More thoughts on writing and making

In the comments to my last post on writing as making, Peter Richardson wrote something that’s sticking with me: “I suspect makers (and coders in particular, myself included) tend to view non-code text as an unstable, somewhat shifty medium.” And Matt Jones later gave a similar reply to my original question about why writing isn’t […]

Hi. My name is Anne. I make stuff with words.

I know designers who would never agree that writing or speaking is as valuable as making things. Thinking about how much that bothered me, this afternoon I posed the following question on Twitter: I got some great responses – thanks everyone! – and I’d like to round up some of them here. (The time stamps […]

Teaching: Cultures of Design, Or Design and Everyday Life

This is my third year teaching in the southern hemisphere and it still feels strange to be kicking off the academic year in March! I teach one third-year course this trimester, called Cultures of Design–but if I could rename it, I’d call it Design and Everyday Life. Here are the highlights: Course description Original and […]

An Internet of Cows (and Sheeps!)

Making the rounds yesterday was Cisco’s infographic of The Internet of Things. Of course there are all sorts of interesting things going on in this story, but I want to focus on the cows right now: When it comes to networked livestock, I often mention the dairy cows that tweet and IBM’s “Farm to Fork” […]

It’s a wonderful world, this world of wool…

NZ Wool Story by Hilda Brodie-Smith (1960s) “The next time you pop in to buy a jumper or cardigan, spare a thought for all the hundreds of people involved so that you, the consumer, can be kept warm throughout the cold winter months. And spare a thought, also, for these sheep who make it all […]

No 8 Wire

“The modern No 8 wire is data and how it can be converted into meaningful information, how it can be twisted and bent and used.” – David Walker, Connecting the Clever Farm This is a No 8 wire sculpture called Landfall, by Lynne Stone, but it also reminds me of wireless waves.

Christien Meindertsma, animals and humans

Christien Meindertsma is one of my favourite artist-designers. I first learned of her work in 2007, when she published her second book, PIG 05049. Every so often I sit down with it and flip through the pages in awe. Like Haraway’s When Species Meet, PIG 05049 forever changed the way I understand human-animal relations. “Christien […]

Medical merino

It looks like NZ merino is successfully expanding its market again: Encircle Compression Therapy socks were recently named a winner in the 2011 Medical Design Excellence Awards competition and announced as a finalist in the DuPont ANZ Innovation Awards. The product was developed for The Merino Company by Locus Research (led by Timothy Allen, a […]

Some thoughts on (visual) research culture

Design researchers, and particularly those who practice research by design, often face the challenge of having to convince other academics that what they do is actually research. Side-stepping the lively debates that appear within art and design, I often find myself reflecting on a similar struggle faced by many visual anthropologists and asking what we […]

Toy stories

These are my new Schleich sheep “action figures.” The Powerhouse Museum has 41 painted lead toy farm sheep and a bunch of farm scenery made between 1930-1939 by William Britain Ltd (Hornby, England). I’d like to make some creative non-fiction photo essays with them.