September 2012
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Day 15/09/2012

DT4E October 19/20 Conference ~ SIGN UP NOW!



UPDATE: CONFERENCE MOVED BACK TO FURTHER TBD DATE ~ We’ve received feedback that the timing of the conference is difficult for many teachers and, as a result, have decided to reschedule the conference to later in the year.  We will let you know the new dates as soon as possible. We are all very excited about the conference and look forward to hosting at a more optimal time.

Design Thinking For Educators October  19/20 Conference ~ Join IDEO, Riverdale Country School & Parsons School in NY for a two day Design Thinking For Educators workshop where you will learn and use the design thinking process, connect with other educators and have the opportunity to create a project plan where you can apply this process to your own work. This is a great opportunity to experience the design thinking process first hand and see how it can be successfully applied to education challenges. **SPACE IS LIMITED: SIGN UP NOW***

Friday Link Fest {September 7-14, 2012}

Yes, we are aware that it is indeed Saturday but due to a giant Time Warner Cable blooper (shocking, right?), we were unable to post this yesterday. But as it is/was the inauguration of a recurring weekly tradition we decided to still call it Friday Fabulosity Link Fest… it’s a little anti-climactic but we’ll take it.

Welcome to the very first edition of our weekly Friday Link Fest! We spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet, trolling the glorious subspace highway in an unwavering quest to find ideas, things and people that make us stop in our tracks or jump up and down with unadulterated glee and help us, in some way, do what we do best and love most: rethink. Now, I like to think that every thing we share with you via Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter is 100% rethinked…* fabulous, but the truth is some things are more glorious than others. So we’ve decided to pull the crème de la crème of the articles we’ve shared with you this week–ideas, conference talks and images– and combine them into this lovely list for your viewing and rethinking pleasure.

If you are familiar with Rethinked…* you know how we feel about curation and online content: we refuse the ‘newsification’ of content on the Internet so some of the articles we share with you were published this past week, while others may be 10 months, a year, 5 years old…The common thread is that we tweeted, pinned and shared them on facebook this week.

And now, without further ado, the first ever, RETHINKED…* FRIDAY LINK FEST:


Why the world needs hackers now: the link between open source development & cultural evolution ~ We love the idea of the hacker attitude principles as rules for life. via Emergent by Design, published Sept. 7, 2012.

THE HACKER ATTITUDE(excerpted from Raymond’s essay How to Become a Hacker)

1. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved.
2. No problem should ever have to be solved twice.
3. Boredom and drudgery are evil.
4. Freedom is good.
5. Attitude is no substitute for competence

the definition of ‘hackers’ are “having to do with technical adeptness & a delight in solving problems and overcoming limits,” and so ring true for anyone pursuing mastery in their chosen creative expression… musicians, artists, athletes, scientists, etc)

It seems to be the same disposition among the communities of people talking about intentional lifestyle design – those that want “work” and “life” to not suggest two worlds out of alignment, but rather are working to create a consistent underlying culture that allows each person to bring their gifts and strengths forward regardless of social context.

Transformative Learning In the Design Studio ~ Jon Kolko on how ‘the design studio provides an exemplary model for how experiential learning can occur in all disciplines, based on a fundamental learning theory called transformative learning. via

In a design studio, it is generally accepted that knowledge is produced, not disseminated.

transformative learners move towards a frame of reference that is more inclusive, discriminating, self-reflective, and integrative of experience… [To] facilitate transformative learning, educators must help learners become aware and critical of their own and others’ assumptions”  This is, fundamentally, what happens during a design studio and why the studio is effective. Students have an experience, and they have controlled the majority of that experience. This means they have approached the learning from within their own frame, a place of comfort. And then, in an emotionally safe environment, they have been nudged outside of their own frame into a place of discomfort.

Design education is the constant cycle of iteration and reflection, making and critique, comfort and anxiety. The design-studio approach helps learners shift their frame over time, resulting in the generation of new knowledge and a new view of the world.

No Adult Left Behind ~ Michael Hodin’s rallying cry for Americans to collectively rethink…* the notion that school is just for the young. Via HuffPost Education

Simply put, education needs to be re-imagined for twenty-first century society — a society in which, for the first time ever, the old outnumber the young.

With more people over 60 than under 14 by mid-century, the notion that school is just for the young has become dangerously obsolete. Both public and private pensions are running short on cash, and people are saving far too little to retire in their 60’s. Boomers and other “seniors” need to be given opportunities to continue with their educations so they can remain relevant, but, right now, those opportunities are too scarce.

Now, it’s time to forge a new partnership, one that can re-invent how and where education is delivered to prepare the older adults who will become tomorrow’s leaders. And in the process, we can give a more profound and lasting meaning to the term, “Back to School.”


