robertogreco + engineering   207

Emma Marris on Twitter: "Every time I go somewhere to give a talk, I try to learn at least a little about the human and environmental history. So today I am reading about how the Kumeyaay--the tribe in the San Diego area--have a long history of hydrologic
[via: https://www.are.na/block/4626658]

“Every time I go somewhere to give a talk, I try to learn at least a little about the human and environmental history. So today I am reading about how the Kumeyaay–the tribe in the San Diego area–have a long history of hydrological engineering to cope with drought.

“Careful study of Spanish accounts indicates that little or no natural landscape (i.e., climax or old chaparral) existed. Instead they describe grass, oak-park grasslands, limited chaparral, and areas with plants so even and regular they looked planted…

all the product of human management to provide food.”
–Shipek, F. C. (1981). A Native American Adaptation to Drought: The Kumeyaay as Seen in the San Diego Mission Records 1770-1798. Ethnohistory, 28(4), 295. doi:10.2307/481135

Wow, I am reading that one elder told researchers that they once lived by the coast, but moved upland when they discovered that the oaks that they relied on for food grew better at higher elevations. The “oak groves” settlers found were all pretty much orchards.

The Kumeyaay actively extended the range of palms, plums, agave, yucca, sage, and mesquite. Planted stands of many of these plants were flash burned occasionally to clear out insects and parasites like mistletoe.

Willow, elderberry, and sumac were planted in riparian corridors to prevent erosion. (This is all knowledge given to researchers by elders who recalled practices in the late 1800s on both sides of today’s US/Mexico border)

The Kumeyaay brought desert plants all the way to the coast. Spanish explorers described villages as being surrounded by “a fortress” of prickly pear cactus. M. Kat Anderson has written about Natives harvesting pruning these cacti to promote growth of tender young pads. [photo of cacti]

They planted a semi-domesticated grain, which has apparently been lost. Because they interplanted with other annuals and managed with fire, settlers mistook their fields for ‘wild’ meadows.

The Kumeyaay also placed rocks in parallel lines on slopes to slow water runoff and increase groundwater recharge.

I want to read more about this but I can’t find an online copy of this: 1993 Kumeyaay Plant Husbandry: Fire, Water, and Erosion Control Systems. In Before the Wilderness: Environmental Management by Native Californians, Thomas C. Blackburn and Kat Anderson, editors, pp. 379–388.

Today Kumeyaay people belong to 13 different bands in the US. As San Diego marks the 250th anniversary of the coming of the missionaries, some of the tribes are reminding the world that the “founding” of the city was, for them, an encroachment. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/people/story/2019-04-14/something-to-celebrate-indians-conflicted-feelings-about-san-diegos-250th-birthday

At Kumeyaay Community College, you can learn the Kumeyaay language or take an ethnobotany course! http://kumeyaaycommunitycollege.com/
emmaharris  sandiego  kumeyaay  history  agriculture  environment  engineering  flora  fauna 
4 days ago by robertogreco
Reading Lists | Places Journal
"Race, Space, and the Law
Desiree Valadares
UC Berkeley

Architecture and Structural Engineering
Tyler Sprague
University of Washington

Coding Flux
Fadi Masoud
University of Toronto

Designing for Science Tourism
Matias del Campo and Sandra Manninger
University of Michigan

Writing Geography
Nehal El-Hadi
University of Toronto

Reading Cities
Alex Baca
Urbanist

Material Nature in Architecture
Erin Moore
University of Oregon, School of Architecture and Environment

Tending Toward Attention
Nathaniel Rivers
Saint Louis University

Enchanting Flow
Guillermo León Gómez and Sofia Bastidas
The New School and Southern Methodist University

Public Architecture
Emma Rowden and Jesse Stein
University of Technology Sydney

Infrastructural Ecology: The City’s Buried Systems
Nicholas Pevzner
University of Pennsylvania

Urbanism After Extraction
Marie Law Adams and Rafi Segal
MIT

Transparent Structures
Beverly Choe and Jun Sato
Stanford University

Re-Imagining Toronto’s Urban Waterways
Alissa North
University of Toronto

Designing with Ruins in Post-Industrial Appalachia
Luis Pancorbo and Edward Ford
University of Virginia

Architecture and Pedagogy
Benjamin Smith
Tulane University

Drawing Place
Carl Smith and Blake Belanger
University of Arkansas and Kansas State University

Toward a Future Agrarian Urbanism
Phoebe Lickwar
University of Arkansas

AIA Gold: Paul Revere Williams
Daisy-O'lice Williams
University of Oregon

Animal Machines: The Architecture of the Body
Iman Ansari
University of Southern California

Landscapes of the Scientific Imaginary
Justine Holzman
University of Toronto

Another South: Exurbs and America
Ashley Bigham
University of Michigan

Art in the Public Sphere
Aleksandra Kaminska
Université de Montréal

Homeplace: Planning and African American Communities
Andrea Roberts
University of Texas, Austin

Black Geographies
Anna Livia Brand
University of Texas, Austin

Nature in the City
Hillary Angelo
University of California, Santa Cruz

Architecture and Control
Louis Nelson
University of Virginia

Black in Design
African American Student Union
Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Designing for Future Weathers
Phu Hoang
Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Cloud Vision
Nick Lally
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Architecture in Spaces of Crisis
Dawn Gilpin
University of Michigan

Studio Reading, Late Reading, Anti-Reading: The Regime of Humbug
Roger Connah
Carleton University

Architecture and Jazz
Kenneth Schwartz
Tulane University

Women, Space, and Place: Four Cinematic Pairings
Amy Murphy
University of Southern California

Architecture and Real Estate in the United States
Temple Hoyne Buell Center
Columbia University

China’s New Landscape
Dorothy Tang
University of Hong Kong

Environmental Readings
Frederick Steiner
University of Texas at Austin

The Stars at Night Are Big and Bright [Insert Sound of Hands Clapping]
Enrique Ramirez
University of Pennsylvania

Public Reading
Shannon Mattern
The New School

The Aesthetic Design of Freeways
Nate Berg
Los Angeles journalist

Critical Ecologies
Nina-Marie Lister
Ryerson University

America 30:60
Brian Davis
Cornell University

Deconstructing the Imperialist’s Approach to Geomorphology
Kristi Cheramie
Ohio State University"
readinglists  geography  place  architecture  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  law  race  engineering  placesjournal 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
Optimize What? • Commune
"Silicon Valley is full of the stupidest geniuses you’ll ever meet. The problem begins in the classrooms where computer science is taught."



"In higher education and research, the situation is similar, if further removed from the harsh realities of technocapitalism. Computer science in the academy is a minefield of contradictions: a Stanford undergraduate may attend class and learn how to extract information from users during the day, then later attend an evening meeting of the student organization CS+Social Good, where they will build a website for a local nonprofit. Meanwhile, a researcher who attended last year’s Conference on Economics and Computation would have sat through a talk on maximizing ad revenue, then perhaps participated the next morning in a new workshop on “mechanism design for social good.”

It is in this climate that we, too, must construct our vision for computer science and its applications. We might as well start from scratch: in a recent article for Tribune, Wendy Liu calls to “abolish Silicon Valley.” By this she means not the naive rejection of high technology, but the transformation of the industry into one funded, owned, and controlled by workers and the broader society—a people’s technology sector.

Silicon Valley, however, does not exist in an intellectual vacuum; it depends on a certain type of computer science discipline. Therefore, a people’s remake of the Valley will require a people’s computer science. Can we envision this? Today, computer science departments don’t just generate capitalist realism—they are themselves ruled by it. Only those research topics that carry implications for profit extraction or military applications are deemed worthy of investigation. There is no escaping the reach of this intellectual-cultural regime; even the most aloof theoreticians feel the need to justify their work by lining their paper introductions and grant proposals with spurious connections to the latest industry fads. Those who are more idealistic or indignant (or tenured) insist that the academy carve out space for “useless” research as well. However, this dichotomy between “industry applications” and “pure research” ignores the material reality that research funding comes largely from corporate behemoths and defense agencies, and that contemporary computer science is a political enterprise regardless of its wishful apolitical intentions.

In place of this suffocating ideological fog, what we must construct is a notion of communist realism in science: that only projects in direct or indirect service to people and planet will have any hope of being funded, of receiving the esteem of the research community, or even of being considered intellectually interesting. What would a communist computer science look like? Can we imagine researchers devising algorithms for participatory economic planning? Machine learning for estimating socially necessary labor time? Decentralized protocols for coordinating supply chains between communes?

Allin Cottrell and Paul Cockshott, two of the few contemporary academics who tackle problems of computational economics in non-market settings, had this to say in a 1993 paper:
Our investigations enable us to identify one component of the problem (with economic planning): the material conditions (computational technology) for effective socialist planning of a complex peacetime economy were not realized before, say, the mid-1980s. If we are right, the most notorious features of the Soviet economy (chronically incoherent plans, recurrent shortages and surpluses, lack of responsiveness to consumer demand), while in part the result of misguided policies, were to some degree inevitable consequences of the attempt to operate a system of central planning before its time. The irony is obvious: socialism was being rejected at the very moment when it was becoming a real possibility.


Politically, much has changed since these words were written. The takeaway for contemporary readers is not necessarily that we should devote ourselves to central planning once more; rather, it’s that our moment carries a unique mixture of ideological impasse and emancipatory potential, ironically both driven in large part by technological development. The cold science of computation seems to declare that social progress is over—there can only be technological progress. Yet if we manage to wrest control of technology from Silicon Valley and the Ivory Tower, the possibilities for postcapitalist society are seemingly endless. The twenty-first-century tech workers’ movement, a hopeful vehicle for delivering us towards such prospects, is nascent—but it is increasingly a force to be reckoned with, and, at the risk of getting carried away, we should start imagining the future we wish to inhabit. It’s time we began conceptualizing, and perhaps prototyping, computation and information in a workers’ world. It’s time to start conceiving of a new left-wing science."
engineering  problemsolving  capitalism  computers  politics  technology  jimmywu  2019  optimization  efficiency  allincottrell  paulcockshott  siliconvalley  techosolutionism  technocapitalism  computation  wendyliu  compsci  ideology 
12 weeks ago by robertogreco
Sony’s New toio Wants to Inspire a Future Generation of Robotics Engineers | Spoon & Tamago
"Build, play, inspire. That’s the idea behind Sony’s new toy for kids, designed to inspire a future generation of robotics engineers. Toio is the result of 5 years of research into developing a toy that’s simple enough for kids to use, but also sophisticated enough to create a figurative sandbox where kids can explore the inner-workings of robotics engineering.

Toio, at first glance, is stunningly simple: the core of the toy is just 2 white cubes with wheels. But don’t be fooled by their appearance. The tiny cubes pack a whole lot of tech. They respond to motion, are able to detect the exact location of the other, and can be programmed but also remote controlled.

It would seem that the possibilities for toio are endless, which is why the developers teamed up with various creatives and designers to come up with various craft sets that help kids explore what robots can do. You can create your own robotic beast and battle others, you can play board games with them and you can make obstacle courses for them to go through. Sony has even teamed up with Lego for this project, allowing kids to build Lego structures on top of their robots.

But one of the most attractive features is a craft set designed by the folks behind the lovable PythagoraSwitch TV segment. It’s a simple paper set that encourages kids to join the two white cubes using paper. The cubes then interact with each other and come alive, resulting in different movements.

Check out the videos to get a better sense of what toio can do. Sony has released a limited quantity of toio sets that start at 21,557 yen (about $200 USD) and go up to 33,415 (about $300 USD) depending on how many craft sets you want to add on."

[Also here: http://prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com/post/161355896016/toio-programmable-robotics-toy-from-sony-uses ]
via:tealtan  robots  classideas  toys  learning  toio  sony  robotics  engineering  paper  lego 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Scratching the Surface — 24. Sara Hendren
"Sara Hendren is a designer, artist, writer, and professor whose work centers around adaptive and assistive technologies, prosthetics, inclusive design, accessible architecture, and related ideas. She teaches inclusive design practices at Olin College in Massachusetts and writes and edits Abler, her site to collect and comment on art, adaptive technologies and prosthetics, and the future of human bodies in the built environment. In this episode, Sara and I talk about her own background and using design to manifest ideas in the world, the role of writing in her own design practice, and how teaches these ideas with her students."

[audio: https://soundcloud.com/scratchingthesurfacefm/24-sara-hendren ]
sarahendren  jarrettfuller  design  2017  interviews  johndewey  wendyjacob  nataliejeremijenko  remkoolhaas  timmaly  clairepentecost  alexandralange  alissawalker  michaelrock  alfredojaar  oliversacks  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  nicolatwilley  amateurs  amateurism  dabbling  art  artists  generalists  creativegeneralists  disability  engineering  criticaltheory  integatededucation  integratedcurriculum  identity  self  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  assistivetechnology  technology  olincollege  humanities  liberalarts  disabilities  scratchingthesurface 
april 2017 by robertogreco
RC KFC bucket aeroplane (magnus effect) - YouTube
"hey guys! well you requested it and here it is!!!!! The magnus force (effect) KFC bucket aeroplane. not sure why I chose KFC buckets though... they make poor rotating flettner wings!"
classideas  airplanes  science  perseverance  engineering  2017  flight  makers  making 
april 2017 by robertogreco
California Today: A Chronicler of the State, in His Own Words - The New York Times
"Here are just a few highlights from Mr. Starr’s prose and interviews:

On recurring natural disasters (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1993)
Southern California has used technology to materialize an imagined society of garden cities and suburbs. Now and then, it must pay a price for its reordering of the environment.

