Touchy-feely toasters

Originally published on spiked. Designers and scientists are eager to place emotions at the centre of products and computing. International conferences organise around incorporating emotion into all aspects of design (1). Academics are devoted to researching ‘funology’ – ‘a body of knowledge about fun’: building enjoyment into our lives through design (2). Scientists are developing Continue Reading

What’s the big idea?

Originally published on spiked. What is it about politicians and the internet? Many are keen to explore the possibilities of using the net to interact with voters. Even UK prime minister Tony Blair is toying with the idea of using a weblog (a kind of online journal) for the next general election. But more often Continue Reading

Dean and not heard

Originally published on spiked. The Democratic Party contest to find a challenger to George W Bush for the November US presidential elections is well under way. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry stormed ahead of his rivals this week, winning Delaware, Missouri, Arizona, North Dakota and New Mexico in the ‘Super Seven Tuesday’ caucuses and primaries, held Continue Reading

‘Ethnography’ exposed

Originally published on spiked. The saying goes: ‘In order to understand a man, first you must walk a mile in his shoes.’ This Christmas, Boots CEO Richard Baker has been doing just that, by turning himself into a shelf-stacker. According to Charlie Dawson of The Foundation, a ‘customer driven management consultancy’, the key is to Continue Reading

What iCan can’t do

Originally published on spiked. UK home secretary David Blunkett has suggested setting up ‘community advocates’ to deal with unaccountable policing (1). Apparently the police want the public’s ideas, support and sympathy. If you’re not interested in tackling crime, what about chewing gum stuck on the pavement, or litter in your local area? Thanks to a Continue Reading

Dark-sky thinking

Originally published on spiked. ‘What is the future of creativity?’, asked the prestigiously titled World Creative Forum in London recently (1). The inaugural gathering in the hi-tech offices of Bloomberg brought together an international list of designers, artists, businessmen and scientists to debate the impact of creativity on society and business. This was a pertinent Continue Reading

Blog-standard politics

Originally published on spiked. For 24 hours last weekend, British Labour MP Tom Watson invited web users to suggest ideas for government policy. Billed as a ’24-hour blogathon’, Watson used his blog – an online journal – to kickstart debates on the issues that ‘matter most to us’ (or to those who can be bothered Continue Reading