Assunto: Design by Thackara



Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 12

capaplanob4x6.jpg Último post sobre o Plano B.

Esta foi a primeira campanha de divulgação no próprio site que fizemos, obtive bons retornos, é algo que dá para ser feito, espero que as pessoas tenham podido aproveitar, mas espero mais ainda que tenha surgido interesse para comprar o livro, afinal, editor que não vende, não vive…

Dá para usar a velha brincadeira do last but not least, o tema desta vez é água, não precisa dizer muito. Como dito, o John Thackara estará no Brasil em novembro, qualquer coisa, visite o site dele:   www.thackara.com.

WATER EXTRACT

Regenerative design re-imagines the urban landscape as an ecology with the potential to support us.
In terms of perception and culture, we need to re-connect city dwellers with soils, trees, animals, landscapes, energy systems – and, especially, water.
Urban waterways, often the historic core of our cities’ economies, have the potential once again to be rich sources of biological diversity that contribute to the quality and economy of urban life.

Since Roman times, we have designed rapid-transit water conveyance systems that keep land relatively dry, provided a supply of potable water, and carried away human waste for disposal.

The traditional goals of urban water management have been to provide a safe and adequate water supply, environmentally acceptable disposal of treated wastewater, and flood control. These systems have been integrated into the built environment of buildings and streets.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 11

capaplanob4x6.jpg Penúltimo post sobre o Plano B.

Abaixo os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. O John é uma autoridade mundial, veja o que tem a falar, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com , ou aguarde até novembro quando estará no Brasil:

TELEPRESENCE EXTRACT

The prospect of traveling without moving makes good economic and environmental sense. Matter is more expensive than energy; energy is more expensive than information; it is cheaper to move information than people or things. So what is to stop us moving less, and and tele-communicating more? Why go in person, when we can call?

Telecommunications companies have invested heavily for years in so-called telepresence systems that will reproduce as closely as possible the sensation of ‘being there’. Hewlett Packard their system, called Halo, as “the ultimate collaborative environment… a telepresence solution that brings meeting attendees from around the globe into an environment that feels as if they are in the same room”.

The entertainment industry has also been busy. We pay theme park operators a dollar a minute to experience sophisticated simulations, and the computer games industry is now bigger than Hollywood, so big money is at stake.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 10

capaplanob4x6.jpgDécimo post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com , ou aguarde até novembro quando estará no Brasil:

FOOD EXTRACT

I recently found myself in the town centre of Carlisle, in the north west of England, at 7am. The town square was empty except for a large truck whose driver was unloading packaged food into a shop. An incredible, raw-edged roar of noise came from the refrigeration unit on top of his cab. The noise was so extreme that I couldn’t hear a word when someone called my mobile phone. I retreated into the railway station cafeteria, but it was little better in there: Two large refrigerated drinks machines were roaring so loudly that the sales assistant had to shout to tell me the price of a coffee.

That noise, which represents wasted energy, was for me an audible warning signal that global food systems are lurching into crisis. As I write, there are empty shelves in Caracas, food riots in West Bengal and Mexico, and warnings of hunger in Jamaica, Nepal, the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africa. Global food prices have risen by 75 percent since 2000, and soaring prices for basic foods have forced some governments to control the cost of bread, maize, rice and dairy products. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, global food reserves are at their lowest in 25 years.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 9

capaplanob4x6.jpgEsse é o nono post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor e postado há alguns meses. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com , ou aguarde até novembro quando estará no Brasil:

DEVELOPMENT EXTRACT

In a sleepy hamlet an hour from Bangalore, I encounter a group of villagers standing around a wide patch of ragi, a grain that is used to make dark bread, spread thinly over the road in a neat circle. Six chickens appear to be eating up the grain, while the villagers watch and chat. Why, I ask, don’t the villaegrs feed the grain in a trough? They laugh, and then explain that the chickens are eating tiny maggots, smaller than our eyes can see, which need to be removed from the grain before it can be stored. It’s a smart, low-tech solution to a pratical issue faced by farmers everywhere. A Google search for “clean bugs from grain” throws up the “Opico Model 595 Quiet Fan Batch Dryer With Sky-Vac Grain Cleaner” that strikes me as a far clunkier solution than the hens.  The word development is often used to imply that we advanced people in the North must help backward people in the South catch up with our own situation. It’s in this spirit that many designers donate their time and expertise to projects such as $100 laptops, emergency shelter, and mobile hospitals. continue…Informações sobre o livro:

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 8

capaplanob4x6.jpgEsse é o oitavo post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com , ou aguarde até novembro quando estará no Brasil:

