Rule your room

I’ve been thinking a little about how you could use iOT stuff  in the classroom.

I looked around for a kit to buy for me and Drew to play with over the holidays.

As a person who works in tech, is not really a techie, but knows enough now via osmosis and reading to get the general gist when people talk full on tech to me, I found the purchase/evaluation of this stuff really farken confusing.

There’s an opportunity in there somewhere …

ps. I ended up buying the Rule your room kit by Littlebits.

Design facilitation

This is exactly what I’ve learnt/observed/reflected upon over the last couple of years. It’s cool when you learn that others are thinking along the same lines …

“Being an expert designer does not necessarily translate to being a great design facilitator, and ultimately, companies need to hire both experts in design, and experts in design facilitation. It’s a different skill set that few designers (formally trained or otherwise) have practiced.”

I recently saw a job advertisement here in Melbourne for a design facilitator. I think it is a sign of a maturing understanding that ‘designers’ and design facilitators/strategic designers/ (and possibly, in some cases) design researchers etc are different. Complementary and both important but different.

For my money, if I was a CEO leading a effort to move toward a more design centric culture the second last thing I’d do would be to hire a bunch of designers who design pixels and mock-ups and user flows.


In a terrific essay published online recently in New Matilda, ‘Understanding Pauline’, Nelly Thomas points to the bind that confronts many of us from working-class backgrounds when we witness our cosmopolitan, tertiary-educated peers pouring scorn on the ignorance of this class we were born into. “Educated people do routinely talk down to the uneducated,” she writes. “This is probably true in all cultures, across all time, but I think it is a particular marker of the experience of the English colonisation of Australia.” The phenomenon has a flip side, too. Working-class Australians, she notes, “have a deep-seated suspicion and dislike of The Snob. Being belittled or patronised by The Snob is not a nice feeling.”

I think Thomas is right to trace the roots of Australian anti-intellectualism to our colonial history, but my sense is that similar suspicions and resentment are now being expressed across the globe through anti-immigration, anti-globalisation and anti-metropolitan rhetoric. Whatever I might think of the more toxic and ugly of such politics, it is clear that many working people no longer feel that the traditional parties of the left and of social democracy speak to them.

Insular and unintelligible theory dominates identity politics and the student left, while the rhetoric of social justice and human rights trades in bland universalisms that have absolutely nothing to say about economic exploitation within the nation state. The progressive vocabulary is shaped by academics, technocrats, inner-city professionals and the media, and, of course, it prioritises their concerns. What is shocking is that the insularity of this language has been blithely unquestioned by the left.


things that I learnt this year

In the spirit of Christmas posts, reflections on the year that was and general clickbait attempts (although not in this particular case) I shall now write down in point form the biggest things I’ve learnt about work in 2016.

  1. Lead with a vision and a desired outcome, not a particular output
  2. Slow down to speed up.





It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility

Alan Cooper // Keynote: Ranch Stories // UX Week 16 from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

Bloody hell, hey. What a call to arms.

“When capitalism is unrestrained by the same moral force, the drive for profit inevitably forces the company into exploitation and destruction”.

The Sharing Economy (which has nothing to do with sharing)

“The sharing economy looks attractive to the disintegrating middle class as a way to generate cash by renting out their cars, their houses or their time … (but) these people lack any job security, benefits, employment status or healthcare … they are entirely at the mercy of the digital brokerage … ”

Talks about the 20 year period after the rise of industrialisation and larger companies where essential services companies were classified as ‘common carriers’, which means they are bound by stricter regulations and obligations.

When will facebook, twitter and other social media companies be considered as common carriers, because they are essentially providing the same service as phone companies did.

“I want the software world to think like a farmer”.

“If your company is just in it for the money, maybe you should look for a better company”.