Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Ethics of Technology

Having started my MA I have been taught the importance of mind maps.  "Mind maps" dears not spider diagrams (but as far as I can see a mind map is what I thought a spider diagram was).  I was told to create one on Concept Draw to see what avenues I should be looking at for research.  The result...I should be researching EVERYTHING!

What interested me most is the fact that in addition to all the usual trend, marketing and consumer malarkey I should also be considering ethics.  Not just any old ethics but how ethical technology is.  This wonderful concept has opened up a world of information to us but do you know the problem with it?  There's too much information.  It's actually scrambling the brains of the youth, with the younger generation (including me) being bombarded with so much we are now the most anxious younger generation there has ever been (or at least that is the gist I got from a recent Viewpoint article).

Technology is, in essence, taking over the world and scientists are making what we see in Science Fiction reality.  The only problem with this?  It's damn scary.  I've seen the Matrix and iRobot, technology isn't good in those films it's downright evil.  I found a whole book based (entitled Technophobia!) focusing on this issue and posthuman society.  So, as you can see, I was beginning to panic slightly.

Well....I panicked massively actually.  That is until I watched a video on Ted Talks called Ze Frank's web playroom.  For once, something was showing me that technology can reach out to people, connect them and make them happy.  So what if we're finding happiness through virtual worlds and virtual connections?  Especially when the people on the other end are real.  Surely if we're happy surely that's all that matters?

There is a lot about this world that needs fixing...and I mean A LOT...but if we start with the positives of technology and work out a way of finding our way through the mass of information that the Internet provides us with maybe, just maybe, we can use it to improve our world and work with us.  That has to be a better concept than it ruling us right?  After all, in a posthuman society we aren't here and that's just no good at all.

Sunday, 17 October 2010


INFLUENCERS TRAILER from R+I creative on Vimeo.

"INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends & creativity become contagious today in music and fashion.

Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today's pop culture." (The Cool Hunter)

There are indeed certain people that can tap into weak signals...singularly it's only one thing happening but when you see these signals all over the world it's a clear trend.  I can't wait to see this documentary as I still find it massively interesting to see how and why things become the way the do.  Taking NYC as their example is all well and good but we live in a global society, I would love to see this extend to look at the most influential "influencers" throughout the world.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Being a Dickhead's Cool

When your tutor shows this video in a lecture you have to smile.  Especially when she not only finds it funny but sees the potential for this style of video to be used in promotion/to express trend within fashion and society...

...It's a common look, or lifestyle even, in the UK and has been for the past few years.  In my class every one of the English students found this funny, even if they were like this/their friends were...the international students not so much.  In fact, none of the students from India found it funny/got it/appreciated the turn of phrase.  I wonder if my readers in America relate to this?  I doubt geek glasses, loafers and warehouse raves are just an English thing.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Umbro Sports Technology

So...I am officially a student once more and diving into a project with Umbro.  I am going to investigate many different things from trend and design inspiration to market research and the use of digital media within business.  For my first task I need your help...

I am going to investigate the use of technology and design within other sports and see why/how the professionals within them are picking certain brands/materials/fit/colour and how it enhances their ability.  The concept being that all sports are linked more than we realise and that brands focusing on a particular sport can learn from one another.

I think it's a really interesting starting point and so I am on the lookout to speak to competitive/professional players that know their sport and how to enhance themselves inside out.  Know anyone?  Jockey/snooker player/F1 driver?  The more obscure the better really.  Come on now, share and share alike.  Only you aren't sharing with them...you're sharing with me.  I'll keep your secrets if you want me to!  After all, I am only a lowly student not an Umbro employee.  Who knows maybe your help will allow England to finally get somewhere at the next world cup without showing us up!

Off to Umbro HQ in Manchester city centre on Friday morning.  What's the likelihood I'll make a fool of myself?  After all I know NOTHING about football.  (Proper football American readers...not your twisted version of rugby :p )  I'm really excited to work with them, there's so much more to them than football that people don't even realise and the employees I've met so far have been amazing and so knowledgeable.  Check out their blog to see what they've been up to.