SMARTNESS EXTRACT

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a penguin. You hang around on ice flows, in extreme cold, for weeks on end. Standing there, in bare feet, you are able to sustain a temperature differential between your own body and the outside environment of eighty degrees Celsius. Every now and again, when you’re feeling hungry, you jump into the icy water, catch a fish, and then clamber back onto a sunny beach. You do this without ever over- or underheating. The secret behind this impressive thermal performance lies in your dense feathers: When a nasty wind gets up, they reduce airflow around your body so that it slows down and warms up, like the water inside a wetsuit. Your feet are also remarkable: They open like a fan to get rid of excess heat when you land from a flight—then, back on the ice, they act like radiators and heat up the ground where you’re standing.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 7

capaplanob4x6.jpgEsse é o sétimo post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com. Lembre que ele estará no Brasil na primeira semana de novembro, depois darei maiores detalhes:

EXTRACT - LITERACY

A few years ago I met a woman in Bombay who was completing her Ph.D. in social anthropology. She had just returned from a field trip to Rajasthan, where she had spent time with a group of traveling storytellers. This particular group went from village to village, unannounced, and would simply start a performance in the village square. Although each story would have a familiar plot—the storytelling tradition dates back thousands of years—each event would be unique. Prompted by the storytellers, who held up pictorial symbols on sticks, villagers would interact with the story. They would be part of the performance. I commented to the woman that with that depth of knowledge about interaction and the combined use of words and images, she could get a job with Microsoft tomorrow. “What’s Microsoft?” was her reply.

This episode confirmed my prejudice that when we talk about design for communication, what we actually mean is the design of messages. As a consequence, the world is awash in print and ads and packaging and e-mail spam, but these one-way messages do not contribute to our understanding. On the contrary, they are the output of a point-to-mass mentality that lies behind the brand intrusion and semiotic pollution that despoil our perceptual landscape. The average American is now exposed to 254 different commercial messages in a day, up nearly 25 percent since the 1970s. Advertising people call this the “clutter problem”—and solve it, of course, by adding to the clutter. We’re so flooded by noise that it’s hard to understand what’s going on

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 6

capaplanob4x6.jpgEsse é o sexto post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com. Aliás, ele me confirmou hoje que estará no Brasil na primeira semana de novembro, depois darei maiores detalhes:

EXTRACT - LEARNING

You may remember the advertisement for an information services company that featured a water pipe, tied in a knot, over a person’s head. A solitary drop of water dripped out of the pipe’s open end. The ad’s visual metaphor and accompanying text were about the removal of information blockages. A good information system, the ad seemed to suggest, will pour information into our heads, a bit like filling up a bucket.

Pipe-and-bucket thinking pervades policy to do with learning and education. The British government is even building a “National Grid of Learning” that will connect all schools to the Internet. It’s a great political metaphor—knowledge for all, just like water or electricity. But it’s an outdated model of learning. Learning is a complex, social, and multidimensional process that does not lend itself to being sent down a pipe—for example, from a website. Knowledge, understanding, wisdom—or “content,” if you must—are qualities one develops through time. They are not a thing one is sent.
What design principles should we apply in the development of networked learning?

Design Principle 1: Time and Tempo

The first design principle concerns time and tempo. Of the many damaging pressures placed on learning ecologies, time is probably the harshest. A first design task is to relieve that pressure. Time is a valuable resource within a school or daily life, yet the ways in which it is organized are often standardized and come with high costs and wastage. We also focus the great majority of our attention on formal learning time—school and college—forgetting that, between birth and age sixteen, 85 percent of our waking time is spent out of school. In the United States, to put time further into perspective, children aged nine to fourteen spend nine hundred hours a year in school—but fifteen hundred hours a year watching television. When a Dutch researcher, Jos Baeten, studied the 168 hours available in an eighteen-year-old student’s week, he found that 16 were spent in formal lessons, and 9 in self-study—which left 143 hours for other activities: 58 for sleeping, 20 for social and family commitments, 26 for relaxation, 14 for traveling, and 13 for eating and “pausing”; 10 hours were spent in paid work.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 5

capaplanob4x6.jpgEsse é o quinto post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com:

EXTRACT - CONVIVIALITY

Whole nations now worry about their social lives. There’s a growing awareness that social ties are fundamental to wealth creation, economic growth, and competitiveness. The worry is that although some people may be getting richer in money terms, economic progress damages the ties that hold society together. Social capital is harder to measure than industrial or natural assets; it also seems to be delicate and hard to exploit, like a rain forest most of the secrets of which remain undiscovered. But social capital interests governments because they see it as a possible solution to the care crisis. Turnover in the “third sector” or “support economy” is huge—65 percent of GDP by some estimates. Expenditures on health care, disability allowances, retirement and pensions, survivors’ pensions, family and child benefits, unemployment, and other forms of social support play a major role in the budget of modern states—and the amounts keep rising: health care spending is growing faster than GDP in most rich countries.

