robertogreco + newzealand   71

Anne Galloway 'Speculative Design and Glass Slaughterhouses' - This is HCD
"Andy: You’ve got quite an interesting background. I’m going to ask you about in a second. I wanted to start with the quote from Ursula Le Guin that you have on your website. It’s from the Lathe of Heaven. “We’re in the world, not against it. It doesn’t work to try and stand outside things and run them that way, it just doesn’t work. It goes against life. There is a way, but you have to follow it, the world is, no matter how we think it ought to be, you have to be with it, you have to let it be.

Then on the More Than Human website, you have these three questions. What if we refuse to uncouple nature and culture? What if we deny that human beings are exceptional? What if we stop speaking and listening only to ourselves? The More Than Human lab explores everyday entanglements of humans and non-humans and imagines more sustainable ways of thinking, making, and doing. Anne, let’s get started by first talking about what do you mean by all of that?

Anne: The Ursula Le Guin quote I love mostly because a critical perspective or an activist perspective, anything that says we ought to be changing the world in any way, it always assumes that we need to fix something, that the world is broken and that designers especially are well-suited to be able to solve some of these problems. I like thinking about what it means to respond to injustice by accepting it, not in the sense of believing that it’s okay or right, because clearly, it’s been identify as unjust. I love Le Guin’s attention to the fact that there is a way to be in the world.

As soon as we think that we’re outside of it, any choices or decisions or actions that we take are, well, they sit outside of it as well. I like being embedded in the trouble. I like Donna Haraway’s idea of staying with the trouble. It’s not that we have to accept that things are problematic, but rather that we have to work within the structures that already exist. Not to keep them that way, in fact, many should be dismantled or changed. Rather, to accept that there is a flow to the universe.

Of course, Le Guin was talking about Taoism, but here what I wanted to draw attention to is often our imperative to fix or to solve or to change things comes with a belief that we’re not part of the world that we’re trying to fix and change. It’s that that I want to highlight. That when we start asking difficult questions about the world, we can never remove ourselves from them. We’re complicit, we are on the receiving end of things. We’re never distant from it. I think that subtle but important shift in deciding how we approach our work is really important."



"Andy: Yes, okay. I was thinking about this, I was reading, in conjunction, this little Le Guin quote, I was trying to think, it’s unusual in the sense that it’s a discipline or a practice of design that uses its own practice to critique itself. It’s using design to critique design in many respects. A lot of what speculative design is talking about is, look what happens when we put stuff into the world, in some way, without much thought. I was trying to think if there was another discipline that does that. I think probably in the humanities there are, and certainly in sociology I think there probably is, where it uses its own discipline to critique itself. It’s a fairly unusual setup.

Anne: I would think actually it’s quite common in the humanities, perhaps the social sciences, where it’s not common is in the sciences. Any reflexive turn in any of the humanities would have used the discipline. Historiography is that sort of thing. Applied philosophy is that sort of thing. Reflexive anthropology is that sort of thing. I think it’s actually quite common, just not in the sciences, and design often tries to align itself with the sciences instead.

Andy: Yes, there was a great piece in the Aeon the other day, about how science doesn’t have an adequate description or explanation for consciousness. Yet, it’s the only thing it can be certain of. With that, it also doesn’t really seem to come up in the technology industry that much, because it’s so heavily aligned with science. Technology, and you’ve got this background in culture studies and science and technology and society, technology is a really strong vein throughout speculative design. Indeed, your work, right? Counting sheep is about the Internet of Things, and sheep. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that and why I am talking to you from the picture things to the Lord of the Rings, it basically looks like you’re living in part of the Shire in Middle Earth?

Anne: I do live in a place that looks remarkably like the Shire. It’s a bit disconcerting at times. The science and technology question in speculative design I think is first of all a matter of convenience. Science fiction, speculation, they lean historically, habitually towards science and tech. It becomes an easy target for critique. Not that it’s not necessary, but it’s right there, so why not? There’s that element to it. It has an easier ability to be transformed into something fanciful or terrifying, which allows for certain kinds of storytelling through speculation, that I think people, both creators and audiences or readers really enjoy.

Now, the irony of all of this, of course is that arguably one of the greatest concerns that people have would be tied to technological determinism, the idea that we’re going to have these technologies anyway, so what are we going to do about it? Now, when you speculate using these technologies, what you’re doing is actually reinforcing the idea that these technologies are coming, you play right into the same technological determinism that you’re trying to critique. In fact, one of the counting sheep scenarios was designed specifically to avoid the technology. It was the one that got the most positive responses."



"Andy: With all of this, and I may this pop at the beginning, just before we were recording, that there’s a sense of, because of everything going on in the world, that if only designers could run the world, everything would be fine, right, because we can see all of the solutions to everything. What would you want designers to get out of this kind of work or this kind of perspective?

Anne: Humility. That simple. I am one of those people. It’s because of being an ethnographer as well and doing participant observation and interviewing many people and their ideas about design. I’ve run into far more people who think that designers are arrogant than ones who don’t. This has always really interested me. What is it that designers do that seems to rub non-designers the wrong way? Part of it is this sense of, or implication that they know better than the rest of us, or that a designer will come in and say, “Let me fix your problem”, before even asking if there is a problem that the person wants fixed.

I actually gave a guest lecture in a class just the other day, where I suggested that there were people in the world who thought that designers were arrogant. One of the post-graduate students in the class really took umbrage at this and wanted to know why it was that designers were arrogant for offering to fix problems, but a builder wasn’t, or a doctor wasn’t.

Andy: What was your answer?

Anne: Well, my answer was, generally speaking, people go to them first and say, “I have this problem, I need help.” Whereas, designers come up with a problem, go find people that they think have it and then tell them they’d like to solve it. I think just on a social level, that is profoundly anti-social. That is not how people enjoy socially interacting with people.

Andy: I can completely see that and I think that I would say that argument has also levelled, quite rightly, a lot of Silicon Valley, which is the answer to everything is some kind of technology engineering startup to fix all the problems that all the other technology and engineering startups that are no longer startups have created. It’s probably true of quite a lot of areas of business and finance, as well, and politics, for that matter. The counter, I could imagine a designer saying, “Well, that’s not really true”, because one of the things as human-centred designers, the first thing we do, we go out, we do design ethnography, we go and speak to people, we go and observe, we go and do all of that stuff. We really understand their problems. We’re not just telling people what needs to be fixed. We’re going there and understanding things. What’s your response to that?

Anne: Well, my first response is, yes, that’s absolutely true. There are lots of very good designers in the world who do precisely that. Because I work in an academic institution though, I’m training students. What my job involves is getting the to the point where they know the difference between telling somebody something and asking somebody something. what it means to actually understand their client or their user. I prefer to just refer to them as people. What it is that people want or need. One of the things that I offer in all of my classes is, after doing the participant observation, my students always have the opportunity to submit a rationale for no design intervention whatsoever.

That’s not something that is offered to people in a lot of business contexts because there’s a business case that’s being made. Whereas, I want my students to understand that sometimes the research demonstrates that people are actually okay, and that even if they have little problems, they’re still okay with that, that people are quite okay with living with contradictions and that they will accept some issues because it allows for other things to emerge. That if they want, they can provide the evidence for saying, “Actually, the worst thing we could do in this scenario is design anything and I refuse to design.”

Andy: Right, that and the people made trade-offs all the time because of the pain of change is much … [more]
annegalloway  design  2019  speculativefiction  designethnography  morethanhuman  ursulaleguin  livestock  agriculture  farming  sheep  meat  morethanhumanlab  activism  criticaldesign  donnaharaway  stayingwiththetrouble  taoism  flow  change  changemaking  systemsthinking  complicity  catherinecaudwell  injustice  justice  dunneandraby  consciousness  science  technology  society  speculation  speculativedesign  questioning  fiction  future  criticalthinking  whatif  anthropology  humanities  reflexiveanthropology  newzealand  socialsciences  davidgrape  powersoften  animals  cows  genevievebell  markpesce  technologicaldeterminism  dogs  cats  ethnography  cooperation  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  slow  slowness  time  perception  psychology  humility  problemsolving  contentment  presence  peacefulness  workaholism  northamerica  europe  studsterkel  protestantworkethic  labor  capitalism  passion  pets  domestication 
june 2019 by robertogreco
Gangsters in Paradise - The Deportees of Tonga - YouTube
"In Gangsters in Paradise - Deportees of Tonga, VICE embeds with four Tongan nationals who have been sent back to the tiny island nation where they were born after serving prison time in New Zealand and the United States. Former gang members, they often struggle to reconnect with the culture, the language, and the people.

They are haunted by the stigma of their criminal pasts, which casts a pall over their employment prospects and puts a barrier between them and their compatriots.

Government support for returnees is non-existent, wages are low, and with Tonga in the midst of a methamphetamine crisis, the temptations to revert to the lives of crime they hoped to leave behind when they left prison are high."
tonga  deportation  borders  citizenship  crime  2019  repatriation  newzealand  us  australia  gangs 
february 2019 by robertogreco
anja kanngieser on Twitter: "this is a long thread on #nauru, where i spent last week. nauru is currently most visible as a site for australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers and refugees. it is also the location of a longstanding #phosphate mine
"this is a long thread on #nauru, where i spent last week. nauru is currently most visible as a site for australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers and refugees. it is also the location of a longstanding #phosphate mine which covers over 2/3 of the island 1/22

#nauru is experiencing considerable #climatechange. im going to outline some of the social-environmental stresses i observed that nauruans, refugees and asylum seekers are facing, and why we need to talk about #colonialism and #environmental racism for #climatejustice 2/22

#nauru is a beautiful island. its main resource is #phosphate. germany colonised nauru in the late 1800s and in the early 1900s the british found phosphate and started to exploit it for fertiliser and munitions with australia and nz, who became nauru’s trustees in the 1920s 3/22

during both world wars #nauru was a strategic imperial site and was occupied by multiple nations. in the 1960s nauru gained independence and took over mining activities 4/22

these days its extremely hard to get onto #nauru. i was invited to do work on community #mitigation and #adaptation measures. my work involves speaking with community leaders, environment organisations, government workers, activists 5/22

it also involves making #bioacoustic recordings of environments - #nauru's mine, the reef, the lagoon. this means i spend a lot of time listening. this is some of what i was told: 6/22

#nauru is running out of land. there are too many people living on the coast, as topside (the mining site) has not been rehabilitated. its a moonscape up there - huge phosphate pinnacles segregated by steep drops. its hot - it feels like 50 degrees, and its super humid 7/22

no one really goes up there, except people working in the mine, ihms employees and the border force. and refugees and asylum seekers, because thats where the detention centres are. you cant play there or just hang out, its too hot, and if youre not in aircon its unbearable 8/22