On diversity (San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 10, 2000):
Is there any people on the planet, any language, any religion not represented in California this very morning? ... This diversity, then, is the persistent DNA code of California.

On California’s rising Latino population (New York Times, March 31, 2001):
The Anglo hegemony was only an intermittent phase in California’s arc of identity, extending from the arrival of the Spanish.

On the Central Valley (“Coast of Dreams,” 2004):
Mesopotamia, the rice fields of China, the Po Valley: the Central Valley stood in a long line of irrigation cultures which had, in turn, given birth to civilization itself.

On California at the millennium (“California: A History,” 2005):
California had long since become one of the prisms through which the American people, for better and for worse, could glimpse their future.

On the drought (The New York Times, April 4, 2005):
Mother Nature didn’t intend for 40 million people to live here.

On the Golden Gate Bridge (“Golden Gate,” 2010):
Like the Parthenon, the Golden Gate Bridge seems Platonic in its perfection, as if the harmonies and resolutions of creation as understood by mathematics and abstract thought have been effortlessly materialized through engineering design.
"
kevinstarr  california  diversity  socal  demographics  technology  history  identity  2017  2010  2005  2004  2001  2000  1993  drought  environment  goldengatebridge  engineering  infrastructure  mesopotamia  irrigation  civilization  society  latinos  future 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Letter to the 10-year-old girl who applied to the Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship
"This will make your day, I promise. Eva, a 10-year-old, applied to our summer fellowship program amidst mostly computer science Phds and seasoned urban designers. A summary of her pitch: “The streets of Paris are sad. I want to build a robot that will make them happy again. I’ve already starting learning how to code on Thymio robots, but I have trouble making it work. I want to join the program so the mentors can help me.” Here is my reply to her."



"Dear Eva,

The answer is yes. You have been selected as one of Paris’ first-ever Summer Innovation Fellows among an impressive pool of candidates from all across the world: accomplished urban designers, data scientists and hardware specialists. I love your project and agree that more should be done--through robotics or otherwise--to improve Paris’ streets and make them smile again.

I am writing to you personally because your application inspired me. There was nothing on the website that said the program was open to 10 year olds but--as you must have noticed--nothing that said that it was not. You’ve openly told us that you had trouble making the robot work on your own and needed help. That was a brave thing to admit, and ultimately what convinced us to take on your project. Humility and the willingness to learn in order to go beyond our current limitations are at the heart and soul of innovation.

It is my hope that your work on robotics will encourage more young girls all over the world--not just to code, but to be as brave as you, in asking for help and actively looking for different ways to learn and grow. More good news: I wrote to Thymio, the robotics company whose tech you use and asked if they could designate a specialist to personally help you. They have decided that that person will be their President himself. They will also be providing you their latest robot.

Welcome aboard our spaceship, Eva. We’re very much looking forward to meeting you in person.

All the best from Paris,
Kat Borlongan
Founding Partner, Five by Five
www.fivebyfive.io

PS
Please ask your dad to call me :) "
katborlongan  children  girls  technology  inclusivity  robotics  robots  2016  fivebyfive  stem  engineering  sfsh 
june 2016 by robertogreco
my first commencement speech | Abler.
"Congratulations, class of 2016. It’s an honor to be with you. I want to start with a story from candidates’ weekend this past February. As you all know, Candidates’ Weekends are when the applicants for admission who’ve made the first cut come to campus for a full weekend of events—events we design to help us understand them as people. You all did this some four years ago now.

So one thing I did on Candidate’s Weekend was the solo interview session. The setup is three of us: myself, as the faculty member, plus one current student, and one recent alumnus sit together to ask a series of questions of these young people. And—they’re 17, right, so they’re nervous. It’s a profound and moving thing to see up close their quivering hands, their flushed cheeks. We try to set them at ease and to learn something in a short amount of time: about what makes them tick, what they’re passionate about.

And at the end of each interview, as instructed, we allow for questions from the candidates themselves: and they do have questions—about Olin life, or what we like about engineering, things you would expect.

And on that day, these questions from the candidates were indeed more or less the usual fare. With one exception. We asked this one affable young high school student if he had any questions, and without missing a beat, he said, right away, he said: “What’s up with the doors here?” Just like that, totally unself-conscious. What’s up with the doors here? And my interview partners—the student and the alumnus—just *erupted* in recognition and laughter. Because apparently the doors at Olin are notorious among students for their poor design: it has been, for all these years, weirdly unclear whether and where you push or pull. It’s not intuitive where your weight should fall to hold them open. It’s awkward entering and exiting all over campus.

Lots of Olin students have remarked on and complained about this phenomenon, and here was this young person: so immediately alert to the subtlety of this condition in his first weekend here, and brazen enough to call it out.

That guy got in. I checked.

This young hopeful candidate for engineering school had found himself among his people. And I’m happy to say that in the intervening weeks and months since then, somehow some door cues—saying “push here” or “pull” have mysteriously appeared on various handles around campus. Not sure who’s responsible for that, but someone got the message.

Now. That story might seem like just a funny anecdote, but it actually reveals something big, I think, about engineering and engineers. Asking What’s up with the doors is more than an idle observation. I think it indicates a way of being in the world.

A lot of times engineering is framed as a penchant for problem-solving, in various permutations and with various caveats. Problem-solving: that is, skills and knowledge to materially improve the operations of the world. You’ve heard this.

But What’s up with the doors, I think, signals something more profound. It’s the full knowledge that the inherited conditions of the natural and built environment need not be as they are. It’s the understanding that atoms and bits—the material and the digital—these conditions aren’t permanent. They don’t have to remain mysterious. Atoms and bits, bits and atoms: unlocked, un-black-boxed, malleable, contingent.

To understand the systems of the built world is to know, in your bones, something powerful: that things might be otherwise. The doors, the engines, the mechanisms, the software and systems: you all know that these are the results of design decisions that can be reversed, unwound, utterly reconceived. Because you understand how they work. What’s up with the doors underscores that power, and it’s a power that you all now have. We send you out to the world with it. So: it’s a good day.

However. However.

I won’t cheapen this day by offering you a simple victory narrative. If only, IF ONLY the doors of the world were entirely made of wood and steel. If only it were so simple—to make the world better, just using atoms and bits.

Think about the doors of the immaterial kind: the portals, the thresholds, the entry points to human flourishing that are only open to some, and sealed shut for others. These are doors whose pushing open and pulling closed are social, political, interpersonal mechanisms—mechanisms that no amount of physics alone can sway.

In other words: to find yourself equipped as an engineer in the physical, technical sense—to be able to intervene and even dismantle the doors of the tangible, built world—is still to find yourself an ordinary citizen with a much harder set of questions to engage. How do we share this planet? How do we talk to each other, people unlike ourselves? How do we grapple with the legacies of history? How do we build not only the future we can construct, but the just and sustainable future we want to live in, one that includes all of us? To pry open and build these kinds of entrances, you will use your engineering, yes, but you’ll need so much more than that. You’ll need wisdom, and you’ll have to look for it and recognize it far outside of technology.

Be brave with these questions. Keep asking them. See that all kinds of openings and closings are everywhere.

And as you go out from here, know that the doors of this campus remain open to you."
sarahendren  olincollege  commencementaddresses  accessibility  engineering  2016  access  criticalthinking  problemsolving  doors  power  howthingswork  portals  thresholds  intervention  wisdom  technology  politics  commencementspeeches 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Otherlab!
[previously bookmarked: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:2482ea1338ff ]

"We are mischievous scientists, practical dreamers, working on making the world the way it needs to be. Asking: "Wouldn't it be cool if..." is an excellent place to start:

If you'd like the more in depth version check out the video from our Show and Tell event. We're always on the look out for interesting folks so if this excites you then head over to Jobs to see what's going.

How we work

We have a strong track record of attracting research funding for early and risky ideas in areas such as ‘programmable matter’, robotics, solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, computational and advanced manufacturing, medical devices and more. These non-dilutive investments allows us de-risk the very early exploratory phase of our projects.

We develop enabling new technologies through an emphasis on prototyping coupled to rigorous physics simulation and mathematical models. Our design tools are often made in-house because it's lonely at the frontier and to create new things and ideas, you often have to create the tools to design them.

Core to our model are collaborations with external entities including commercial entities, universities and other research firms. In the past 5 years Otherlab has collaborated with Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, NASA, Autodesk, GE, FORD, Google, Motorola, IDEO and a host of others.

What we work on

Our principal domains of expertise are: Renewable and clean energy, Computational Geometry, Computational design tools, Digital Fabrication, Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and automation & Engineered textiles.

Want a more practical idea? We like you! Head over to Projects for a better sense.

How to reach us

We are @otherlab on twitter and that is a great place to start a conversation. Visual learners may find our YouTube Channel and Instagram feed interesting.

You can email us at info@otherlab.com. We live in the old Schoenstein Organ Factory building in the heart of San Francisco's Mission district:

3101 20th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110"
sanfrancisco  engineering  robots  robotics  solar  wind  energy  manufacturing  otherlab  fabrication  computationalgeometry  saulgriffith  design  make  diy  innovation  tools 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Digital Manifesto Archive
"This collection aggregates manifestos concerned with making as a subpractice of the digital humanities."



"This archive is an academic resource dedicated to aggregating and cataloging manifestos that fall under two basic criteria. 1) The Digital Manifesto Archive features manifestos that focus on the political and cultural dimensions of digital life. 2) The Digital Manifesto Archive features manifestos that are written, or are primarily disseminated, online.

The manifesto genre is, by definition, timely and politically focused. Further, it is a primary site of political, cultural, and social experimentation in our contemporary world. Manifestos that are created and disseminated online further this experimental ethos by fundamentally expanding the character and scope of the genre.

Each category listed on the archive is loosely organized by theme, political affiliation, and (if applicable) time period. While the political movements and affiliations of the manifestos archived in each category are not universal, each category does try to capture a broad spectrum of political moods and actions with regard to its topic.

This site is meant to preserve manifestos for future research and teaching. The opinions expressed by each author are their own.

This archive was created by Matt Applegate. Our database and website was created by Graham Higgins (gwhigs). It is maintained by Matt Applegate and Yu Yin (Izzy) To
You can contact us at digitalmanifestoarchive@gmail.com.

This project is open source. You can see gwhigs' work for the site here: Digital Manifesto Archive @ Github.com"
manifestos  digital  digitalhumanities  archives  making  mattapplegate  yuyin  designfiction  criticalmaking  engineering  capitalism  feminism  hacking  hacktivism  digitalmarkets  digitaldiaspora  internetofthings  iot  cyberpunk  mediaecology  media  publishing  socialmedia  twitter  ethics  digitalculture  piracy  design  bigdata  transhumanism  utopianism  criticaltheory  mediaarchaeology  opensource  openaccess  technofeminism  gaming  digitalaesthetics  digitaljournalism  journalism  aesthetics  online  internet  web  technocracy  archaeology  education  afrofuturism  digitalart  art  blogging  sopa  aaronswartz  pipa  anarchism  anarchy 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Engineering at Home
"We are a designer (Sara Hendren) and an anthropologist (Caitrin Lynch), and we teach engineering students. When we met Cindy, we were moved by a number of aspects about her story, and so were the students in our classrooms. She survived a complex, life-threatening medical event; she joined a very small percentage of people to survive such an event without neurological impairment. All of this is extraordinary in itself. But she also received the best available “rehabilitation engineering” technology that money can buy—a sophisticated myoelectric hand—and it turned out to be of little importance to her recovery. Those hands are astonishing feats of engineering, and there’s no shortage of media attention celebrating them. But after a lengthy insurance process and specialized training for that replacement limb, Cindy found she had little use for it. By the time she received the hand, she was well on her way to adapting her body and environment with a variety of everyday materials and tools—using what was around her for daily tasks. It may come as a surprise, but the “universal” functionality of that hand had been supplanted by the quick and nimble devices she and her prosthetist could assemble. So, how has Cindy built a life that works? She’s not an engineer by training, and she wouldn’t have even called herself naturally inclined toward Do-It-Yourself handiwork. But she is the expert on her body and needs, and her wish to adapt to her new life has fueled the creation of everyday adaptations built of things like cable ties, cosmetic sponges, peel-and-stick hooks, and more—some that are available in the assistive technology market, and some with her prosthetist or her husband Ken, but many on her own. Cindy’s set of objects form an archive about the new interdependence that she lives with in her body: a combination of assistance from her husband and two daughters, family, church community, and friends; expert medical oversight; and this assembly of daily living tools and devices."



"We created this website because we are moved by Cindy's story. We also created it because we are convinced that her story illustrates new ways of understanding who can engineer, what counts as engineering, and why this matters. This website is about her adaptations. It is also about Cindy herself. And it’s about a new way of imagining engineering. The full archive is here, and we invite you to explore these designs individually or by action.

