Saturday, March 31, 2007

writing stuff down

for a long time I considered writing lists was an excuse for not doing it (thinking that the fact you had written it down was sort of doing it) so I never wrote lists.
over time perhaps my thinking changed or my memory has become less good or more likely I have more to remember.
so for the last few years I have written (scribbled) stuff down in my filofax. things that are happening that day or plans for the next day pretty normal way of working really and as close to lists as I have ever got (normally without comment so not really a diary).
I have never succumbed to the to do culture that is too contrived for me.
I tend judge my life by how much scribble there is. as I look back through the scribble of the last few days (first photo). I can see that my week was pretty busy but this weekend (second photo) and the beginning of next week is not, as defined by the lack of scribble (scribble = good) and that makes me worry. I still like to have too much to finish another 80's throw back perhaps. luckily I have the surfing article to get done (third photo). I am sure by tuesday my pages will be full of scribble again.

Friday, March 30, 2007

busy week > > new challenges

this week seemed to rush by can't believe that it is friday already.
something new I have been asked to write for a monthly magazine that is being launched at the end of the april. so I have to deliver/email my copy by thursday next, I was sort of hinting at it on yesterday's blog but things were confirmed today.
have to say that I am happy to get involved, all being well I will be writing a monthly column, making sure to add my thoughts on surfing, the surf scene in the UK and surfers (of all types). I will be sure to plug the magazine when it comes out provided that they don't cut or over edit me!
I didn't add this site yesterday so it's here today, good surf photos find your wave well worth looking at.

thought I would sneak the magazine logo in to my blog, hopefully it won't get me in to trouble.

back to today, earlier in the week I mentioned meetings and today was a day of meetings and many short conversations. I have no idea why but I found it extremely hard to engage myself in any of them.
not because I didn't think they were worthy, because they where. one faculty meeting was very productive indeed, very interesting, and working towards what I believe in. I couldn't get in to any of it. maybe it was because I am simply too tired.
so think I will get myself off to bed.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

too texty >> more images >> surf sites

I have realised the last few blogs have become a bit 'wordy' I don't mean in a precocious way just too much text to get a real feel perhaps?

on the back of some lengthy email conversations I had today with the deputy editor of a soon to be launched extreme sports/lifestyle cornwall based magazine. surfing and surf literature, writing have been foremost in my thoughts. further still I have to think a bit about a surf related proposal on offer?

until then I thought a much better way to end the day was to give you a brief tour around some good surf related websites, using and containing some great images as well as good writing. check their websites for more.

from left to right surfgirl, a1surf, kneeboard surfing uk, and bottom kneeboard surfing usa.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

what a day >> designing for mobile communities

what a day, I really have to mention carol, first she left early this morning to drive to an interview, probably the most important in her working life to date. then she is back home after lunch when she received a call to say that she didn't get the job. next she called me very disappointed and I promised to get home as soon as I could which I did.
next early evening they were on the phone again offering her the job, quite rightly in my opinion she excepted, and got a good deal.
and there I was thinking the design/academic world was fickle.

I spent some valuable time on designs for 'the hub' today which is coming together a bit better than last week. I did take some pictures very quickly before I had to get home, but in my haste I had the camera set on macro which obviously meant that whilst the pictures are interesting they do not mean anything, I will try to get more pictures on tomorrow.

whilst looking at more stuff on the internet I again was drawn to cati's blog because I remembered a link to jeff axup who finished his thesis on 'methods of understanding and designing for mobile communities'. it sounds a bit heavy but I took it upon myself to read a large part of it. I am famous for not really liking reading a huge amount of text on screen. so as bad as it is if I have to consider an examination criteria for a new exam course I will be teaching I print it off to read it in a quiet corner somewhere at home, usually because the text has not been specifically designed for reading on screen so doesn't work.

however looking at jeff's thesis or the sections of it that I have considered and read, make it different and easier to see on screen.
the understanding of the first user seems to have been thought through in a way that suits me at least.