#coastal erosion is bad around the north of #nauru. sea walls protect one area but then other areas get flooded. #kingtides flood the single road that runs around the island, meaning people cant get around to access services 9/22

houses on the coast side of the main road on #nauru get #inundated. because of a lack of land, people cant really move far 10/22

much of the ground water in #nauru is #contaminated, by waste, from overpopulated cemeteries leaking into the water lens, run off from the mine and sea water. there is a huge stress on water supplies 11/22

most of #nauru gets its water from the desalination plant, but it takes a long time to get water and if it breaks experts need to be flown in to fix it. not everyone has a water tank, so there are water shortages 12/22

its hard to grow food on #nauru so food is imported. there are long lines of people whenever a shipment of rice is due to arrive. cucumbers cost $13AUD, a punnet of cherry tomatoes $20AUD. people do not earn anywhere near enough money to be able to afford it 13/22

kitchen gardens have been established on #nauru, but they only feed the families that have them, a lot of people feel their soil is not adequate to growing food 14/22

reef fish stocks are depleted on #nauru, so there is a plan to build milkfish supplies in peoples home ponds. as the water is contaminated that means that the fish are contaminated. if people feed the fish to the pigs and eat the pigs, then that meat is also contaminated 15/22

the #phosphate dust from the mine causes respiratory issues in #nauru. it covers houses near the harbour and people refer to it as snow. while primary mining is almost complete, secondary mining is planned. this should last around 20 years, then the phosphate is gone 16/22

#nauru is getting hotter. its so hot that kids dont want to walk to school, which is not aircon. its so hot that no one is really outside during the day. the heat on the coast is not as bad as the heat on topside. but its still hot enough that you dont want to move 17/22

i was told that people remember it being 20 degrees cooler when they were kids. #nauru goes through extreme #droughts 18/22

there are issues with #biodiversity loss and strange movements of sea creatures. i recorded a dusk chorus at a mining site and heard only one bird. at the start of the year dead fish littered the reef. this happens periodically, no one could tell me why 19/22

the noddy birds, which people rely on for food, got a virus earlier this year and there were fallen noddy birds all over the roads. people have spotted orcas in #nauru’s waters. a dugong also washed up on shore. they are not known to inhabit that area 20/22

as i said, these issues affect everyone on #nauru. nauru is highly vulnerable to #climatechange. it is also hugely economically reliant on aid, on the money from the incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers and a rapidly diminishing natural resource: phosphate 21/22

this is why conversations about human rights and environmental justice in #nauru and the #pacific also need to include strong critiques of #neocolonialism, #racism and #paternalism. nauru wasnt always like this. these are ongoing impacts of colonisation 22/22"
nauru  climatechange  globalwarming  2018  anjakannigieser  environment  climatejustice  colonialism  islands  polynesia  australia  newzealand  activism  adaptability  oceans  fishing  health  biodiversity  multispecies  pacificocean  vulnerability  neocolonialism  racism  paternalism  colonization  birds  nature  animals  wildlife  water  waste 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Warrior Scholars - Decolonising education on Vimeo
"Kia Aroha is a public secondary school serving 300 students, most of them are Māori or from the Pacific Islands. The school has taken a radically different approach to education, developing a special character with it's community (in Otara, South Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) that focuses on bilingual, critically conscious, culturally responsive, social justice education.

Kia Aroha explicitly focuses it's curriculum around a critical analysis of the historical and present realities that affect their students lives. Empowering them with the skills and knowledge to be able to explore their experiences, contextualise them and examine how these have shaped their own sense of self. This is done through a critically conscious, culturally responsive pedagogy designed to ensure that the learning is relevant to the identity and experience of the child. It also focuses on ensuring the learning is based on a foundation of self knowledge and pride, ensuring that Māori and Pasifika identity, knowledge and way's of knowing are at the centre of the academic space. Allowing students to be affirmed in their identity, and extend their cultural knowledge - be confident in who they are.

The concept of Kia Aroha (through authentic love and care), underpins the schools approach to learning as a whanau (family). Drawing from traditional Māori and Pasifika ways of learning, the school intentionally designs the learning space to fit the child so that they don't have to 'constantly adjust to fit in'. Everything from the physical space, to relationships, to pedagogy is designed to create an environment that recognises, affirms and extends the identity of the child.

This combination of critical consciousness, cultural competence and self knowledge and esteem is designed to help children to understand and successfully navigate the present society from a foundation of pride in who they are, but it's also designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to envision a different reality, and take actions towards making a change within the society should they choose.

‘We have to develop that critical authentic hope in young people, that tells them that you can make change, and we’re all in this together. And so our curriculum is built around that idea, understanding how society works, how do you play that game and change that game. And what skills do you need in order to do that?’ Ann Milne - Kia Aroha Principal 1994-2016"
maori  education  schools  schooling  decolonization  colonialism  colonization  newzealand  2017  indoctrination  socialjustice  pedagogy  school  history  whitesupremacy 
december 2017 by robertogreco
A fresh approach no more: the return of politics in New Zealand | Overland literary journal
"All of a sudden in Aotearoa New Zealand there is an election campaign worth following, and not just for its immediate result, but to test the boundaries of left-wing politics: what is acceptable, what is thinkable, what brings votes and hence the power to make change.

Just two months ago, it was all heading in a very different direction. Having signed a pact of fiscal responsibility that cut any prospect of expansionary interventions at the knees, the sole remaining viable parties of the centre-left – Labour and the Greens – appeared interested above all in projecting a reassuring air of technocratic prowess, and in continuing to vie for the same narrowing patch of the mythical centre ground, as they had done with terrible results for three elections in a row. Completely gone was the talk of expanding the voter base, the so-called ‘missing million’ of the disaffected and alienated – roughly a quarter of eligible voters – who have gradually abandoned the political process since the New Right reforms of the mid-1980s.

As is so often the case when parties want to avoid talking about a country’s resource base or in any way threatening capital returns for the most parasitical sectors of the economy, immigration – the most external of all external factors – became the darling issue of both parties. Having begun to demonise foreign property buyers early in the cycle by poring over recent records in search of ‘Chinese-sounding names’, Labour was first out of that particular gate, but the Greens swiftly caught up, couching their policy in the language of ‘sustainability’ and setting an unprecedented limit of 1% long-term arrivals per year including returning citizens.

Both strategies were sprinkled with the odd progressive policy, or promise of progressive policies to come, as well as with generic pledges to reduce the country’s staggering rates of inequality (all implicitly undercut by the spending restrictions alluded to above). But every zig was followed by a zag, every promise of new public housing with the reassurance that ‘we don’t want house prices to fall’. Business would be allowed to continue undisturbed, and the radical neoliberal policies that have dominated government in the country for the last 30-plus years would merely be given a human face.

Then Corbyn happened. But I don’t think that’s what did it.

The problem with chasing swing voters from a comfortable social bloc in a country with a thriving economy is not that it’s a strategy doomed to failure – although it is. It’s that the approach mines the foundations of left-wing politics, with even worse consequences down the line. In the short term, it bleeds parties of their activist bases. Over a decade or more, it erases, in a large portion of the electorate, the very memory of any alternatives. We are now at that very juncture, and Labour’s first round of election advertising dramatically underscored the bankruptcy of the project."
2017  giovannitiso  newzealand  politics  elections  jeremycorbyn  left  progressive  progressivism  neoliberalism  liberalism  greens  labour 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Hello World: Explore the Tech World Outside Silicon Valley With Ashlee Vance
"Hello World invites the viewer to come on a journey. It's a journey that stretches across the globe to find the inventors, scientists and technologists shaping our future. Each episode explores a different country and uncovers the ways in which the local culture and surroundings have influenced their approach to technology. Join journalist and best-selling author Ashlee Vance on a quest to find the freshest, weirdest tech creations and the beautiful freaks behind them.

Episode 1: New Zealand
New Zealand’s freaky AI babies, robot exoskeletons, and a virtual you.

Episode 2: Sweden
We explore Sweden's magical treehouses, faceswapping robots, and enjoy fika with Spotify’s Daniel Ek.

Episode 3: Israel
Learn how the constant threat of war has shaped Israel's tech industry.

Episode 4: Iceland
Iceland's punishing terrain inspires cutting-edge tech.

Episode 5: Mojave Desert
America's most passionate and daring inventors have built an engineering paradise in the middle of nowhere.

Episode 6: Australia
Bio-hackers, Internet playboys, and underwater drones have ignited Australia’s long-dormant tech industry.

Episode 7: England
Once a computing pioneer, England has struggled to remain relevant in tech. Now, a revival appears to be on the way.

Episode 8: Japan
Japan's obsessive robot inventors are creating the future.

Episode 9: Russia
Grab yourself a vodka and witness the bizarre spectacle that is Russian technology.

Episode 10: Chile
Searching for the origins of the universe in the Earth’s driest desert."
technology  video  chile  russia  japan  england  australia  mojavedesert  iceland  israel  sweden  newzealand  ashleevance 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Education Gurus | the édu flâneuse
"Knowledge and advice for schools and about education often seem to exist in a world of commodification and memeification. There is plenty of disagreement and debate in education, and plenty of competition on bookshelves and in conference programs. Educators and academics position themselves as brands via bios, photographs, and certification badges. As an educator and a researcher I have those whose work I follow closely; academics, for instance, whose presence affects me when I meet them because their reputation and body of work precede them.

In education, we have perceived gurus. These are people who have become ubiquitous in education circles, at education conferences, and in education literature. Teachers and school leaders scramble to get tickets to their sessions and to get photographic evidence of having met them. Their words are tweeted out in soundbites ad infinitum (or is that ad nauseum?), and made into internet memes. Sometimes these individuals partner with publishers or education corporates, and so the visibility and reach of their work grows. They become the scholars or experts most cited in staff rooms, at professional learning water coolers, and in job interviews when asked how research informs practice.

Sometimes, these gurus are teachers or principals who have gained a large following on social media and subsequently a monolithic profile. Often, they are academics who have built up bodies of work over many years, becoming more and more well-known along the way, and eventually being perceived as celebrities or gurus. Yesterday I had the pleasure of learning from Dylan Wiliam, firstly at a day long seminar, and then at my school. At one point the seminar organisers apologised for running out of Wiliam’s books, acknowledging the desire of delegates to have the book signed.

