It’s exciting to see the Emirates government put design front and center. Unfortunately though in a closed context such as that, it is more than likely that design will be instrumentalized and deployed only for material gain.

https://design.gov.ae/

Facebook did a half-hearted push towards a more messaging focused experience during the conversational boom, but didn’t manage to make any inroads and abandoned the effort. Whatsapp could have been the beachhead but with the original leadership and vision gone, nothing interesting will happen there. Instagram (also without original leadership) is slowly being turned into sludge by whatever PMs Facebook has left.

There is room for something new to kill Facebook, that is if they don’t buy or copy it in time.

This description of the Goldsmith MA Design Expanded Practice is more or less also how I prefer to work whether in my own practice or anywhere else. An exposition of how to redesign design education that is well worth reading.

We wanted to build a new form of post-disciplinary practice that utilised some deep material skills (from their UG degrees and professional practices) and theoretical skills (from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds), but evolving them through team work and collaboration. We didn’t want to reduce design to a set of methods or ‘design thinking’ processes, we wanted to give students the space to develop and evolve a truly expanded practice.

https://medium.com/@matthewward/on-reflection-rethinking-masters-design-education-cd9cd8ad71c8

Parklets Bergmannstraße

I got around to visiting the Parklets in the Bergmannstraße. That is a plural because there are two of them during this pilot and that’s it.

Parklet Bergmannstrasse

As far as quality and usage goes I don’t think there is anything to complain about. The benches look and feel nice and they are being used by the tons of people passing through this street. It is nice to have some extra seating here that is non-commercial.

Parklet Bergmannstrasse

The only issue is that the rest of the street (especially the traffic situation on the thoroughfare) is still terrible. After having seen the botched project in the Maaßenstraße local government is afraid to do much of anything, let alone give this street and neighborhood the overhaul they so desperately need.

Maybe they are right to not do anything. Public works in Berlin have the tendency to not work out. If you already know that you are going to screw it up, you might as well keep your hands off it. But there are lots of new people in Berlin who demand better and in many cases are also willing and able to do it themselves. Let’s see how long the government can resist that pressure.

Begegnungszone Nein Danke