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Reimagining the Future of Higher Education: From STEM to SEAD

Design and art have long been viewed as distinct fields of inquiry from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), but the contemporary perspective is that these modernist institutional distinctions are rapidly eroding now more than ever. For more than a decade, new residencies, institutions, collaborations, and projects have pushed the expectations and outcomes of working across both the sciences and the arts. Today, it's almost a given that science, design, engineering, and art are closely linked in product as well as practice.

Embarrassment as a Health Design Strategy

Via Springwise comes word of a couple of intriguing ideas about how to enable people to shame themselves toward better health. The first, a refrigerator magnet from Brazil attaches to your refrigerator, and will automatically alert your social network any time you open up your fridge for a late night snack--in an effort to make you eat less.

Innovation spaces of the future: research notes on China's shanzhai meeting the Makers

Over a few months in early 2011, in the course of doing research for an IFTF Tech Horizons Program’s study on the future of “open fabrication,” I convened what turned out to be a remarkable, free-wheeling conversation among a set of pioneering thinker/makers in China, Singapore, and the U.S.

Shop Class, Makers, and The Future of Education in California

Imagine taking a class in high school where you can create a tool for eating your favorite food. Maybe you want a special set of chopsticks to eat your homegrown salad, or a high-tech polymer spork to scoop up the latest in laboratory grown nutrients. What you decide to build is limited only by the imagination. And if this is your first time deigning and manufacturing something, do not fear, an experienced maker will be there to guide you through the process. 

Augmented Empathy

Today, at IFTF's Technology Horizons workshop on the Future of Open Fabrication, Dominic Muren spoke on the future of manufacturing. 

His presentation was great and led me to explore his site, where you can see a wealth of ideas--some of which relate to fabrication, but also others like this amazing use of biometrics, technology, and design to augment empathy. From his site:

The Canary in the Coal Mine

One of my favorite new products of the past couple of years is something called Glow Caps. In effect, they're very smart pill bottles. They light up to remind someone to take a pill; if the person misses the ambient reminder of the light, the pill bottle will start making noise to drive home the point: Take your pills.

BodyShock Winner Profile: Portion Control

Interface Overload

One key strategy for making feedback more persuasive is to use real-time, contextually appropriate feedback. In other words, don't tell me that, in general, it's a good idea to drink water to improve my health; give me a reminder to drink water when my body is starting to get dehydrated. Which, oddly, is the concept behind a new water bottle highlighted by the excellent Crave blog on cnet.

In Memoriam: William Mitchell

I learned with great sadness about the loss of William Mitchell, 65, this past friday after a long battle with cancer. Bill was the chair of my Ph.D. committee, a mentor and a friend.

FutureCast: Vinay Gupta on Lightweight Shelters & Disaster Relief (April 1, 2010)

Designing with Empathy

Join Jerry Michalski in conversation with Vinay Gupta to discus the hexayurt, an innovative design for lightweight shelter, and possibly the future of disaster relief.

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