Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Yussef Agbo-Ola on Design, Architecture and Systemic Design

A bunch of fascinating ideas intertwining in this interview:

"There is a long ideological history related to the ways humans control both the environment and Earth's systems instead of understanding design as collaboration within them."

There is also a good part on "quiet observing" as the start of letting design come forth, rather than be owned by "the designer":

"When travelling to these places my aim is to become empty so the place can speak to me through its built structures and cultural beliefs. I make it a priority to allow the peopl, plants, buildings, textiles, mountains, landscapes, etc. to educate me through the duration of the journey"

I like this idea that design is just a way to bring together diversity, transform it into creativity - that we become conduits for something evolving or re-expressing itself, rather than some superhero capable of creating something "new" and "exclusive".

Art and Construction shouldn't be seen as separate. If we're happy taking photos of the world or sketching it or writing poetry about it, this is design, and we can recognise that the same skills flow through us and can be both 'practical' and/or 'aesthetic' as much as we choose.

A printed photo can also provide shade.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

This Is Still Not A Game, Yet

Rather excellent look from Adrian Hon at QAnon, internet conspiracies, ARGs, politics of disinformation, and - ultimately - our own desire for puzzle-solving, discovery and community. 

QAnon fills the void of information that states have created – not with facts, but with fantasy. If we don't want QAnon to fill that void, someone else has to. Government institutions can't be relied upon to do this sustainably, given how underfunded and politicised they've become in recent years. Traditional journalism has also struggled against its own challenges of opacity and lack of resources. So maybe that someone is… us.

Also bonus points for bringing back a few Perplex City memories, too.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Doing nothing

A strange feeling hit me earlier this week. I stopped after the usual long day, and did nothing. I felt close to bored, but it wasn't as extreme, more akin to just being settled, as if the mind had finally sunk down, among the broken currents of routine and restlessness. I felt no urge to do anything, to enjoy my time, to value it. The content and purpose of leisure fell away. I sat in the garden and watched a multitude of bats swoop low.

Perhaps it was from tiredness. Perhaps it was from holding off alcohol for a day. Don't know, but I know I've been so busy, had so many things on the go. It was pleasant to know all of that was just tasks and distractions, that the world is something we choose to do, even while it always feels like something we must do.

It was pleasant to do nothing, and not feel guilty about it.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Minimum Viable Post

Sitting here with a whisky, thinking about the overload of consumption and communication, and our relationship with time. I wish I had more separation between me and the world - tailor the instantaneous nature of netcomms back to emergencies. I wish people just communicated by photos and postcards in the mail, each picture being a thousand words and all that.

What would Minimum Viable Post look like, just to let people know you were thinking of them, a slow-time visual version of Yo! maybe? I like zink printing - you don't have to buy ink and there's little waste. I wonder if you can get bigger zink printers than my little one, but in the meantime, maybe I'll just stick a small photo onto a larger piece of card. Minimum.

What about non-urgent comms as a form of gift culture?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Packaging shout outs

Yeah this is how this blog works now. What I find interesting after 3 months in lockdown. Send mind-freeing matter. Anyway, impressed with unexpected all-paper and card packaging from, and from

The Medium is the Message. The Product is the Packaging. We arrive and our arrival is a part of who we are.