It would be silly of me to try and explain all that jeff axup has considered and written about but I will show a couple of screen shots and explain a little of way I think it works. obviously splitting the thesis up for download is nothing new, (the complete thesis can also be downloaded).
I like the way jeff has done this because for me anyway it makes the most important part the subject matter easier an clear to grasp.

I would be very interested to see what you think.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

(NID) neo-nomad id / a digital bedouin >> & another meeting

I as I normally do check who has been looking at this blog then log on to twitter while checking the BBC news site at the same time as drinking a coffee. it's the usual way I spend a part of most evenings I was I bit late tonight as I had a meeting but still.
while in the blog land I was checking one of my favourite blogs cati vaucelle (love the jacques tati poster from monday, cati) on her blog she mention NID or neo-nomad id, intrigued by the term I looked further she had also added a link to the bbc and an article by bill thompson and all became clear.
seems yasmine abbas invented the term or certainly first used the terms (NID) neo-nomad id / a digital bedouin in a blog.
her blog in search if the neo-nomad explains. another great post from yasmine abbas is my body is a hypertext not just for a great visual/picture/text impact but as a very well observed piece of humour.
as I had a meeting tonight i thought how long would it be before I will be able to do my joawhile sitting in starbucks or another coffee shop or from the beach will I ever be working in that way I find it hard to see but even 10 years ago I had no idea I would be doing this.
I like to think I will except, embrace and use change (for the better not just as so often for changes sake) in anything/everything I do.

well to the meeting again and an illustration (left) by Andrew Saeger found on the blog/website seattlepi I like the illustration as it shows the frustration of so many meetings I have had to attend and continue to attend. I have had some very good meetings but they tend more in the form of constructive conversations. rather than meeting for the sake of convention.
often I am left thinking what was the real idea of that and what the point of was! not just me it seems I typed into google to find hundreds of links to all sorts of stuff related to meetings and how to waste time at work? surely if you think like that you are in the wrong job...

Monday, March 26, 2007

today went to fast >> sunshine and thoughts of summer

today went too quickly I only had a short time it seemed until I was eating lunch with maria and jules. I couldn't resist taking this picture. It was of part of my lunch, it looked so good in the spring sunshine. after that the day simply flew past.
we had sunshine pretty much all day today. just spoken to gabes he was full of the joys of a spring day he had got down to the beach even had a skate as well. specially for him I thought I would add this publicity picture for the 60's film endless summer a surfing classic. it says a lot about how things have changed but even gabes at nearly 14 can relate to parts of the surfing lifestyle or his perception of the that lifestyle, any way it is a great picture.

whilst on a nostalgic theme I have to include a picture of a man that I hold in particular high esteem, george greenough (pictured here in about '73) who was and still is a phenomenal surfer and photographer and if that wasn't enough a very creative designer as well. surf boards, it was george who really brought kneeboarding to the notice of other surfers and non-surfers in the late 60's early 70's.
he is responsible for designing the 'spoon' the board he is holding in the picture. as well as camera housing equipment, and inspired many through his use of film images set to music. echos (pink floyd) at the end of the classic surf film crystal voyager being his most famous film. It is amazing how different a day can be just because it is bright and sunny, I was busy all day but don't really feel I produce much of the things I wanted to do.

I did finally get my podcast to work check it at dgthekneelo.podbean by going round in circles but eventually sorting it out. then after that davidthedesigner left me a very welcome message telling me about some audio software audacity (I had not heard of) I also downloaded an extra patch in addition to audacity enabling me to export to mp3 LAME no excuses now.
already I have had a play with and it seems it is an answer to making the audio podcast bursts I have been trying to create for the past couple of weeks, at what is good is that it is free! thanks for the tip davidthedesigner.

any way must get on I have too many projects on the go at the moment and to really need get back in to the design for 'the hub'.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

one of those days >> thinking too much?

I have been so unproductive today, I can't think it was just because the clocks moved forward or we had to get to falmouth for ben's rugby match (his team won again). we were a bit late as well as had to relying on the sat-nav to get us there which in its self quite interesting.

all the time I was involved and watching the game but thinking about the ideas I have for the hub again as well as trying to work out why the mp3 recordings I have been gathering for the podcast dgthekneelo.podbean aren't working properly. since I have been not getting round to doing stuff by finding other things to do that don't really need to be done, so as you can imagine I haven't got anywhere. in a way it has been an OK day though, I can't expect every day to be the way I want it to be.