Marten Koomen has traced networks of influencers in Australian education organisations. In his new paper ‘School leadership and the cult of the guru: the neo-Taylorism of Hattie’, Scott Eacott challenges the rise of the edu guru, those academics whose work is ubiquitous and influential to the point of being uncritically accepted and canonised. Eacott pushes back against the ‘what works’ mentality in education, in which educators are sold ‘what works’ and encouraged to slavishly apply it to their own contexts. Jon Andrews, too, questions the unquestioning way in which the loudest and most prominent voices become the accepted voices. Meta-analysis and meta-meta-analysis, often translated into league tables of ‘what works’ in education, have been the subject of criticism. George Lilley and Gary Jones have both questioned meta-analysis on their blogs. I’ve written about cautions surrounding the use of meta-analysis in education, especially when it drives clickbait headlines and a silver-bullet mentality of having the answers without having to ask any questions. Yesterday Wiliam made his oft-repeated points: that everything works somewhere, nothing works everywhere, and context matters. A guru cannot provide easy answers in education, as education is too complex and contextual for that.

Much of this conversation around the rise of the edu guru has surrounded John Hattie, although he is by no means the only globally renowned education expert likely to make conference delegates weak at the knees. I was personally uncomfortable when he was beamed in via video link to last year’s ACEL conference and began to give an ‘I have a dream’ speech about education. As an English and Literature teacher I understand the power of rhetoric and analogy to persuade and inspire, but appropriating the legacy and words of Dr Martin Luther King Junior seemed a way to gospelise a personal brand of education reform.

I don’t think that education experts, no matter how influential they become, should encourage the uncritical acceptance of their ideas as dogma, or present themselves as the bringers of the One True Thing To Rule All Things of and for education. As Dylan Wiliam, channelling Ben Goldacre, repeatedly said yesterday, “I think you’ll find it’s a little more complicated than that.”

I wonder how perceived gurus feel about being guru-ised by the education masses. In part the famous and the infamous in education are so because of their actions: accepting more and more speaking gigs, performing the game of publishing and promoting their work. Most, I would guess, do this for the same reason someone like me speaks and publishes. To contribute to education narratives and change those narratives, hopefully for the better. To be of service to the profession and the field. To explore and wrestle with ideas, trying to find ways to make sense of the complexity of education in order to improve the learning of students and the lives of teachers and school leaders.

I wondered about the rise to gurudom and the moral obligation of the academic celebrity figure last year when at AERA I saw a panel in which four educational heavy hitters—Andy Hargreaves, Michael Fullan, Linda Darling-Hammond and Diane Ravitch—all advocating for the moral imperative of educational research and practice. They spoke of lifetime journeys of work intended to make the world a better and more just place. I wondered at the time about how much an early career academic can be brave and resistant in their work, as they try to build a career via the performative pressures of the academe. Can only the guru, free from institutional performativities and the financial pressures often associated with early career academia, say what they really want to say and do the work and writing they really want to do?

I don’t think experts in education are dangerous. We need expertise and people willing to commit their lives and work to making sense of and making better the world of education and learning. But in a world where teachers and school leaders are busy racing on the mouse wheels of their own performative pressures, we need to figure out ways to support and facilitate sceptical and critical engagement with research. Even those who are highly influential and highly admired need to have their work engaged with closely and critically. The danger comes when experts become so guru-fied that the words they use become part of an unthinking professional vernacular, used by educators who haven’t looked behind the curtain or beneath the book cover."
cultofpersonality  edugurus  education  australia  newzealand  2017  deborahnetolicky  learning  research  andyhargreaves  michaelfullan  lindadarling-hammond  dianeravitch  academia  dylanwiliam  bengoldacre  scotteacott  matenkoomen  influence  leadership  thoughtleaders  neo-taylorism  schools  georgelilley  garyjones  jonandrews  bestpractices  echochambers  expertise  experts 
may 2017 by robertogreco
manifesting roads
"The pace of change throughout this transformation - on educators and on parents has been nothing if not accelerated.

You could measure that in the amount being spent on professional development, for teachers, or by the hours spent on learning how to use any multitude of systems that are meant to make things “better”. Parents are asked to log in to a multitude of sites, to unpack learning, to share learning, to see in real-time what we’re doing inside our educational centres.

And the question I ask is - is it any better?

Do our educators feel more confident?
Do students feel more cared for or understood?
Are parents any closer to really understanding what it is their children are doing or learning when they come to school?
Do our communities have any better understandings of what it is we educators talk about - such that they feel they can trust us?

Is our understanding of the purpose of education and learning any more advanced or nuanced than say it was in 2000?

Or 1989?

Because if it’s not, then has all this “transformation” and expense been for naught? If we accelerate this change any more, will we do so while paying any attention to what’s being left behind.

Wouldn’t the only people that really, truly benefit from the rush to be transformational and significantly accelerated - be those who are self-promoting “transformation” and “acceleration” - not the ones who deal with the consequences and debris left behind."



"Promoting and ‘encouraging’ from the sidelines makes for a wonderful warm fuzzy for the tech sector, like they are "giving back" to the children - but while that's great and all - the public education sector in New Zealand has an annual budget of $14.4 billion dollars.

It’s a serious business.
And the tech sector knows this.

Schools aren’t charities, and they shouldn’t act as charities. But they also aren’t startups. Nor are they needing to change or save the world, like many in Silicon Valley and their ilk believe is their privilege.

The tech sector is aware of the wonderfully captive market that the education sector is - for their products, for their services, for their software and hardware.

Education on the whole has lapped those services and products up. Remember interactive whiteboards, 3D printers and Google cardboard VR sets?

The tech sector is also aware of the fact that schools in part, serve to produce competent workers that can fill the roles that the thriving tech sector needs and demands.

That’s fine also - and a perfectly valid role for public education to fill.

But let’s not insult each other by assuming the tech industry is mildly cheering from the sidelines of public education, for the perceived greater good of the fine citizens of New Zealand, while demanding that education shift itself to be something that serves the tech sector.

The tech sector is utterly invested in getting what’s best for itself and its shareholders..

To me it is manifestly evident, that what this document lays out is an ability to disengage from what we must strive to constantly do and be in education.

Namely - human and caring.

This manifesto removes any shred of humanity or care or concern for what it is to be an actual living human.

It talks of students and results and outcomes in such horribly abstract ways that it strips the very essence and soul out of our role as educators.

It knows nothing of humans who can’t for the life of themselves figure out why no-one likes them.

Humans who are angry and want to be liked, and for whom the digital space is just another way by which they’re excluded or made to feel small.

It knows nothing of humans who are dealing with so much other real life, off-line broken-ness, that a constant scroll through Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook is the only connection they have with any positive emotion.

It knows nothing of the realities that reading, writing, numeracy, art, dance and science bring to a child. Of course, all of these can be delivered via a small glass screen, an SSID and a series of interconnected IP addresses, but none of these subjects matter if the person viewing the screen doesn't care.

Education matters. Learning matters.

But only if we care enough as humans to be the connection."
timkong  education  edtech  2017  schools  teaching  howeteach  professionaldevelopment  pupose  transformation  change  manifestos  newzealand  humanism  humans  howwteach  influence  siliconvalley  caring  sfsh  biases  business 
may 2017 by robertogreco
In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking) - The New York Times
"Can a stretch of land be a person in the eyes of the law? Can a body of water?

In New Zealand, they can. A former national park has been granted personhood, and a river system is expected to receive the same soon.

The unusual designations, something like the legal status that corporations possess, came out of agreements between New Zealand’s government and Maori groups. The two sides have argued for years over guardianship of the country’s natural features.

Chris Finlayson, New Zealand’s attorney general, said the issue was resolved by taking the Maori mind-set into account. “In their worldview, ‘I am the river and the river is me,’” he said. “Their geographic region is part and parcel of who they are.”

From 1954 to 2014, Te Urewera was an 821-square-mile national park on the North Island, but when the Te Urewera Act took effect, the government gave up formal ownership, and the land became a legal entity with “all the rights, powers, duties and liabilities of a legal person,” as the statute puts it.

“The settlement is a profound alternative to the human presumption of sovereignty over the natural world,” said Pita Sharples, who was the minister of Maori affairs when the law was passed.

It was also “undoubtedly legally revolutionary” in New Zealand “and on a world scale,” Jacinta Ruru of the University of Otago wrote in the Maori Law Review.

Personhood means, among other things, that lawsuits to protect the land can be brought on behalf of the land itself, with no need to show harm to a particular human.

Next will be the Whanganui River, New Zealand’s third longest. The local Maori tribe views it as “an indivisible and living whole, comprising the river and all tributaries from the mountains to the sea — and that’s what we are giving effect to through this settlement,” Mr. Finlayson said. It is expected to clear Parliament and become law this year.

Visitors can still enjoy Te Urewera the way they could when it was a park. “We want to welcome people; public access is completely preserved,” Mr. Finlayson said. But permits for activities like hunting are now issued by a board that includes government and Maori representatives. A similar board will be set up for the river.

Could this legal approach spread beyond New Zealand? Mr. Finlayson said he had talked the idea over with Canada’s new attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould."
newzealand  land  rivers  law  legal  nature  2016  maori  personhood  via:anne 
july 2016 by robertogreco
being an artist and parent in a city of riches? w/Tim Devin by a-small-lab
"Part of a series of 'art' conversations for summer art, not-school 2016 in and around Mairangi Bay Arts Centre - small-workshop.info/sans2016/

Tim Devin (www.timdevin.com/) is a Boston-based artist, librarian, parent and more. His work supports the need for information and feeling connected that are essential for people having a say in their communities and the world at large. This discussion starts from three points coming out of his project "How to be an Artist and a Parent?" - how to be a "good parent" and also do the other stuff you need to do, the question of what happens to a community life pressures slowly hinder people from being creative, and the fact that both Boston and Auckland are going through huge transformations right now.

Provided in collaboration with Mairangi Arts Centre, with support of Creative Communities Scheme"

[Shared on Twitter: "Listening…"
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/686288610660757504

"making some connections to friendships, community, and housing https://tinyletter.com/metafoundry/letters/metafoundry-54-nominative-determinism … + http://www.vox.com/2015/10/28/9622920/housing-adult-friendship … + http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/how-friendships-change-over-time-in-adulthood/411466/ "
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/686288881134649344 ]
parenting  art  chrisberthelsen  2016  timdevin  community  cities  neighborhoods  somerville  japan  newzealand  realestate  slow  local  politics  housing  zoning  urban  urbanism  activism  friendship  age  aging  education  unschooling  deschooling  aukland  labor  work  gentrification  development  children  creativity  cognitivesurpluss  lcproject  openstudioproject  small  rents  inequality  economics 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Auckland Design Manual
"Designing the world’s most liveable city together

We are all involved in the design of our city - decisions we make about our homes and places of work, shape our streets, our neighbourhoods and our city. Great design comes from people with vision, knowledge and experience.

