Design With Intent


A More Social Surfing

Web Browsing Takes a Social Turn
NYT 11.07.10

RockMelt, may be a new way to surf the web. Comeplete with Facebook and Twitter sidebars. You are able to essentially be on facebook, twitter, wordpress, among other social media sites in a single window. You friends are on your left with chat capabilities and updates appear on the right; enabling you to toggle back and forth. Including a “share” button – for all your sharing pleasures.

RockMelt will be introduced on Monday and will be free, similar to the way Firefox operates. Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Net-Scape and who’s firm is the major backing in this product) says of RockMelt:

“Had we known about Facebook and Twitter and Google back in ’92 or ’93, we would have built them into the browser…This is an opportunity to go back and do it right.” (NYT)

I’m conflicted about this one. On the one hand I agree, we should keep up with the fast-changing technology and failure to do so may hinder our future. It would be nice not to have all those windows open at once, when you can get them all-in-one. Those behind RockMelt are hoping that word of mouth produces a increase in users. This may be a difficult task, as I for example am comfortable with my web browser and always use Firefox versus Safari or Internet Explorer. Personally, I’ll let them work the bugs out before I try it. On the contrary, is it too much? Do I really need to be that “in-touch” with my “friends” every time I’m online? I would say no, maybe it’s just me. I wouldn’t would all that crap on my screen all the time – I find it to be a distraction when I’m working. And sometimes I need the absence of my technology – removing myself from all the craziness (no iphone, no laptop, no tv), for clarity I suppose. The article didn’t say if there was an “off” feature to the social networks but we’ll see how this browser stacks up after Monday.


Eye-Catching Advertising:

Awesome billboards from

Dividing Spaces:

From Some interesting random stuff.

Potential Project #3 Subject: Seeing the bigger picture

This could coincide with the topic of civility.

NYT: Dorm Room Redesign

Living Lab Project: Pratt Institute

Interior design students at the Pratt Institute in New York were recently given an assignment to redesign a current dorm room by “reducing, reinventing, and reusing”. The new sustainable dorm room will be tested by students next semester. This is a much improved design. The bathroom, which saves water by not having a tub (standing shower only) and the water drained from the sink is held in the toilet tank for flushing. The furniture has been recycled from older furniture and made stackable to conserved space when needed. The windowsill has been converted into a table that allows more light to flood the room.  Great redesign.


42 Months

A project on the streets of Bellingham, WA. Chalk stencils of those who have died in the Iraq war. Check it out here.

Michelangelo Nintendo Remix

Current Research: Project #3


After the class discussion I found myself considering tackling the topic of civility in my next project (need some collaboration over here!). Just doing some research here and feeling it out right now: topic subject to change. It seems we have become a a country that accepts rude and uncivil behavior among each other – with no regard to the other person (or the other side).

I hate to even get into politics at all but this is even more relevant with the recent election. I couldn’t help but notice all the smear campaigns. Why can’t you tell me what YOU STAND FOR and what YOU WILL FIGHT FOR – don’t tell me the other opponent hates children. We are voting for a name, not what the politicians actually stand for, the changes they will make and the policies they will fight for – no wonder the government seems to be in disarray. I going to go out on a  limb here and say that the majority of voters don’t really know what they are getting because they don’t have the right information. I, myself voted and was disappointed to know that in my age bracket had a pathetic turnout percentage in this election – this is not okay! Voting this is your right as an American! You have no right to complain because you do not actively participate in your right to vote and have a say in our government. I am by no means the most political-savvy person but everyone is entitles to their opinion. According to Jim Campanelli from The Plain Dealer here are some stats from this year’s elections:

  • 85% of Americans say that peaceful, civil campaigns are possible
  • 10% of Americans say that nasty campaigns are unavoidable
  • 58% of Americans say that political discourse has gotten worse since Obama took office.

Only 10% of us think that nasty campaigns are unavoidable? If we practice civility in our daily lives (this includes you politicians and media!) this could change but only if we act right together.

Why are we uncivil to each other? The media, politicians, and (god-forbid) celebrities are influencing our behavior through their own misconduct. If we act uncivil to each other how will our children grow up? It will become a cycle that may become unbreakable at a certain point.

Some have argued that being too civil may lead to people being more soft. Being civil doesn’t always mean you have to be nice. There are of course certain situations where you have to put you foot down and fight – in the presence of injustices. Even in these situations there should be a level of civility – show some respect. Upon my research I found a campaign aimed to encourage people to retain respectful communication – “using the basic principles of respect”. Speak Your Peace is sponsored by the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation of California. Their nine principles of respect:

  1. Pay attentions
  2. Listen
  3. Be inclusive
  4. Not gossip
  5. Show respect
  6. Be agreeable
  7. Apologize
  8. Give constructive criticism
  9. Take responsibility

The Speak Your Peace campaign understands that debates and disagreements can be beneficial to communication they encourage the residents of the community to participate to “communicate in a more respectful and effective way”.  In their statement they aim to “[elevate] our level of communication and avoiding personal attacks and general stubbornness, we can avoid unhealthy debate. This will lead to a more effective democracy, and help maintain our sense of community by increasing civic participation.”

On a more artistic level I found a symposium held on October 29th – Speculations on the Cultural Organization of Civility was hosted by SKOR. The mission of this is to “discuss the role of art and the creative industries in the formation of contemporary civility.”

They look at healthcare more specially. There were also art events and activities and installations around Amsterdam. Artists involved range from several areas such as photographers, sculptors,  and graffiti artists to name a few. Marc Bijil, a dutch artist has some interesting work. The piece below (not in the Amsterdam installation) is titled “Construction Sign” and was done in 2008


Check out his work here.





A graffiti piece from the street installation:

Graffiti artist Lasser 3.14



“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire