Design Indaba Capetown


The 10th Design Indaba in Capetown “aims to guide, enlighten, stimulate and inspire all who practise design, commission design or rely on design to run a business”.

The Creative Review blog has been live posting from the conference. The summary below is from a talk by Professor Shin-ichi Takemura from Japan. The talk was all about shared experiences using online platforms. There are some interesting projects that he speaks about including:

Tangible Earth: World’s first digital globe at 10 million to one scale. Shows where day and night are at any time. All kinds of other things – movement of polluted air, migratory birds, effects of deforestation, changes in temperature over time etc. “With this project we want to communicate tangible sense of planet, to bring entire globe into view. User can look at world from any perspective, imagine things that are interrelated.”

Global Stethoscope: connecting citizens through the internet as if it were a central nervous system, linking us real time to what’s happening in the world would no longer allow us to ignore disasters etc

Global Corridor Project: monitors connected to locations around globe via video chats to enable participation – a REAL global expo by the connection of citizens. Exploring the notion that if you have met someone you’d be less likely to bomb them. Peace may be achieved by designing effective communications between peoples.

Sakura Scape: Tracks the cherry blossom as it blooms across Japan – aggregates images that people send in from cell phones alongside a haiku written in celebration of the blossom’s appearance. It’s very beautiful – the characters of the Haiku fall like leaves on the screen alongside the supplied image. It archives people’s cherry blossom experience in real time at same time a mapping movement of the cherry blossom front as it works its way up the Japanese islands.

Water: Device to visualise the consumption of water in the production of food – the virtual water server. A vending machine that shows the amount of water used toproduce the meal you order. One hamburger costs 2000 litres of water.

The Ubiquitous Museum: Using cell phones as mobile net terminals, provides info about spaces as you walk around them. So, it’ll tell you that, as you walk around Tokyo, that part used to be under water – using a cell phone as a magnifying glass to read the hidden stories at each site.

The Professor ended his talk by saying “I want to develop tools that make people more sensitive rather than technologies like satellite navigation that eliminate the need for thinking. Why build a society where things begin and end with the push of a button.”


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