Yearly archives of “2008

The semiotics of signs vs fences

The semiotics of signs vs fences

Is the impact of the sign’s message increased or decreased by pairing it with a fence? What about when the fence is flattened? What about when no-one seems to have found it important to fix? Why?

Anti-homeless ‘stools’

Anti-homeless ‘stools’

Stuart Candy of the brilliant Sceptical Futuryst let me know about authorities in Honolulu replacing benches with round ‘stools’ to prevent homeless people sleeping at bus stops (above image from Honolulu Advertiser story): So far, the city has spent about $11,000 on the seating initiative, […]

{In|Ex}clusive Design

{In|Ex}clusive Design

Giving with one hand, and taking away with the other. The juxtaposition of hand rails and anti-sit spikes outside this church in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire suggests a particular configuration of design priorities: helping people climb the steps, but forbidding anyone sitting on the wall. Are the […]

Invitation to participate

Invitation to participate

For the last few weeks I’ve been setting up and running the first few trials of the ‘Design with Intent Method’, the design/innovation tool I’ve (embarrassingly sporadically) talked about on the blog over the last year. It’s essentially an innovation method to help designers given […]

Clearing the tabs

Clearing the tabs

The Five Stages of Collapse | Dmitry Orlov "And so it is with a great many things. We can wait until the lifestyle that is killing the planet and is making us crazy and sick is no longer physically possible, or we can opt out […]

Clearing the tabs

Clearing the tabs

Ballardian » ‘Content in their little prisons’: J.G. Ballard on ‘The Towers’ "For example, in cities, the degree of criminality is affected by liberty of movement; it’s higher in culs-de-sac. And high-rises are culs-de-sac: two thousand people jammed together in the air…" (tags: Ballardian Ballard […]

Design and Behaviour : A new discussion list

Design and Behaviour : A new discussion list

I’m pleased to announce the launch of Design and Behaviour, a new discussion list / Google group: The design of products, services and environments can be used to influence behaviour, and there’s a growing appreciation of the possibilities for social benefit, especially in environmentally sensitive […]

Swoopo: Irrational escalation of commitment

Swoopo: Irrational escalation of commitment

Swoopo, a new kind of “entertainment shopping” auction site, takes Martin Shubik’s classic Dollar Auction game to a whole new, automated, mass participation level. It’s an example of the escalation of commitment, or a sunk cost fallacy, where we increase our commitment (in this case […]

Freudian slip in BBC iTunes story

Freudian slip in BBC iTunes story

From this BBC story, as of 6.43 pm. P.S. I love the way it’s claimed “everyone will benefit” from the royalty rise. As a consumer, I can’t wait to be paying more! Perhaps a price increase will help limit the consumption of this precious rivalrous […]

How to enjoy taking notes and revising things

How to enjoy taking notes and revising things

It occurs to me that it’s now October, and in Britain that really means the summer’s over (though as I write this it’s pleasantly sunny and crisp outside). And despite attending a lot of very interesting talks and events over the past few months, I’ve […]

Placebo buttons, false affordances and habit-forming

Placebo buttons, false affordances and habit-forming

This is a great graph from GraphJam, by ‘Bloobeard’. It raises the question, of course, whether the ‘door close’ buttons on lifts/elevators really do actually do anything, or are simply there to ‘manage expectations‘ or act as a placebo. The Straight Dope has quite a […]

Clearing the tabs

Clearing the tabs

Doors of Perception weblog: How dematerialisation adds value Good idea. It also shows how clever design techniques so often _don't_ depend on having an 'academic' descriptor to be inspired in the first place. 'How dematerialisation adds value' is a great way of phrasing it, but […]

London Design Festival: Greengaged

London Design Festival: Greengaged

The London Design Festival always throws up some interesting events, especially involving clever people trying new things in design and sharing their experiences and expertise. This year, the Design Council are running Greengaged, a “sustainability hub… developed and organised by [re]design, thomas.matthews and Kingston University […]

A Brief History of the Future of Urban Computing and Locative Media: PhD Dissertation | Anne Galloway "The dissertation builds on available sociological approaches to understanding everyday life in the networked city to show that emergent technologies reshape our experiences of spatiality, temporality and embodiment. […]