I have had one of the least creative days for ages. I did manage to achieve something I found a nice place for coffee in truro. I also bought a nice new cup to drink it from when I got home.
oh yes I bought some good coffee as well.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

been busy working on sound >> but found this picture as well

I seem to have spent all day trying to get the sound right on some audio work I have been doing as usual the best laid plans have gone out of the window.
I expected to spend some time on the project I mentioned yesterday but I haven't even looked at it. probably a good thing as it has given me a bit more time to think.
I have still not managed to create the sounds that I was preparing but still I have a few hours of the day left.
for no other reason than I really like it I wanted to post this picture I was going to create a web template based on it. I still might do that I certainly will use it in my work somewhere, (ooops I am back to flowers again) .

Friday, March 23, 2007

'the hub' >> a working title

I am rather absorbed in thought at the moment I have been doing a lot of thinking and looking over the last few days. sort of hinted at it in yesterdays blog, but I am try to plan a layout for an educational space that is very different from the usual. I have a whole lot of work to do as I want to be able to present some complex (interesting/exciting) plans for 'the hub'. this is a working title as I would like to treat it as a hub of fact finding, learning and communication.

the main aspect of the design is a central 'hub' of the work space is an interconnected bank of five stations/computers all equipped with, well I will explain that at a later date as I am not sure of the spec yet. all I have is a head full of ideas I can almost see it in there but I need to be able to explain it that needs some more work. all I have so far is the first scribble (left).

I have obviously looked at and visited a whole bunch of places, along with my experience of both working in design studios and in schools and colleges I hope to be able to draw the many different elements together to produce a 'zone' of enjoyment and learning that is a great place to be as well as a great place to learn.

I have added some of the research I have been doing to this blog. looking through other schools with amazing buildings but tending to conform to the use of the inside space as in the picture (left). as you can see the desks and chairs are formally positioned. , chumleigh community college, classroom of the future, chulmleigh, devon. devon property, county hall, exter, devon. riba awards 2005. I want to move away from the formality of rows of tables and chairs.

absolute designs a design company based in falmouth, cornwall, uk have produced some design solutions, showing an inspiring use of interior space. you can see a couple of projects they have worked on. pictures (left) of falmouth college of arts and cornwall centre for professional development (right). for a better view have a look at their website its quite an amalgam of design from interiors to branding, packaging, design for print and more.

I still have plenty of planning and more thinking to do yet but a sensible proposal will hopefully come, whether anything will actioned is another thing completely. as a designer/ideas person you kind of get used to that. whatever happens the creative side of problem solving is often enough to fuel me to move on to the next project.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

ideas >> associated place >> learning >> create

funny isn't it how ideas just seem to happen (or not) I always think it strange when creative agencies have a time and a date to have an idea.
I find that ideas happen, but the more I work at it the more they happen.
I am not one of those people who just has a great idea and then goes away to create.
when I have an idea usually I try it, realise that it doesn't or wont work, but the fact that I am trying to work at it makes other ideas come through. this can happen lots of times before I reach a solution to the original problem.

the reason for mentioning this is because in the normal run of things we wait for a problem think about it then spend ages working on it eventually solving it by one way or another. this includes for me pretty much everything I do from the smallest pre-prepared hand out for a specific lesson plan or a complete corporate identity.
must say the last major id I did was a few years ago and it was for a surf-wear company (flip-flops and surf sandals) three peaks see picture.

the thinking behind it took weeks but the actual design was relatively quick to do, and it came to me reasonably easily. we all have our own ways of creating and I believe it is experience that makes us able to re-think and re-design and while we continue to do this we will be able to maintain a design life. I find it much harder to try to instill in students the confidence to try.

I have had some ideas about the room I work in, teach in, spend hours in, that I am currently working on, in the hope that something may come of them.

