Favourite TED Videos

November 18th, 2008

Recently, I’ve been using TED’s videos as a resource for my Contemporary Issues class that I teach to the MA students. The selection is eclectic, but usually linked to areas of Social, Economic, Technological, Environmental and Political issues. Instead of putting them all here, I’ve listed the ones which are my favourite in terms of most inspirational, informational and convincing.

1. Hans Rosling: Making Stats Sexy
2. Isabel Allende: Tales of passion
3. Cameron Sinclair Open-source architecture
4. Edward Burtnsky – manufactured landscape
5. Jonathan Harris: The art of collecting stories

Revamp Resolution

November 18th, 2008

I’ve decided that the site needs a revamp…and also to make it easier for me to update the content – not just the blog. So an early new year’s resolution…I will try to get a new site up and running early next year. Hopefully by making this public, I will actually get down to doing this. Can you believe my WordPress version 1.2?

Creative Cities Talk by Scott Burnham

October 16th, 2007

Went to a talk organised by DE07 event. Its entitled Creative Cities by Scott Burnham. I found him to be an enthusiastic speaker and in stark contrast to a talk I attended by Ben Drury (but I wont talk about that). Scott brought up issues relating to how a post-industrial city define itself. If they chose to define themselves as a ‘creative city’ – how then do we enable the public to be part of that creative dialogue? How do you get the public to reclaim public spaces and use them as creative outputs? His talk did not offer any practical answers to these question, merely some suggestions to how other artist have sought to address them through independent and fringe efforts. Some of the links that I found particularly exciting are:

Graffiti Research Lab
“Throwies LED”
(Check out their other projects as well)

Abstractor / Ji LEE
How to make abstract art…

Roadsworth
Playing havoc with road markings.
more commentary

You are Beautiful
Playful communication
(click on 1st row, the 5th down, with the fence cups)

Graphic Design Research Symposium

August 30th, 2007

I’ll be giving a presentation at the Graphic Design Research Symposium to be held at Nottingham Trent University. Its a free half day event designed to demystify the process of embarking on a research degree, and to encourage Doctoral research in graphic design and its related areas. It will be on the 12th of September, from 1.30pm to 5pm. Teal Triggs will be the keynote speaker while Joe Eastwood, Rob Hillier and myself will be presenting case studies of our PhD experiences. More information can be found in the event’s leaflet. If you would like to attend, email Rob Harland before the 5th of September.

1st journal publishing

August 30th, 2007

My first paper to be published in a journal is finally available. Its on the CG Publisher site which publishes a number of online journals.

Folded Square

August 30th, 2007

Just redesigned a site called Folded Square which sells award winning origami paper and modelling packs. My favourite origami model is the frog. Have a look at their unique 26 models here.

Facebook

May 16th, 2007

I’ve just started getting into Facebook – and I’m getting hooked! Its strange when you try to search for long lost friends from social network of the past. I also think its much better designed site from MySpace. Although my design suggestion would be to differentiate between other people’s site …

Include 2007 Paper Online

May 9th, 2007

‘Through their eyes only – Focusing stakeholders on end-user needs’- The paper that I co-wrote with Matt Lievesley for the Include 2007 conference is now online here.

Shodan

April 30th, 2007

Hakama

This is another milestone-type posting. I guess its going to be this type of posting from now on. As you can guess I’m not that much of a day-to-day blogger- but hey I do keep you inform on the BIG things that happen. Well, after 5.5 years of being humiliated, thrown about, hurt and twisted on the mat, I finally achieved my black belt during the easter weekend. I now have a license….to maim! Actually it gives me an opportunity to enjoy my aikido again – to relax and relearn techniques, if that makes sense. Oh and as part of the honour of being a Shodan, you get to wear a silly hakama – baggy trousers that constantly trips you up during techniques. Btw, I realised that I’m slightly obsessed with aikido, as I can really relate a lot to the Aikiholics Facebook group which listed some of their obsessions as:

  • You do 3-4 loads of white laundry per week
  • You especially buy white clothing and towels so you can have a full load when you wash your gi
  • You don’t complain about not having a life, you just think that going to Aikido every night is a perfectly suitable one.
  • You are constantly tempted to throw your boyfriend/girlfriend into a sweet kotagaeshi break fall when you are holding hands.
  • You think it’s funny to gross your friends out with your swollen appendages.
  • At last!

    November 11th, 2006

    After 4.5 years of toiling, hair pulling and endless working weekends, I have finally completed my PhD. Its been an epic struggle and without the support of friends and family, I would have most certainly failed. I could say a millions things about the experience but I thought it might be more useful to limit it to 5.

    1. Getting a Phd is not as hard as you might think, it only needs dogged determination.

    2. You must be ready to go on a mental and emotional rollercoaster. Its one heck of a ride if you survive it.

    3. Accept that for 90% of the time, you will not have a clue what your PhD is about. Tip: Practise the pub questions – ‘So tell me what your PhD is about’ every few months. You’ll be astonished how different each time it will be.

    4. It requires an enormous amount of self-belief – not to the point of arrogance, but you need to believe in your Phd for it to succeed.

    5. And finally, don’t underestimate the support you will get from family and friends. They are the only ones to keep you sane during the whole period.