Posts Tagged ‘Education’


March 1, 2009


As i have mentioned many times for the last two weeks we were working on a school project for DSB (the danish rail service) DSB are currently in a great position of already being recognised as a very sustainable company. But with the current climate change they want to go beyond being a service provider of public transport and see how they can inspire people to have more sustainable living habits and be socially aware. So our job for this project was to work in groups to design new services that would act as a platform for people to make more environmentally friendly decisions and actions. It was a very intense week, but fantastic at the same time. We started with a day of intense research then by the second day we had to have an idea to start prototyping. The majority of our time was spent developing our services, creating experience prototypes that would shape and improve our ideas.

Our idea was based on the idea of educating children. We chose this target group due to the existing community that already exists within a school between the teachers children and parents…we felt this was a very strong starting point for our concept as there is already natural communication between them. Our idea is a service called “enviroKit”

enviroKit is a service which provides schools with a tool kit that enables teachers to implement new participatory methods of educating children about sustainable living, focusing on….

“make your own decisions”
“learn intuitively through doing”

enviroKit tools can be adapted for various exercises, teachers can download new activities from the enviroKit website or instructions on how to build their own. The tools within the kit are designed so that the children will raise questions with their parents, and make them think about their actions….we don’t believe our idea will change the world, we just want to inspire people to take small steps towards living more sustainably. If each person make 1 small change once a week, these small changes  can mount up and make a big difference.

We have a full presentation to explain the concept, which i will post if i receive permission to publish it due to some photographs that are in it. However if you would like to know more i can remove the photographs and making it available for public viewing.

I also have to say a massive thank you to the Live|work team in Olso that have been teaching us for the past two weeks!

Interaction design in Copenhagen

March 1, 2009


Great news came on Friday that CIID have launched their application process for next year!!!

“The interaction design program teaches students to apply technology to everyday life, through the design of software, products, and services. We believe in a hands-on and user-centered approach to interaction design. Students learn the programming and electronics skills needed to work with technology as a design medium. They conduct user-research and experience prototyping to provide real-world grounding for their concepts. Frequent work in multi-disciplinary teams encourages peer-to-peer learning. A diverse selection of visiting faculty exposes students to a range of expertise.

Next year’s interaction design programme builds on the structure of the pilot year. The twelve month programme is divided into three tiers: foundations, investigations, and the thesis. The foundations are short workshops that provides students with the skills they need throughout the year. The investigations give students the opportunity to pursue in-depth projects around a particular design brief. The thesis provides students with an opportunity to explore an area of their choosing, combining design work with reflection and knowledge generation. Additionally, students will participate in innovation projects: collaborations with industry on briefs of mutual interest.

As an education concerned with the broad potential of design and technology, the interaction design programme is looking for a wide diversity of students. We welcome applicants from all over the world and from any background. You should be curious and creative; enthusiastic about design and working in a cross-disciplinary environment. Whether you’re currently studying or working, you should be interested in the connections between education and interaction design practice. As this is a new programme, we’re seeking students with an interest in helping to shape the education and curriculum. We plan to have a class of approximately 25 students”

I may be a little bias but if you want to study interaction design this is the place to be, the course is awesome, the faculty are unreal and the energy between everyone is great! It is by far one of the best decisions i ever made! If you want to see more about the sort of projects you would be working on check out our microsite.

Jaime Lerner…Environmental Star

March 1, 2009


For the past 2 weeks we have been working on a sustainability brief. Whilst doing some experience prototyping with Isabel (CIID lecturer) she pointed us in the direction to read about Jaime Lerner, and i feel i have to write a brief post on him, as i feel absolutly inspired by the work he has done.

Jaime Lerner  was born December 17, 1937, he was a renowned architect and urban planner who was elected mayor and then later governor of the state of Paraná, in southern Brazil.

During this time he made radical urban planning changes that turned the city of Curitiba into one of the greenest cities in the world, which people from all around the world now look to, to learn lessons from. Some of his successes included approving 150km of bike paths and a bus system that soon became so popular that commuters left their cars at home. The buses now account for 55% of the city’s transport demand. People still own cars, but they use 30% less petrol than other brazilian cities.

Other programs he set up included gardens and parks that were looked after by street children and teenagers and recycling centers where handicapped people worked sorting bottle and cans. Personally my favourite intiative that he set up was one to teach children how to do recylcing within their home, so they could then pass this knowledge onto their parents. I love this idea as it is what my group in our last project were trying to acheive……teaching children to teach their parents. So seeing this success story fills me with hope!

“We decided to teach kids in all schools for six months [to separate garbage], and then children taught their parents. So then we started a campaign [to encourage recycling], and Curitiba has been the city with the highest indicator or garbage separation in the world for 20 years now: 70% of the population separates garbage.” Lerner

Obviously not every initiative worked perfectly, but the majority of lerner’s initiatives were a huge success inspiring so many people especially those living in Curitiba,  so much so that 98% of them say they are happy with their city.

TED talk on Jaime Lerner

digital media in bonnie scotland

February 10, 2009


Today i came across an organisation called Distance Lab

“Distance Lab is a creative research organisation bringing together digital media technology, design and the arts to redefine and overcome the disadvantages of distance in learning, health care, relationships, culture and other domains.

Working with briefs from industry and governmental partners, Distance Lab generates ideas and builds prototypes that inspire and can lead to new innovative products and services.

The Lab is headed by Dr. Stefan Agamanolis, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and one of the founding research directors at Media Lab Europe, its former sister lab in Dublin

Inspired by the culture of the MIT Media Lab, Distance Lab is an interdisciplinary work environment full of radically creative scientists, designers, artists, and engineers from all over the world. We are concentrating our efforts on the theme of distance.

We don’t just philosophize and write about the future, we invent it. We emphasize the development of working prototypes and demonstrations of new technologies.

Our projects range from technology and design solutions that can be commercialised in the near-term to more far-reaching experiments that inspire and challenge assumptions about how we use technology and how we will deal with various forms of distance in the future” via Distance Lab homepage

When i found this page, i was super excited firstly due to the great work they are doing, but secondly that they are based in a rural part of Scotland. Anyone who knows Scotland will know this is a rare occurrence to find a design company that is doing meaningful work and tackling it through new and innovative technologies. I would love to visit these guys if/when i return home. Some of their research topics that they are exploring currently are:

Can we develop compelling distance learning experiences that are more than “lectures over television” ?

Can we create inexpensive solutions that allow people with health problems to be robustly cared for over a distance and have a better quality of life no matter where they reside ?

Can we combine communication technologies and architectural design to create new kinds of work and living spaces that span multiple geographical locations ?

Can we create new systems that enable distributed knowledge and expertise to be aggregated and exploited more seamlessly ?

Can we devise new modes of communication that enable distant family members and loved-ones to feel a greater sense of awareness and togetherness between each other ?

I especially love this last one, it is something i extremely interested in for exploring during my thesis project!


September 5, 2008

As i am about to set off on a big adventure to take part in the CIID pilot year, i have set up this blog to record my learning and experiences whilst studying and living in Copenhagen. In particular i will be looking at how interaction design and digital technologies can be used within the design and improvement of services to enhance user experience and sustainability!