I really believe that by changing the way the room looks/works I can start to challenge the way the students entering the room think, while challenging I hope to motivate and encourage even draw out some kind of creativity from an otherwise quietly compliant youth, who consider using msn, myspace and bebo as creative, perhaps surprising of all create graphics in ms paint 'cos thats what they have got at home', even though they have the complete macromedia studio package available to them!
we will see what happens?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

short but sweet >> calm >> beach time

I have been chasing my tail for the last few weeks sort of achieving. I have so many different design projects in the air and combined with the hectic workload of a teacher to think about I don't seem to be as productive even as successful as I would like...
I am really missing an important part of my life.
I hardly have had time (or when I have had time) I haven't bothered to even go to the beach.
I am so lucky in that I can walk to a really beautiful cove (takes about 8 minutes!) but I haven't got near to even visiting it. yes the weather has been cold and wet, and its dark and I could go on listing any other number of excuses.
I am in no way complaining or moaning even if it sounds like it I fully realise just how lucky I am. however I need to motivate myself to get out to the beach, even though I can't surf at the moment because of the shoulder problem I can and should still be able to enjoy the feel and smell and look of the ocean.
I will add to this post in the morning until then I am going to rest from the hypnotic power of this amazing media and turn my computer off.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

found a nice pencil >> what do you always carry with you?

a few weeks ago my friend davidthedesigner posted on his blog a picture of his favourite pen a 20 year old rotring. at the time I wanted to respond with a picture of a muji pencil (silver, right) that I thought was my favourite, but at the time couldn't find it. in a way I am pleased that I didn't because the fact that I couldn't find meant that I wasn't really using it. it wasn't very comfortable to write with but it looked so good. since then I have found the bic mechanical pencil in the photo (below black/silver) which I have now replaced as my favourite. it is a budget mechanical pencil but it is just so nice to use and it looks good as well.

I got to thinking in this world of technology and digital applications why is it that I still am excited about a cheap mechanical pencil?
I have a pda, and a mobile phone that is with me almost all the time.
I thought about what I always carry with me whether working or not.
I consider the glasses I wear when needed a piece of clothing, as I do my watch (as these are a given rather than considered). I though it would be interesting to find what others cannot be separated from.
I have to add that my real job is that of an ICT & enterprise teacher so I work with computers (& students) all day. with so much of my work automated it would be easy to not write anything by hand.
I could probably have one flash drive with me (as some colleagues do) and still be able to function well in my job, moving between different computers.

the picture (bottom) shows what goes with me everywhere. my filofax (I did use a pda every day for a year or so but I really missed writing on paper), the bic mechanical pencil, a 1GB flash memory drive, for documents and animations, presentations etc, and a 2GB flash memory drive for images and video.
now I realise no matter how much technology I have around me I still want to be able to write with a pencil on paper sometimes. that's why I will alway carry one with me, along with filofax (for me an 80's throwback) and my 'geek sticks'.

what do you carry with you every day?

Monday, March 19, 2007

in a rush >> waiting >> store design/layout

how many times have you rushed to get somewhere got there exactly on time only to be kept waiting and waiting! well that happened to me today I had to go into work two hours teaching then into a meeting then rush to see the consultant (about my shoulder) but ended up waiting for 2 hours 20 minutes. now I know that there are always people worse off and I realise that my need is not as great as others but it was a clinic I had an appointment time! I just had to wait quietly.

I don't want to use this blog to complain about stuff that has nothing to do with what the blog was started for so I'll stop.

I did however have a chance afterwards to go for a surprisingly nice coffee, (I chose not to have it black as would usually in case it was not very nice) at a very large retailer, as I was enjoying my coffee and carrot cake. I got set to thinking if this retailer take £1 of every £8 spent in the the UK, how does this reflect on the design/layout of the shop.

I also remembered that in the early 90's I was responsible for designing the floor layouts for a very large menswear retailer when they opened their flagship shop on oxford street, london and across the country the group where then bought up by eventually (arcadia). the design/layout of a shop obviously makes an enormous difference on how much money it makes I then realised why I had stopped doing it!