Meet A Master Of The Dying Art Of Hand-Drawn Type ~ Find out about Job Wouters (a.k.a. Letman), a graphic designer based in Amsterdam, who is on a one-man mission to sustain the dying medium of hand lettering, churning out meticulously executed forms that pay tribute to the versatility and beauty of good penmanship. via FastCo.Design, published Sep. 7, 2012

Charlie Todd On The Shared Experience of Absurdity ~ On Learning that there’s no right or wrong way to play: Charlie Todd,  the creator of Improv Everywhere, causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, “ghostbusters” running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. In his talk, he shows how his group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together. via TEDxBloomington, Nov 2011

You know, as kids, we’re taught to play. And we’re never given a reason why we should play. It’s just acceptable that play is a good thing. And I think that’s sort of the point of Improv Everywhere. It’s that there is no point and that there doesn’t have to be a point. We don’t need a reason. As long as it’s fun and it seems like it’s going to be a funny idea and it seems like the people who witness it will also have a fun time, then that’s enough for us. And I think, as adults, we need to learn that there’s no right or wrong way to play.

Kelli Anderson On Design, Physics & Apple Pie ~ Kelli Anderson uses physics and apple pie to explain her design philosophy in this charming Creative Mornings Talk. New York, July 2012. via

I think that there’s real magic in how physical things in the world work and I think there’s real magic in how we make these new symbolic vocabularies from bits and pieces of culture. So this forms the basis for how I approach design.

What I always come back to is how is it that were able to use flaps and colors and shapes and lines together on a piece of paper and have it mean something to someone else. Why can we access these deep repositories of cultural meaning far beyond the reasonable powers of our paintbrush or pen or whatever and to answer this we have to go back to Carl Sagan and his apple pie. “If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe” And what I think he means by this is that behind the process that we can witness is this immense behind-the-scenes infrastructure of other processes at play.

If you think you’re making an apple pie from scratch, you’re full of shit. Because really when we make things were not making them on our own. When we make things we initiate a collaboration with the preexisting conditions of the universe. And that goes for design too. We humor ourselves to think that we’re in charge, that we’re the creative heroes making the meaning with our fancy computers but, you know, as they say, were really standing on the shoulders of giants; the shoulders of this vast, underlying infrastructure of visual culture. Which is kind of this amazing thing that works to our advantage because with any single visual experience we make, were able to exhume these repositories of cultural meaning and play off of our audiences innate capacity for visual language.

We are extremely sophisticated visual consumers, like to a scary extent. The capacity we have for retaining and categorizing visual symbols is razor sharp and it seems to be innate.

Tom Shannon : The Painter & The Pendulum ~ TED visits Tom Shannon in his Manhattan studio for an intimate look at his science-inspired art. An eye-opening, personal conversation with John Hockenberry reveals how nature’s forces — and the onset of Parkinson’s tremors — interact in his life and craft. via TED in the Field, Feb. 2010

Joshua Prince-Ramus: Building a Theater that Remakes Itself ~ Joshua Prince-Ramus calls for more architectural agency. He believes that if architects re-engineer their design process, the results can be spectacular. In his talk, he walks us through his fantastic re-creation of the local Wyly Theater as a giant “theatrical machine” that reconfigures itself at the touch of a button. via TEDxSMU, January 2010.

I’m going to speak to you today about architectural agency. What I mean by that is that it’s time for architecture to do things again, not just represent things.

Actually take positions. Take joint positions with your client. This is the moment in which you as the architect and your client can begin to inject vision and agency.But it has to be done together. And then only after this is done are you allowed to do this, begin to put forward architectural manifestations that manifest those positions. And both owner and architect alike are empowered to critique those manifestations based on the positions that you’ve taken.

Now, I believe that one really amazing thing will happen if you do this. I’d like to call it the lost art of productively losing control. You do not know what the end result is. But I promise you, with enough brain power and enough passion and enough commitment, you will arrive at conclusions that will transcend convention, and will simply be something that you could not have initially or individually conceived of.


When I Grow Up ~ The kids of Kalamazoo talk about college and other plans. Via New York Times Magazine. September 13, 2012

The Great Wall of Mumbai: Street Art and the Entrepreneurial Spirit ~ Victor W. Hwang on rethinking how we conceive of entrepreneurship. via published Sept 2, 2012

We usually think of entrepreneurship at the level of individuals: those who take great risks, work harder than others, and overcome all odds to succeed in building a business.  There is much truth in this.  But there are other “lenses” we can use to look at entrepreneurship.  These other lenses, such as culture, give us different insights into how entrepreneurial economies function.  One of those useful lenses is that of popular art.

These young street artists are, in effect, claiming ownership of their city and their nation.  And isn’t that what entrepreneurship is about, too?  Artists and entrepreneurs are essentially saying the same thing: “I see a better way, and I have the power to make that vision become real.  I can make the future.”


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