A trip to Japan – K2 Symposium Design Future Cities

We traveled to Tokyo and Fukuoka in Japan in our global mission to fight design waste and grow a community of design labs and cities as part of a global chain to solve the world’s most prominent challenges. Below is a brief description of our mission and the story we brought at the K2 Symposium on Design Future Cities:

Cities as Design Power Stations in a Global Innovation Chain

Cities are opting to becoming smarter cities, which is leading to large investments in ICT and technological enhancement. At the same time open innovation is on the rise, alongside the empowerment of citizens to shape the innovation and urban development. Where we as a design lab see an important opportunity is to create a global innovation chain of cities that embrace the power of design methodology and process thinking as a common language.

Design process thinking is vital to prevent ‘design waste’

We are living in a world of plenty. Plenty of people, plenty of passion, plenty of knowledge, plenty of skills, and definitely plenty of ideas. Ideas. Our creativity. It is the one resource that will never dry out, but it is the one resource that we waste every day. Over. And over. Again. But, aren’t we, as designers and creators, there to save the day? Yes, but we don’t. Not enough at least.
Despite the conferences, the blogs, the meetups, the hackathons, the jams, we started noticing that there is no real culture of sharing in the design field. We do not openly re-use insights nor ideas. We want to do our own thing, we want to make that method our own, we want to look autonomous and authentic. As a result, valuable insights from design processes are lost. We started calling this loss ‘Design Waste’ and initiated a mission to fight it. Now, we are calling out to the creative community to join the fight and start building on each other’s work more.

The real waste is in the process!
Design waste is the loss of valuable work from the design process by a lack of a culture of SHARING our process.
This prevents us from building on each other’s work in a sustainable way and therefore from creating a global chain of innovation.

MediaLAB Amsterdam is on a mission to fight design waste

We curate and create tools and methods (Design Method Toolkit) to facilitate a standard and a common language to facilitate sharing. Currently we are working on translating the Design Method Toolkit in Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese, in order to enhance worldwide distribution and involvement. We also call out to our partners and the creative community in general to help us evolve this language. As it is seen as a language, our toolkit is never finished and continuously adapting itself to current needs and challenges.

To kickstart an innovation chain on a global level and to work on developing this ‘common language’ of methods, we started experimenting with an international network of multidisciplinary design teams working together simultaneously on global issues from a local context (Design Across Cultures) and searching for a common language of design methods to have a better way to share, compare and build on each other’s work. Cities include Barcelona, Bangalore, Copenhagen, Fukuoka and Rochester.

We are also working on a platform where intermediate knowledge coming from the design processes can better be documented, shared and (re)used.

Cities functioning as local power stations to solve global issues, as part of a global innovation chain

We believe in the power of locality to solve global issues. Cities are a perfect context for creating small-sized eco-systems where design waste is reduced. From there, we think that intensifying collaborations between creatives between cities is vital to tackle design waste on a global level and build on each other’s work.

Cities are the new nations when it comes to solving the most prominent global issues…

We see that real innovation is more frequently speeding up within city contexts rather than national contexts. We believe cities should therefore take up on the responsibility to not only design the city of the future, but rather tomorrow’s society.

We have started working with the United Nations on the development of a network of makers/ designers around the global goals for sustainable development (SDGs) (as adopted by the UN). This network focuses on cities and we connect them via a yearly event called the Global Goals Jam. Last year, we had 17 cities with over 500 jammers worldwide working for two days on innovations that will help us move forward with the SDG’s.

We have been extremely happy to present these ideas recently at the K2 symposium, Design Future Cities, in Fukuoka (Japan), sharing the stage with prof. Barry Katz (Stanford D School) and Bryan Boyer (former Helsinki Design Lab).

We would like to invite everybody to join us in our mission and participate in September in the next edition of the Global Goals Jam or organize one in your own home town. Join us! Join the Design Across Cultures movement to make a real difference and to be that design power station in a global chain of innovation!

An impression of our trip

We’re hiring!

For the spring semester starting on February 1st, we are looking for researchers, coders and designers to work with our outstanding industry partners! Apply quickly!
Factsheet_Spring_2017 projects only

Invitation for Labfest 2017

We’re showcasing the work of 2016 and our plans for 2017 during Labfest. Please visit the expo and join us for a drink to discuss the impact of tech & design in society.