The Auckland Design Manual (ADM) provides a resource for everyone involved in design, building and development to either share their great design stories with others, or to seek inspiration, tools and best practice advice from those who have already been successful. Auckland's planning rulebook, the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (Unitary Plan) will articulate the rules for the future growth, whilst the ADM illustrates how to achieve the quality outcomes sought by the Unitary Plan.

The transformation of Auckland is a joint responsibility, not just council alone. We need the help, support and commitment of every resident to deliver the world's most liveable city.

Why is the design of the built environment important for Auckland?
"Everyone benefits from well-designed buildings, spaces and places. The built environment contributes a great deal to our quality of life and economic success, and delivers enormous value to society. Yet we often take it for granted, without appreciating its effect on our daily lives" (CABE 2005: 3)

Indeed design is often seen as a dirty word, some frivolous addition to the budget that adds little more than some aesthetic preference of those who are paying for it. We should consider design as a verb as well as an outcome. It is a process of constant refinement working with the variables of time, cost and quality to achieve the optimum outcome. Everything within the built environment has been designed and thought about to some degree. However we all know examples where it is obvious that this thinking has stopped early on and we are left with places or buildings that don't work well, not built well or are simply an eyesore. These are generally not great investments, and often need further money spent to rectify them over the longer term.

With Auckland likely to grow substantially over the next thirty years, we need to get more of these decisions right. As your council we are already trying new approaches, for example the Elliot Street shared spaces in the central city, the Transit Oriented Development in New Lynn and the Wynyard Quarter development on the waterfront. However, it is not just the council who builds the city; you do! It is your individual and collective decisions that shape our future – from where you choose to rent to what developments you might undertake.

We want to support the people of Auckland who are interested in the design of their house, their business premises, their street, their park or neighbourhood. So we have created the Auckland Design Manual – a website resource to provide you with inspiration through sharing good examples and some of the more detailed guidance about how to achieve similar great outcomes. We have started the ball rolling, but want to hear from you about your definition of a great project and want you to send us your best examples so we can continue to develop and refine the ADM – because only by sharing the lessons already learnt can we design the world's most liveable city together."

[via: https://twitter.com/anabjain/status/684252668668166144 ]

[See also “Māori Design Whakatairanga Tikanga Māori”

"Understanding and following a Māori design practice is key to delivering design outcomes that help to deepen our sense of place and develop meaningful and durable relationships with Iwi in Tāmaki Makaurau.This hub builds on design processes based upon Te Aranga principles. The content is being developed in partnership with Ngā Aho, a network of Mā​ori design professionals, and other partners. "
http://www.aucklanddesignmanual.co.nz/design-thinking/maori-design ]
via:anabjain  aukland  design  cities  auklanddesignmanual  participatori  maori  newzealand  neighborhoods  democracy  urban  livability  builtenvironment  māori 
january 2016 by robertogreco
small workshop | summer art, not-school Jan 18-Feb 2016 at and around Mairangi Arts Centre
"Jan 18-Feb 2016 - a free programme of 'art' open to all, at and around Mairangi Arts Centre and their summer art programme. Provided with support of Creative Communities Scheme.
- ALL AGES, ALL TIMES! -"
2016  art  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  newzealand  openstudioproject  learning  education  chrisberthelsen  mairangiartscentre 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Aotearoa Futurism Part One | Radio New Zealand
"If Afrofuturism is where science fiction and technology meets popular culture of the African diaspora, could it be happening in Aotearoa too?

In part one of Aotearoa Futurism, Sophie Wilson and Dan Taipua put this question to hip hop artist Che Fu, psychedelic rock guitarist and peace ambassador, Billy TK Sr, and his son, vocalist and guitarist Mara TK of Electric Wire Hustle, to find out whether they identify as Space Māori."
aotearoa  maori  futurism  aotearoafuturism  space  newzealand  via:anne  aliens  2015  sophiawilson  dantaipua  chefu  billytksr  maratk  electricwirehustle  spacemāori  māori 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction
"In this first-ever anthology of Indigenous science fiction Grace Dillon collects some of the finest examples of the craft with contributions by Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal Australian, and New Zealand Maori authors. The collection includes seminal authors such as Gerald Vizenor, historically important contributions often categorized as "magical realism" by authors like Leslie Marmon Silko and Sherman Alexie, and authors more recognizable to science fiction fans like William Sanders and Stephen Graham Jones. Dillon's engaging introduction situates the pieces in the larger context of science fiction and its conventions.

Organized by sub-genre, the book starts with Native slipstream, stories infused with time travel, alternate realities and alternative history like Vizenor's "Custer on the Slipstream." Next up are stories about contact with other beings featuring, among others, an excerpt from Gerry William's The Black Ship. Dillon includes stories that highlight Indigenous science like a piece from Archie Weller's Land of the Golden Clouds, asserting that one of the roles of Native science fiction is to disentangle that science from notions of "primitive" knowledge and myth. The fourth section calls out stories of apocalypse like William Sanders' "When This World Is All on Fire" and a piece from Zainab Amadahy's The Moons of Palmares. The anthology closes with examples of biskaabiiyang, or "returning to ourselves," bringing together stories like Eden Robinson's "Terminal Avenue" and a piece from Robert Sullivan's Star Waka.

An essential book for readers and students of both Native literature and science fiction, Walking the Clouds is an invaluable collection. It brings together not only great examples of Native science fiction from an internationally-known cast of authors, but Dillon's insightful scholarship sheds new light on the traditions of imagining an Indigenous future."
sciencefiction  scifi  via:anne  books  fiction  toread  nativeamericans  firstnations  aborigines  maori  newzealand  australia  canada  us  magicalrealism  lesliemarmonsilko  shermanalexie  williamsanders  stephengrahamjones  zainabamadahy  edenrobinson  robertsullivan  geralvizenor  gracedillon  marmonsilko  māori 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Sheep Time on Vimeo
"This is a remote video presentation by Dr Anne Galloway shown at the Temporal Design: Surfacing Everyday Tactics of Time Workshop @ Design Informatics, Edinburgh University, 28 September, 2015
.
More info at: designinformatics.org/node/396 "

[See also: http://morethanhumanlab.org/blog/2015/10/01/sheep-time/ ]
annegalloway  sheep  video  presentations  remotepresentations  2015  animals  animalhusbandry  clones  breeding  wool  merino  newzealand  history  time  multispecies 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Political roundup: The politics of NZ's Red Peak - Opinion - NZ Herald News
"Imagine if Red Peak wins the flag change referendums. It's highly unlikely, but if the underdog continues its rise and succeeds in replacing the current flag, future generations will look back on the politics of the flag change process as an extraordinary story."
2015  newzealand  flags  redpeak  bryceedward  politics  via:anne 
september 2015 by robertogreco
The first and last climate change refugee | Overland literary journal
"Three weeks ago, in a brief judgment issued by the Supreme Court of New Zealand, the world’s first application for climate change refugee status finally failed. ‘We agree with the Courts below’, declared a full bench of New Zealand’s highest court, ‘that in the particular factual context of this case the questions identified raise no arguable question of law of general or public importance’.

In other words, the decisions of the lower courts stand and Ioane Teitiota, the shy farmhand from Kiribati in the central Pacific, cannot claim refugee status as a victim of climate change. Ioane, his wife and his New Zealand-born children will be deported to Tarawa, a tiny sand strip perched at the western end of the enormous ocean state. All avenues for appeal have been exhausted.

The result mocks the liberal optimism of the climate change movement, many of whom hoped that – in the absence of a political solution for climate change refugees – there may be a legal solution. While the courts accept that Tarawa’s carrying capacity is ‘significantly compromised’ by climate change – a finding of fact – as a matter of law they cannot accept that this amounts to ‘persecution’ for the purposes of the Refugee Convention.

It’s a timely reminder that the legal system privileges the status quo. The court could have found a ‘pathway’ into the convention for Mr Teitiota, but it made a choice to apply the orthodox law (as I explained in the Guardian last year). Rather than assess where the balance of justice lies, the courts retreated to the security of formalism and merely asked a series of threshold questions (‘Was there a failure of state protection?’ etc.).

The unspoken fear, from common law courtrooms to international summits, is that a successful climate change refugee case could open the floodgates (so to speak). The precedent would compel the New Zealand government to develop a policy framework for accepting climate change refugees. The effect would be to partially redistribute the burden of immediate climate change action from developing states to developed states.

That’s an untenable political outcome, even for other common law countries like Australia. The developed world prefers to shift the costs of climate change adaptation to the developing world. Brian Fisher, the government’s former chief economic adviser on climate change, admitted as much when he ventured the view that it would be ‘more efficient’ to let the Pacific Ocean swallow its low-lying islands rather than require Australian industries to reduce their emissions.

Rather than being about applied science and international values, the developed world’s response to climate change has always been about applied ideology. In the lead up to the Kyoto Protocol the Australian government pressured Pacific countries to abandon their advocacy and proposals for strict emission reduction targets. The primary motive was to protect Australian capitalism against reform. States tend to prefer self-interest to social justice.

Except, of course, where there are profitable market mechanisms like emissions trading schemes which create opportunities for accumulation in carbon offsets (while generally failing to reduce overall emissions). Yet no one appears to have imagined a profitable framework for shifting and settling climate change refugees, which means there is little political will to solve the existing emergency or, indeed, to prepare for the oncoming human migration disaster.

In part, this is a failure of the left because – despite all the hot air emitted at party conferences, activist meet-ups and online – we have ceded the terms of the debate. (This actually has serious consequences for the expansion of neoliberalism through, for example, emissions trading markets). The Teitiota case should have been framed as a fight for justice, not a mere test case for the movement.

This is not an argument for better language – often ‘aspirational’ language in the climate change debate is designed to cover up disagreement – it is an argument for better strategy. The climate change movement should have done more than swing behind the legal case, it should have agitated for a political solution as well. We appeared to be hoping against experience that the courts would rule against the interests of power.

Now, all that’s left is political struggle."
climatechange  law  refugees  2015  newzealand  politics  policy  statusquo  morgangodfery  kiribati 
august 2015 by robertogreco
PNBHS Haka for Mr. Dawson Tamatea's Funeral Service - YouTube
"The entire school performing the Haka during the arrival of Mr. Tamatea in the hearse. This was a very emotional and powerful performance. We are extremely proud of our boys' performance and we know that Mr Tamatea would be too."

