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Comments Posted 04.01.02 | PERMALINK | PRINT

John Thackara

The Real-time Economy [April 2002]


This free monthly newsletter starts conversations on issues to do with design for resilience — and thereby reveals opportunities for action. It also brings you news of Doors of Perception events and encounters. Back issues are now archived on Design Observer. To subscribe to future newletters by John Thackara click here.

WHO INVENTED THE 'REAL-TIME ECONOMY'?
Argument rages in Silicon Valley about who first coined the suddenly-fashonable concept of a 'real-time economy'. Vivak Ranadive, author of The power of now (1999) is the bookies' favourite. But was Vivak first? Doors' department of pointless one-upmanship draws your attention to the following from Ivan Illich at Doors 4 on Speed, in 1996: "We might already be beyond the age of speed, by moving into the age of 'real-time'. The move towards real-time is one way out of the world of speed." Or consider this from Will Wright at Doors 5 on Play, in 1998: "With The Sims, I wanted to build something like a real-time strategy strategy game that girls would enjoy and that adults might approach as a spreadsheet for life."

DOORS OF PERCEPTION 7
Does it matter? By the time of Doors of Perception 7, real-time will be old-time. Doors 7 will take place in Amsterdam on 14, 15 and 16 November this year, 2002. The theme is "flow." If you are on this mailing list, you will be the first to hear when registration opens (in June). Please tell your friends to join the mailing list.
http://www.doorsofperception.com

PURE PLAY OR PURE PAIN?
Doors of Perception is organising a one-day workshop with Interaction Design institute Ivrea on Tuesday 16 April. The subject is new business concepts for interactive products and services. Among the speakers are: Roberto Panzarani (CapGemini/Ernst and Young Centre for Business Innovation); Ezio Manzini (Politecnico Milano); Heath Row (FastCompany); Chris Pacione (Bodymedia); Mike Richter (Metadesign); David Rose (ambientdevices.com); Alan Wexler (Sapient); and Jim Wicks (Motorola).
http://www.interaction-ivrea.it

DUTCH DESIGN MEETS COOL CAPITAL
Tom Kok, a lively new economy venture capitalist (http://www.coolcapital.nl/), has been given the job of implementing Holland's new design policy. For policy afficionados who read Dutch, and can tolerate the somewhat nerve-jangling website, all the details are at
http://www.vormgeving.nl

WHIRLPOOL USES THE "F" WORD
'Project F' is an ambitious and interesting investigation into fabric care futures - a design research project which aims to extend Whirlpool Europe's understanding of the laundry process. The project's originator, design director Richard Eisermann, says Project F is "an open exploration of the washing process and the new relationship between products spaces and humans." We particularly recommend the book.

GOING FOR A CYBERSONG
The Cybersonica festival at the ICA in London brings together a whole community of sonic innovation, from performers, composers, DJs and VJs to developers, academics, broadcasters and record companies. The project includes an exhibition of audio artworks and new audio visual experiences that explore the fusion of audio and visual output through new technologies available from computing and the Internet.
http://www.cybersonica.org

FRANKFURT's "I LOVE YOU"
Frankfurt's Museum for Applied Arts is launching Digitalcraft, an archive for digital culture. The notion of digital craft, says Museum Director James Bradburne, designates a new and until now not clearly defined field. It comprises new forms of technical production on the one hand, with a new area of research on the other. A Digital Craft permanent exhibition will be accompanied by a special project from 23 May called "I love you" to do with computers, viruses, hackers and culture.
http://www.mak.frankfurt.de/
http://www.digitalcraft.org/

FUN IN EINDHOVEN (REALLY)
We can't decide whether to be interested, or alarmed, but Schiphol Airport is among the backers of 'FunLab', a new Masters Degree in Experience and Scenario Design hosted by the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Fun-loving Ed Annink will tell you more.

DESIGN CENTRAL USA
The University of Minnesota Design Institute, where Doors alumnus Janet Abrams is Director, has launched its new website - tightly-edited by Peter Hall and designed by David Karam of PostTool Design. The html version is clean and quick; the Flash one gave us vertigo.
http://design.umn.edu/designInstitute/

NAGOYA DESIGN PRIZE: REAL MONEY
The world is not short of design prizes - in fact, there are far too many of them. But this one is not a scam(there is no fee for participation) and it carries a cash grand prize of two million yen (about US$ 16,000), so we're happy to tell you about it.
http://www.idcn.jp/workshop_e/index.html

GLASS ACT
If you need to know about 'Elements of Flameworking on a Hothead', or want to brush up on 'Swedish Graal', the Glass Art Society's large international event in Amsterdam, starting 27 May, is the only place to be.
http://www.glas2002.nl/

OXFORD INTERNET INSTITUTE: FISHING FOR NEWS
The Oxford Internet Institute, founded a year ago following a 20 million euro donation, has announced its first action: a conference with the theme: Casting a Wider Net (Friday, 27 September 2002). Somewhat mysteriously, the year-old OII has still not announced the name of its first director. Please send idle gossip on that subject to: editor@doorsofperception.com.
http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk

TV MEETS WEB IN AMSTERDAM
Topics at this lively seminar include the use of sms messaging as a backchannel for TV programmes, internet formats that made it to the TV screen, and case studies of new and innovative broadband services. 4th annual TV meets the Web seminar - 16 & 17 May 2002, Amsterdam.
http://www.tvmeetstheweb.com

HARRY POTTER AND THE DISAPPEARING COMPUTER
A jolly evening is promised in in Amsterdam on 26 April when speakers Jan Rot, Rob van Kranenburg, Ronald Soetaert and John Thackara discuss Harry Potter and the disappearance of technology. 26 April, de Balie, 21:00h.

FORM FOLLOWS UNCTION
When its German publisher folded, enervated by failed dotcom investments, we feared Germany's best design magazine would die. But an enlightened Swiss publisher, Birkhauser Verlag, has wisely rescued the magazine.
http://www.form.de

DESIGN DAY IN SWITZERLAND
"IndustieDesignTag" (IDT), which attracts practitioners from the fields of design, marketing and technology, takes place on June 27 with the theme: "Branding and Design in the Internet: How to design the second eBusiness generation."
http://www.designnet.ch

CHILLING OUT IN PARADISO
Its website is still shivering strangely, but there is still time to enter for the sixth edition of Browserday 2002. This fun event, which this year is all to do with wirelessness, takes place on 17 May at Paradiso in Amsterdam.
http://www.nl-design.net/browserday/

CAST OF TEN IN MAASTRICHT
Jouke Kleerebezem has assembled an interesting cast for a seminar with the theme "Design Re-Cast" at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, 12-14 April
http://www.janvaneyck.nl/2002designrecast

MULTIPLIER EFFECT IN CHICAGO
Hani Asfour from Viant is chairman, and Karim Rashid is the keynote speaker, at this year's Living Surfaces conference. The blurb is incomprehensible, but it seems to be about how designers collaborate. And it's always a great event.
http://www.ac4d.org

GOING THE DISSTANCE
This year's design of interactive systems (DISS) seminar in London features interaction design luminaries Bill Moggridge, Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Tom Moran, John Maeda, Pelle Ehn, Joy Mountford, Nico Macdonald.
http://www.acm.org/sigs/sigchi/dis2002/

FAMILY FILES FIND FAME IN FINLAND
Mari Soppela's wonderful documentary film Family Files won the main prize in Finland's premier film competition. Remember where you read that first. Family Files will also be shown in selected film theaters in May in Holland. Demand that your cinema shows it now. (Soppela was on the Mediamatic design team that created our legendary DoPRom in 1994).
http://www.soppela.nl/

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn't It Be Great If….
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