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Register here

Finalists at the Crypto Design Challenge!!!

by Abdo

On Friday the 25th of November, Anna Bleakly and Abdelrahman Hassan of Medialab Amsterdam participated as finalists in the second edition of the Crypto-design Challenge, which was held at the Paradiso. The competition was posed to help reshape the dominant image of the deep web through design thinking and innovative solutions. 15 out of a total of 36 submissions were selected by a jury to participate in the final event.

MediaLab’s contribution:

Anna and Abdelrahman’s submission was titled ‘The Ustopic Web’ and relied on showing two extreme interpretations of the deep web, a utopic one and a dystopic one. The audience then followed the journey of a fictional Thai activist as she navigates both webverses. The audience is able to slide the screen and alternate between the two webverses, finding a Ustopic Balance (Atwood, 2011).

More information on the submission can be found at Ustopicweb.com

 

The event:

-The Crypto Design Awards event included talks from prolific speakers such as Ingrid Burrington, Tijmen Schep, Constant Dullaart and Hendrick-Jan Grievink. The talks posed important questions about the nature of the deep web, privacy concerns and other social implications of poor design. Of the many critical themes discussed were:

-The dangers of a reputation economy

-The marketing and accessibility of cryptography.

-The relevance of natural language metaphors

-The internet as a semi-public, semi-private space, much like the balcony.

-The physicality and infrastructure of the web.

-Protocol design and web art.

More about the Design challenge can be found at https://cryptodesign.org/about/

Launching the new website of the Business method toolkit!!!

We are very happy to announce that the new website for the Business method toolkit is now available here!

Start and grow your own business. Develop a strategy and create impact with the Business method toolkit – a curated collection of more than 25 business methods perfect for lean, agile environments and multidisciplinary teams.

The methods divided into five categories build a fundamental knowledge to create a business. Indications on time, requirements and benefits to help plan and to chose the perfect method. Define a strategy, monitor impact and validate insights for your startup or existing business.

The methods form a common language in multidisciplinary, multicultural teams and projects. Share, translate, document and validate insights. The toolkit inspires to think beyond the usual methods, it helps monitoring processes and makes them transparent. Detailed task descriptions help to divide and assign tasks between team members.

The physical versions of the Business method toolkit and the Design method toolkit are also available to order here.

bmt

Final Presentations 2016!

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MediaLAB Amsterdam Final Presentations and Expo, MediaLAB Amsterdam and PublishingLAB students will present their work.

Your Host:

Gijs Gootjes,  Director MediaLAB Amsterdam

Speaker:

Marco van Hout

Introducing the global collaboration with the United Nations.

When:

Wednesday June 22nd. Start: 17:00 Doors open: 16:30

Studio HvA, Wibautstraat 2-4

Count me in!

Introducing the Global Goals Jam!

During the 2015 Social Good Summit, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. In 109 locations around the world, people discussed these 17 Global Goals and what they would mean for their lives. This year we will take things to the next level and take action. We, the United Nations Development Programme  and MediaLAB Amsterdam, are inviting you to join the first ever#GlobalGoalsJam. Join us to design interventions for the Sustainable Development Goals that matter most to you.

Connecting Today, Creating Tomorrow. Let’s#Design2030Now!

17-18 September Global Goals Jam 2016

The #GlobalGoalsJam is a two day event consisting of short design sprints. Creative teams, with designers, developers and Jammers from the local community will work together using a tailored toolkit. The main goal of the Jam is to create interventions aimed at short term targets in support of the long term goals.  Results are presented at the main Social Good Summit in New York 18-19 September.

www.globalgoalsjam.org

Global Goals Jam 2016

During the Social Good Summit 2016 Marco van Hout and Gijs Gootjes presented the Global Goals Jam (GGJ). A world wide jam, where teams of designers and creators worked in short design sprints on responses to the Sustainable Development Goals. Over 500 designers and creators in 17 cities around world invested over 10.000 hours of direct impact on the Global Goals.
Using SCREAM as a platform to document and share the process and results, the GGJ allows people to build upon the work of others.