[via: https://tinyletter.com/audreywatters/letters/hack-education-weekly-newsletter-no-121 ]
haka  dawsontamatea  newzealand  maori  2015  funerals  via:audreywatters  māori 
august 2015 by robertogreco
More-Than-Human Lab. » Pt I, Companion animals (and belonging)
"I’ve started pulling together my paper for the Losing Ground – Gaining Ground session at the RGS Conference in Exeter in September, where I’ll be presenting on what it means to belong in the valley in which I live.

Part of this involves sorting [Edit: casual (iPhone)] photos I’ve taken of the plants, animals and elements around us, and thinking about how I’ve learned the differences between native and endemic, abundant and protected, introduced and invasive species.

I started by choosing a set of representative images I’ve taken since moving here in mid-September last year. I didn’t select them to represent a linear progression of time, but sorted them by type of animal–cat, sheep, bird, insect, other–and selected my favourite ones.

Below are the photos and my notes."
animals  multispecies  annegalloway  cats  sheep  newzealand  birds  landscape  insects  invertebrates  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships 
june 2015 by robertogreco
‘A change of heart towards children.’ Historical perspectives from England, Australia and New Zealand on the design of a new primary school for Cambridge, Catherine Burke
"Architects and educators who collaborated in the post war era have talked about the development of a ‘common vocabulary of design’ in relation to the planning of new school buildings supported by a consensus in the dominant ways of envisaging the modern school. From the 1930s, there also developed a common vocabulary of progressive education. Key concepts that were presented and discussed at international conferences (1930s-70s) included the phrases; ‘education for living’; and ‘education through art’. John Dewey’s Art as Experience (1934) was no doubt responsible for much discussion about the place of the arts in education.

‘Education through art’ is an idea most closely identified with Sir Herbert Read however when one considers the evidence from important gatherings of educationalists in the antipodes during this period, one realizes that the phrase may have been used more generally and was certainly used by the Canadian artist and educator (Toronto Art Gallery) Arthur Lismer in 1937 as the title of one of his addresses at the Victoria NEF conference."



"The change of heart towards children that Clegg was striving for also concerned attitudes towards the older child, often as he saw it abandoned by the system owing to their talents being measured merely in academic terms. Clegg was a significant voice in the findings of the Newsom Enquiry which reported in 1963 as ‘Half Our Future’. These were the majority of secondary modern pupils, the rejected and the neglected as ‘they do not readily lend themselves to measurement by the conventional criteria of academic achievement.’ (Newsom Report 1963, p. 1). The report concluded there was a need for ‘ a change of heart, on the part of the community as a whole ‘ towards children. What was needed was a recognition that those parts of education, less easily measurable, were as vital to the individual and society as those that were. This was an education of the spirit: That part of humanity that defies measurement. In particular, Clegg drew attention to the role of the expressive arts and their impact on other basic skills.

‘one can more often than not measure the things of the mind,
the things governed by law and regulations - spelling,
punctuation, calculations, the facts of history and geography,
science, technical proficiency, the accuracy of the perspective,
the effectiveness of the timetable, even the degree of
submission achieved by the cane. But you cannot measure the
love of poetry, the sensitivity to music or art, the zest or
initiative with which the peculiarities of nature are
investigated, the extent to which encouragement and
expectation and just treatment breed trust and compassion and
concern in a child.

When he was asked by an American scholar if he had any statistics to share with them about this revolution in primary education, Clegg reached for his leather briefcase he carried with him and emptied the contents saying these are your statistics ‘extraordinary samples of paintings, drawings, collages, embroideries, stories, poems and essays produced by pupils in his district.’ (Charles Silberman, Revolution, Foreword p.5) and Clegg insisted that the products were the children themselves."



"A new school for Cambridge

Under the UK government's Free Schools policy, every new build must have a sponsor and the new primary school for Cambridge is one of two University Training Schools currently under construction – the other being a secondary school in Birmngham. The University College London sponsored and opened an academy two years ago.

The Cambridge primary school will be a University training and research school (UTS) and is intended to be a beacon for the region as well as representing the best possible practice nationally and internationally. There is a lot of expectation. Today, I want to describe the design of the school and share with you some of the ways that knowledge of the history of education and school design past and present has informed the design process. The school is due to open in September 2015. It will be a three form entry school : 60 Reception, 20 year 1 and 20 year 2 growing to 630 children ( 21 classes) by 2016017. It will include a 78-place nursery by 2016-17. The architects are Marks Barfield (designers of the London Eye). In many ways in terms of design, the building and its relationship with the grounds share many characteristics of children’s; design ideas in The School I’d Like. It is possible to measure these comparable features. However, whether this school is able to come close to the radical agenda agreed across time and space by the generation of ambitious teachers artists architects and administrators associated with the powerful ‘revolutionary’ capacity of education through art, and the aspirations of children and young people in the SIL is another matter. There is hope that inspired leadership informed by an historical sensibility and a high level of energy will indeed create a showcase of what is possible to achieve through ‘learning beyond limits’ a terms associated with the beliefs and practice of advisory head teacher for the project, Dame Alison Peacock. However, we are reminded that the spirit of a creative school cannot reasonably be measured and evaluated in the same terms that are likely to characterize research that will be carried out at the school. Whether the school fits the child in the way that Alec Clegg, a generation of progressive educators and children expressing their hopes for the future intended, will depend on the capacity of teachers to practice their art fully and with a wisdom that is rooted in a respect for the child as an artist and creator of their own worlds.

Final words of Alec Clegg “the entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things but enjoy the right things’"
catherineburke  2015  alecclegg  education  schools  schooldesign  architecture  children  learning  england  australia  newzealand  creativity 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Puke Ariki Museum Libraries Tourist Information Taranaki New Zealand
"Puke Ariki is an innovative museum, library and information centre that combines learning, knowledge, resources and heritage objects for a visitor experience that is like no other.

Sited in New Plymouth, Taranaki, between the majestic Mount Taranaki and the wild Tasman Sea, Puke Ariki is a place of wonder, of excitement, of discovery and adventure.

Governed by the New Plymouth District Council, Puke Ariki is a triumph of the partnership between central government, regional government and businesses that encapsulates a spirit of generosity, vision and co-operation.

Four permanent exhibitions explore Taranaki’s past, present and future – telling the stories of the people and the region through displays, technology, multi-media and the people themselves – so there is always something new to learn and amazing to see.

Puke Ariki is a place where people come together and where there is a place for everyone."
libraries  museums  lcproject  openstudioproject  newplymouth  newzealand  pukeariki  taranaki 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Ten Types of People Who Would be Better Off with an Unconditional Basic Income
[Embedded videos:
"Whiteboard Friday. How our welfare system traps people in poverty."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IAWNiCUbBg

"How to make the tax and welfare system fairer for all Kiwis. Whiteboard Wednesday."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IiyfxLx5mQ ]
universalbasicincome  2015  newzealand  economics  welfare  ubi 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Is it time to cut adrift from island thinking? – Libby Robin – Aeon
"Island-mindedness is born in island places, but the islands of the mind have a broad appeal. Is this hard-wired? Recognising an island of safety and refuge might have enabled our hominin ancestors to find stepping stones out of Africa in times of environmental stress. The concept of the island has long been prominent in literature and useful in science: biologists and geographers, national park managers and archaeologists, linguists, geneticists and evolutionary theorists have all turned at times to the model of the island. Yet it might no longer be a great model for the new needs and concerns of our rapidly globalising century."



"An island is as much metaphor as it is physical place. Nature and wilderness reserves became the real nature for quantitative biological theorists. They could ignore the complex stuff of urban development and human communities. An island could stand for the Garden of Eden, in an age when wilderness was the highest ideal for conservation.

Islands are also devices for thinking mathematically, for simplifying the real world and leaving out messy variables. MacArthur and Wilson were conscious of the complexity of the processes they wished to explain quantitatively – processes such as dispersal, invasion, competition, adaptation and extinction. An island-based theory, they acknowledged, left out ‘many of the most troublesome – and interesting – problems’. Ecological principles need sound theories and statistical significance if they are going to attract support from governments and policymakers. Ultimately, they argued, islands and continents need to be understood together, but the island was the basis for mathematical certainty – for laws – in the management of nature. Their final chapter, ‘Prospect’, argued that biogeography was mature enough to ‘be reformulated in terms of the first principles of population ecology and genetics’."



"The island had seemed an ideal field for ‘experimentation’, but island biogeography did not take sufficient account of time and history, and the assumption that the island’s ecological future was heading steadily towards some sort of ‘balance’ was misplaced. In 1986, the Finnish philosopher-ecologist Yrjö Haila argued that the equilibrium model had ‘ossified into a simple formula that began to suppress creative thinking instead of stimulating it’.

Haila advocated ‘a broader, pluralistic appreciation of the role of theories in general’. But ecologists have found it difficult to let go of the elegance and parsimony that equilibrium theories embody, and to see the way life works afresh without theoretical assumptions. In 2006, the ornithologist and oceanic island specialist David W Steadman argued: ‘Data that fail to support an ‘elegant’ model are often regarded as noise or the exception that proves the rule. Elegant models made by deified people die hard.’

Wilson’s fame gave the equilibrium theory a longer life than its data supported. The balance of nature was attractive beyond science, and it has a romantic following, particularly among conservationists and nature lovers who support the national parks and ‘wilderness’ ideals. The US Wilderness Act is now 50 years old, and things have moved on during the Great Acceleration of change in the same period.

Even as the theory of island biogeography was gaining supporters, the critique of the balance of nature was gathering pace within ecology. National parks and nature reserves management took for granted that nature could somehow heal itself, if protected from humanity. Experimental ideas about islands drove – and at times limited – the conservation agenda, because managers still indulged the idea that nature could be fenced off, or isolated from the threat of humanity. In the past half-century, during which the human population has more than doubled, theories for protecting nature from our overexploitation have proliferated. Biological extinctions have accelerated unabated."



"In the ‘post-national’ 21st century, borders are no longer as fixed as national jurisdictional law suggests. Australia has, at times, excised itself from its islands to handle the politics of asylum‑seeking. Would-be migrants, seeking refuge in Australia, are held on offshore islands until their status is legitimated or denied. By this means, successive Australian governments have deprived vulnerable people, including children, of basic human rights. For the sake of domestic political convenience, the nation of the plastic stencil sometimes defines itself without the islands where refugee boats land. The fact that people abandon nations and passports because of global pressures, because of the impossibility of being at home where they were born, is part of what is changing the nature of nations in a global world. People are no longer from where they came from. They become citizens of where they wash up, or the world. Island-mindedness – the separation of places from other places – is no longer an option.

In this global world, it is flows and circulation, rather than land parcels, that are important. Just as Google maps and GPS have become widespread, territoriality is changing. Flows are about land-and-sea-and-sky-and-people – a collective consciousness that is hard to represent on a 2D map or a phone app.

