Category archives: Design Theory

Discussions of Design Epistemology or more generally thoughts about design.

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BarCamp this weekend ("Hacking perception, the core perceptual cycle")


Been trying to think of what would be the most interesting thing to present to a group of people with wide-ranging interests. I've considered all the technical stuff, but really, yawn. Instead I'm thinking of offering a short talk on human perception and cognition from a hacker's perspective; how do you approach an understanding ...

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I really need to set some time aside for thesis work (Juggling act has too many balls...)


I got reminded 3 times over the week that it's been months since I did any serious work on my thesis (modulo the presentation at BarCamp). Given that I'm feeling somewhat burned out on accounting software maybe I should schedule a couple of weeks off in October just to work on the thesis rewrite.

Abandoned building in a park (Machiavelli's palace???)


Highlight of yesterday's wandering was actually a wrong turn. We were wanting to get to the Pitti gardens (and then the Pitti palace, and then...) but missed the little side-gate that is the entrance to Pitti and went through the "main" gate. There was this grand building at the back of the park, and another ...

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Days in the Italian Countryside (In Florence now...)


Milan CathedralArrived in Florence yesterday. Spent the first four days of the trip with Soni's brother, sister-in-law and niece (my niece pretty soon (I'm Jagi Maku :) ). Great people, very fun and relaxed. There are 355 pictures just of them (mostly our niece).

Running into the limits of the camera rather frequently, mostly zoom-related (can't ...

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

In other news, we went to Scotland a few weeks ago. I learned a number of things about Charles Rennie Mackintosh that were a bit surprising for me. For one thing, the thing that attracted me to his work, and I think largely contributes to his popularity is something that he was in the process ...

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I want to think (Idle thought as I walked home...)


I spent the largest fraction of my walk home thinking about "what nexts"; what to do after I finish building provisioning and billing systems, after I finish helping build a community to raise a laptop.

I want to go back to thinking deeply. I want to spend my days exploring really complex things, things that ...

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Excited about Tomorrow (Even if today was a bit of a wash...)


Spent the whole day on errands. Found a place to print out photos for my mother in law at $0.17 each (with 300 of them), picked up firewire cables for the video camera, dumped the wedding video to DVD so that she can take that with her too. Bit of a bug-fix for an infrequent ...

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Success in Innovation (Recipes for Success in Humanism)


We had a long discussion yesterday about the similarities between "social innovation" and "technical innovation" projects. There was broad general agreement that both of these are aspects of the same process, that is, that all social innovation is a form of a technical innovation, and the obverse.

I tried to make the point, though I'm ...

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Messy Jobs are Never-Ending (Clean jobs a disappearing breed...)


Sitting here working I find myself reflecting on the fact that messy jobs are never "finished." By messy I mean jobs that are complex and multi-faceted and have no particular "right solution". In contrast, the clean jobs, the ones where you just need to solve a problem and know that you have the correct answer, ...

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Big Ideas on Conflict in the Brain (Interesting "areas of the brain" lecture...)


Interesting lecture, touches briefly on the idea of designers (intenders) attempting to set up a conflict in the mind in order to have the user consider the ideas they have not yet been exposed to. General points here and there of interest as well. (Yes, I listen to these lectures as I work).