Here are a couple Rotobooth shots from tonight’s Awesome Foundation NYC Party at Babycastles. Babycastles, an independent video game arcade, were the co-hosts of the party and the recipients of the latest $1000 grant from Awesome NYC. Rotobooth, a project by fellow ITP alum Mike Kelberman, is an automated photo booth that uploads pictures directly to Flickr.
Social innovation is the application of new strategies and models to solving the challenges the world faces and to strengthening society.
The MFA in Design for Social Innovation will prepare students to apply the principles and ethics of social innovation as filters for understanding and as a discipline for engaging with and improving the world through design.
Graduates of the program will be more than graphic designers, filmmakers, advertising creative directors or interactive systems designers. They will be all these, mastering all the skills and knowledge of how to apply them to have a positive impact on business, society and their own lives.
Check out the department website for more updates.
Tech helps us to share
Old impulses, New ideas
What is mine is yours
Co-authors Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers present a highly readable overview of the collaborative present and future of consumption as new technologies empower and amplify our basic human urge to share. I was really excited to finally get my review copy of this book, since my masters thesis, SokoSquare, dealt with many of these issues of reclaiming and redefining community (and finding abundance) through collaboration and sharing. In particular, chapter 8, “Collaborative Design” was a particularly inspiring call to action for me as a designer to move beyond creating beautiful artifacts to creating systems and experiences that generate some sort of communal value. The ethos of collaborative consumption doesn’t see technology and the internet as an end in itself, but instead a coordinating mechanism for enhancing robust communities.
I have also been thinking about these issues in my recent work with HelloElectric.org, a newly-launched social movement for the promotion of electric vehicles. Widespread adoption of electric vehicles is only one part of the solving the climate and peak oil crises. We must also change the way we own and use vehicles. Botsman & Rogers quote Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford:
The future of transportation will be a blend of things like Zipcar, public transportation, and private car ownership. Not only do I not feat that, but I think it’s a great opportunity for us to participate in the changing nature of car ownership.
Amen to that.
What’s Mine Is Yours is part cultural critique, part aspirational document, and part survey of the current collaborative consumption scene. Besides Zipcar, the book also explores the success of sites like eBay, craigslist, and CouchSurfing and offers an introduction to some interesting newcomers in the space.
If you like Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age or Douglas Rushkoff’s Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, this is the book to read next.
Networked coffee mugs provide an update to the old 10th-cup-free punch-card customer loyalty program. Our highly modular system allows any coffee shop to use one of our mug readers, link it to their name and physical location, and get started immediately with the program. Shops will sell RFID-enabled stickers at a low cost to customers who provide their own reusable coffee mug. Once the sticker is applied to a mug, that mug can be scanned at any participating coffee shop’s reader to log refills anywhere the customer goes.
The BetaCup (we liked the name, so we went with it!) reader – the in-store device that reads each mug’s sticker – provides haptic feedback in the form of a light thud to let the customer know that the mug was indeed scanned. The customer will feel the vibration through the cup. It also provides visual feedback with low powered LED lights when a 10-cup milestone is reached, so that baristas and servers will know when to issue a free refill. Each scan is followed by an appropriate timeout so customers will be unable to take advantage of the system. Optionally, businesses can use our API, or new services that are created with our API, to create real-time displays to show BetaCup usage at their shop.
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