Sunday, May 31, 2009

Design Education: By the Young, For the Young

It is indeed enlightening to see how my younger batch of students seem to perform this year, somewhat a little iffy at times, but more often, a little too eager at times to go ahead and finalise their design ideas, as opposed to the more composed, collected, and planned way of doing things that is a trademark of more mature, or even more adult design thinkers. But perhaps that is how design thinking for the younger folks are all about, getting right into the thick of action of doing things, rather than having a deep and thoughtful process. Or perhaps I should be looking at how I could marry their innate desire and need to be doing something right away, with the more elucidating practice of deep thinking, reflecting, ideating, prototyping, modelling, and stuffs like that, in order to make their design experiences an even more enriching and meaningful one. It would indeed be a challenge, but I guess with the various experimental lessons and tools that I have done so far, and have put in place in my past 6 years as an educator, I am very confident that I would be able to find and package an attractive design thinking, teaching and learning model that would be a peculiar trait of SST, perhaps a good model, not necessarily a perfect one, but good enough I hope, to be able to be identified with the SST branding that I would be proudly be part of in a mere 4 weeks or so.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The oxymoronic nature of Search 2.0

It's been a while since I last blogged, and well yeah I guess I have been busy with work lately, but hopefully with my swansong project coming to an end in a week's time, it would be nice if I can get the hang of blogging about the things that really matter to me...among others.

First off, let's just start with the recent announcement by Microsoft on their new search engine, their Search 2.0 that they nicknamed Bing. Interesting to note how a simple task of finding data and information has indeed transformed how the internet have evolved over the years, and have somehow too, evolve the way people use it. Now one interesting thing to note about this new concept of Search 2.0 is the need for greater relevance, or greater customisability of the results of the search engine for the end users. It would be interesting to see just what the hype is all about, but my concern here is not so much on the searching end of the equation, but more so on how things are organised. Would the enabling and pervasive use of such intelligent tools make Organise 1.0 obsolete? I mean really, if we were to think about it, with such an intelligent search engine, we would just need to store all the data into a single huge folder (either literally or metaphorically speaking as a vast majority of us here don't organise our files this way, but just for argument sake), and then let the engine do our work for us whenever we need to search for ANYTHING that we have stored. I mean really...that will indeed give a whole new meaning to what I would like to call 'Organised Chaos'.

Which perhaps bring me forth to another great idea, that perhaps any software company out there would like to take up as a challenge. As a follow up to my oxymoronic argument above, can you please then develop for me a software tool that allows me to put stuffs into only 1 folder, and then through some reverse-searching algorithm of sorts, the software will then organise the stuffs for me, whether be it pictures from my nephew's birthday last month, or my vacation trips, or files that needs some form of confidentiality and should be marked under 'confidential'. I mean I wouldn't really care how the software tool organises my data, but as long as I am able to retrieve them, and retrieve them quickly, that is all that matters. And I don't mean having a tool that would require the user to put in place tens of tags of that particular file, because if Organiser 2.0 is intelligent enough, it will be able to discern and make out the tags for the file itself. Can this be done? Hmmm?