I have added a few pictures I took while I was there. I can't say I found any of it inspiring in any sense. though is so successful perhaps i need to think why, it can't just be price can it?

love the jars of octopus, I am sure not all the shops in this group sell them, so regional tastes must be catered for.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

sunday >> thought & consideration is not a weakness

strange really that I should feel guilty about not writing the blog I had planned for first yesterday and then today, I am afraid that one will have to wait for another time probably when have just returned from a heavy teaching day and feel fresh from presenting (good or bad).

I must just thank micky from france for the love of the sponge bob character. micky has been chasing me around the internet today, through my flickr, this blog and my surf web site never quite meeting me. but we will sort it.

any way to todays post, sunday and mothers day so a called to my mother in sussex (luckly the cornish flowers had arrived), after ben had presented his card to carol and some freshly picked flowers from the garden we (ben & me) had made a special vase from a powerade bottle!
then as usual I was off to rugby with ben he (I hope) loves it, I am still terrified that I am one of those pushy parents who because I liked something expect my children to like it as well.

I wanted to document the weather we had in pictures but to be honest I found it difficult to get it the wind was so strong as was the sun and then the hail I hid in the car when that came down.
I just really appreciated today what a fantastic place I live in when I can see all these things in one day never mind four seasons in one day it was more like a weather show with a rugby training match going on a bit of reading the sunday paper nice cd today (love the thom yorke songs) and trying to get my shoulder less painful (another story, seeing hospital consultant tomorrow). so apart from the last bit a really good start to the day.
even at the end when ben got the ball full in the face he was still happy, though a little disappointed that he wasn't going to have a back eye!

ok matey! what is this ramble all about well I was ready to be all academic and try to explain how through two days of concentrated teaching the way of education in this country should and will change. I am still firmly committed to this. but I had forgot that we have to have time to think, go outside feel the hail! the cold of a NW wind and enjoy the big sky, in order to except differing opinion and actually think.

that said it made me realise I am coming from a position of enormous privilege so before putting my thoughts to the blog I should for once make a fundamental change in me and consider much like I should do all the time with ben (not just in rugby), so that he is not in the position of having a ongoing problem with his shoulder also.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

presentation? >> its not over

it will all make sense, it is still presentation. as used in teaching and learning. here is just a little look at some little things.

I promised to watch the rugby RBS six nations with my (8 year old son) ben today rather than spend it here, so please come back for a look later.

Friday, March 16, 2007

too tired >> red nose day

a poor excuse for not producing a proper blog today but I am really very tired indeed.
I have had a great two days all full with up big holes in knowledge, thought and then discovery but I will leave that for another blog, may be even tomorrow.
thoughts about presenting to an audience will be the next blog I hope.

until then enjoy the rest of comic relief (red nose) day.

mr westwood, sorry but I laughed (not sure if I was supposed to) at this picure but that's good you are involved.

whatever it made me donate some money so thats good.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

long day >> blog - presentation >> myearthdream

it's been an interesting day, seems that I could have actually introduced a whole new (small) group of people to blogging. in a short presentation I gave this morning I used dgthekneelo (blog) to illustrate a form of communication (blogging). the reaction that it got actually surprised me as I was presenting to the bebo generation for whom myspace, youtube, (msn) instant messaging are part of daily life. they went very quiet and became very interested while I was speaking and within minutes of being able to log on to the computers in the teaching room where creating their own blogs. I genuinely had no idea that a brief mention of blog-land would have this effect.

mike who is working with me on this two day enterprise education project I think was equally surprised at the speed of which blogging was received almost as if it were new. for me I was surprised that they weren't doing it already.
having said all this I have to refer back to davidthedesigner's blog of a few days ago questioning why people stop blogging in remains to be seen how long their newly created blogs last?

