chiapas to Nunavut and from Samiland to Thailand, indigenous communities widen, coalesce, and interact as they work, communicate, and organize via the Internet.
Indigenous Peoples have much in common amidst great diversity: spiritual practices celebrating inter-relatedness of all Life on Earth; and historical suffering at the hands of industrialized nations and corporate entities. NativeWeb is concerned with all this: indigenous literature and art, legal and economic issues, land claims and new ventures in self-determination.
Our purpose is not to 'preserve,' in museum fashion, some vestige of the past, but to foster communication among peoples engaged in the present and looking toward a sustainable future for those yet unborn."
Fig.1 Sami people from Finland (http://www.flickr.com/photos/helga_ni/)
"This documentary explicitly reveals under cover work of missionary agencies and individuals in the destruction of an ethnic group, the Akha people of South East Asia. It is a picture of evil cloaked in righteousness. Evangelical missionaries come with the Good News of the Gospel, and aid for the poverty stricken mountain people. The reality is division, destruction of family core groups, human rights violations, displacement, forced relocation, theft of land, cultural genocide, racism and power of a majority people group over the indigenous group.
[Tomáš] Ryška does an excellent job presenting the contrast of hypocrisy and wealth of the missionary, aid, food and clothing, the underworld of child trafficking versus the appearance of cleanliness and holiness, worship done the 'right' way, versus the 'pagan way.' He contrasts land theft, greed for the rich mountain resources, good business versus God's service. He uncovers the fear of eternal punishment versus the joys of heaven, fear of death threats for those who dare expose evil that dwells in the fundamentalist Christian missionary centres, corruption versus holiness, forced relocation, illness, depression, malaria, and prison camps in the lowlands for the unfortunate mountain people. It is colonization all over again."
(Akha Heritage Foundation)