The island-minded idea of nature, separated from culture, has also changed. Some say we are at the ‘end of nature’: there is now a human signature on all the global flows: the biophysical system is also cultural, as the new epoch of the Anthropocene is imagined. To rework the poet John Dunne, no island-nation is ‘entire of itself’, nor can any island-nature be other than ‘involved in mankind’. Perhaps the bell now tolls for the last island: the blue marble of planet Earth, an island in the infinity of space."



"Surtsey is still bleak and black, but mosses and lichens, windswept grasses and stunted shrubs now soften its edges. All its creatures still live as much with the global systems of winds and storms as on the precious fragment of land that erupted 50 years ago. Surviving on such a remote island is, paradoxically, a mark of cosmopolitanism. Only plants and animals that travel easily will flourish there."
libbyrobin  via:anne  2014  iceland  islands  science  isolation  cosmopolitanism  judithschalansky  picoiyer  surtseyisland  peterveth  charlesdarwin  alfredrusselwallace  galápagos  alexandervonhumboldt  newzealand  australia  bali  lombok  ecology  biology  life  robertmacarthur  edwardowilson  ecosystems  discreetness  nature  wilderness  complexity  extinction  dispersal  invasion  adaptation  competition  biogeography  geography  lordhoweisland  yrjöhaila  equilibrium  conservation  adrianmanning  jakobvonuexküll  flows  circulation  borders  people  humans  separation  anthropocene  darwin 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Albany Senior High School » Albany Senior High School
[See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany_Senior_High_School,_Auckland

"Classes

All classes except those which require other resources take place in large open plan areas called 'Learning Commons'. These spaces enable flexibility when planning and delivering classes, including the ability to combine two classes into one for some activities, combining similar curriculum areas, such as physics and mathematics and easy access to technology. Students can utilize mobile devices such as laptops and cellphones to edit Google Docs in real-time together. Students are able to use Gchat in class to ask and answer questions, and students are permitted to perform searches on Google to answer teachers' questions. The teaching periods are 100 minutes long, twice the length of typical periods in New Zealand.

Every Wednesday, students engage in a 'community based' impact project. This involves performing an act for the community. Impact projects completed include forming a business, organising and performing a 'School of Rock' concert, building a video server and digital signage solution for the school, restoring local waterways, designing, building and programming a robot for the Robocup competition and creating original artworks for the school.

Open source

Albany Senior High School's computer network runs almost in its entirety on open source software. The school's student management system is the only major exception, using a proprietary system due to the unavailability of an open-source system meeting New Zealand requirements. The school won an award for the 'Best Open Source Project in Education' at the New Zealand Open Source Awards 2010. ]
newzealand  schools  via:artichoke  aukland 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Hobsonville Point Secondary School - Wikipedia
"Hobsonville Point Secondary School opened for instruction for the first time on 3 February 2014, initially taking Year 9 students only. The new school buildings were not fully complete at the time, so the school was based at Hobsonville Point Primary School for the first four weeks. The school's opening roll was 122."

[See also: http://www.hpss.school.nz/
http://www.hobsonvillepoint.school.nz/
http://www.teachingandelearning.com/2014/04/hpss-bloggers.html
https://twitter.com/GeoMouldey ]
schools  via:artichoke  newzealand  stevemouldey  aukland 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti - Wikipedia
"Ao Tawhiti (previously known as Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, Unlimited or UPT) is a state secondary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. Prior to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Unlimited was the only secondary school within the central city.

The school is one of eleven schools running under the "Designated Special Character" criteria of the Education Act 1989.[2]

Students are given the flexibility to pick from a variety of interchangeable classes and subjects to design their own customized learning programme, including working on individual projects as an alternative to total classroom learning. They also have the option to learn subjects which are not traditionally taught in New Zealand secondary schools, such as philosophy, video game design, as well as DJ performance and music production.

Unlimited is subject to a merger in early 2014 with Discovery 1, an associated primary school also founded by the Learning Discovery Trust."

[See also: http://aotawhiti.school.nz/ ]
schools  newzealand  christchurch  aotawhiti  unlimited  upt  alternative  education  via:artichoke 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Dead Lands (2014) Teaser Trailer - YouTube
"Hongi (James Rolleston) - a Māori chieftain’s teenage son - must avenge his father's murder in order to bring peace and honour to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains, led by Wīrepa (Te Kohe Tūhaka), Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious "Warrior" (Lawrence Makoare), a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years."
film  newzealand  towatch  maori  māori 
august 2014 by robertogreco
6, 12: Tiles
"Thinking about gaps.

Things that are interesting to a lot of people who are interested in things I am, and which I always enjoy hearing them talk about, but which I don’t go out of my way for on my own:

• Disney

• cyborgs

• architecture

Distinctions that many people in my position care about but I don’t:

• Typeface v. font. Desktop publishing ruined this; it’s over; it’s fine.

• “Photograph” for a unitary exposure v. “image” for everything else. I call push-broom and whisk-broom–acquired pixels photos in my head sometimes, and feel no shame. Satellite imagery is heavily processed before it looks like what we see, but so is a conventional photograph: film chemistry and Bayer demosaicing are quite elaborate and, often, less controlled and less eye-mimicking than many of the composites that are, to the pedant, mere images. (And oh, the long history of photomanipulation! Pull up some high-res scans of old negatives from the Library of Congress and sometimes you can see brushwork where something was fixed up. Ansel Adams was dodging and burning with what we would now think of as a heavy hand.)

• Jacket v. coat. I think one is longer? I don’t care.

Gaps and being willing to say no. It’s so admirable when someone has decided not to do something important but unnecessary. I know people who buy only one kind of each item of street clothes, people who refuse to follow the news, who never drive, who will not talk with anyone the least bit trollish, who teetotal without a particular medical or religious reason, who won’t get a smartphone, and so on. I can’t remember someone telling me one of these things that didn’t make me happy to hear. I think the value in these nos is mostly in the very small scale, where it lets people talk with themselves and find their own edges. I can see this as a political act but it helps to understand it as personal first."



"Michael Yahgulanaas has been doodling in the margins of Hokusai. For a sense of what he’s up to, here he is punching a little humanity through a smotheringly dumb TV profile."



"The archaeologist Beverley McCulloch’s description of the heavy-footed moa, quoted by Nic Rawlence on RNZ’s Our Changing World, which incidentally is a paragon of science broadcasting (the interviewer, Veronika Meduna, used the word “poo”, ★★★★☆, and, instead of playing dumb, asked questions showing that she was trained in a relevant field, ★★★★★), just as their Spectrum is a paragon of general-interest broadcasting, and so on. If you share a desire to enjoy Radiolab and The Moth and such but just can’t, I commend RNZ to you. Without ever using the words, they connected the new kiwi bird cladistics study that’s been making the rounds with pressing issues of the anthropocene. Something good and strange is in New Zealand’s water lately."
charlieloyd  2014  gaps  knowledge  delight  newzealand  radio  michaelyahgulanaas  radiolab  themoth  npr  rnz  notknowing  unknowing  blindspots  ignorance  typefaces  fonts  conversation 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Knitting bones with fact and fiction: A conversation with Design Culture Lab's Anne Galloway
"Blurring the distinction between fact and fiction is something that's always intrigued me. Anthropology has long been described as producing "partial truths," because it's impossible to fully capture and represent entire cultures or the whole of human experience. And I can't imagine that anyone who's read a novel, or seen a movie, wouldn't tell you that at least part of it rang true to them. But I guess what I'm saying is that I'm interested in resonance—and since that doesn't ever need to choose between fact or fiction it's kind of a perfect concept for exploring creative empirical research."
annegalloway  sarahendren  spaculativedesign  designfiction  newzealand  countingsheep  2014  interviews  research  criticaldesign  anthropology  ethnography  speculativedesignethnography  speculativeethnography 
may 2014 by robertogreco
The Pantograph Punch — A House of One’s Own: Building The DOGBOX
"The three of us had met at Victoria University’s architecture school in Wellington, where we’d arrived from various parts of the North Island – Tim from Whangarei, Ben from Whanganui and me from rural Taranaki. Over the five years we spent studying together, we discovered that although our degree taught us about the process of building, there wasn’t much actual building involved. None at all, really.

This isn’t true of all architecture schools. There are some with incredible design-build programmes. One of the most well-known is The Rural Studio, where students work on projects in a low socioeconomic community – with that community – trying to battle the myth that good design is something for the wealthy. New Zealand’s best example is Unitec’s programme, simply because they incorporate some actual building into their degree.

That’s not to say that there’s no building at all at Victoria. The First Light House, which was entered into the Solar Decathlon competition in Washington in 2011, was a Victoria University project, involving a group of students from architecture, interior architecture and marketing. In this case, the house was prefabricated in a workshop in six modules and transported to Washington, where it was assembled in seven days.

But for most students that went through our school, you emerge knowing how a building goes together – in theory – but without any experience of the reality of that process. That’s true of the profession, too. An architect’s involvement in the building process is to monitor construction onsite and check that it’s coming together as designed and documented. That involvement gives you an understanding of building, but its’ a very different understanding from the one gained by physically building something – hence the stereotypically acrimonious relationship between builders and architects. Sure, there are architects that build. But they’re the exception."



"The house is not attempting to ‘speak’ of anything – it’s not a symbol or metaphor for something else, and we haven’t post-rationalised a conceptual starting point. The design began with those first objects, and expanded around a multitude of other intertwined concerns. We were concerned with efficiency – spatially, structurally, financially, and environmentally. We wanted to make the most of the sites features and work within its constraints. We wanted to create something comfortable and warm. We considered materials – as much as possible incorporating timbers that didn’t require chemical treatments or paint finishes, and would continue to smell beautiful throughout the life of the house. We thought about colour – and made a unanimous decision to avoid the boring beige and mushroom palette seen all too frequently. And of course, we thought about construction, knowing that we would be physically assembling this design.

We coined the term ‘agri-chic’ to describe the design. To summarise something with mixture of tough and refined elements. The practical and the beautiful.

It was also nice to have a phrase to offer up when asked if it was an ‘eco-bach’ – a term which has slipped into popular usage, and covers such a huge range of possibilities as to be almost meaningless."



"We learnt that tradesmen (I say tradesmen because they are mostly men) are incredibly knowledgeable, and only too happy to pass on that knowledge if you ask. Don, a local concrete placer, floated the concrete slab for us, and taught us a few tricks about working with concrete. It’s just like baking, he said – and then proved it with both neenish tarts and lolly cake. We had a plumber and an electrician who obligingly delivered boxes of supplies and gave us lessons in the basics of their trades. They would return to check on us, answer our questions, and take care of the tricky bits. Arbs, a welder who we found in Whanganui’s industrial zone whipping up playground equipment, helped us with our steel work. He let us take over his workshop and use his gear. He welded for us on the weekends.

