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Friday Link Fest…*

Friday Link Fest...* | rethinked.org



The Importance of Quick & Dirty ~ Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals, on why ‘The ability to run with scissors is a blessing, not a curse.’ via Inc.com, published April 30, 2013.

5 Ways To Innovate By Cross-Pollinating Ideas ~ via FastCo.Design, published May 10, 2013.

Many Parents Push Academics Over Play Which May Harm Kids’ Health  ~ On the critical importance of play…* in life and learning. via Inhabitots, published January 1, 2012.

Want Kids to Become Scientists? Don’t Arrest Them For Experimenting ~ #ScienceIsNotACrime . via GOOD, published May 3, 2013.

Profiling Serial Creators ~  Scott Barry Kaufman on why it’s essential that we continually question and attempt to improve the methods by which we identify, mentor, and cultivate those who are ready and capable of becoming our next generation of innovators. Tragically, we are failing these students, often unknowingly letting them fall between the cracks in an education system that rewards characteristics that dampen creativity, such as conformity, standardization, and efficiency. via The Creativity Post, published May 8, 2013.

Well Designed Schools Improve Learning by 25 Percent Says New Study ~ via Dezeen, published January 2, 2013.

John Dewey’s Vision of Learning as Freedom ~ “The inclination to learn from life itself and to make the conditions of life such that all will learn in the process of living is the finest product of schooling.” via the New York Times, published September 5, 2012

5 Innovation Lessons You Can Learn On The Dance Floor ~ “Through movement we can inspire creativity, deep listening, & cross-generational learning” via Fast Company, published May 3, 2013.


Things Come (Very, Very) Apart ~ Toronto-based commercial photographer Todd McLellan disassembled 50 design classics for his book: Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living. McLellan’s photographs seek to challenge our disposable culture by making transparent all the things that we regularly throw away. “I hope people think a little bit more about the things they use. Not that people should have feelings for objects, but instead think about ‘reuse and recycle,’ not just ‘use and discard.’ ” via NPR, published May 1, 2013.

10 Playgrounds That Would Put Your Childhood Hangout to Shame ~ From a colorful crocheted alligator, to a surreal, warping jungle gym, to a playground made out of recycled iron drums, here are 10 truly innovative and unusual playgrounds. via Atlantic Cities, published May 7, 2013.

Explaining Complicated Philosophies With Gorgeously Simple Postcards ~ Philographics by Genís Carreras:  Making it easier for us to talk philosophy by removing words & replacing them with pictures ~ via WIRED Design, published May 6, 2013.

Tour Google Moon and Google Mars with Bill Nye the Science Guy ~ via Lost At E Minor, published May 9, 2013.



The History of Typography Told in Five Animated Minutes ~ via Open Culture, published May 6, 2013.

The Best of Humanity Caught on Russian Dash Cams ~ via Colossal, published May 3, 2013.

Can A New Symbol Make You Better At Math? ~ Math popularizer Rob Eastaway’s ‘Zequals’ sign is a reaction against the learned helplessness that most of us have accepted in our relationship with numbers. via FastCo.Design, published May 6, 2013.

Graffiti Artist Uses Rotten Fruit and Vegetables As Paint ~ Tropical Hungry by Narcelio Grud. Grud scavenged for produce in the streets and created sustainable, organic murals with it. ~ via PSFK, published May 8, 2013.

High schoolers design robotic locker for disabled classmate ~ via GOOD, published May 9, 2013.

Friday Link Fest…*

Friday Link Fest...* | rethinked.org



From Google Ventures: 4 Steps For Combining The Hacker Way With Design Thinking ~ via FastCo.Design, published March 11, 2013.

Teaching Government How To Fail ~ via MIT Center for Civic Media, published March 6, 2013.

Why I Hacked Donkey Kong for My Daughter ~ “How can I play as the girl? I want to save Mario!” via Wired Game Life, published March 11, 2013.

Young inventor’s flash idea to scare off lions ~ Richard Turere’s Lion Lights. via BBC, published March 13, 2013.

Twelve Things You Are Not Taught in Schools About Creative Thinking ~ via Think Jar Collective.

Creative Pro Tip: “Take Things Away Until You Cry” ~ via 99u, published March 10, 2013.


Charles & Ray Eames’ Iconic Film Powers of Ten (1977) and the Lesser-Known Prototype from 1968 ~ via Open Culture, published March 12, 2013.

A Lesson in Empathy ~ via Tim Brown, published March 13, 2013.

Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond ~ via TED, published Jun 2011

Sagmeister & Walsh Discuss Why Fun And Risk-taking Are Important Factors For Design~ via The Creators Project, published March 12, 2013.

Malcolm Gladwell: Creative Types: Embrace Chaos ~ via Big Think, published April 23, 2012.

Watch this English Kid Pour Perfect Cappuccino From the Back of His Toyota ~ Imagination, tinkering & design thinking, via Grub Street New York, published March 12, 2013.


Words Of Wisdom For Start-ups Made Into Typographic Wall Posters by Startup Vitamins ~ via Design Taxi, published March 11, 2013.

HistoryPin: An Online Time Machine ~ via Messy Nessy Chic, published March 5, 2013.

FOUND: new Tumblr from National Geographic archives showcasing photographs that reveal cultures & moments of the past.

Friday Link Fest {November 23-30, 2012}



How to Disrupt Yourself ~ To create a disruptive future, we must often walk away from a comfortable present. via Innovation Excellence, published November 21, 2012.

d.School Advice to Obama: Start With 100 Days of Prototyping ~ The administration should start the next term with 100 days of prototyping, said Stanford’s d.school in part of a memo written to the president just prior to the election. With rapid prototyping—quickly testing ideas with simple, cheap materials in real settings—government leaders can see what works and what doesn’t without investing in full-fledged pilot programs. via GOOD, published November 27, 2012.

Sandcastles Solidified Into Permanent Housing, With The Help Of Bacteria ~ By repurposing a process developed for construction, a team of designers discovered how to build a sandcastle that won’t wash away. via FastCo.Design, published November 20, 2012.

Introducing 200 Free Educational Resources for K-12 Students ~ Right now the collection features 200 helpful resources, including free video lessons/tutorialsfree mobile appsfree audiobooks, ebooks and textbooksquality YouTube channelsfree foreign language lessonstest prep materials; and free web resources in academic subjects such as literature, history, science and computing. via Open Culture, published November 26, 2012.

A Fixed Thing Is a Beautiful Thing: The Fixer’s Manifesto ~ From Sugru: Fixing is the unsung hero of creativity. And it really shouldn’t be. It’s the most common, humble and beautiful form of creativity. Let’s wear that belief proudly. Let’s notice and celebrate these little everyday triumphs, and help others see their value. We made this to fuel the conversation about why a culture of fixing is so important. via Core77, published November 26, 2012.


For Muji’s Unsung Designers, Imperfection Breeds Good Design ~ In a new short produced by Herman Miller, the design duo behind hundred of Muji’s no-brand products speaks to why and how they work. via FastCo.Design, published November 26, 2012.


Museum interviews 9-year-old for head curator job ~ via 9News , published November 27, 2012.


The First Ever Music Video Filmed Entirely Using Instagram ~ via Petapixel, published November 27, 2012.

(Invasión – The Plastics Revolution (Video oficial/Official Music Video) from The Plastics Revolution on Vimeo.)

Woody Allen Answers 12 Unconventional Questions He Has Never Been Asked Before ~ via Open Culture, published November 28, 2012.


Hydro-Monuments of Rajasthan ~ These are extraordinary buildings, in purpose, structure, and ornamentation. Framing the everyday act of water-collection in such otherworldly architectural circumstances is a work of extravagant genius, yet seemingly one of a piece with the grandeur given to waterworks elsewhere. via BLDG BLOG, published November 22, 2012.

Aerial Images Capture the Hindu Color Festival by Katrin Korfmann ~ via Design Boom, published November 22, 2012.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Photog Spends Eight Years Capturing the 39 Birds of Paradise ~ Tim Laman spent a whopping eight years photographing all 39 birds-of-paradise species in the rainforests of New Guinea — the first time it has ever been done. via Petapixel, published November 23, 2012.

 Anamorphic sculptures by Bernard PrasBernard Pras uses objects and materials he finds in landfills to create his incredible anamorphic sculptures. His sculptures are often recreations of famous works of art, but he puts his own unique spin on these classics with his amazing optical illusion stacking technique. via Lost at E Minor, published November 26, 2012.

A Font Made Of Leaves ~ Kuala Lumpur-based designer Mei Linn Chan has created a hand-made type series using leaves. via DesignTaxi, published November 28, 2012.


Friday Link Fest {Sept. 28 – Oct. 5, 2012}



Recycled Amusement: A Ugandan Playground of Water Bottle ~ In anticipation of tomorrow’s Global Day of Play…* Ugandan eco-artist Ruganzu Bruno Tusingwire doesn’t play around when it comes to play. The winner of TED’s first City 2.0 Award for 2012, a prize designed to encourage innovation in cities, is using part of his $10,000-prize to construct an amusement park for kids in Kampala’s slums built from thousands of reused plastic water bottles. via GOOD, published July 5, 2012.

Positive Posters Interview ~ Terrific interview with Nick Hallman co-founder of Positive Posters, a global poster competition and founder of the Sex, Drugs & Helvetica conference for young designers, and Zac Solomon, one of four designers heading the conference. Hallman talks about making the worst marketing mistake of his life–naming the competition Positive Posters (it’s not about telling people to smile, it’s about making people stop, think, and think some more); the constraints of the poster as medium and his long term goals for PP, “I want it to become a visual archive of each year’s issues as seen through the design community.” via T-Squat, published October 2, 2012.