Cindy is not alone in adapting her environment with informal engineering—we know she joins millions of garage tinkerers, household inventors, and, of course, participants in Maker culture. However, Cindy’s story is distinctive. She needed the expertise of clinicians, yes—and the most advanced medical care and technology available (including a $90,000 myoelectric hand). But she also needed to find dozens of ways to make a new life for herself, and for that she needed deceptively simple engineering: a tool to write in her own signature hand, the ability to feed herself, to play cards with friends. Cindy’s adaptations say something powerful about health and wellbeing, and the tools that make those things possible. Medical technology and skilled clinicians sustained her life, but getting to a “new normal” turned out not to be a high-tech matter. These inventions—repurposed household objects, simple materials, clever hacks—give her something that pain medications and medical gear cannot: a life tailored, customized, tuned to her wishes and aspirations. This is a story about surviving a radical life change in the company of experts but also with one’s own ingenuity. Today Cindy has gotten relicensed to drive, has traveled to Europe, and goes out on her own to visit friends or to shop. Life goes on. She is 69 years old as of this writing (December 2015) and she looks forward to many more years with her five grandchildren (three born since the heart attack).

Inspiration and precedents for this project include sites like Zebreda Makes It Work, Maker Nurse, and Farm Hack, and others, all of which alter the context, meaning, and import of Maker culture trends. Read on for an extended discussion: what counts as engineering, and how do we know?"
sarahendren  caitrinlynch  caseygollan  michaelmaloney  engineering  assistivetechnology  technology  tools  making  2016 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Search results | Farm Hack
"We are a worldwide community of farmers that build and modify our own tools. We share our hacks online and at meet ups because we become better farmers when we work together.

Watch our movie. Get started here."

"FarmHack is a community for those who embrace the long-standing farm traditions of tinkering, inventing, fabricating, tweaking, and improving things that break. We are farmers of all ages, but the project has special relevance to young and beginning farmers as a place to learn from their peers' and their elders' successes, mistakes and new ideas. We also seek to bring our non-farmer allies on board: engineers, architects, designers, and the like. Together, with an open-source ethic, we can retool our farms for a sustainable future."

[via: http://engineeringathome.org/ ]
farms  farming  making  adaptations  hacking  agriculture  tools  engineering  architecture  design  tinkering  invention  inventing  fabrication  tweaking  improvisation 
february 2016 by robertogreco
If you want to produce drones, teach kids nothing but STEM |
"The problem is, if we want people to be creative as scientists and engineers, discouraging them from taking arts classes (or for that matter discouraging them from playing rugby or football** or whatever) is exactly the wrong way to do it.

While I was writing REST, some of the most interesting studies I read compared the hobbies of high-achieving and low-achieving scientists. In particular, there was a study started in the late 1950s by UCLA sociologist Bernice Eiduson to understand what separated great scientists from their less accomplished colleagues.

Lots of psychologists had tried to figure out what marked some people for greatness, but no one had found the thing— the single personality trait, the “genius gene,” the cognitive edge— that all successful scientists share. Eiduson thought that by watching their careers unfold over several decades, and talking to and testing them at regular intervals, she might see things in successful lives that one-off interviews and short studies couldn’t.

Eiduson found forty young and mid-career scientists who agreed to be interviewed about their life and work, sit for psychological tests, and most crucially, keep doing so. All of them were products of top graduate programs, promising researchers, and young enough to have long, productive careers. Eiduson would follow this group for more than twenty years, and in that time the lives of the forty diverged. Some were elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Others received promotions and prestigious chairs at their universities. One became a presidential science advisor. Four won the Nobel Prize; one, Linus Pauling, won it twice. Others settled into less distinguished careers. Some continued to struggle to do serious science, but couldn’t keep up. They became administrators, or focused on teaching.

From a sociological standpoint, it was an ideal outcome. A group that looked roughly the same decades earlier had split into two parts. The challenge now was to figure out why.

So what did she find that separated the top performers from the rest?

It wasn’t performance on intelligence tests— there didn’t seem to be a genius gene— nor were there personality traits that were really unusual. (The high performer were ambitious and competitive, but so are lots of people.) No, what separated the great from the good were— as Eiduson’s collaborators would discover after she died in 1985— other factors.

• It turned out that the best scientists showed “an unusual urge to experiment athletically as well as scientifically,” and selected “athletic activities that could be carried from youth into old age.” (These quotes are from an article by Maurine Bernstein, Robert Scott Root-Bernstein, and Helen Garnier, who continued and extended Eiduson’s work.) The top scientists took full advantage of the region’s geography: they played tennis, went swimming, hiking, and skiing. This being southern California, there was also an over-representation of surfers and sailors. Their less distinguished colleagues, in contrast, reported low rates of participation in sports.

• They saw rest and recreation as connected. As Robert Scott Root-Bernstein put it, elite scientists shared the belief that “time relaxing or engaging in their hobbies could be valuable” to “their scientific efficiency and thus to their careers.” For them, playing the piano or painting was just another “expression of a general aesthetic sensibility about nature.” What they did in the lab, the court, the climbing wall, and the lecture hall were woven together, different activities linked by common interests and shared passions. Low achievers, in contrast, said nothing about serious hobbies. They “had none or found them irrelevant to their work.”

• They expressed fewer anxieties about time pressure. For the Nobel laureates and world leaders, swimming or hiking didn’t compete with their time in their laboratory, and they didn’t feel that the time they spent on deliberate rest was stolen from more productive things. Because they practiced deliberate rest, seeking out activities that gave their conscious minds a break and provided a mental and psychological boost, but left their subconscious minds free (free to run through ideas, test and reject possibilities, and hone in on a solution), their sense of how much time they worked, and how much time they had at their disposal, differed from their less successful colleagues. In contrast, less well-cited, well-known scientists saw themselves as too time-pressed for hiking or surfing or playing the piano: they had too many commitments, too many obligations, too many demands on their time.

There are tons of examples I could give— and do give in the book— of world-class minds who are also great athletes, serious painters, musicians, even pool players (Albert Michelson, who measured the speed of light, was a master billiards player). And there’s good evidence that being good at these different activities strengthens creative ability, and provides much-needed deliberate rest for busy, hard-charging people.

So extrapolating from Eiduson’s work, if you want to produce people who have technical skills, but never will be able to do anything more imaginative than quality control for LG, then teach them lots of science and math, and nothing else. In contrast, if you want to produce people who’ll create category-defining products, overturn paradigms, and make scientific breakthroughs, by all means offer the physics and chemistry— but also encourage them to play sports, learn to paint, and play music.

Or as Vogt-Vincent put it,
Stopping young people from expressing themselves at such a young age is not doing them any favours…. To study arts subjects, you have to take risks, push yourself emotionally, expressively and creatively in every lesson, you have to persevere and be interpretive, passionate and collaborative. I’ve worked harder in these subjects than I’ve ever worked in my life.
"
education  stem  steam  unschooling  lcproject  openstudioproject  time  anxiety  science  engineering  innovation  creativity  2016  alexsoojungkimpang  schools  parenting  scientists  ucla  orlivogt-vincent  rest  idelenss  linuspauling  berniceeiduson  life  happiness  balance  well-being 
february 2016 by robertogreco
An Inside Look at a Facebook Data Center - The Atlantic
"As we wrap up the tour, I finally ask a question I've been holding back all day, partly from embarrassment and partly because I expect they’ll say no. “So we have this quadcopter,” I start.

In quite possibly the weirdest near-future moment of my life, we are immediately given an answer, and it is so precise it suggests that it's an answer they've had to give before. We are told that it's totally OK to fly the drone over and around the data center we just toured, but if we go anywhere near the currently under construction parts, we will get in trouble. The construction company, they apologetically note, has a pretty strict drone policy. Later, I try to imagine the business meeting where Facebook and their contractor carefully compared drone policies. I hate the future.

[video: https://vimeo.com/146188260 ]

From this distance the scale of the data-center campus, with the just completed Phase 2 building and power substation in the background, suddenly becomes a lot more legible, and with it Facebook’s larger position in the scheme of the network. The Internet is a massive technology built on top of and piggybacking on past massive technologies, both legacy and living. Looking at the Altoona data center from a distance, I considered the extent to which Facebook is less and less a website on the Internet and more and more a telecommunications paradigm unto itself, piggybacking off of the Internet. It is as much a part of the Internet as the Internet was part of the telephone system in the days of dialup.

And this is maybe why Facebook’s forced empathy feels so uncomfortable—as a company, it continues to make decisions that suggest an assumption that Facebook isn’t so much part of the Internet as it is the natural next evolution of it. Some of its efforts intended to be in the service of a free and open Internet have at times seemed more in the service of a free and open Facebook. Instant Articles is great for improving article loads times, but it also means that users never have to leave the confines of Facebook.

Internet.org promises to connect the world, but its initial rollout in India was heavily criticized as undermining principles of net neutrality by favoring specific companies and platforms—still connecting the world, maybe, but mostly connecting the world to Facebook. To their credit, Facebook responded to this criticism by opening the Internet.org platform (awkwardly rebranded as Free Basics) to third-party developers in May of this year, although in editorials written since then Zuckerberg has defended the program as never really antithetical to net neutrality.

While Facebook taken at its best intentions doesn’t make a distinction between access to Facebook and access to the Internet, many users apparently already do. And this matters, because the kind of agency, creativity, and innovation a user has on the open Internet is very, very different from the kind that she has on Facebook.

This isn’t to say that the Internet is going to be wholly replaced by Facebook any more than the Internet “replaced” phones. We still use phones. But the Internet and the many sea changes it engendered (like smartphones) ultimately transformed a lot of the underlying fabric and infrastructure of phones to the point where it’s actually pretty hard to use a phone without also technically using the Internet, and damn near impossible to find a phone that’s actually attached to a landline.

Facebook has all the technical infrastructure and insight to become that underlying fabric of the network as we know it, harder and harder to work around. For me, for now, not being on Facebook is more inconvenience than life-altering hindrance—at its most annoying, it means I’ve sealed my spinster fate because I can’t make a Tinder account (luckily, I already have a heart of ice and refuse love at every turn). But my war-zone reporter friend pretty much can’t do her job without it, and it’s taken as a given that the News Feed algorithm dictates the kind of traffic that her stories, and my stories, receive. And if a patent acquired by Facebook in August 2015 is any indication, in the future not having a Facebook account could shape my credit score.

This isn’t to say that Facebook is doing something terrible to Internet infrastructure—OCP has been incredibly good for Internet infrastructure. Wind farms are good for Internet infrastructure. Facebook is doing really amazing, innovative work from and through their data centers, where the people who work there don’t mind reporters who are 20 minutes late and will go two hours over time to show them the ins and outs of the data center.

Maybe my anxieties of a world in which Internet infrastructure becomes just Facebook infrastructure are alarmist gripes of a curmudgeon who really likes things like Tilde Club. I don’t really know what kind of future Facebook might shape for the network, and it would be facile to assume that future is either good or bad when all technology is inherently ambivalent, despite the best of intentions. And I’m sure that the people working at Facebook have the best of intentions. The road to Share Way, I think while gazing out onto the adjacent highway, is probably paved with them."
datacenters  facebook  ingridburrington  2015  iowa  sharing  connectivity  technology  infrastructure  internet  ocp  empathy  design  engineering 
december 2015 by robertogreco
@justinpickard (A beaver rivals any entity within riparian worlds...)
""A beaver rivals any entity within riparian worlds for mounting stochastic operations and for thriving in stochastic zones—beavers reoccupied Mount St. Helens within months of the eruption and thrive in postmeltdown Chernobyl. When beaver dams break—routinely, unpredictably—they unleash a flood of water and sediment downstream; beavers rebuild dams within days or leave them breached and move elsewhere. Strategies adapting human livelihoods to anthropocene circumstances require that humans pay close attention to other species and notice how they respond stochastically to human actions and ecological forces." —Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and July Cole, ‘Transfiguring the Anthropocene: Stochastic Reimaginings of Human-Beaver Worlds’ (2015) [http://tsq.dukejournals.org/content/2/2/297.abstract ]"
beavers  anthropocene  cleowoelfle-erskine  julycole  manifestdestiny  engineering  technology  stochasticism  wildlife  science  nature  animals  multispecies 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Leah Buechley on Vimeo
"Thinking About Making – An examination of what we mean by making (MAKEing) these days. What gets made? Who makes? Why does making matter?"



[uninscusive covers of Make Magazine and composition of Google employment]

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

"I'm really tired of setting up structures where we tell young women and young brown and black kids that they should aspire to be like rich white guys."

[RTd these back than, but never watched the video. Thanks, Sara for bringing it back up.

https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477546169329938432
https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477549826498764801 ]

[Talk with some of the same content from Leah Buechley (and a lot of defensive comments from the crowd that Buechleya addresses well):
http://edstream.stanford.edu/Video/Play/883b61dd951d4d3f90abeec65eead2911d
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-10-29-make-ing-more-diverse-makers ]
leahbuechley  making  makermovement  critique  equality  gender  race  2014  via:ablerism  privilege  wealth  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  democratization  inequality  makemagazine  money  age  education  electronics  robots  robotics  rockets  technology  compsci  computerscience  computing  computers  canon  language  work  inclusivity  funding  google  intel  macarthurfoundation  opportunity  power  influence  movements  engineering  lowriders  pottery  craft  culture  universality  marketing  inclusion 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Grandma Got STEM | Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (+more!).
[via: https://twitter.com/junerubis/status/578840871992496128 ]

"Perhaps, like me, you are tired of hearing people say “how would you explain that to your grandmother?” when they probably mean something like “How would you explain the idea in a clear, compelling way so that people without a technical background can understand you?” In other words, “How would you explain that to a novice?”

