Thoughts on a Matisse sketch

This is Henri Matisse’ sketch Birdcage on the Terrace 1945. It is good to see even a great artist had “lazy” moments! We see completed works of great…

Graffiti citizen engagement

This Mashable post This graffiti artist’s ‘experiment’ with the authorities escalated hilariously is interesting from a citizen engagement point of view. (Images above sourced from the Mashable post.)…

Tools and operating frameworks

Tools We have long built tools as a species. In recent times these tools have been information-based: mobile apps, software, computing hardware, the Internet. We currently have acces…

Cross-ed FTW

I had the privilege to attend the final presentation of MediaLAB Amsterdam students recently. The message from students and staff is clear: there is immense value in cross-disciplinary…

Beliefs, assumption and acceptance

Why is it so hard for us to see beyond our own prejudices, to remain centred in our own humanity when confronted with people outside of our comfort…

Curating methodologies

I love models and methodologies. They codify real experience and hard-earned learning, and make them accessible to others. One challenge with models and methodologies is the sheer quantity…

Getting customer experience right first time

One interesting phenomenon of travelling on my own is that I can spend significant periods of time not talking to anyone. Most tickets are bought from machines or…

Let me tell you how it should be

Recently in Amsterdam, I saw a young American woman telling a Starbucks staff that there was a lot more choice back home and she was not happy she couldn’t get…

Lesson from Van Gogh 3

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In his isolation, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. From…

Lesson from Van Gogh 2

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. No one creates in isolation (on an island or otherwise.) Van…

Lesson from Van Gogh 1

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The immediate impact was the sheer volume of work; work completed…

Looking for the win-win

Travelling is a great opportunity to practise looking for the win win in less-than-optimal situations. The unfamiliarity of new places, new customs and new rules increases the likelihood…

Creating “foreign” to test UX

When was the last time you travelled through a country where you didn’t know the local language? Not having any hooks into an unfamiliar culture (to which language…

9,000 year commitment

In 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease for the brewery in Dublin. Now that is commitment to a vision. Can you imagine signing a 5 or…

Guinness Storehouse: exhibition done well

The Guinness Storehouse exhibition is done very well indeed. Here’re the techniques I thought worked well. Clear traffic direction. Unlike the Book of Kells exhibition, the Storehouse design…

Book of Kells exhibition: could be better

If hell were other people, then the Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College was hell made manifest. The exhibition design did not effectively manage and direct movement….

Minimum Necessary Outcome

How much of what we have to do is indeed what we have to do? How often do we do something without really understanding why or being clear…

History changing objects

Discovering the Asgard at the Museum Decorative Arts & History in Dublin prompted this post. The fact that one single object can come to be so intimately tied to…

The potential in tools

Looking through an exhibition about Irish silver, I found myself drawn more to the tools (the anvils) especially, than to the finished products. The tools promise infinite potential….

Children need less food

Is the world losing our collective common sense? Many of us have heard, and chuckled at, the truism that common sense is really not that common right? I’m…

Cola is red

Following on from my chocolate is gold post, here’s a photo of the drinks fridge in a convenience store. Notice how red is the category colour of cola flavoured…

Chocolate is gold

Gold balls at the Ór – Ireland’s Gold exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology in Dublin. All that gold and not a single piece of chocolate. Isn’t it…

Combining design thinking and applied psychology

I use three different problem-solving processes: Design Thinking, Crisis Support and Suicide First Aid. I see a great deal of similarities between them. There is a possibility to combine…

“Design” has a double meaning

“The word ‘design’, unlike ‘art’, has a double meaning. Both a verb and a noun, it is not just a feature of our surroundings, it is also the…

 

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