I had originally meant today's blog to be about
myearthdream I have for along time been a fan of F1 cars and motor racing (many years ago while at art school my friend ham would drive up and we would go to thruxton in hampshire to watch motor racing) but in the last years I have felt uncomfortable about liking it. even though have I always watched the grand prix on the TV and will be getting up in the middle of the night to watch the australian GP this weekend. I feel a little guilty, as even watching people driving very fast in cars that cost millions of pounds (to develop) round and round for an hour and a half does seem a little silly especially as I can't see it being very carbon friendly. however myearthdream have come up with a nice idea to help me think that it is not so bad and I would image thousands of others feel a little less worried about liking motor racing. I have made a pledge.
N.B.I am not fanatic I just like the way the cars look!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

don't look into the sun >> two busy days ahead

only a short post tonight, seems like a few people today have 'bloggers block'. it is not that I have nothing to say more that I have a whole heap of other stuff to do, I even updated all my other bits and pieces on the web early tonight in order to post a good thoughtful one. sorry but that just didn't happen I just don't have the time well that is my excuse.

I have got two days of teaching enterprise education ahead and am trying to organise some video content for them in an effort to make them even more thoughtful and creative. I enjoy doing them but it is very mind demanding, so is off to read some more of 'sticking widsom', (yes I know its old news but I like the security it builds in my creative thought process and enables me to be silly) and build on my well worn creative skills to try and meet the challenge of 40 students wanting to suck me & mike minds dry of ideas.

the pictures are incidental (or not) I was waiting in the bright spring light this afternoon, and wondered what it would look like if I took a picture of the sun, (I wasn't looking directly at the sun I just pointed the camera to the sky) I think the result is quite nice. remember don't look into the sun!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

howies >> it's not just an advert, promise

I know in one of my many other guises I run a surf website surf98, and lately blogs have been infiltrated by advertising companies but this post is not produced from anything except a catalogue that was sent to carol.

I got my hands on it because she thought correctly that I might like the way it was produced and designed for howies.

She also showed me a dress that she liked. the more I looked and handled the book I am now calling it and read the text actually holding it. I realised that this company a bit like fatface (used to do) were tapping into people like me, who really want to make a difference to the future still! though often in some way feel uncomfortable with too much excess, but still are precious about things being correct whether in design (clothes or otherwise) or for the world.

david hieatt their co-founder writes in the introduction to the book about being concerned about our environment to the extent of canceling an overseas photo shoot in favour of doing the shoot for the summer 07 catalogue in a shed in cardigan, wales in mid-winter.

the company that produced this howies sell a lifestyle as well as some really quite good clothes but I am as interested in their presentation, design and photography, the book/catalogue was designed by nick hand, photography by jon matthews and nick hand, printed by cousin (have a look at their website if you are not aware of their work as printers producing carbon zero productions). I am afraid as much as I would like to be able to give away a few of their books/catalogues I only have one and need to keep that because carol wants to get a dress from them and for a while it could be one of those precious things I was talking about. you can just go to their website and order a copy or just have a look at a .pdf version to be more carbon neutral, that is if you buy in to that argument.

Monday, March 12, 2007

sky >> I like big sky >> art?

I have always been interested in the weather especilly the effect it has on the sky and the sea. tonight we had a really excellent sky I watched too long and actually forgot to take pictures, well until it was a bit late but still you get the idea from the images posted. the one on the right is taken standing on my front door step.
it is such a shame I am often so disappointed when I search for good landscape/skyscape pictures across world of digital land to use in project with my students. so many the web sites you come across tend to be too text happy and if not just want to sell you an art print!

art print
I am really unhappy with that term it is almost suggesting that the photo prints they art selling are art just because they are pretty. tell you what a simple look through any number of flickr accounts (of supposed amateurs) will show you more 'art' and a some (most) of them you can download and use for free, obviously following creative commons rules.
I like creative commons Creative Commons License I know on this blog I withold the use of my work for others to make money from I think that is fair enough, however on my flickr I will happily allow (use as long as it is credited) to make as much money as they can.

I had to post this last image (sunday afternoon on the A30 near bodmin) just because I love the neat arrangement of safety cones, but it is an image it isn't art is it?

special note: I do realise that art is a definition I am not really feel qualified to make. having never considered my self an artist I do feel qualified to make judgment on what I see, and think about what I am looking at.