You may also have heard the saying “That’s so easy, my grandmother could understand it.”

I would like to counter the implication that grannies (gender + maternity + age) might not easily pick up on technical/theoretical ideas. As a start, I’m planning public awareness / art projects using grandmothers’ pictures+names+connections to STEM. This blog is where I’ll collect the info.

Let me emphasize that I do not think that people who use the phrases above are doing so out of malice. For example, in response to Cory Doctorow’s provocative comment on boingboing, “I’ve never understood why geeks hold their grandmothers in such contempt,” one reader responded:

[image]

I’m glad that Grandma got STEM is helping people reconsider their language and attitudes toward senior women.

I’d also like to note that there are many ways to make contributions in the world — one is through the STEM fields. My goal is to celebrate women’s work in STEM, not to diminish the contributions of anyone else.

The project has sparked new conversations. Some readers have said, “I think my Mother/Grandmother did something with STEM, but I never really talked with her about it. I’ll get in touch with her and get back to you.” I’ve also heard from a number of enthusiastic grandmothers (STEM-mas) directly.

Many people have asked… My grandmother did “X” does that count? My answer so far has been… Certainly!!! I intend to be very inclusive with a broad definition of STEM. Senior women who are not grandmothers have also been included.

A buddy also said “Don’t forget the arts! STEAM!” But people rarely are skeptical of women’s critical involvement in fields related to arts and humanities. So for now, I’m gonna stick with STEM.

I hope you will consider responding to the call for submissions below. The project is ongoing – no deadline.

Thanks for your help.
Rachel Levy, Harvey Mudd College Mathematics

Call for submissions

Call for submissions – Grandma got STEM. Are you a senior woman working in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) – related field? Know any geeky grannies? Email name+pic+story/remembrance to Rachel Levy: ggstem (at) hmc (dot) edu. Follow on Twitter: @mathcirque #ggstem Project site: https://ggstem.wordpress.com "
stem  science  mathematics  engineering  women  age  ageism  gender  rachellevy  maternity  mothers  motherhood  corydoctorow  steam  math  technology 
march 2015 by robertogreco
We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training. - The Washington Post
"In business and at every level of government, we hear how important it is to graduate more students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, as our nation’s competitiveness depends on it. The Obama administration has set a goal of increasing STEM graduates by one million by 2022, and the “desperate need” for more STEM students makes regular headlines. The emphasis on bolstering STEM participation comes in tandem with bleak news about the liberal arts — bad job prospects, programs being cut, too many humanities majors.

As a chemist, I agree that remaining competitive in the sciences is a critical issue. But as an instructor, I also think that if American STEM grads are going lead the world in innovation, then their science education cannot be divorced from the liberal arts.

Our culture has drawn an artificial line between art and science, one that did not exist for innovators like Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs. Leonardo’s curiosity and passion for painting, writing, engineering and biology helped him triumph in both art and science; his study of anatomy and dissections of corpses enabled his incredible drawings of the human figure. When introducing the iPad 2, Jobs, who dropped out of college but continued to audit calligraphy classes, declared: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.” (Indeed, one of Apple’s scientists, Steve Perlman, was inspired to invent the QuickTime multimedia program by an episode of “Star Trek.”)

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, credits her degree in philosophy and medieval history in helping her be the first woman to lead a high-tech Fortune 20 corporation. “If you go into a setting and everybody thinks alike, it’s easy,” she has said. “But you will probably get the wrong answer.”

I became a chemistry professor by working side-by-side at the bench with a number of mentors, and the scholar/mentor relationships I’ve enjoyed were a critical aspect of my science education. And it is the centerpiece of a college experience within the liberal arts environment. For me, it was the key that unlocked true learning, and for my students, it has made them better scientists and better equipped to communicate their work to the public.

Like apprentices to a painter, my students sit with me and plan experiments. We gather and review data and determine the next questions to address. After two to three years of direct mentoring, students develop the ability to interpret results on their own, describe how findings advance knowledge, generate ideas for subsequent experiments and plan these experiments themselves. Seniors train new students in the lab, helping them learn gene recombination techniques that depend on accurate calculations and precise delivery of reagents. Put simply, a microliter-scale mistake can spell disaster for an experiment that took days to complete. And while my students work on these sensitive projects, they often offer creative and innovative approaches. To reduce calculation errors, one of my students wrote a user-friendly computer program to automatically measure replicate volumes. He did this by drawing on programming skills he learned in a computer science course he took for fun. Young people stuck exclusively in chemistry lecture halls will not evolve the same way.

A scientist trained in the liberal arts has another huge advantage: writing ability. The study of writing and analyses of texts equip science students to communicate their findings as professionals in the field. My students accompany me to conferences, where they do the talking. They write portions of articles for publications and are true co-authors by virtue of their contributions to both the experiments and the writing. Scientists are often unable to communicate effectively because, as Cornell University president David J. Skorton points out, “many of us never received the education in the humanities or social sciences that would allow us to explain to nonscientists what we do and why it is important.”

To innovate is to introduce change. While STEM workers can certainly drive innovation through science alone, imagine how much more innovative students and employees could be if the pool of knowledge from which they draw is wider and deeper. That occurs as the result of a liberal arts education.

Many in government and business publicly question the value of such an education. Yet employers in every sector continue to scoop up my students because of their ability to apply cross-disciplinary thinking to an incredibly complex world. They like my chemistry grads because not only can they find their way around a laboratory, but they’re also nimble thinkers who know to consider chemistry’s impact on society and the environment. Some medical schools have also caught on to this. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has been admitting an increasing number of applicants with backgrounds in the humanities for the past 20 years. “It doesn’t make you a better doctor to know how fast a mass falls from a tree,” Gail Morris, head of the school’s admissions, told Newsweek. “We need whole people.”

By all means, let’s grow our STEM graduates as aggressively as possible. But let’s make sure they also have that all-important grounding in the liberal arts. We can have both."
liberalarts  stem  education  highered  highereducation  science  engineering  2015  lorettajackson-hayes  humanities  humanism  communication 
february 2015 by robertogreco
May-ling Martinez
"MAY-LING MARTINEZ’s new sculpture and works on paper serve as a metaphor for an innate desire to understand and control our surroundings under difficult circumstances. The works in Measured Resistance engage in the larger domain of relations—among ideas, objects, and the human heart—in order to gain a deeper insight into existential issues, such as the need for security and balance. Intrigued by human behavior and thought process, MARTINEZ investigates the paradoxical idea of maintaining control and stability under chaos. At the same time, she explores the idea that reason and logic, as prescribed by science and engineering, can function as a solace to an unstable reality framed by the infallibility of perception and personal subjectivity.

Employing combinations of pre-fabricated objects and her own hand-made pieces, MARTINEZ’s work fuses the personal and the social, the mundane and the mysterious. Their themes and messages are often communicated in subtle form, by turn endearing and seemingly innocuous or vulnerable and repressive—at times hinting at the macabre. Her earlier work—“triggers to evoke memory” as she calls them—which one critic compared to “unsettling dreams with a retro look”, has given way to increasingly sparse and technically-sophisticated engineered pieces. The innocence and nostalgia of the past, often filtered through archetypes of idealized 1950s suburban life, technical illustrations, and the artist’s own personal memories, and, now dramatically paired down, are tempered by the concreteness of logic and mechanical engineering.

May-ling Martinez was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives and works in San Diego, California. She holds an MFA degree from San Diego State University (2007) and BA in Communications and Visual Arts from San Juan’s Sacred Heart University (1996). 

She has exhibited in numerous venues, including the California Center for the Arts, the La Jolla Athenaeum of Music and Arts Library, William D. Cannon Art Gallery Biennial, Everett Gee Jackson Gallery/SDSU, The Art Produce Gallery, UCSD, Galería José Pepin Méndez, San Juan, PR, and Lugar del Nopal, Tijuana, MX, among others. May-ling Martinez was the recipient of the 2007-2008 San Diego Art Prize in the Emerging Artist category. And in the “Here Not There” exhibition at the MCASD.

Writing by Luis De Jesus and May-ling Martinez for the exhibition, titled Measured Resistance, on view in 2009 at Luis De Jesus Gallery - Seminal Projects. www.seminalprojects.com."
art  artists  sandiego  may-lingmartinez  diagrams  schematics  technicalillustrations  engineering 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Frances Whitehead
"WHO WE ARE

Frances Whitehead is a civic practice artist bringing the methods, mindsets, and strategies of contemporary art practice to the process of shaping the future city. Connecting emerging art practices, the discourses around culturally informed sustainability, and new concepts of heritage and remediation, she develops strategies to deploy the knowledge of artists as change agents, asking, What do Artists Know?

Questions of participation, sustainability, and culture change animate her work as she considers the surrounding community, the landscape, and the interdependency of multiple ecologies in the post-industrial city. Whitehead’s cutting-edge work integrates art and sustainability, as she traverses disciplines to engage with engineers, scientists, landscape architects, urban designers, and city officials in order to hybridize art, design, science, and civic engagement, for the public good.

Whitehead has worked professionally as an artist since the mid 1980’s and has worked collaboratively as ARTetal Studio since 2001. She is Professor of Sculpture + Architecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago."


HOW WE THINK

strategic
edge-dwelling
collaborative
cultural futures
experimental
complexity
ethics + aesthetics
place-based culture
change
participatory
urban ecologies
systemic
re-directive
post normal
art + science
integrative
adaptive"


WHAT WE DO

Whitehead works in disturbed urban and rural sites, to integrate art and cultural expertise into their transformation. A series of linked civic initiatives include the Embedded Artist Project with the City of Chicago, SLOW Cleanup, a culturally driven phytoremediation program for abandoned gas stations, climate-monitoring plant programs throughout the USA and Europe, and an urban agriculture plan with the city of Lima, Peru. Currently, Whitehead is Lead Artist for The 606, a rail infrastructure adaptation project in Chicago, and serves as Advisor to re-imagine the environmental art program at the Schuylkill Center, in Philadelphia."
franceswhitehead  via:anne  art  science  cities  urban  urbanism  remediation  heritage  participation  sustainability  culture  culturechange  culturecreation  community  landscape  interdependence  ecology  civics  artetalstudio  chicago  collaboration  strategy  urbanecology  urbanecologies  ethics  aesthetics  systems  systemsthinking  participatory  complexity  future  futures  edge-dwelling  phytoremediation  lima  perú  the606  engineering  urbandesign  interdisciplinary 
october 2014 by robertogreco
studio : lab : workshop | Abler.
"I’ve been saying for some years now that my wish is to be as close to science-making as possible: that is, not merely teaching complementary art and design practices for young scientists in training, but to be in the formative stages of research and development much further upstream in the process. Asking collaboratively: What research questions are worthy questions? What populations and individuals hold stakes in these questions? Are there important queries that are forgotten? Could parallel questions be pursued in tandem—some quantitative, others qualitative? And how do we engage multiple publics in high-stakes research?"

To put it another way: What happens when extra-disciplinary inquiry lives alongside traditional forms of research—especially when those traditional forms occupy the disciplinarily privileged status of the STEM fields? Inviting both generalist and specialist approaches starts to hint at what a “both-and” disposition could look like. As here in David Gray’s formulation of specialists and generalists:

[image]

Breadth, he says, is the characteristic of the generalist, and depth the characteristic of the specialist. A thriving academic research program surely needs both: but not just in the forms of symposia, scholarly ethics, or data visualization to (once more) “complement” or even complicate the science. It’s the last note of Gray’s that I’m particularly paying attention to, because it’s what good critical design and hybrid arts practices often do best: They act as boundary objects.

Gray says those objects can be “documents, models, maps, vocabulary, or even physical environments” that mark these intersections of broad and deep ideas. Well, I’d say: especially physical environments and phenomena. At the scale of products or screens or architectural spaces, these objects can act as powerful mediators and conduits for ideas. They can become modes of discourse, opportunities for public debate, sites of disciplinary flows.

It’s these kinds of objects that I’d like to be a feature of the studio/lab/workshop I’ll bring to Olin: An ongoing pursuit of ideas-in-things that live at all the various points along a continuum between practical use, on the one hand, and symbolic or expressive power on the other. Two poles in the manner still most accessibly captured by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby—both of which I’d like to be present.

And what does this mean for the habits of mind we cultivate? I return often to the ideas of Jack Miles in this essay—also about generalists and specialists, with a key useful heuristic: that specialists tend to embody the disposition of farmers, while generalists tend to embody the virtues of hunters. Both are necessary, and both need each other. The careful tending to a field whose needs are more or less known, protected, and nurtured further, on the one hand. And the more landscape-crossing, round-the-next-bend pursuit of the not yet known and its promised nourishment, on the other.

I want students to try out and value both operative modes, no matter where their own career paths take them. Knowing that others are also asking valuable questions in different disciplinary ways ideally breeds humility: a sense that what one has to offer could be enriched when conjoined in conversation with others whose expertise may not be immediately legible from within a silo.

And not just humility: I want students in engineering to know that their practices can be both private and public, that their status as citizens can be catalyzed through making things. Things that may be practical, performative, or both.

In practical terms, we’ll be looking at labs like Tom Bieling’s Design Abilities group in Berlin, Ryerson’s EDGE Lab, the Age and Ability Lab at RCA, and the newly-formed Ability Lab at NYU Poly. But we’ll also be looking methodologically at Kate Hartman’s Social Body Lab at OCAD, at the CREATE group at Carnegie Mellon, and of course Natalie Jeremijenko’s Environmental Health Clinic.

