Weeknotes Week 040

We've been digging into the case study content. Justin and I have been working on drafting up case studies of the various projects we visited in November. Thankfully there were two of us because it's very helpful to have two sets of notes so as to provide a complete picture of visits and interviews. Also, this must be journalism 101, but it really does make a big difference to review and transcribe notes as soon as possible after an interview. Next time we do a round of case study visits we will definitely build in more time for processing and documentation.

Minna and I had the great pleasure of visiting Jaakko Ihamuotila and Yrjö Sotamaa in their respective homes to interview them on video about their roles as organizers of the 1968 event, which was HDL's predecessor. Both of them mentioned the Cop15 proceedings in Copenhagen to illustrate how it has taken us 40 years to come back to a discussion that was quite active in the late 60s and early 70s.

Contemplating an environment for Mentally Handicapped Children at HDL 1968. Photo by Kristian Runeberg.
Contemplating an environment for Mentally Handicapped Children at HDL 1968. Photo by Kristian Runeberg.

I was also encouraged to hear both Jaakko and Yrjö mention the important role played by two design exercises held at HDL 1968. Participants were asked to collaborate on the design and prototyping of two items which offered an opportunity for ideas to be applied toward practical needs. I'm hoping that there was not an intended connection between the two projects – a mobile reindeer slaughter facility and an educational environment for mentally handicapped children – but those specific choices are a mystery that we'll chalk up to the magic decade that was the 1960s.

The more we introduce new people to HDL the more we refine the sequence of documents that progressively explain the project. I've organized a folder on the server with versions of our project explanation in two sentence, one page, and five page versions. These are critical to have on hand at a moment's notice and we continually refine them as the necessary focus shifts and details become more concrete. This week we put these documents to work in meetings with the Ministry of Education, Foreign Ministry, and Aalto University who will all be contributing to HDL 2010 in varying ways. Lots more of these sorts of meetings in the coming month or two.

We confirmed one of the participants in our Sustainability studio. This is an important focus for us leading up to the holiday.

Speaking of which, we took a long lunch on Tuesday for our team Joululounas ("Christmas Lunch") which reminds me that next week is the last before the holiday. There's a lot to do before we close out the year but it's feeling manageable.

Besides, we seem to work better under pressure anyways.