Weeknotes Week 074

For once I'm getting to the weeknote during the actual week itself. To start, a recap of some new things here in case you missed them.

The first of three interviews is now online. We started off the series with Juhani Pallasmaa recounting his experience at HDL Global 1968. Next week we'll have an interview with Jaakko Ihamuotila and ending with Yrjö Sotomaa the week after that. In the meantime, you can have a look at the Clues to Open Helsinki, a quick project Sitra did with OK Do to get the brain juices flowing in advance of Helsinki's World Design Capital year in 2012. One bit looking backwards and one looking forwards. We like balance.

This week was more of the same with regards to HDL Global: catering, AV, venues, transport, logistics. We've taken to joking about being wedding planners. Government, do you promise to love and care for design, in sickness and in health?

As part of the event we will be hosting conversations around each of the studio themes. This is an opportunity to leverage the work of our HDL Studios to frame a conversation about the globally relevant themes of ageing, education, and sustainability with particular attention to facets where strategic design may have a role. To kick off these sessions we've created video recaps of the three Studios. Those videos will be posted here after they premiere at the event.

Screens from the Sustainability Studio recap video
Screens from the Sustainability Studio recap video

It feels very good to have these three videos done. Not only was it a significant and hectic effort on the behalf of Seungho and I, but they're also our first foray into using video to explain our work. We've wanted to do this for a long time and the biggest outcome of the past two weeks is a reminder that sometimes you just have to force yourself into new territory rather than waiting for the calendar to magically clear itself up.

If you're doing your first video project while organizing your first major event, why not also throw in the first piece of HDL software? One of the difficulties we've been struggling with since the very start of the challenge briefing work is a way to organize research around fuzzy topics. Most of the research and info gathering we're engaged in comes into focus over a relatively long period of time, and we're often fickle when it comes to categorizing, arranging, weighting, and editing our sources. We like to test out different editorial decisions—arguments, ultimately—quickly and often.

The Dossier tool is still under development
The Dossier tool is still under development

Unable to find the right tool on the market, we decided to build one for internal use. We needed something more accessible than a raw database of content and with the possibility for more articulate relationships than a typical reverse-chronology blog. After experimentation with just about every knowledge management tool we could find, nothing felt right. Instead, we've been working with XOXCO to build the HDL Dossier tool, which is at it's core a 2-dimensional blog. If your average blog is a linear list of diverse content, we've created a place to keep bits of information organized in 2 dimensions, therefore allowing for more specific relationships to be built up between the bits. We'll have some more thoughts on this when it goes live. Next week, hopefully!

So it goes.