The financial situation is less extreme in so-called less-developed countries. The poorest nations spend two hundred times less per person on health ($11) than do high-income ones, which average $1,907. But rich countries risk impoverishing themselves by spending endlessly on health. Health care spending in the United States had reached 15.3 percent of GDP by 2003, an amount equivalent to nearly five thousand dollars for every single U.S. citizen. It all adds up to a two-trillion-dollar service industry dominated by a complex ecology of powerful interest groups: insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, for-profit hospitals, and high-tech medical suppliers. Less powerful, but increasingly well-informed and organized, are the patients and their caregivers it’s all supposed to be for.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble - by John Thackara 4

capaplanob4x6.jpgEsse é o quarto post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final dele estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com:

EXTRACT LOCALITY

Resource Ecologies

For me, the most important potential impact of wireless communication networks—or “mediascapes” as Hewlett-Packard dubs them—will be on the resource ecologies of cities. As I explained in my discussion of logistics in chapter 3, wireless communications connecting people, resources, and places to one another in new combinations on a real-time basis is a phenomenon called demand-responsive services. Combinations of demand-responsive services, location awareness, and dynamic resource allocation, have the potential to reduce drastically the amount of hardware—from gadgets to buildings—that we need to function effectively in a city.

Taxi systems are demand-responsive services, to a degree. The old model was that you would ring a dispatcher, the dispatcher would offer your trip all the drivers via a radio circuit, one driver would accept the job, and the dispatcher would send that driver’s taxi to you. A better way has now been introduced in many cities: You ring the system, the system recognizes who you are and where, it identifies where the nearest available taxi is, and it sends that taxi to you. This is dynamic, real-time, resource allocation in action. Now: Replace the word “taxi” in the preceding description with the word “sandwich.” Or with the words “someone to show me round the backstreets of the old town.” Or the words “nerd to come and fix my laptop.” Or the words “someone to play ping pong with.” Likewise for those who have something to offer or information to provide, as opposed to needing or wanting something. Suppose I feel like helping out in a school and hanging out with kids for a day. I might have some time free, or make good sandwiches, or know the old town like the back of my hand, or know there’s a ping-pong table in Mrs. Baker’ garage that the Bakers never use. What do I do? I can call the system, or the system can call me.

A city full of people can now be seen as a live database, full of knowledge, time, and attention—incarnated in human beings—that any of us might use. Louis Kahn talked about the city as a “place of availabilities” with wireless networks and search technologies, the potential becomes actual.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 3

capaplanob3x56.jpg Aqui vai o terceiro post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final de deste post estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com:

EXTRACT: MOBILITY
Modern movement has transformed the ways we experience “here” and “now.” and “there” and “then.” As a system, mobility is locked into a mode of perpetual growth in a world whose carrying capacity is limited. The status quo policy—“predict and provide”—promises more travel (of people and goods), forever, but using new technologies and integrated systems to make mobility more efficient. A second design strategy is mobility substitution—doing things at a distance that we would otherwise move to do. But as we shall see, mobility substitution is an added extra, not a viable alternative to mainstream mobility. The only viable design option, design strategy three, is to design away the need to move and foster new time-space relations: from distance to duration, from faster to closer.

Modern mobility comes with a price, but the price tag is seldom visible, and we seldom pay it—or not directly. The planet does. Not only is transport expensive in time and money to the user, but it involves such external costs as accidents, traffic congestion, air pollution, climate change, noise, and hidden infrastructure costs. In Europe, these add up to more than 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). As global systems, air, rail, and road travel are greedy in their use of space, matter, and energy.

We Europeans are proud of our high-speed trains and believe them to be environmentally far more friendly than aircraft. But we’re wrong. High-speed trains are not a light alternative. A total of forty-eight kilograms (about a hundred pounds) of solid primary resources is needed for one passenger to travel one hundred kilometers by Germany’s high-speed train. Researchers at Germany’s Martin Luther University used material flow analysis and life cycle analysis to study the construction, use, and disposal of the system’s rail infrastructure. They measured everything from the running costs of train retrofitting factories to the petrol used by passengers getting to the station—even the provision of drinking water. They added these to numbers for the carbon dioxide emissions, cumulative energy demand, and so on to derive a “material input per service unit,” or MIPS, for train service. The energy demands of the traction process—actually moving the train—dominate the system’s life cycle, but the construction of tunnels and heating rail track points during winter also impose a significant cost.
Making mobility more efficient will not resolve our core dilemma: that although mobility will not stop growing of its own accord, the perpetual expansion of mobility is unsustainable. This is not just the opinion of green activists; a recent report by twelve global automotive and energy companies concluded that if today’s mobility trends continue, the social, economic, and environmental costs worldwide will be unacceptably high.

