Accessibility links

Down to Truro yesterday for a Dott workshop. The newly-appointed Programme Director Andrea Siodmok presented the Dott Shot concept - a nice device to spread the word of Cornwall's design biennial as widely as possible so that the people of Cornwall know it's happening.  Dott Shot is a competition to identify the best images of Cornish creativity and ingenuity, open to the public in four categories - Design, Lives, Places and Talent - with all entries uploaded to Flickr.

We workshopped how to move the various target groups from the low-motivation/hard to reach corner of the matrix (young NEETs, farmers & fishermen, cornish pasty crimpers, older people, etc.) into the upper right (with the designers and surfers and hospitality people) and settled on some quite exciting priorities in this respect.

Interesting that Dott should identify image-making - or image finding - as the most expediently inclusive analogy for design once you cast the net wider than the industry itself.  In an earlier post I described how Dingemann Kiulman of the Dutch design foundation Premsela  was also pre-occupied by the massive democratisation of something - creativity? composition? critical observation? - represented by George Eastman's invention in 1888 of the button camera.

The train journey allowed me to read Ivan Illich's Tools for Conviviality, which proposed (back in 1973) a post-industrial, popular recovery of the "tools" radically monopolised in the industrial period by corporations and states; this by means of political process, language, law and - most interestingly to me - a searching revision of the use of professional experts. My perception is that his his use of the word convivial (and others - austerity, vernacular...) never really took off and has remained idiosyncratic. This is a shame since it has so much more elegance than the analogous terms we currently use for the "responsible limitation" or re-distribution of tools and expertise among professionals and ordinary citizens: democratisation, access, collaboration, co-design and co-production. At any rate, I'd be happy with the idea that our new Design & Society account (You know more than you think you do) presents design as a highly convivial tool.

Meanwhile back to coffee for a second. If you ask either of the two cheerful South Asian staff of the Bagel Factory kiosk at Paddington Station for a black coffee, they ask you to refine your choice: Americano or filter? A brief ensuing discussion of relative merits revealed their discretion to be not merely uncommon, but genuine.


Be the first to write a comment

Please login to post a comment or reply.

Don't have an account? Click here to register.