Showing posts from April, 2015

Three new books and the notion of distraction

I am in the process of reading three new books that I ordered independently of each other and then realized that they are all connected. The two first are:

Matthew Crawford's "The world beyond your head -- on becoming an individual in an age of distraction" and

Peter Korn "Why we make things and why it matters -- the education of a craftsman".

The third takes a more business or management perspective.

Daniel Goleman "Focus -- the hidden driver of excellence"

Even though the three authors have radically different backgrounds and perspectives they all end up discussing the kind of activities that humans can engage in that lead to a sense of well-being, identity, and self-understanding. What all of them see as a serious contemporary societal problem can be summarized with the notion of distraction or the lack of attention and focus.

Crawford write: "Our changing technological environment generates a need for ever more stimulation. The content of

A note on Tonkinwise "Design Studies - what is it good for?"

Cameron Tonkinwise is one of the more interesting design theorists today. These days he is the Director of Design Studies at the CMU School of Design. In a recent article "Design Studies -- what is it good for?"(Design and Culture, Volume 6, Number 1, March 2014, pp. 5-43(39), Tonkinwise discusses what design studies is and what it can and should be. One basic question that Tonkinwise asks is "who is the intended audience for Design Studies research?" I am very much in agreement that we need this kind of discussion today. There is some confusion and sometimes almost desperation in many programs and schools today that associate themselves with design practice, design thinking, and design studies, be it traditional design schools or traditional academic disciplines trying to become more designerly. The desperation manifests itself in an almost unhealthy reflective stance around questions such as "who are we" and "what are we" when it comes to rese…