How to Break Through Your Creative Block: Strategies from 90 of Today’s Most Exciting Creators ~ Maria Popova highlights some of the best advice to come out of Alex Cornell’s Breakthrough!: 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination — a small but potent compendium of field-tested, life-approved insight on optimizing the creative process from some of today’s most exciting artists, designers, illustrators, writers, and thinkers. via Brainpickings, published October 1, 2012.

Kids Play the Way Scientists Work ~ In an article published last week in Science, psychologist Alison Gopnik reviewed the literature about the way young children learn, and she finds that the way preschoolers play is very similar to the way scientists do experiments: Kids come up with general principles, akin to scientific theories, based on the data of their daily lives. Gopnik argues that the research should steer educators and policy makers away from more-regimented, dogmatic kinds of preschool instruction. via Discover Magazine, published October 2, 2012.

After El Bulli: Ferran Adrià on his Desire to Bring Innovation to All ~ Rethinking…* haute cuisine in a way that would offer other creative endeavors a road map for innovation. via Wired UK, published September 24, 2012.


10 Amazing Videos About the Creative Process ~ Amazing selection, curated by Behance’s 99u, of videos from musicians, stand-up comedians, writers, and others to help give us a look inside the inner-workings of some of the world’s most talented creatives. Includes Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Ray Bradury, Christoph Niemann, John Cleese, Baratunde Thurston & more. via 99u, published September 27, 2012.

True Grit: Education and Character Strengths ~ Brian Wiliams of NBC’s Rock Center investigates how some schools are trying a provocative new approach to education called “grit.” The idea makes it ok for students to fail so they can grow. Featuring rethinked’s…* own Dominic Randolph, headmaster of the Riverdale Country School, and David Levin, co-founder of the Kipp Charter School Network, speaking about their work on education & character…*

Check out Jennifer Livingston’s Awesome Retort to Fat Shaming ~ Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston went on air to stand up for herself against a fat-shaming email from a viewer and took this opportunity to highlight October as Anti Bullying Month. via Slate, published October 3, 2012.

Two Water Tables ~ A neighborhood in Brooklyn known as “The Hole” is thirty feet below sea level. It is so close to the water table, in fact, that local homes are not connected to the city’s sewer system, relying instead on cesspools; the streets—with names like Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire—are often flooded, on the verge of permanently returning to marshland. The Hole is a short documentary by Courtney Sell and Billy Feldman about this neighborhood; cowboys on horseback wander through water-logged streets while abandoned housing developments soak up rain like giant sponges. via BLDGBLOG, published April 3, 2012.


Infographic: Humans Are Just A Twig On The Tree Of Life ~ In this graphic by the Tree of Life web project and designer Leonard Eisenberg, we see all 3.5 billion years of life on earth evolving, not through limbs and timelines, but an elegant rainbow swirl. It’s as if our whole history is a colorful bunch of balloons, all tying back to bacteria. via FastCo.Design, published October 1, 2012.

Stefan Sagmeister Creates Bike Chain Typography Poster ~ The graphic design duo, Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have collaborated on this poster that’s comprised of 4,209 bike chain links. This beautifully detailed new poster was created for PUBLIC, the San Francisco-based bicycle company and came about when PUBLIC asked 27 well-known designers to reinterpret the notion of ‘Public’ with a vision of reclaiming city streets, sidewalks, and spaces for walking, biking and eating. via PSFK, published September 28, 2012.

Kinetic Sculptures Paint Ghostly Phrases, Using Light And Magnifying Glasses ~At the Melbourne Art Fair last month, Ian Burns unveiled a specially commissioned piece called Clouds. The massive sculpture looks a bit like an old-fashioned watermill, if the CERN engineers had built it. Two metal cogs bristle with objects like toys, umbrellas, lightbulbs, and salad bowls. In motion, the bits and pieces created a fracture narrative, recorded on two mounted video cameras and displayed on nearby flatscreens. Toy planes and other objects arc across the screens, in an endless cycle of flight. There’s no plot, per se, and it repeats itself forever. The piece is a kind of mechanical, self-generating movie–where the actors, directors, and camera men are conspicuously absent. via FastCo.Design, published September 25, 2012.

Marin Dearie’s Shades of Change ~ An informational installation created to highlight the various color changes that occur in nature, popular culture, and elsewhere. via MarinDearie.com

Photographs of Mirrors on Easels that Look Like Paintings in the Desert ~ While staying in southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park, photographer Daniel Kulka, “spent much of my time visiting the borderlands of the park and the areas where the low Sonoran desert meets the high Mojave desert. While hiking and driving, I caught glimpses of the border space created by the meeting of distinct ecosystems in juxtaposition, referred to as the Edge Effect in the ecological sciences. To document this unique confluence of terrains, I hiked out a large mirror and painter’s easel into the wilderness and captured opposing elements within the environment. Using a single visual plane, this series of images unifies the play of temporal phenomena, contrasts of color and texture, and natural interactions of the environment itself.” via PetaPixel, published, September 28, 2012.

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 JonKolko.com

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 VisualNews.com.

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 Forbes.com 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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