The Practical Radical

Cleanup in aisle 4 …

June 7, 2010

Cleanup is what you do when you break a jar of pickles at the grocery store.

Cleanup suggests that you can bring something back to its original state – before whatever made it “unclean”.

Cleaning up is not what you can do after oilspill in the gulf. “Cleaning up” used here is a public relations term, a term lawyers use to wriggle out of responsibility for the mass killing of wildlife and marine species, the destruction of  marine and  terrestrial environments, and the wrecking of economies.

The effect of the spill on Pelican populations will be "catastrophic" (Getty Images)

Now that this oil spill is close to the end of its news cycle, we need to ask what we have learned, and what we will do differently. We need to err more to the precautionary principle and less to biased corporate science.

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Digital Access for All: Broadband for the People … really

June 4, 2010
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When there is an increase in broadband speed in the North America, we can download more episodes of our favorite TV show (mine is 30 rock); when broadband speed increases in Africa, millions more people get online through mobile technologies.

Whole “development” leaps are being taken on the African continent – mind numbing and corrupt bureaucracy is in one click being overcome with government services going online; banking is being revolutionized with mobile “MPESA” banking;  “urban wilderness”, the unplanned settlements or slums, or being mapped for the first time. And I can go on – read my article on Bridging the Digital Divide.

Just saw this great article and video done by Declan McCormack on the impact of mobile phones and the internet in east Africa that i thought nails it in regards to what is going on. Enjoy.


“I work with my ears” Petrula Vrontikis, Designer.

June 3, 2010
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Allan Chochinov is a New York-based design network and educator of design students. He spoke at a designers conference recently and gave a presentation titled: First Person Plural: The value of getting it from the horse’s mouth.

He outlines the process that he teaches his students to take to “listen” to their clients so as to get the best designs.

His equation is:

Listen to the client -> Find the “hot/controversial” topic in the field -> Discover the creative edge.

He presents four successful product designs based on this process … great video … take a listen!

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    Practical things that make me radical

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