Inside the head of a designer

Pecha Kucha at the Lighthouse
May 28, 2009, 11:34 pm
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Well I’ve just got back home from my first Pecha Kucha night.  Having done a Pecha Kucha myself as part of our final year interim presentations, I applaud everyone who took part, its such a difficult thing to do, but a fantastic way of getting information and stories across.  The drill is you have 20 slides, and each turns after 20 seconds, resulting in a 6 minute 40 seconds.

The speakers tonight were;

Chris Rankin, a landscape architect who discussed his child animating spaces in ways we can’t imagine, great thought!

A very bubbly Mhairi Mackenzie who has helped to establish Mucky Puddle as one of Glasgow’s foremost creative studios and took us on a tour of Davids she loves, very entertaining

Josh Reid an inventor and founder partner of CorePD showed us some of his inventions and a rather amusing slide of some kind of water cycling device and his new wee, very cute, baby. Congratulations!

David Hicks is a service designer who I had the pleasure of chatting to after.  He is the director of The border crossing co. and works with clients to discover what it is they need to do for their business and facilitates workshops with clients and end users, great to see service design in Scotland and good dose of co-design.

Graham Ross, a director of Austin-Smith Lord LLP is an architect and urban designer and discussed the regeneration of areas like Bridgeton and how they are historically rich.

David Sapien, a games designer, discussed the sun, backed by amusing graphics, discussing how we are all made of the same stuff, and that blows his mind.

Don McIntyre, director of Urban Learning Space, who I have had the joy of visiting twice, talked us through his life, a very amusing account of kiss water machines, ordering food in Japan by mimicking the animal he wanted and supporting crap football teams.

Gaylie Runchie, from a digital media company talked to us about second life and being artists in residence in Second Life in the Glasgow School of Art.  She told us all about the virtual environment and how you can’t have babies on world of warcraft!

Andrew Stevenson shared and told us all about their company Tangent, a graphic design agency operating in Glasgow and New York.  They told us about their pie making escapades, bags on head design and their expansion to New York.


Aussie, Joanne Jacobs is an expert consultant in social networking technologies.  Joanna talked to us about Picamp and We20.  She is looking for volunteers to take on Political Innovation Camp in August and hopes to hold it at the lighthouse for free.  A bunch of people together working through ideas, I’m in, is anyone else?

Andrew Grant, is the group managing director and founder of  He took us through the rules of business, money matters, listening to your customers but most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail, you learn from it!

All was held together by the wonderfully enthusiastic and first timer Mark Jennings who introduced the night and informed us all of the wine intervals.  Well done Mark, great job!

What struck a chord for me tonight was the running theme of collaboration and co creation, and that we have all this wonderful talent in Scotland, and particularly Glasgow that we should be embracing it and working together to really push forward this city as a strong competitor to London.  It was fantastic to see so many talented and creative people in one room, hopefully some of that business card passing will evolve into something truly great!

I’d also like to thank Fran McIntyre for her kind offer of golf gloves for my project. I will be in touch!

SI Camp – Call for Ideas
May 21, 2009, 7:29 pm
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Social Innovation camp is coming to Scotland and I’m excited about that.  SI Camp has a call for ideas that ends at midnight tomorrow so if you have an idea (it does not have to developed, it really can be one of those napkin light bulb  moments) then submit it.  The ideas are to be based around creating social change using the web and the technologies/opportunities it affords.

The weekend will take place from the 19th to the 21st July in Glasgow, and even if you’re idea is submitted, its worth getting in touch if you would like to be involved and think you could help develop an idea over the weekend.

I’ve just submitted 3 (I got a little too excited), you should too. You’ve got until midnight tomorrow.

Myca – 21st century health care
May 9, 2009, 10:51 am
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Thanks to Nick Marsh via Twitter for this little gem of service design.

Hello Health say, “we’re a revolutionary new experience with your neighborhood doctor. We mix office and online visits to give you personal attention when and how you want it”

What seems to be the case is that Hello Health is designed to increase the contact between doctor and patient, not the other way around which is why I think this a pretty cool service.

The system is operated on a new platform called  Myca.  It’s best I show you the videos so you can understand it better, or perhaps you can visit the Hello Health website.

Digital Britain Unconference – Scotland Leg
May 8, 2009, 9:55 pm
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Thanks to Craig Mgill for organising the Digital Britain ‘unconference’ today.  In the cosy setting in The Living Rooms 23 people met up over a few drinks to discuss the future of the internet in Scotland.

There was a lot said today, and for the most part, an agreement about many things.  Discussions began with the question of should every home in Britain be given broadband.  I’m just going to summarise the main points that stood out for me;

Rural communities don’t need internet right to their door, lets do it in hubs

Use these hubs to harness the connected aspect of the internet to provide public services

We need to show people the value of the internet before people accept it as being a good tool, perhaps what can be done with it

Internet should be used for ‘the common good’

Do we need to create new platforms for each small rural community who receives internet? (my answer to this and as discussions continued is no, there are too many platforms out there)

Public services and hubs like schools and libraries should provide access as opposed to internet being treated as an essential commodity alike water, food and shelter

Internet must be accessible for the non-technical

Digital Britain is about people

Bring measurement camp idea to Scotland, and further to this, lets make Scotland an exciting hub

This is a rather brief summary of the unconference but I’m sure Craig will follow with some more concise notes on what was discussed.  For me what is interesting about the internet is connectivity and how we can use it to provide public services in hard to reach areas.

It was nice to meet everyone today and I’m sure we will see each other in the future

Here’s a link to the business cards left courtesy of Craig

6 degrees of seperation
May 7, 2009, 1:57 pm
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Thought I’d post this since its on the bbc iplayer at the moment.

Great documentary about the 6 degrees of separation using the ‘kevin bacon’  concept.  During the programme they try to send a package to the same point starting at 40 different points around the world and by sending it to people they think might be able to get it to there.

See it here