Dan at the local mill turned our piles of Trade Me timber into floorboards and cladding. He found some Totara beams ‘lying around out the back’ for us when we jokingly asked if he had anything like that. Tony and the others in Mitre 10′s trade department, who started out thinking we were a strange curiousity, ‘boho-builders’, nonetheless took us seriously – tactfully checking we had things under control by phrasing their advice as questions.

It’s hard to convey how generous all of these people (and many others) were – with their time, their gear, their knowledge, and their patience with us. We might have been novice builders, but we were also demanding perfectionists, watching like hawks when other people were working with us on our project.

We learnt that building is just one thing after another. And all of those things slowly add up."
homes  newzealand  architecture  design  construction  sallyogle  building  accretion  whanganui 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Making Do
"“Having a conversation with the junk of a City of Riches feels surprisingly cosy.
And inspires intense concentration.

With a makeshift trolley of tools and resources in tow, Xin Cheng, Chris Berthelsen and companions become hypnotized by the fine-grain of Auckland’s native wetlands, urban industrial zones and sub/urban deathtraps. Over a series of walks they begin to work out how to come to terms with the Super City in a pragmatic, generative, and non-goal-oriented manner.”

making do by Xin Cheng, Chris Berthelsen and companions might concern: circumstances and eddies, niches and leftovers, material intrigue, spontaneous constructions and rearrangements, sustenance and pleasures of the senses.
at least.

A sketchbook of the project can be found at http://making-do.tumblr.com "
xincheng  chrisberthelsen  walking  conversation  makingdo  aukland  newzealand  wetlands  urban  urbanism  supercity  senses  generative 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Xin Cheng
"Xin Cheng enjoys tramping and Manuka tea, and would like to be a nomad. Studied at the University of Auckland: BFA(Hons), 2011; BA/BSc, 2005. Volunteered in Cambodia (2013) and Codfish Island (2006) on nature conservation projects. Former co-director of RM project and gallery (2007-2012). Regular at S/F.

Recent projects: From the Northeast, performance at Stazione di Topolò_Postaja Topolove, Italy; Propositions, Freedom Farmers, Auckland Art Gallery; Improvising, ongoing and everywhere."



"making do [http://making-do.a-small-lab.com/ ] with Chris Berthelsen, supported by Artspace NZ

vernacular Cambodia [http://vernacular.xin-cheng.info/ ] with Sa Sa Art Project, Phnom Penh, supported by Asia New Zealand Foundation"



"Xin Cheng and I spent several days in conversation - about personal politics, aesthetics, and a philosophy of art. The most significant moments however were actually pretty poetic in simple terms: the texture of a chicken heart bought from a street vendor; the echo of a rock bouncing off the green-tiled-rooftop on which we played; a dog wandering through a garden in the ruins; running from security with spray paint on our fingers.

When I met Xin I was working in Taiwan, teaching children English. Xin had just left Cambodia where she had spent months building an educational nature trail. Both of us had been, in a way, redefining our own approach to things through trying to be useful in the world. Yet we were still connected to our obsessions: Xin to making and I to words. Working in us was the electricity of continually rediscovering life that comes with being in a new place; the freedom of new ways of seeing, the smoothness and unrestrained energy of what Deleuze and Guattari call ‘nomad thought’. And Xin in her gentle, organised and cataloguing way is one of the truest nomads I have ever met.

We wandered the streets and rooftops of Taichung, taking in things as they were, without much in the way of preconceptions or pretence. We talked nonstop, punctuated by Xin pausing to admire the texture of a patch on a wall, photographing a water bottle that hung from a storefront awning by a string as it swayed in the wind like an apple on a branch, marvelling at a chair made out of spare parts. In these memories Xin is like a gardener, and as we walked, a crumbling city street became a flourishing garden of objects under her gaze, each with their own unique ripeness of meaning and beauty… the flows of time and process revealing narratives about the organic inventiveness of necessity, about how things are not permanently one thing. There is something radical in this. She would harvest these ideas through observation, without interfering. Her approach could be likened to her interest in ecology and permaculture farming, in which the found objects that show up her work – the readymades – are refreshingly free from petrifying irony; instead, demonstrating a process of life and living.

Perpetually engaged like children, we spoke in English while the signs around us were in Chinese, but the objects of her fascination were mostly freed from the trouble of language. And in our time together my way of observing was changed by her; her attentiveness to process and understanding of how the small flaws in things are instructive as to their making, and agency in the breathing world - things that I sometimes forget.

Nick Yeck-Stauffer

September 2013"
xincheng  newzealand  aukland  art  artists  chrisberthelsen  walking  tramping  nickyeck-stauffer 
april 2014 by robertogreco
with Mairangi Bay School
"Quick observations, questions and experiments based on interactions with Mairangi Bay School - a small-ish primary school with high education standards located on Auckland's North Shore (New Zealand).

The cooperation of the school in allowing my participation in school events is acknowledged and appreciated. All opinions are my own responsibility.

By Chris Berthelsen: a-small-lab | chris@a-small-lab.com "

[See also: http://es.scribd.com/doc/212377075/Volcano-Walk-with-Mairangi-Bay-School-2013 ]
chrisberthelsen  children  exploration  unschooling  deschooling  ethnography  newzealand  play  curiosity  learning  nature  reggioemilia 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Colab | Creative Technologies at AUT
"Colab is the collaboratory for Design and Creative Technologies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand.

Our aim is to encourage researchers, students and stakeholders to imagine, construct, articulate and navigate rapidly changing social, economic, technological and career environments.

We are a diverse community of creative people, working together in an environment from which new ideas emerge on a daily basis. Colab researchers come from a range of backgrounds, including art, design, computer science, animation, game design, engineering, mechatronics, architecture, business and organisational development.

Colab has also established a Faculty Labs Network within AUT, to manage and develop a number of high-end technology facilities, researching subjects ranging from textile design and production, 3D printing, to motion capture, interactive technologies and virtual worlds.

We pride ourselves on having great relationships with industry and organisational bodies throughout Auckland and abroad, and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with researchers, organisational partners, creative-thinkers, and entrepreneurs. Perhaps, even you?"
newzealand  aukland  openstudioproject  lcproject  via:chrisberthelsen  aut  art  design  compsci  computerscience  animation  gamedesign  architecture  research  makerspaces 
february 2014 by robertogreco
School ditches rules and loses bullies - National News | TVNZ
[Reminds me of this one: "Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach [listening] to school discipline — suspensions drop 85%"
http://acestoohigh.com/2012/04/23/lincoln-high-school-in-walla-walla-wa-tries-new-approach-to-school-discipline-expulsions-drop-85/ ]

[Update: The Atlantic follows up: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/01/recess-without-rules/283382/ ]

[And another update: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/21/when-one-new-zealand-school-tossed-its-playground-rules-and-let-students-risk-injury-the-results-surprised/ ]

"Ripping up the playground rulebook is having incredible effects on children at an Auckland school.

Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says.

The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.

Principal Bruce McLachlan rid the school of playtime rules as part of a successful university experiment.

"We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when in fact they should be able to fall over."

Letting children test themselves on a scooter during playtime could make them more aware of the dangers when getting behind the wheel of a car in high school, he said.

"When you look at our playground it looks chaotic. From an adult's perspective, it looks like kids might get hurt, but they don't."

Swanson School signed up to the study by AUT and Otago University just over two years ago, with the aim of encouraging active play.

However, the school took the experiment a step further by abandoning the rules completely, much to the horror of some teachers at the time, he said.

When the university study wrapped up at the end of last year the school and researchers were amazed by the results."
bullying  children  education  schools  rules  discipline  2014  newzealand  teaching  learning  simplicity  community  tcsnmy  zerotolerance 
january 2014 by robertogreco
The Magpies
"The Magpies

When Tom and Elizabeth took the farm
The bracken made their bed
and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said

Tom's hand was strong to the plough
and Elizabeth's lips were red
and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said

Year in year out they worked
while the pines grew overhead
and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said

But all the beautiful crops soon went
to the mortgage man instead
and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said

Elizabeth is dead now (it's long ago)
Old Tom's gone light in the head
and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said

The farms still there. Mortgage corporations
couldn't give it away
and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies say.

Dennis Glover

Artists are people who make us see the world differently. Altho' Glover may not have been the greatest poet of all time he was an entirely real one, but he has always been easy to underestimate because his versification is so domestic and so easy on the ear that one doesn't notice how skilful it is. Ars celare artem. Once you know this poem, whenever you hear a New Zealand magpie call, you will hear it as Glover tells us to hear it: magpies say ``Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle''- they really do. Ask any New Zealander. The fact that is actually quite a good wee poem about what the Great Depression did to farming is a pleasant bonus that is in danger of being overlooked.

Janet Paul once told me that I was better company than Glover because he was drunk all the time. I treasure this compliment: to judge by the poetry he wrote Glover must have been very good company indeed. (memo to self: stay off bottle!)"
poems  poetry  newzealand  dennisglover  magpies  corvids  trickster  art  artists  glvo  birds  janetpaul  thomasforster 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Counting Sheep
"Counting Sheep: NZ Merino in an Internet of Things is a three-year research project (2011-2014) based in the School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Led by Dr Anne Galloway, our work explores the role that cultural studies and design research can play in supporting public engagement with the development and use of science and technology.

The Internet of Things is a vision for computing that uses a variety of wireless identification, location, and sensor technologies to collect information about people, places and things - and make it available via the internet. Today's farms generate and collect enormous amounts of data, and we're interested in what people can do with this information - as well as what we might do with related science and technology in the future.

Over the past two years we've travelled around the country, visiting merino stations, going to A&P shows and shearing competitions, and spending time in offices and labs, talking with breeders, growers, shearers, wool shandlers, scientists, industry representatives, government policy makers and others - all so that we could learn as much as possible about NZ merino. Then we took what we learned and we started to imagine possible uses for these technologies in the future production and consumption of merino sheep and products.

This website showcases our fictional scenarios and we want to know what you think!"

[See also: http://www.designculturelab.org/projects/counting-sheep-project-overview/
http://www.designculturelab.org/projects/counting-sheep-research-outputs/ ]
annegalloway  design  research  sheep  animals  merino  newzealand  speculativefiction  internetofthings  technology  science  computing  sensors  spimes  designfiction  countingsheep  boneknitter  permalamb  growyourownlamb  iot 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Bat, Bean, Beam: My own private Aotearoa
"I met my New Zealander in the Summer of 1991, in Edinburgh, Scotland. On my last day, we popped into the Waterstones bookshop in Princes Street and she bought me this.