Possible paths to pursue: A “design for one” stream of prosthetic devices made for one user’s self-identified wish or need. An ongoing partnership with any of a number of schools or clinics in the Boston area where provisional and low-tech assistive devices could make education more responsive to children’s up-to-the-minute developmental needs. Short-term residencies and workshops with critical engineers and artists working with technology and public life. Public, investigative performances and installations that address issues of ability, dependence, and the body in the built environment.

These things will take time! I can’t wait to begin."
sarahendren  2014  olincollege  design  specialization  specialists  generalists  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  engineering  stem  davidgray  research  academia  extra-disciplinary  ability  dependence  audiencesofone  jackmiles  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  ablerism  events  nataliejeremijenko  tombieling  kateharman  prosthetics  abilities  disability  designcriticism  criticaldesign  speculativedesign  humility  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  accessibility  assistivetechnology  discourse  conversation  openstudioproject  lcproject  howwelearn  howweteach  disabilities 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Seeing Spaces on Vimeo
"What if we designed a new kind of "maker space" -- a space that isn't just for putting pieces together, but also for seeing and understanding a project's behavior in powerful ways? - seeing inside - seeing across time - seeing across possibilities "I think people need to work in a space that moves them away from the kinds of non-scientific thinking that you do when you can't see what you're doing -- moves them away from blindly following recipes, from superstitions and rules of thumb -- and moves them towards deeply understanding what they're doing, inventing new things, discovering new things, contributing back to the global pool of human knowledge." Presented at the EG conference on May 2, 2014. Art by David Hellman. Bret Victor -- http://worrydream.com "



"I think people need to work in a space that moves them away from the kinds of non-scientific thinking that you do when you can't see what you're doing -- moves them away from blindly following recipes, from superstitions and rules of thumb -- and moves them towards deeply understanding what they're doing, inventing new things, discovering new things, contributing back to the global pool of human knowledge."
bretvictor  makerspaces  seeing  understanding  making  invention  behavior  howwework  2014  howwelearn  design  robotics  robots  software  engineering  seeingspaces  time  possibilities  displays 
june 2014 by robertogreco
VVVNT: Engineered Ecologies: An Interview with Julian Oliver
"We’re on life support, which is why one of the critical engineering tenants is: any technology depended upon is seen to be both a challenge and a threat. You might argue that’s an exaggerated position to take but our dependency on opaque systems is undeniable, which opens us up to the possibility for exploit and implies deep societal vulnerabilities. Bruno Latour of course talks about this a lot."



"So I think that artists do need to be taught how to help themselves, to self-learn and have the courage to use the same tactics and the same perverse instincts. We should celebrate the kind of naughtiness and disobedience it takes to open up a device or intervene in a productive fashion. And I insist that an artist with no programming, or electrical engineering, or chemistry background can still meaningfully pervert the engineered environment, and appropriate it in a way that will reveal a lot about our expectations and what behaviours technology demands of us."
julianoliver  2014  interviews  samhart  criticalengineering  art  arteducation  engineering 
may 2014 by robertogreco
15-Yr-Old Kelvin Doe Wows M.I.T. - YouTube
"15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.

Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey - experiencing the US for the first time, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future.

Here is a link to the Bobby Fala track in the video on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/karen-kilberg/k...

Photos courtesy of Adam Cohn (http://www.adamcohn.com/) and Paula Aguilera


PRODIGIES is a bi-weekly series showcasing the youngest and brightest as they challenge themselves to reach new heights and the stories behind them.

Created and produced by @radical.media, THNKR gives you extraordinary access to the people, stories, places and thinking that will change your mind."
kelcindoe  africa  sierraleone  mit  engineering  electronics  edg  music  making  makers 
april 2014 by robertogreco
On Reverse Engineering — Anthropology and Algorithms — Medium
"As a cultural anthropologist in the middle of a long-term research project on algorithmic filtering systems, I am very interested in how people think about companies like Netflix, which take engineering practices and apply them to cultural materials. In the popular imagination, these do not go well together: engineering is about universalizable things like effectiveness, rationality, and algorithms, while culture is about subjective and particular things, like taste, creativity, and artistic expression. Technology and culture, we suppose, make an uneasy mix. When Felix Salmon, in his response to Madrigal’s feature, complains about “the systematization of the ineffable,” he is drawing on this common sense: engineers who try to wrangle with culture inevitably botch it up.

Yet, in spite of their reputations, we always seem to find technology and culture intertwined. The culturally-oriented engineering of companies like Netflix is a quite explicit case, but there are many others. Movies, for example, are a cultural form dependent on a complicated system of technical devices — cameras, editing equipment, distribution systems, and so on. Technologies that seem strictly practical — like the Māori eel trap pictured above—are influenced by ideas about effectiveness, desired outcomes, and interpretations of the natural world, all of which vary cross-culturally. We may talk about technology and culture as though they were independent domains, but in practice, they never stay where they belong. Technology’s straightforwardness and culture’s contingency bleed into each other.

This can make it hard to talk about what happens when engineers take on cultural objects. We might suppose that it is a kind of invasion: The rationalizers and quantifiers are over the ridge! They’re coming for our sensitive expressions of the human condition! But if technology and culture are already mixed up with each other, then this doesn’t make much sense. Aren’t the rationalizers expressing their own cultural ideas? Aren’t our sensitive expressions dependent on our tools? In the present moment, as companies like Netflix proliferate, stories trying to make sense of the relationship between culture and technology also proliferate. In my own research, I examine these stories, as told by people from a variety of positions relative to the technology in question. There are many such stories, and they can have far-reaching consequences for how technical systems are designed, built, evaluated, and understood."



"So what does “reverse engineering” mean? What kind of things can be reverse engineered? What assumptions does reverse engineering make about its objects? Like any frame, reverse engineering constrains as well as enables the presentation of certain stories. I want to suggest here that, while reverse engineering might be a useful strategy for figuring out how an existing technology works, it is less useful for telling us how it came to work that way. Because reverse engineering starts from a finished technical object, it misses the accidents that happened along the way — the abandoned paths, the unusual stories behind features that made it to release, moments of interpretation, arbitrary choice, and failure. Decisions that seemed rather uncertain and subjective as they were being made come to appear necessary in retrospect. Engineering looks a lot different in reverse."



"All engineering mixes culture and technology. Even Madrigal’s “reverse engineering” does not stay put in technical bounds: he supplements the work of his bot by talking with people, drawing on their interpretations and offering his own, reading the altgenres, populated with serendipitous algorithmic accidents, as “a window unto the American soul.” Engineers, reverse and otherwise, have cultural lives, and these lives inform their technical work. To see these effects, we need to get beyond the idea that the technical and the cultural are necessarily distinct. But if we want to understand the work of companies like Netflix, it is not enough to simply conclude that culture and technology — humans and computers — are mixed. The question we need to answer is how."
algorithms  culture  engineering  netflix  nickseaver  anthropology  reverseengineering  alexismadrigal  nicholasdiakopoulos  technology  invention  2014 
march 2014 by robertogreco
He’s not there – notes from “Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Product”s by Leander Kahney | Magical Nihilism
"‘In America, on the other hand,’ Milton explained, ‘designers are very much serving what industry wants. In Britain, there is more of the culture of the garden shed, the home lab, the ad hoc and experimental quality. And Jony Ive interacts in such a way … [he] takes big chances, instead of an evolutionary approach to design – and if they had focus-grouped Ive’s designs, they wouldn’t have been a success.’

If the education system in America tended to teach students how to be an employee, British design students were more likely to pursue a passion and to build a team around them.

‘As an industrial designer, you have to take that great idea and get it out into the world, and get it out intact. You’re not really practising your craft if you are just developing a beautiful form and leaving it at that.’

I can’t have people working in cubicle hell. They won’t do it. I have to have an open studio with high ceilings and cool shit going on. That’s just really important. It’s important for the quality of the work. It’s important for getting people to do it. – ROBERT BRUNNER

He wanted a ‘small, really tight’ studio. ‘We would run it like a small consulting studio, but inside the company,’ he said. ‘Small, effective, nimble, highly talented, great culture.’4 Setting up a consultancy inside Apple seemed in line with the company’s spirit: unconventional, idea driven, entrepreneurial. ‘It was because, really, I didn’t know any other way,’ Brunner explained. ‘It wasn’t a flash of brilliance: that was the only thing I knew how to do.’

In 1997, English contributed photos to Kunkel’s book about the design group, AppleDesign, but he also worked with a lot of other design studios in the Valley. To his eye, Apple seemed different. It wasn’t just the tools and their focus; the place was rapidly populated with designer toys, too, including spendy bikes, skateboards, diving equipment, a movie projector and hundreds of films. ‘It fostered this really creative, take-a-risk atmosphere, which I didn’t see at other firms,’ said English.

Brunner also made about half a dozen of the designers ‘product line leaders’ (PLLs) for Apple’s major product groups: CPUs, printers, monitors and so on. The PLLs acted as liaisons between the design group and the company, much in the way an outside design consultancy would operate. ‘The product groups felt there was a contact within the design group,’ Brunner said.

Brunner wanted to shift the power from engineering to design. He started thinking strategically. His off-line ‘parallel design investigations’ were a key part of his strategy. ‘We began to do more longer-term thinking, longer-term studies around things like design language, how future technologies are implemented, what does mobility mean?’ The idea was to get ahead of the engineering groups and start to make Apple more of a design-driven company, rather than a marketing or engineering one. ‘We wanted to get ahead of them, so we’d have more ammunition to bring to the process.’

In hindsight, Brunner’s choices – the studio’s separation from the engineering groups, its loose structure, the collaborative workflow and consultancy mind-set – turned out to be fortuitous. One of the reasons Apple’s design team has remained so effective is that it retains Brunner’s original structure. It’s a small, tight, cohesive group of extremely talented designers who all work on design challenges together. Just like the designers had done at Lunar, Tangerine and other small agencies. The model worked."
jonyive  apple  design  robertbrunner  teams  small  engineering  howwework  education  mindset  experimentation  markets  appledesign  collaboration  workflow  groupsize  2014  uk  us  academia  jonathanive 
february 2014 by robertogreco
criticalengineering.org
"0. The Critical Engineer considers Engineering to be the most transformative language of our time, shaping the way we move, communicate and think. It is the work of the Critical Engineer to study and exploit this language, exposing its influence.

1. The Critical Engineer considers any technology depended upon to be both a challenge and a threat. The greater the dependence on a technology the greater the need to study and expose its inner workings, regardless of ownership or legal provision.

2. The Critical Engineer raises awareness that with each technological advance our techno-political literacy is challenged.

3. The Critical Engineer deconstructs and incites suspicion of rich user experiences.

4. The Critical Engineer looks beyond the 'awe of implementation' to determine methods of influence and their specific effects.

5. The Critical Engineer recognises that each work of engineering engineers its user, proportional to that user's dependency upon it.

6. The Critical Engineer expands 'machine' to describe interrelationships encompassing devices, bodies, agents, forces and networks.

7. The Critical Engineer observes the space between the production and consumption of technology. Acting rapidly to changes in this space, the Critical Engineer serves to expose moments of imbalance and deception.

8. The Critical Engineer looks to the history of art, architecture, activism, philosophy and invention and finds exemplary works of Critical Engineering. Strategies, ideas and agendas from these disciplines will be adopted, re-purposed and deployed.

9. The Critical Engineer notes that written code expands into social and psychological realms, regulating behaviour between people and the machines they interact with. By understanding this, the Critical Engineer seeks to reconstruct user-constraints and social action through means of digital excavation.

10. The Critical Engineer considers the exploit to be the most desirable form of exposure."
via:ablerism  activism  engineering  manifesto  technology  criticalengineering  production  consumption  behavior  stewardship  manifestos 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Teaching Timmy to Ride — Dorian Taylor
"The push­bike isn't a mode of trans­porta­tion as much as it is a ped­a­gog­i­cal tool. Made out of cheap ma­te­ri­als (in the­ory at least, the one pic­tured is crazy ex­pen­sive), the pur­pose is to focus Timmy on bal­anc­ing first, then he can move up to ped­alling on a real bike once he's mas­tered bal­anc­ing and starts to yearn for some speed. (Ped­alling is eas­ier to mas­ter, any­way.)

I framed this as an en­gi­neer­ing/de­sign di­chotomy be­cause en­gi­neer­ing is al­ways about work­ing with what we have. The ef­fect is that the prob­lem-solv­ing focus alights on the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the tech­nol­ogy, which can often lead to parochial so­lu­tions. The de­sign ap­proach is about fo­cus­ing on a pur­pose and imag­in­ing what we need to make it hap­pen, ir­re­spec­tive of our cur­rent in­ven­tory. When we have a strong pur­pose, it be­comes abun­dantly clear what is im­por­tant and what isn't. The re­sult, as such, stands an even chance of using less tech­nol­ogy, be­cause so­lu­tion turns out to be sim­pler.

And that is the time to call in the en­gi­neers."
design  engineering  doriantaylor  2013  simplicity  less  problemsolving 
august 2013 by robertogreco
NEU · New Engineering University
"The most relevant, collaborative, & industry-connected engineering university in the world."
neu  engineering  education  scottkauffman  luenymorell  universityventures  omfgco  clairvoyant  cabin  siliconvalley 
july 2013 by robertogreco
UCSD TURNS UP FOCUS ON MICRO SENSORS | UTSanDiego.com
"There’s a revolution going on in sensor technology. Call it the rise of the micromachines. Researchers at such places as the University of California San Diego are developing tiny machines and motors used to do everything from monitoring a person’s health to spotting when a hillside might collapse.

