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Fifth Grade Ethnographers April 14, 2009

Posted by Ruth Silver in Check it out, Exercise 5: Psychogeographics.
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Mesa Elementary School students spent the afternoon exploring their school in a way they never had before. They used blindfolds, walkers, ear plugs and wheelchairs to complete everyday tasks in their classroom and library, and while playing outside. The exercise is intended to teach them empathy and help them understand how the school, and its playground, could be more inclusive.

Mesa Principal Josh Baldner wants student suggestions to help drive playground improvements, and volunteers from the University of Colorado’s architecture schools are helping with the project.

David Leserman, a retired Boulderite who uses a manual wheelchair, volunteered at the south Boulder school Friday afternoon, helping relay to students what it’s like to use a wheelchair full-time.

“How are you doing?” Leserman asked Brendan, who was taking a break after spending a few minutes in the wheelchair.

“My arms are getting tired,” Brendan admitted. Leserman explained that using a wheelchair builds strong arms.

The 70 Mesa fifth-graders are keeping journals of the challenges they have faced while simulating impairments, and they have been tasked with brainstorming ways to make their school more friendly for their peers with disabilities.


Flickr account…Add more pictures! April 8, 2009

Posted by Ayesha Ijaz in Check it out, Project 3: Activate!.
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Hey peooooople! I’e made an account on flickr, and have uploaded some of my best pictures [there were a lot other as well, but I put up the best ones out of all].  They take some time to upload, especially if the size is big. I will also caption them, right now they are uploaded with their original code/number. I’m providing the username and the password to the account on http://www.flickr.com/ .

Account email: ayeshah_i90@yahoo.com

Password: whatthejuke

I would greatly appreciate it if you could upload the picutres that any of you would have taken during the event, or even before it. I know that there were a lot of ‘before’ picture, while making of the jukebox itself, and it would be good if those could be added as well. Enjoy the pictures, and will see them in class as well! =]

***** MARIO PARTY MARCH 20 ***** March 16, 2009

Posted by Ruth Silver in Check it out.
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Just don’t tell anyone your teacher told you about this.

Nintendo’s original Mario Party was innovative in that it recreated in the digital world the rules and mechanics of a board game and then spruced the formula up with a wealth of mini-challenges. That was in 1999 – exactly a decade ago.

This Friday, Toronto’s west end is going to get lit up and shaken down by laser lights and heavy bass.A gorgeous private venue, transformed for one night in to a Nintendo-themed all ages utopia of huge sound and moving bodies, featuring some of Toronto’s mainstays and a few rising stars.

Featuring art created by:
the talented youth at Sketch art studio, Michael Archibald and The Loft.

March 20th, 2009
1610 Bloor st. w.
9pm – 3am
more after

All proceeds will be donated to the Nook Afterschool Program
For more information about The Nook, visit: http://www.conccommunity.org/index.php/nook/mission/

***** from*****

♥ Newmindspace

Don Norman: The three ways that good design makes you happy March 9, 2009

Posted by Yinan in Check it out.
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Burning Man March 6, 2009

Posted by Ruth Silver in Check it out.
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What is Burning Man?

By Molly Steenson

Hurtling down the road to the Black Rock Desert, the colors paint themselves like a spice cabinet — sage, dust, slate gray. Maybe you’re in your trusty car, the one that takes you to and from work every day. Perhaps you’ve got a spacious RV, your Motel 6 on wheels for the next days in the desert. Or you’re driving your glittering art car, complete with poker chips and mirroring to do a disco ball proud.

The two-lane highway turns off onto a new road. You drive slowly onto the playa, the 400 square mile expanse known as the Black Rock Desert. And there you’ve touched the terrain of what feels like another planet. You’re at the end — and the beginning — of your journey to Burning Man.


You belong here and you participate. You’re not the weirdest kid in the classroom — there’s always somebody there who’s thought up something you never even considered. You’re there to breathe art. Imagine an ice sculpture emitting glacial music — in the desert. Imagine the man, greeting you, neon and benevolence, watching over the community. You’re here to build a community that needs you and relies on you.

You’re here to survive. What happens to your brain and body when exposed to 107 degree heat, moisture wicking off your body and dehydrating you within minutes? You know and watch yourself. You drink water constantly and piss clear. You’ll want to reconsider drinking that alcohol (or taking those other substances) you brought with you — the mind-altering experience of Burning Man is its own drug. You slather yourself in sunblock before the sun’s rays turn up full blast. You bring enough food, water, and shelter because the elements of the new planet are harsh, and you will find no vending.

You’re here to create. Since nobody at Burning Man is a spectator, you’re here to build your own new world. You’ve built an egg for shelter, a suit made of light sticks, a car that looks like a shark’s fin. You’ve covered yourself in silver, you’re wearing a straw hat and a string of pearls, or maybe a skirt for the first time. You’re broadcasting Radio Free Burning Man — or another radio station.

You’re here to experience. Ride your bike in the expanse of nothingness with your eyes closed. Meet the theme camp — enjoy Irrational Geographic, relax at Bianca’s Smut Shack and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Find your love and understand each other as you walk slowly under a parasol. Wander under the veils of dust at night on the playa.

You’re here to celebrate. On Saturday night, we’ll burn the Man. As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you’ve never felt before. It’s an epiphany, it’s primal, it’s newborn. And it’s completely individual.

You’ll leave as you came. When you depart from Burning Man, you leave no trace. Everything you built, you dismantle. The waste you make and the objects you consume leave with you. Volunteers will stay for weeks to return the Black Rock Desert to its pristine condition.


But you’ll take the world you built with you. When you drive back down the dusty roads toward home, you slowly reintegrate to the world you came from. You feel in tune with the other dust-covered vehicles that shared the same community. Over time, vivid images still dance in your brain, floating back to you when the weather changes. The Burning Man community, whether your friends, your new acquaintances, or the Burning Man project, embraces you. At the end, though your journey to and from Burning Man are finished, you embark on a different journey — forever.



experimental interactions with the urban environment March 5, 2009

Posted by Ruth Silver in Check it out.
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The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents the exhibition Actions: What You Can Do With the City, an exhibition with 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world. Seemingly common activities such as walking, playing, recycling, and gardening are pushed beyond their usual definition by the international architects, artists, and collectives featured in the exhibition. Their experimental interactions with the urban environment show the potential influence personal involvement can have in shaping the city, and challenge fellow residents to participate.

people take up as much room as cars

people take up as much room as cars

Dutch Retailer Hema and the Use of Surprise March 4, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Check it out.
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HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. The chain has grown to 150 stores across the Netherlands.

Take a look at HEMA’s product page, HEMA – online winkelen. You can’t order anything and it’s in Dutch but just wait a couple of seconds. Don’t click on any of the items in the picture, just wait and see what happens. The company has a sense of humour and knows the power of surprise.