[Te Kaihau: The Windeater: A collection of short stories by Keri Hulme]

I read it during the long train journey back to Italy. I can still thumb through that copy and catch faint mnemonic glimpses of what it was like to not know the first thing about the country in which I now live."



"A story in the Te Kaihau ends with one of those outrageous questions that a writer is not supposed to ask:

Have I told you anything?
Has it meant anything to you?
Or is it all just writing?
All just words?

I realise now that in the four or five years before leaving Italy – even before there was a reason or a plan – I was building a country in my head, and that although it relied on the conversation and the personal stories of the few New Zealanders I knew (Justine, mostly), it was also, if not primarily, a literary country, a cinematic country, a country of visual arts and music."
kerihulm  giovannitiso  2013  memory  time  literature  storytelling  writing  reading  worldbuilding  newzealand 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Autumn 2012 Profile | Art News New Zealand: Francis Upritchard
"Given her sculptural installations collapse boundaries between art, craft, architecture and design by combining ceramics, textiles, furniture, found objects and lighting in the same space – it’s no wonder Upritchard felt a kinship with the Secessionist group when she was invited to exhibit at this prestigious institution. She also appreciated the fact that the Secession’s programme is chosen not by curators but by artists, which results in a fascinating and idiosyncratic programme of solo artist exhibitions."

[More:
http://2009.nzatvenice.com/upritchard.php
http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/francis_upritchard.htm?section_name=body_language
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOAL9Hcv6ME
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26XRLF-0eM4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFiYWiImwYQ
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd3vvx_francis-upritchard-solo-show-at-kat_creation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6XfFmeIryQ
http://blip.tv/vernissagetv/francis-upritchard-solo-project-at-art-cologne-3566314 ]
bricolage  assemblage  textiles  ceramics  artists  glvo  sculpture  newzealand  craft  art  francisupritchard  from delicious
march 2012 by robertogreco
Hip Cities That Think About How They Work - NYTimes.com
"The story of young people, full of ambition, energy, skill and talent, moving to enticing cities that call to them like a siren’s song is as old as modern civilization. And in a world where national borders are easier to traverse, where more countries are joining the prosperous global middle class and where the cost of a one-way plane ticket is more affordable, young professionals probably have more cities to choose from than ever before.

This survey is not based solely on quality of life, number of trees or the cost of a month’s rent. Instead, we examine some cities that aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe. Our pick of cities that are, in a phrase, both great and good:

Aukland, Berlin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Montreal, Santiago, Shanghai, Vilnus"
via:gpe  cities  aukland  newzealand  berlin  germany  barcelona  spain  españa  capetown  southafrica  copenhagen  denmark  curitiba  brasil  montreal  Quebec  canada  santiago  chile  shanghai  china  vilnus  lithuania  planning  urbanplanning  livability  glvo  urban  urbandesign  policy  transit  masstransit  publictransit  sustainability  smartcities  environment  design  brazil  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Help Exchange: free volunteer work exchange abroad Australia New Zealand Canada Europe
"HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.

HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts."
education  work  travel  activism  glvo  free  helpx  exchange  us  europe  newzealand  australia  international  global  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
leading and learning: Let's celebrate those few creative teachers -and even fewer creative schools. They are the future.
"If teachers have in their minds the need to develop their class as a learning community of scientists and artists then during the year, as skills develop, greater responsibility can be passed over to students…

The success of any class will depend on the expectations, attitudes and skills the students bring with them ; what they are able to do with minimal assistance.

If the school has a clear vision of the attributes they would like their students to achieve then there will be a continual growth  of  independent learning  competencies from year to year.   Schools that achieve such growth in quality learning usually have spent considerable time developing a set of shared teaching and learning beliefs  that all teachers agree with and see purpose in. Underpinning such beliefs are assumptions about how students learn and the need to create the conditions for every learner to grow towards their innate potential."
tcsnmy  teaching  leadership  administration  toshare  schools  schoolculture  newzealand  progressive  art  science  learning  emergentcurriculum  relationships  growth  unschooling  deschooling  sharedvalues  sharedbeliefs  howchildrenlearn  discussion  management  whatmatters  customization  control  bestpractices  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Malpractice reform lessons from abroad - PNHP's Official Blog
"US requires patients injured by medical negligence to seek compensation through lawsuits, an approach that has drawbacks related to fairness, cost, & impact on medical care. Several countries, including New Zealand, Sweden, & Denmark, have replaced litigation w/ administrative compensation systems for patients who experience an avoidable medical injury. Sometimes called “no-fault” systems, such schemes enable patients to file claims for compensation w/out using an attorney. A governmental or private adjudicating organization uses neutral medical experts to evaluate claims of injury & does not require patients to prove that health care providers were negligent in order to receive compensation. Info from claims is used to analyze opportunities for patient safety improvement. The systems have successfully limited liability costs while improving injured patients’ access to compensation. US policymakers may find many of the elements of these countries’ systems to be transferable…"
health  healthcare  malpractice  law  legal  money  medicine  us  newzealand  nofault  sweden  denmark  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Design Culture Lab | Think. Do. Make.
"Led by Dr Anne Galloway, the Design Culture Lab supports collaborative and multidisciplinary research into the material, visual and discursive aspects of technology.

By working to understand objects, images and ideas in specific social and cultural contexts, we provide university, industry, government and public stakeholders with critical and creative insights into the production and consumption of both historical and emerging technologies.

We’re based in the Faculty of Architecture and Design at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, but we’re at home with anyone interested in the stuff of everyday life.

We’re available to speak with your organisation about our research and we’re always interested in meeting potential collaborators and postgraduate students to help us think, do and make interesting things.

Please contact Anne Galloway for more information."
annegalloway  design  culture  newzealand  technology  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Velocity
"It is tempting to think there are no beginnings, no rebirths. Every new day we have to live with yesterday. That doesn’t mean we can’t change. Change is slower than we think. It sneaks up on us. We can’t shed our skin like snakes, we replace our cells, one-by-one. We cross-fade into becoming new people. One day you wake up & look in the mirror and say “Who is this person?”…

But when we travel, we move more rapidly than the rest of the world. We change faster, revise who we are quicker. I think when we travel our cells replace themselves with more rapidity. We may not be able to shed our skin, but through the sheer velocity of movement, we slough off our old selves.

But that furniture is still in the same spot when we return home. Mostly, it seems that things will be as they were before. And yet, not. Things are different now. I know it. They WILL be different. And better. This time through, I’ll be better. At least that is how it feels…"
frankchimero  change  perspective  travel  newzealand  airports  human  slow  velocity  urgency  improvement  self-improvement  clarity  accidents  serendipity  time  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Sylvia (1985) - IMDb
"Real-life story of Sylvia Ashton Warner's pioneering work teaching Maori children to read in the 1940's."
film  via:cervus  sylviaashtonwarner  maori  newzealand  education  literacy  1940s  māori  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
ClubOrlov: America—The Grim Truth [A bit over the top, but there are some major truths in here, especially about the worry that results from the financial precariousness we feel as part of our system, lack of social safety net]
"Americans, I have some bad news for you:

You have the worst quality of life in the developed world—by a wide margin.

If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.

I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home.

I have lived all around the world, in wealthy countries and poor ones, and there is only one country I would never consider living in again: The United States of America. The mere thought of it fills me with dread.

Consider this…"
politics  collapse  us  economics  health  healthcare  expats  2010  via:mathowie  finance  well-being  qualityoflife  food  pharmaceuticals  work  balance  australia  fragmentation  teaparty  immigration  emmigration  canada  newzealand  japan  europe  comparison  middleeast  guns  safety  society  fear  dystopia  unemployment  decline  oil  peakoil  grimfutures  change  policy  freedom  germany  finland  italy  france  scandinavia  singlepayerhealthsystem  government  socialsafetynet  bankruptcy  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Transparency: Who Owns Antarctica? - Environment - GOOD
"It stretches 5.4 million square miles. It's freezing, inhospitable, and devoid of any native residents. Why, then, is the southernmost continent at the center of such contentious wrangling? We take a look at who owns what in Antarctica, and why the battles have recently grown more tumultuous."
antarctica  globalwarming  climatechange  environment  geography  territory  argentina  chile  uk  australia  newzealand  internations  norway  france  politics  visualization  antarctic  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Most Beautiful Road in the World
"I found it! I’ve looked at travel guides and driven on a ton of beautiful, scenic roads all over the world, but I think this road to Queenstown (on the way to/from Glenorchy) is the most beautiful in the world. The road winds down one side of a perfect, fjord-like lake, and every few kilometers, the mountain views change dramatically. Depending upon the time of day you travel it, the entire landscape transforms before your eyes."

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1446737533/landscapelifescape-glenorchy-new-zealand-the ]
newzealand  roads  travel  photography  beauty  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Remarkables Primary .::. Our School
"Our school buildings are at leading edge of 21st Century design following principles of architect Prakesh Nair. It is his research & work that has led to the school having spaces for waterholes (meeting places for students), campfires (where adults share wisdom with the young) & caves (private and secure places) for children & adults.

The building design is based around pods, groups of 4 classrooms clustered around a central space. Classrooms will be fully networked & set up for technology.

To ensure a smooth transition for the school into Wakatipu area, Remarkables Primary School will have a staggered opening over next three years. In 2010, for terms one & two…open to Year 1 & 2 students while the building programme is completed. The remainder of our buildings will be opened in term three &…extend its enrolments to Years 3 & 4.

In 2011, we will further our enrolment intake to include Year 5 & 6 students & in 2012 Year 7 & 8 students."
schools  schooldesign  education  newzealand  remarkablesprimary  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
World's Happiest Countries: Gallup Survey (PHOTOS)
"While the United States may still be the richest nation on Earth, it can't claim to be as happy as Denmark or Finland. In fact, according to a new analysis of data provided by the Gallup World Poll, the relationship between overall life satisfaction and wealth may not be as straightforward as previously thought."
2010  countries  happiness  health  healthcare  polls  well-being  us  denmark  finland  norway  netherlands  costarica  canada  switzerland  sweden  newzealand  austria  australia  belgium  brasil  panamá  brazil 
july 2010 by robertogreco
ElectroCity
"ElectroCity is a new online computer game that lets players manage their own virtual towns and cities. It’s great fun to play and also teaches players all about energy, sustainability and environmental management in New Zealand."
conservation  electricity  energy  simulations  games  learning  online  internet  newzealand  environment  physics  power  science  education 
august 2007 by robertogreco

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