The field is called microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, and UC San Diego has hired one of its stars. Albert Pisano is leaving UC Berkeley to become dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, where he’ll continue his MEMS research."
ucsd  research  microsensors  albertpisano  2013  engineering 
july 2013 by robertogreco
The RoboRoach: Control a living insect from your smartphone! by Backyard Brains — Kickstarter
"The RoboRoach is the world's first commercially available cyborg! That's right... A real-life Insect Cyborg! Part cockroach and part machine. This is not a gimmick... just good ol' fashion neuroscience, evolution and engineering."

[See also: http://qz.com/92551/worlds-first-commercial-cyborg-scuttles-onto-kickstarter/ ]

[Related: Garnet Hertz: http://www.conceptlab.com/ ]
ios  cockroaches  electronics  biology  cyborgs  neuroscience  engineering  2013  kickstarter 
june 2013 by robertogreco
An Ill-Advised Personal Note about "Media for Thinking the Unthinkable"
"Right now, today, we can't see the thing, at all, that's going to be the most important 100 years from now.

We cannot see the thing. At all. But whatever that thing is -- people will have to think it. And we can, right now, today, prepare powerful ways of thinking for these people. We can build the tools that make it possible to think that thing.

We cannot see the thing. At all. My job is to make sure our children can."

[See also:https://vimeo.com/67076984 ]
thinking  future  tools  toolsforthinking  systems  bretvictor  2013  systemsthinking  computing  programming  circuits  signalprocessing  representation  howwethink  toolmaking  visualization  coding  carvermead  software  engineering  time 
june 2013 by robertogreco
DrupalCon Portland 2013: DESIGN OPS: A UX WORKFLOW FOR 2013 - YouTube
"Hey, the dev team gets all these cool visual analytics, code metrics, version control, revision tagging, configuration management, continuous integration ... and the UX design team just passes around Photoshop files?

Taking clues from DevOps and Lean UX, "DesignOps" advocates more detailed and durable terminology about the cycle of user research, design and production. DesignOps seeks to first reduce the number of design artifacts, to eliminate the pain of prolonged design decisions. DesignOps assumes that the remaining design artifacts aren't actionable until they are reasonably archived and linked in a coherent way that serves the entire development team.

This talk will introduce the idea of DesignOps with the assumption that the audience has experience with a basic user research cycle — iterative development with any kind of user feedback.

DesignOps is a general approach, intended to help with a broad array of questions from usability testing issues, documentation archiving, production-time stress, and general confusion on your team:

What are the general strategies for managing the UX design process?
How do you incorporate feedback without huge cost?
What happened to that usability test result from last year?
How much space goes between form elements?
Why does the design cycle make me want to drink bleach?
WTF why does our website look like THIS?
* Features turnkey full-stack (Vagrant ) installation of ubuntu with drupal 7 install profile utilizing both php and ruby development tools, with all examples configured for live css compilation"
chrisblow  contradictions  just  simply  must  2013  drupal  drupalcon  designops  fear  ux  terminology  design  audience  experience  shame  usability  usabilitytesting  work  stress  archiving  confusion  relationships  cv  canon  collaboration  howwework  workflow  versioncontrol  versioning  failure  iteration  flickr  tracker  creativecommons  googledrive  tags  tagging  labels  labeling  navigation  urls  spreadsheets  links  permissions  googledocs  timelines  basecamp  cameras  sketching  universal  universality  teamwork  principles  bullshitdetection  users  clients  onlinetoolkit  offtheshelf  tools  readymadetools  readymade  crapdetection  maps  mapping  userexperience  research  designresearch  ethnography  meetup  consulting  consultants  templates  stencils  bootstrap  patterns  patternlibraries  buzzwords  css  sass  databases  compass  webdev  documentation  sharing  backups  maintenance  immediacy  process  decisionmaking  basics  words  filingsystems  systems  writing  facilitation  expression  operations  exoskeletons  clarification  creativity  bots  shellscripts  notes  notetaking  notebo 
may 2013 by robertogreco
MINDDRIVE | Driven by the Future
"MINDDRIVE’S mission is to inspire students to learn, expand their vision of the future, and to have a positive impact on urban workforce development. The program is funded through the national sponsorships of Bridgestone, Hertz Corporation, SONIC®, America's Drive-In®, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), VML, and KCP&L as well as through local foundations and individual contributors.

MINDDRIVE serves 30 students from the urban core of Kansas City, currently working with 5 area schools; there are 21 students participating in Automotive Design Studio and 9 in Contemporary Communications. The students choose their course and also are given the freedom to align with the particular aspect of the project that gets them the most jazzed. Mentors play a huge role in finding what that spark is for each student, then figuring out a way to inspire them in that direction."

[via: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/22/electric-karmann-ghia-tweets ]
mentoring  cars  electriccars  kansascity  openstudioproject  lcproject  engineering  making  communication  socialmedia  design  automotivedesign  minddrive 
may 2013 by robertogreco
slope: intercept // A Search for Ramps and Elevations Everywhere
"It might seem counterintuitive—it doesn’t even move, after all—but its very structure affords an operative effect of force, allowing you to elevate and transfer an object you can’t lift with brute strength. It’s an elegance of physics.

In mechanical engineering, a ramp is an inclined plane, a flat surface that sits at an angle for raising and lowering a load. The inclined plane joins the pulley, the wheel-and-axle, the lever, the wedge, and the screw to create the historical pantheon of simple machines; they’re the core structures that give mechanical advantage. They transform energy, which is why they’re the building blocks of compound machines, of all sophisticated engineering."
sarahendren  ramps  machines  physics  art  engineering  2013  elevations  architecture  access  accessibility  mobility  visibility  matthewbattles  inclinedplanes  accelerations  diminutives  transversals  vantages 
may 2013 by robertogreco
System Energy Efficiency Lab
"Energy consumption is a critical constraint in the design of modern computer systems. Research in SEE lab addresses energy efficiency in systems of all sizes, from sensor nodes to processors to data centers. Portable systems, such as mobile embedded systems and wireless sensor networks, typically operate with a limited energy source such as batteries. The design process for these systems is characterized by a tradeoff between high performance and low power consumption, emphasizing the need to meet performance constraints while minimizing the power consumption. Decreasing the power consumption is also an important factor in lowering the packaging and the cooling costs of embedded systems. On the other end, stationary systems also require energy efficiency due the operating costs and environmental concerns related to desktops, servers and data centers. Current data centers are increasingly limited by power and thermal capacity. The annual energy cost of a large data center can be in the range of millions of dollars, and the cooling cost is about half of the total energy cost. Energy efficient and temperature aware approaches address these large scale systems at different levels, such as the whole data center, computing clusters, servers or components such as processors, disk drives, etc.

System energy efficiency lab is part of Embedded Systems and Software group at UCSD."

[Jug's page: http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~jvenkate/ ]
ucsd  energy  efficiency  engineering  compsci  systems  embeddedsystems  jagannathanvenkatesh  friends  lajolla  sandiego 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Chinese DIY Inventions - In Focus - The Atlantic
"One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs. For years now, Chinese farmers, engineers, and businessmen have taken on ambitious do-it-yourself projects, constructing homemade submarines, helicopters, robots, safety equipment, weapons and much more. Some of the inventions are built out of passion, some with an eye toward profit, (some certainly safer than others), and a few have already led to sales for the inventors. Gathered here are recent photos of this DIY movement across China."
china  engineering  photos  photography  invention  inventions  robots  housing  arks  submarines  2013  vehicles  motorcycles  slides  houses  portability  mobility  nomads  disasters  airplanes  diy  making  makers  bikes  prosthetics  helicopters 
may 2013 by robertogreco
The Pantograph Punch — At the Service of the Unusual
"Throughout our discussion Shaun kept talking about engineers. At the time I had very little idea what an engineer did but it was their language Shaun was using. Instead of adapting Shaun’s words into something I understood, something familiar, I wondered what would happen if I put my work at the service of the unusual. If I let the ideas and words of engineering rule my work rather than trying to force them into the shape of conventional fiction. Would I be able to recreate the odd way I had perceived those buildings on that day?"



"Where I’d always aimed to achieve mimicry I needed to attain literacy. I needed to find some engineers but I couldn’t just observe them, I needed to come out from the corners and ask them to teach me and test me. I found one engineer in particular, Andrew Charleson. Andrew works at Victoria University School of Architecture and Design. When I first met him he described himself as an engineer who had been ‘acrhictectualised’. He told me, if I was serious, I needed to take some courses he was running about structure."



"George Saunders was an engineer, so was Fyodor Dostoevsky, Neville Shute, Robert Musil, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer. Also, most of the engineers I talked to had a very wide reading habit. The myth of men reading only non-fiction seemed to be smashed by the engineers I met, a couple of whom wrote short stories and poetry themselves. But I wasn’t an engineer who wrote fiction, I was a writer who was pretending, play-acting at being an engineering student."
writing  empathy  learning  engineering  perception  language  vocabulary  thinking  mindset  georgesaunders  dostoyevsky  nevilleshute  robertmusil  robertlouisstevenson  kurtvonnegut  lspraguedecamp  normanmailer  2013  pipadam  poetry  storytelling  pretending  playacting  fiction  mimicry  vonnegut 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Solve for X: Natalie Jeremijenko on xDrones - YouTube
"Problem: What if war could be fought using technology that's more humane and could acheive political or tactical goals without killing civilians?"
nataliejeremijenko  war  technology  drones  politics  invention  engineering  2013  solveforx  design  engagement  participation  technologiesofengagement  technologiesofparticipation  adhocnetworks  distributed 
april 2013 by robertogreco
MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism
"The Center for Advanced Urbanism is committed to fostering a rigorous design culture for the large scale; by focusing our disciplinary conversations about architecture, urban planning, and systems thinking, not about the problems of yesterday, but of tomorrow. Alan Berger, Director of Research, and myself are motivated by the radical changes in our environment, and the role that high design and research can play in addressing these. We embrace conversations with the world's absolute top experts in planning, engineering, and technology, all at MIT, to feed and foster the growing field of large-scale design and research. We take pride in the fact that participants in the center do not just talk about things; they do projects, build things, and actively change our society out in the real world; and then come together to learn from each other's experiences, publish, and debate about future directions. The Center for Advanced Urbanism has been established at the initiative of the Dean and Chairs of the School of Architecture and Planning and reflects a renewed drive to excellence in urbanism.

—Alexander D'Hooghe, Director, Center for Advanced Urbanism"

[A video introduction is here: http://cau.mit.edu/news/cau-releases-urbanism-film and here https://vimeo.com/59435045 ]
mit  cau  centerforadvancedurbanism  urbanism  urbanplanning  scale  environment  experience  cities  urban  systemsthinking  systems  interdisciplinary  future  infill  design  planning  engineering  interurbanism  suburbs  suburbia  society  technology  mitcau  architecture 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Learning from Minecraft
"This post is brought to you by the word queef.

Now that I have your attention, I will let you know that this post will actually be dedicated to parsing out all of the learning that happens while my daughters are playing Minecraft. We have become a rather avid crafting family as all of us now have Minecraft (with the exception of our three year old) and we have our own server too. What I am going to do in this post is spell out a lot of the things that we are learning from Minecraft. There is a back story to why this post exists so I will start by sharing that first. I will clearly label the back story and the learning parts so you can skip the back story. The back story will help to explain my first sentence."
minecrafy  conniecoyl  learning  edg  srg  2012  play  governance  citizenship  communication  culturaldifferences  networks  cooperation  cooperativelearning  punctuation  keyboarding  math  numbersense  geography  socialstudies  science  manners  engineering  art  socialization  intrapersonalskills  via:lizettegreco 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab | TAGlab
"The Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab) designs software, systems, and experiences that support aging through the life course."



"Who We Are
TAGlab is comprised of talented individuals with backgrounds in computer science and engineering, human-computer interaction and human factors, graphic and interface design, and psychology.

Our Projects
We work with researchers and clinicians to find ways that digital media can help people remain vigorous and independent, strengthen ties to family and community, and preserve their identity as they age.

Outreach
The TAGlab is dedicated to building partnerships in our community. Together with community-based agencies and senior organizations, we raise awareness about our research and actively investigate the technology needs of our aging population."
aging  behavior  via:spencerbeacock  utoronto  interfacedesign  psychology  design  ui  compsci  engineering 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Drones: War machine today, helpful tool tomorrow | Marketplace.org
"Fast-forward five years, today they're running a multi-million-dollar cross-border company that produces and sells hardware and personal drones. The company, 3D Robotics, found success in Muñoz's misunderstood hometown, Tijuana.

"Prior to 18 months ago, I thought Tijuana was drug cartels and cheap tequila," Anderson said. "What Jordi knew and taught me was that Tijuana is the Shenzhen of North America.""
sandiego  tijuana  border  drones  manufacturing  2013  3drobotics  jordimuñoz  diydrones  engineering  chrisanderson  from delicious
january 2013 by robertogreco
Could Minecraft be the next great engineering school? - Quartz
"The game’s open, often cooperative play, peer-built environments and simplicity has drawn an army of dedicated players who often spend days tunneling, hammering and building, just for the pleasure of making."

