Weeknotes Week 103

I suspect that our week ended the same way that yours did: in utter shock and dismay over the events in Japan. Between the floods in Australia and the ongoing crisis in Japan, the Pacifim Rim has already had a difficult 2011. It has been hard to do anything without checking the news regularly. Half a world away there's little we can do but hope for the best and give what we can.

Before the crisis began, last week was split between writing and sharing.

We continue to draft a document describing the HDL Studios in more depth and detail. This involves a lot of conversations about metaphors, sometimes visual and sometimes not, that can be used to explain abstract concepts like "working with uncertainty." In my brain that equates to the difference between navigating in a forest and navigating on a body of water. In the forest there is a long delay before a trail fades, but a wake disappears as quickly as it is created. Not exactly sure what this means yet.

Marco had a good meeting with the World Design Capital team and a group of representatives from various ministeries to see what's in the works and how public institutions might be involved in WDC2012. We are working on some aspects of this and hope to have some concrete plans to share before summer. Broadly speaking, we want to make it easier for government bodies to use strategic design. Surprise!

Elsewhere, Marco gave a presentation to the Creative Metropoles group about Low2No, using it as an opportunity to look at the new kinds of pressures that today's innovation challenges put on designers and new skills that designers need to develop if they want to be involved in strategic processes.

Coincidentally, friend-of-HDL Paul Nakazawa shared work from RioStudio, a series of architectural design studio that he has been teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, first with Bjarke Ingels and now with Jorge Silvetti and Gabriel Duarte. The studio is exploring the connections between strategic design and architecture by looking at ways in which Rio de Janeiro's build up in advance of the World Cup and Olympics can be focused to create a more lasting, positive impact. This video by one of the students gives a hint at the way they're integrating ideas about phsyical infrastructure with the development strategy:

But yeah, time to check the news again and then get back to writing.