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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 2

capaplanob3x56.jpg Aqui vai o segundo post sobre o livro Plano B preparado pelo autor. No final de deste post estão os links para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com:

EXTRACT: SPEED

From Real Time to Quality Time

The English travel writer Bruce Chatwin told about a group of white explorers who were trying to force the pace of their African porters. The porters, within sight of their destination for the day, sat down and refused to move. As they explained to their

Have we reached a similar juncture, when it comes to speed? For generations, speed and constant acceleration have defined the way we communicate, eat, travel around, and innovate products. Our designed world reinforces the value we place on speed. We produce and consume at an ever-increasing pace, and speed is worshipped uncritically as an engine of investment and innovation. Michael Dell’s proclamation is typical: “Velocity, the compression of time and distance backward into the supply chain, and forward to the customer, is the ultimate source of competitive advantage,” he said in 1999. Or as Hitachi more punchily put it in the 1990s, “Speed is God, Time is the Devil.” (Hitachi’s current slogan is “Inspire the Next.”) Time scarcity has always been a feature of industrial life, but the Internet has ratcheted up the pressure. Clock time is being supplanted by Internet-enabled “real time.” The probable author of this term, at least in a business context, is Don Tapscott. He wrote in 1995 that “the new economy is a real time economy. Commerce becomes electronic as business transactions and communications occur at the speed of light rather than the post office. The new enterprise is a real time enterprise—continuously and immediately adjusting to changing business conditions.” Tapscott began discussing the real-time enterprise in his 1992 book Paradigm Shift and fully developed the idea in The Digital Economy. The growth of networked communications has accelerated the emergence of an always-on, 24/7 society whose premise is that if anything can happen anytime, it should happen now.

But the signs are that speed is a cultural paradigm whose time is up. Economic growth, and a constant acceleration in production, have run up against the limited carrying capacity of the planet. The carrying capacity of business is also under pressure. When continuous acceleration is the default tempo of innovation, it leads to “feature bloat” in products and the phenomenon, which we are seeing now, of consumers who resist the pressure to upgrade devices or software continually. Absolute speed—in computers, as much as in cars—remains powerfully attractive for many of us, but acceleration seems to have lost its allure. Many of us want faster computers, but we also want to live more balanced lives—lives lived at speeds we determine, not at speeds dictated by the logic of systems beyond our control.
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Plano B - Plan B - In the bubble by John Thackara 1

capaplanob3x56.jpg A partir de hoje esse blog fica “internacional”. O autor John Thackara fará posts sobre o seu livro Plano B, lançado pela Virgília no final de 2008, acreditando que o mundo está globalizado, se bem que segundo Gordon Brown, primeiro ministro britânico, a dona crise vai trazer uma desglobalização, mas não cultural. Peço desculpas aos que não entendem inglês, aliás, a esses e a todos, recomendo a compra do livro. No final de todos os posts, haverá um link para os detalhes do livro no site, ou então para os sites de venda das livrarias. Aproveite tudo o que o John tem a dizer, qualquer dúvida, cheque no site dele: www.thackara.com:

THE SCHLOCK OF THE NEW

How might we design a world in which we rely less on “tech” - and more on people?

“In the bubble” is a phrase used by air traffic controllers to describe their state of mind, among their glowing screens and flows of information, when they are in the flow and in control. Lucky them. Most of us feel far from in control. We’re filling up the world with amazing devices and systems—on top of the natural and human ones that were already here—only to discover that these complex systems seem to be out of control: too complex to understand, let alone to shape, or redirect.

Things may seem out of control—but they are not out of our hands. Many of the troubling situations in our world are the result of design decisions. Too many of them were bad design decisions, it is true—but we are not the victims of blind chance. The parlous condition of the planet, our only home, is a good example. Eighty percent of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructures around us is determined at the design stage. Design decisions shape the processes behind the products we use, the materials and energy required to make them, the ways we operate them on a daily basis, and what happens to them when we no longer need them. We may not have meant to do so, and we may regret the way things have turned out, but we designed our way into the situations that face us today.

My premise is simply stated: If we can design our way into difficulty, we can design our way out. “Everyone designs,” wrote scientist Herb Simon, “who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations, into preferred ones.” For Victor Papanek, too, “design is basic to all human activities—the placing and patterning of any act towards a desired goal constitutes a design process.” Designing is what human beings do.

Two questions follow this understanding of design. First, where do we want to be? What exactly are the “preferred situations” or “desired goals” that Simon and Papanek talk about? Second, how do we get there? What courses of action will take us from here, to there?

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