"While serious games have been used for some time for education and awareness, Minecraft seems different, a particular tool for a particular moment when computing skills, clever engineering solutions and the ability to engage distributed groups for social good all converge. Game designer and media philosopher Ian Bogost has called Minecraft a “game about resilience…a masterful magic crayon” after a term used by Chaim Gingold to describe tools that unlock new kinds of creativity. Bogost goes one step further to liken it to “shit crayons,” like the improvised tools poet Wole Soyinka used to write his works in a Nigerian prison—a tool for emancipatory creativity under moments of stress and constraint."

[See also: "The Great Lego Minecraft Shortage of 2012: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelwolf/2012/12/01/the-great-lego-minecraft-shortage-of-2012/ ]
play  videogames  seriousgames  gaming  games  scottsmith  ianbogost  mooc  moocs  mineraftedu  unhabitat  kibera  svenskbyggtjänst  minakvarter  myblock  mojang  blockbyblock  edg  srg  education  learning  sandboxes  deschooling  unschooling  2012  engineering  minecraft  lego  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
CLOWNS, CHAIRS AND DUTCH FOREIGN AFFAIRS « THAT NEW DESIGN SMELL
"GERT DUMBAR:

There are lots of things you could ask yourself about design. Especially in Holland. Marcel Wanders is this sort of clown in design, and makes absolutely not interesting pieces of furniture.

In Holland, we have two words for design. One is vormgeving; in German formgeben. And the other word is ontwerpen; in German entwurf. In the Anglo-Saxon language there’s only one word for design, which is design. That is something you should work out. Vormgeving is more to make things look nice. So for instance, packaging for a perfume or for chocolate in order to make things fashionable, obsolete and therefore bad for society because we don’t really need it. While ontwerpe means, and the Anglo-saxon word, but its stronger, means engineering. That means you as a person try to invent a new thing—which is intelligent, which is clever, and which will have a long-life. And that’s called stylistic durability. It means you can use it for a long time.

Carrying this even further, consider an American definition of design. As we all know, America is a capitalistic state and was the source of most recent economic crisis. Americans are all about money; money is status. And they have invented a variation on engineering called “Sloanism,” which is a term from before the war that came from a General Motors director, Albert Sloan. When they were designed the car, Mr. Sloan said “give it a little change, then it looks new.” And so people start buying it, as well as a status symbol. Sloan was not a designer or engineer, but a true capitalist. His idea of design was to make money by making things look new and fashionable."

GD:

Yeah, but marketing is not a form of knowledge. It’s slow, dull and often repeats itself. Marketing applied to design is terrible. I’m the only Dutch designer who was against this and shouted, for years and years, in interviews and everything.

And there is for instance a lot of designers in Holland that design chairs. Yes, chairs. Now I come into another thing: design and politics. The Dutch embassy is saying Dutch design is world famous, which is in a way true. But they forget it was the Dutch graphic designers that were famous. That is the difference. They changed it into product design, because you can see it and hold it in your hand. The embassies, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is now giving a sort of message to its cultural attaches at embassies: promote Dutch design. Dutch design is a word that I invented—personally, 25 years ago—for graphic design. But they have adopted it, bla bla bla. And they promote these total clowns in design who are very well-known in Holland—those terrible, terrible designers who just do exhibitions of chairs in museums."
design  graphicdesign  typography  gertdumbar  2012  vormgeving  formgeben  ontwerpen  entwurf  language  albertsloan  sloanism  fashion  engineering  industrialdesign  holland  marketing  chairs  dutchdesign  us 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Brooklyn Hacker • What A Hacker Learns After A Year In Marketing
"A year ago last Friday I left eight years cutting code and plumbing servers to take my very first marketing job.   Prior to then and even before in college and high school, hard skills were what paid my bills - technical work building stuff mostly for the Internet.  Everything I had done up until last year required only the soft skills needed to send a group email or interview a candidate, certainly a pittance to those required to craft a message and get it in front of an audience.

I knew I needed more than that.  While I was at Boxee working for Avner Ronen I made the determination that I wanted the CEO role for my startup.  Like a lot of folks who spend their career in the high risk, high reward, high laughs world of early stage tech, I’ve long held my own entrepreneurial ambitions, but after working for a programmer-turned-head-honcho, I came around to the notion I could make a greater contribution to that endeavor by pushing the vision and the culture rather than the technology and architecture.  I didn’t want to be the technical co-founder - I wanted to run the circus.

But, I was sorely deficient.  Sales and marketing were skills I just didn’t have and were I to ask others to entrust their livelihoods and their families in such an enterprise, it would be incumbent upon me to learn.  To do such a thing with a knowledge base very nearly zero would just be irresponsible.

So, to get some of those skills while keeping my technical chops up, I hopped onboard Twilio as a developer evangelist.  Like a lot of companies, Twilio’s devangelism program is under the marketing aegis and the gig meant working for one of the best marketers I knew.  I’d still write code, but would do so surrounded by the thoroughly unfamiliar context of message craft and story telling. And through the daily demands of the job and the proximity of those who do it well hopefully I’d learn a thing or two about this marketing thing and ultimately serve those I wish to lead better.

Holy biscuits - did I learn plenty.  A year in, I thought it might be helpful to my fellow developers to share what it’s like to turn to the Dark Side and what I picked up in the process."
marketing  engineering  skills  business  twilio  growth  learning  robspectre  2012  charisma  sales  via:migurski 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Crazy Smart: When A Rocker Designs A Mars Lander : NPR
"Steltzner's path to becoming team leader for this new Mars lander was hardly direct. Unlike many successful engineers, he struggled at school. An elementary school principal told him he wasn't very bright. His high school experience seemed to confirm that.

"I passed my geometry class the second time with an F plus, because the teacher just didn't want to see me again," he says.

His father told him he'd never amount to anything but a ditch digger, a remark he still carries with him years later.

Maybe that's because school wasn't a priority, particularly with the distractions of the flower-power era in the Bay Area.

"I was sort of studying sex, drugs and rock and roll in high school," says Steltzner. It wasn't just the long hair. "I liked to wear this strange Air Force jump suit. And my first car was a '69 Cadillac hearse. I put a bed in the back."

After high school, the plan was to be a rock star. … played bass guitar in Bay Area bands… But then something happened."
unschooling  deschooling  engineering  marslander  nasa  2012  learning  physics  curiosity  marsrover  science  education  jpl  adamsteltzner  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Toolkit for Today | Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)
"Toolkit for Today: Concepts for Contemporary Architecture"

"Concepts can become powerful tools to analyze reality and to develop new practices, confronted with the necessities of the contemporary world. In the notorious juxtaposition between the “bricoleur” and the “engineer”, developed by Claude Lévi-Strauss, the first uses a limited number of tools and materials to perform multiple tasks, reassembling things together in creative ways, while the second invents specific tools for the solution of each new problem that arises.

The objective of the first CCA summer school for graduate students is to critically read a series of concepts developed by theorists and designers to understand their potential as tools for reflection, for the development of new strategies and for the creation of novel assemblages within contemporary architecture and urbanism."
edwardsoja  mohsenmostafavi  reinholdmartin  nancylevinson  momoyokaijima  davidgissen  stanallen  renatasentkiewicz  iñakiábalos  urban  urbanism  toolsforreflection  reflection  reassembly  materials  toolkits  2012  assemblage  toolmaking  tools  engineering  design  cca  toread  books  architecture  claudelevi-strauss  bricoleur  bricolage  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Gowanus Ballroom – An Alternative Art Space in Brooklyn New York
"The Gowanus Ballroom is an alternative exhibition space located along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY.

Once operated as a steel mill in the 1800′s, this 12,000-square-foot space sits beneath 50-foot cathedral ceilings with a 4,000-square-foot mezzanine overlooking the lower gallery. In 2010, Josh Young of Serett Metal retooled the space and founded Gowanus Ballroom.

The space now serves both as a metal fabrication shop that frequently opens its doors to artists and assists or teaches them to build, and as a creative exhibition space that showcases the talents of emerging artists and designers in the Brooklyn area."
performances  music  lcproject  openstudios  education  design  fabrication  metal  metalfabrication  venues  galleries  studios  glvo  architecture  engineering  gowanuscanal  gowanus  studiospace  nyc  art  brooklyn  via:maxfenton  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
The New Atlantis » Science and the Decline of the Liberal Arts
"Finally, a restored liberal education would not be a liberation from “the ancestral” or from nature, but rather an education in the limits that culture and nature impose upon us — an education in living in ways that do not tempt us to Promethean forms of individual or generational self-aggrandizement. Particularly in an age in which we are becoming all too familiar with the consequences of living solely in and for the present, when too many among us are failing to live within our means — whether financially or environmentally — we would be well served to restore the proper understanding of liberty: not as liberation from constraint, but rather, as a capacity to govern ourselves. Such self-governance, as commended by ancient and religious traditions alike, makes possible a truer form of liberty — liberty from enslavement to our appetites, and from those appetites’ destructive power."

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/16901050596/a-restored-liberal-education-would-not-be-a ]
2009  philosophy  economics  liberty  liberalarts  liberaleducation  liberation  liberalism  multiversity  self-aggrandizement  colleges  universities  highereducation  highered  engineering  history  humanities  science  education  academia  patrickdeneen  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
designswarm thoughts » I make things: mapping the creative industries
"As I work my way through my notes on the event, I also wanted to start to unpick who was using the word “make” and what they were making. This is a first stab and not really about creating collaborative connections yet. I might also be missing some things, do let me know. In this, I think we can see where the “creative industries” overlap and therefore where skill sets overlap. This also proves perhaps that one should be quite careful with using any one term. Designer, artists, engineer…when you look close enough, can become one and the same."
mapping  maps  web  software  video  film  developers  engineers  hacking  crafts  craft  engineering  marloestenbhomer  adrianbowyer  brepettis  glvo  creativity  design  alexandradeschamps-sonsino  making  make  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
http://www.otherlab.com/
"Otherlab is a private Research and Development company with a number of core competencies. We welcome industrial partnerships and commercialization partners. We have worked with dozens of companies globally from small start-ups to multi-nationals and Fortune 500 businesses. We develop enabling new technologies through an emphasis on prototyping coupled to rigorous physics simulation and mathematical models. We develop our own design tools because it’s lonely at the frontier and to create new things and ideas, you often have to create the tools to design them."
design  otherlab  saulgriffith  make  engineering  diy  innovation  tools  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
Institutional memory and reverse smuggling | wrttn
"At the end of the project someone should've been commissioned to write a book, "What This Goddamn Plant Is: And, How It Works". That book is effectively being written now, only by archaeologists."
engineering  documentation  process  archeology  knowledge  via:straup  institutionalmemory  memory  legacy  tcsnmy  lcproject  2011  via:blech  scale  scaling  bureaucracy  archaeology  reversesmuggling  institutionalarchaeology  institutions  business  reverse  culture  values  posterity  corporateespionage  reversecorporateespionage  organizations  recordkeeping  companies  management  sharing  via:tealtan 
december 2011 by robertogreco
How to Fix Our Math Education - NYTimes.com
"Imagine replacing the sequence of algebra, geometry and calculus with a sequence of finance, data and basic engineering. In the finance course, students would learn the exponential function, use formulas in spreadsheets and study the budgets of people, companies and governments. In the data course, students would gather their own data sets and learn how, in fields as diverse as sports and medicine, larger samples give better estimates of averages. In the basic engineering course, students would learn the workings of engines, sound waves, TV signals and computers. Science and math were originally discovered together, and they are best learned together now."
education  math  mathematics  curriculum  solgarfunkel  davidmumford  2011  learning  problemsolving  realworldproblems  statistics  finance  science  engineering  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Fab Lab San Diego — A place where you can make almost anything
"In 2007, a collaboration between the MIT & the San Diego-based non-profit Heads On Fire allowed for the creation of an advanced digital design & fabrication laboratory where community members can utilize high-tech tools to actualize ideas through design & fabrication.

Today, in addition to localized learning, Fab Lab programs are available in a distributed format, bringing the opportunity to turn concepts into creations to as many community members as possible. Fab Lab programs offer experiences in design, science, engineering, electronics, computation, mathematics & the scientific method, through project-based learning, resulting in personal development & real-world skill attainment.

By promoting learning that addresses empirical education, innovation, production & creativity, we aim to provide accessible & applicable educational experiences for individual learners in order to support the development of more ingenious & resourceful communities."
diy  sandiego  fablab  education  fabbing  hackerspaces  headsonfire  macsd  ucsd  sdsu  steam  engineering  classideas  edg  srg  fieldtrips  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Andrew Sliwinski | Thisandagain
"Hi. My name is Andrew.<br />
I help solve problems and make things using design, technology, science and fabrication."
andrewsliwinski  engineering  making  makers  doing  make  hackers  building  electronics  multimedia  via:javierarbona  technology  science  design  problemsolving  thisandagain  makerfaire  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
electronic computation is invisible: maeda at RISD (tecznotes) {best to read the whole thing, and also the Natalia Ilyin post]
"…post about Maeda’s difficulties at RISD is interesting, but I was particularly struck by broader resonance of this:

"The Medialab is much more random than that. This may help to illuminate why John’s approach is so alien to traditional art students. Paul Rand seems to think it’s John’s engineering background which interferes with his leadership ability at RISD, but I think it’s actually scarier. John’s approach is hands off & experimental. Anything goes. Confusing & startling people is valorized…

…NONE of these artists have managed to broach the basic limitation that electronic computation is invisible. All techno artwork thus far relies on impenetrable microchips which require observer/participants to form abstractions in order to appreciate them. Look how hard it is to teach art students to program…

…once you go back in time & look at a Maeda or PLW project & realize you can’t run their code anymore, the collapsing of reality can be devastating."
johnmaeda  michalmigurski  risd  2011  handsoff  leadership  management  disconnect  medialab  mit  engineering  confusion  experimentation  paulrand  computers  computation  art  electroniccomputation  invisibility  reality  collapsingofreality  administration  learning  change  abstraction  inpenetrability  technology  mitmedialab  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Q&A: Cesar Harada on the Promise of an Open-Source Oil Skimming Robot - Environment - GOOD [See also: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cesarminoru/protei-open-hardware-oil-spill-cleaning-sailing-ro ]
"Cesar Harada is a Renaissance Man of the old school. But with some very new school skills. He's probably best described now as an open-source environmental engineer, but even a convoluted label like that doesn't do his work justice. Harada was a construction manager in Kenya for Ushahidi, the open-source crisis mapping organization (which we've covered), building their offices, but also building their network and some of their websites. Construction & engineering are in his half-Japanese, half-French blood. His father is a sculptor, & the Japanese side of his family has long worked in the structural engineering field, earthquake-proofing buildings.<br />
<br />
Harada got his first masters in animation film, & then another in design interaction. He's also a pretty accomplished glassblower and a TED Senior Fellow. These days, Harada is focusing on Protei, an open-source ocean skimming robot that he believes could revolutionize oil spill cleanup. (raising money for prototype on Kickstarter)"
cesarharada  renaissancemen  good  ted  tedfellows  environment  environmentalism  design  engineering  kenya  ushahidi  opensource  construction  glvo  animation  film  interactiondesign  protei  oilspills  cleanup  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Upper Toronto | Quiet Babylon
"Upper Toronto is a science fiction design proposal to build a new city in the sky. The CN restaurant might be ground level, or imagine a city sitting on top of the Bay Street towers. When Upper Toronto is finished, all residents of will be relocated upwards and Lower Toronto will transformed into some combination of intentional ruin, national park, and farmland.

This is, of course, a terrible idea. But it is a terrible idea that lets us imagine and perform about the kind of city we’d want if we could start fresh."
toronto  timmaly  design  cities  designfiction  sciencefiction  architecture  theater  engineering  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  planning  policy  publicpolicy  development  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Forever Future | Sascha Pohflepp
"Every technology is embedded within society and the factors which contribute to a certain vision of the future are complex while its promises may be simple and alluring. … We do not know what happens when technological dreams don’t come true, both on a cultural and on an individual basis. The assumption is that ideas, once they have been part of the public imagination, do not go away. They might go to another place we do not have an expression for, a cultural limbo from where they might be materialized at another point in time. This place might be shared with ideas from science fiction, a pool of possible futures which engineers and entrepreneurs are tapping into. There might, however, be futures that for various reasons may never materialize, which appear to be speeding away and thus stay at a certain distance from us. Phantom futures that some even feel a certain nostalgia for, because they may have been part of the dreams and wishes of their life."
technology  future  futures  designfiction  saschapohflepp  jackparsons  jpl  rocketry  society  ideas  memory  expression  time  culture  limbo  culturallimbo  engineering  phantomfutures  via:preoccupations  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free
"All education is self-education.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.

Those people who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world.  Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.  Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.

If you’re interested in learning something new, this article is for you.  Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years.

Note that some of the sources overlap between various subjects of education.  Therefore, each has been placed under a specific subject based on the majority focus of the source’s content."
education  learning  online  free  reference  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  via:caterina  glvo  edg  srg  references  opencourseware  opencontent  law  humanities  history  classideas  science  health  lcproject  business  money  compsci  engineering  math  mathematics  english  communication  books  autodidacts  self-education  self-directedlearning  internet  web  openeducation  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
How The Other Side Thinks « stone soup
"I was curious to see whether this correlation between educational values and leadership carries for other countries, and did a little impromptu research. I looked at the top 9 leaders of each country, and found their undergraduate major and/or graduate field. I started with the U.S., China, India, Singapore, and Germany. I would be interested in seeing others; however, I lack the language skill or Googling will to look them up.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but perhaps it should come as no surprise, given the results, that the Chinese government is less concerned about humanitarian issues than economic growth, infrastructure development, and technological advancement."
us  china  germany  india  singapore  policy  priorities  law  economics  government  leadership  leaders  humanities  humanrights  humanitarian  development  hujintao  barackobama  engineering  comparison  2011  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Project Aether
"Project Aether is a program designed to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, explorers, and dreamers.   We collaborate with schools to teach students physics concepts, experimental research skills, and to demonstrate low-cost, accessible space exploration through high altitude balloon launches equipped with HD cameras."
space  spacetravel  science  diy  education  physics  classideas  sdspacesociety  edg  engineering  exploration  spaceexploration  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
C O P E N H A G E N S U B O R B I T A L S
"Our mission is very simple. We are working towards launching a human being into space. This is a non-profit suborbital space endeavor lead by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, based entirely on sponsors and volunteers."
space  spacetravel  diy  engineering  future  copenhagen  science  technology  rockets  suborbital  spaceexploration  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
:: NuVu studio
"Students register for a specific studio such as “Balloon Mapping”, “Music and the City”, or “Future of Global Warming” of which there will be approximately 10 students, one Coach and an Assistant Coach. The Coach begins by providing a general overview of a problem to the students, an ambiguous real-world problem with potentially millions of answers. With the Coach’s help each student frames the problem from his/her perspective and enters into an iterative development process supported by the studio team of students & advisors.

Students are provided with access to outside resources – leading thinkers and experts – to whom they present their framework and receive feedback. Students document their process and progress, continually reviewing it with the Coach. They set parameters, synthesize, and continue refining, refining, refining. NuVu trains students to apply multiple perspectives to challenge and refine ideas over and over again until it becomes a natural way of learning."

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5ZlJVHfiYg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmY2_Xlhpng and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4f4vb7GBIg&list=PL4D54C52BBC9A68D8 ]
education  engineering  highschool  lcproject  openstudio  mit  pedagogy  stem  design  make  innovation  technology  problemsolving  learning  boston  process  unschooling  deschooling  studioclassroom  designthinking  nuvu  nuvustudio  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
metacool: More thoughts on the primacy of doing: Shinya Kimura, Jeep, Corvette, and the cultural zeitgeist of life in 2010
"cultural zeitgeist of life in 2010 America is clearly saying "We need to start thinking with our hands again", & that we need at least to have confidence in our decision making as we seek to create things of intrinsic value…It's not difficult to get to a strong, compelling point of view. That's what design thinking can do for you. But in each of these videos I sense our society expressing a strong yearning for something beyond process, the courage to make decisions and to act. Talking and thinking is easy, shipping is tough…<br />
<br />
Tinkering, hacking, experimenting, they're all ways of experiencing the world which are more apt than not to lead to generative, highly creative outcomes. I firmly believe that kids & young adults who are allowed to hack, break, tear apart, & generally probe the world around them develop an innate sense of courage when it comes time to make a decision to actually do something. I see this all the time at Stanford…"
diegorodriguez  make  making  handson  hands  manufacturing  machines  tinkering  shinyakimura  detroit  gm  jeep  bigthree  spacerace  rockets  nostalgia  thinking  learning  experimenting  experience  facebook  google  apple  hacking  creativity  innovation  2010  jacobbronowski  design  engineering  machining  action  tcsnmy  glvo  lcproject  doing  motivation  do  corvette  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Graphene Will Change the Way We Live | Dr. Kaku's Universe | Big Think
"Since then, in the past 6 years, scientists have discovered that the substance retains some amazing properties. Some say that it will be heralded as one of the materials that will literally change our lives in the 21st century. Not only is graphene the thinnest possible material that is feasible, but it's also about 200 times stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than any material known to man—at room temperature. Researchers at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering who proved that graphene is the strongest material ever measured said that "It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap.""
graphene  nobelprize  carbon  engineering  physics  materials  technology  innovation  science  future  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Education for Well-being » The Crying Engineer
"So one day I came upon this guy Paul, this engineer, this very reserved guy and he was crying. He was looking at a mangrove plant crying, standing there, the tears coming down his eyes. And I said, “What’s going on?” And he said, “Why have I never learned in all of my education about mangroves? Why don’t I know or have ever considered that these guys are a solar-powered desalination plant? They have their roots in salt water and are living on freshwater.” He said, “We use 900 pounds per square inch to force water against a membrane to get salt out of it and we wonder why it clogs. And this is silent, solar powered, desalination.”

He said, “Tell me how it works.”

Engineers are trying to make tools for living–technology. Nature has technologies too, only engineers never learn about nature’s technologies. They learn how to domesticate nature, learn sort of how to use nature when we need it but they don’t learn how to learn from nature."
janinebenyus  biomimicry  design  engineering  engineers  learning  nature  janejacobs  conservation  mangroves  biomimetics  taxonomy  biology  animals  plants  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Elliot Washor: Making Their Way: Creating a Generation of "Thinkerers"
"Schools can reap the rewards of making if they can resist the "curse of the course;" loosen rigid time structures to promote exploration and smart failures; and, in the evening and on weekends, open their labs, sheds and garages to the community and to makers of all ages and levels of expertise. They will need as well to bring the traditional academic disciplines -- including the increasingly essential arts and design -- into those fab labs and to the making itself. By employing people, objects, places and situations (POPS) to support making, schools will prepare a whole generation of young people to succeed in the challenging careers out there now -- and the ones that will be."
education  tinkering  lcproject  bigpicturelearning  makerfaires  eliotwashor  stem  pedagogy  making  thinking  technology  diy  science  teaching  tcsnmy  make  do  doing  pops  communitycenters  community  sharing  schooldesign  curriculum  projectbasedlearning  engineering  pbl  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Jugaad: Questions for Santosh Ostwal | The Economist
"SANTOSH OSTWAL, husband and father of two, lost his apartment in 2001 after quitting his job in Pune to solve an engineering problem he’d been thinking about for twenty years. Today his solution – a mobile-phone adaptation that triggers irrigation pumps remotely – is saving water in India and helping more than 10,000 farmers avoid several taxing, dangerous long walks a day. I talked to Mr Santosh for a podcast earlier this year, but it’s worth digging back into the transcript now to help explain the Indian concept of jugaad, an inspired kind of duct-taped ingenuity that employs only the tools at hand."
via:blackbeltjones  jugaad  santoshostwal  india  hacking  hardware  constraints  makedo  localsolutions  theadjacentpossible  engineering  chimericthinking  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
The Wrong Stuff : Error Message: Google Research Director Peter Norvig on Being Wrong
"I want to talk about innovation, because it seems to me that the price of trying new things is that most of them fail. How do you build a tolerance for that kind of failure into a public corporation that's accountable to its bottom line? Getting things wrong might be necessary to getting things right, but failure can be costly.<br />
<br />
We do it by trying to fail faster and smaller. The average cycle for getting something done at Google is more like three months than three years. And the average team size is small, so if we have a new idea, we don't have to go through the political lobbying of saying, "Can we have 50 people to work on this?" Instead, it's more done bottom up: Two or three people get together and say, "Hey, I want to work on this." They don't need permission from the top level to get it started because it's just a couple of people; it's kind of off the books."
via:lukeneff  pagerank  epistemology  engineering  peternorvig  failure  iteration  innovation  google  business  creativity  culture  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
6 Questions from Kicker: Julian Bleecker ["5 things all designers should know? Humility; Listening skills; How to find 3 positive, thoughtful observations about something you dislike; be more adamantine about saying “no” to PowerPoint...]
Sadly, good ideas can be stymied by misalignment of goals & aspirations...happens in-between design sensibilities to do good in world & business priorities...Together...make up a maelstrom of entanglements often referred to...as product design...

I’m excited by expectation that designer should reflect on practice & redesign way design is done...something I learned more about studying scientists & engineers in grad school when I was learning how scientists make knowledge...tricky thing is that scientists & engineers couldn’t really be reflexive about what they were doing or they’d get in trouble w/ knowledge cops...

Follow your curiosity, even if weather smells like Rapture, everyone around you is losing heads & creek is rising pretty quick. Instinct rules out over any sense of rationality or attempts at an objective view on things...But—doing what you know in your gut is right by you? That kind of sensibility & clarity is something I continue to learn from, even in mistakes."
design  process  reflection  howwework  productdesign  risk  hunches  risktaking  clarity  sensibility  learning  julianbleecker  curiosity  doing  priorities  tcsnmy  cv  glvo  business  science  engineering  rationality 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The myth of “programming is the only creativity”
"The geeks – the people who have, so far, been the dominant part of culture in technology and the Internet – are like priests of a religion that finds themselves no longer the centre of their culture’s world. They are displaying all the standard behaviours of a dying religion: Flocking to new prophets, who aggresively promote their message; lashing out bitterly at the heretics who are “betraying” them; and even trying desperately to preserve their way of life by saying “look how easy it is to become a priest!”"
via:timo  apple  creativity  culture  development  engineering  ipad  open  technology  geek  programming  computing  computers  coding 
july 2010 by robertogreco
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