learn do share #5

It amazes me every time how much love and imaginence DIY Days participants give to make these books happen. This edition is special as we evolve our format. It features the 1st out of 4 steps of our EDIT co-design process: E stands for Empathy, the following books will cover Define, Ideate and Test. In L.A. we collaborated with the Goldhirsh Foundation to substantiate the empathy phase. Looking into an extensive report on the status quo and trends for L.A., our group discussed, mapped and created 9 new projects that are well and truly underway now. You can get in touch if you’re keen to shape the world around you!

LearnDoShare_LAbook_5Another treat are the metamaps that are scattered throughout the book. The entire event, and most importantly, our design challenges, were mapped as browser-based amplified mindmaps on metamaps.cc. If your work is related to sense- and decision-making, you should check it out!

Lastly, a big shout out goes to Designful Studio for giving the book an absolutely loveable design and helping us re-brand Learn Do Share. We think they captured LA’s “diversity as identity” in every aesthetic stroke.

You can open the book by clicking on the image. And see our previous books here.

On Performatism

Writing about the opacity of project documentation with respect to the sensational rhetoric that surrounds them, I searched for an essay I had written a few years ago. Raoul Eshelman’s book Performatism or the end of Postmodernism is at the heart of my argument. Apologies, my writing style follows a German narrative arc, in which the academic resolution comes at the end and is not revealed in the intro. 

Here’s how it starts.

The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.  
Sydney Smith 1771-1845

It seems as if Sydney Smith had already looked at performance from a postmodernist and performatist perspective long before both had been conceptualized. I can only speculate if ‚the infinite possibilities within ourselves’ refers to the interpretative volatility of postmodernism or the author-centered transcendence of performatism. Both explanations make sense, although Eshelman contains that postmodernism contradicts performatism. In this article, I will try to assess ‚performance’ within theoretic classifications, starting with classical concepts that link theatrical and everyday behaviour.



Everyone who undertakes the massive endeavour to write a thesis in the social sciences will relate to how hard this is: formulating what exactly are the most important findings you made. Just wrote them down for my introduction and, this is it:

The rationale of this thesis is to show

a)     how online and offline are not separate but open up a hybrid conceptual third space through which techniques flow across from one domain to the other (becomes visible across the whole thesis);

b)     how emotional and synesthetic principles are used to drive creative productivity and harness uncertainty (chapter x);

c)     how co-creative process designs are applied performatively to change behavior among many (chapter x);

d)     how new transnational communities are cultivated through principles of scale and mutual benefit (chapter x).

e)     how altogether these ideologies, designs and practices indicate a trend to amalgamate imaginative and analytical ways of knowledge creation in order to innovate and make sense of the digitized world around us (conclusion).

Flip flop slap slop. Work done fore today.

learn do share #4

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With no resources, just passion and purpose an amazing group of people created another book, and we remain stunned by the impact of open collaboration.

Learn Do Share is a book, a documentation, reflection and learning resource about narrative experiments and social innovation efforts ventured at diy days New York City. We explore participatory systems, collaborative spaces, share culture, and self-propelled creativity. Written and designed by volunteers, the aim is to spread storytelling, empathy and collaboration as a way to “learn, do and share,” and to have a positive effect on creative communities within an open design environment both locally and globally.

Diy days is a social innovation hub and a vehicle for creative sustainability. It is an internationally roving gathering for those who create, free to participants and run by volunteers in the spirit of collaborative culture. Reboot stories designs these gatherings around sharing ideas and resources that help creators to fund, create, distribute and sustain their work. its experimental elements are attempts to explore the future of co-creation embedded in talks, networking and collaborative activities that are meant to spark the imagination of many.

[click image to download book]


urban game: enter the tengu

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Enter the Tengu is an urban game, a digital scavenger hunt that uses technology and other objects to lead two players from a mysterious starting point to a locked treasure box at the end of the journey.

Tengu are a class of supernatural creatures. Long held as demons and harbingers of war, their image softened into one of protective, if still mischievous, spirits of the mountain forests. Tengu have been called arrogant, mischievous, self-centered and dangerous; their appearance being a bizarre combination of human and bird with fearsome eyes shining with the mischief. They enjoy spreading chaos and confusion among humans, punishing the vain, kidnapping the foolish and playing on the weak.

However, the Tengu’s way – as resentful as it seems – bears an important lesson. They serve as mentors to humans they find worthy. They remind us that we should be free to do what we want, be playful and take ourselves and out surrounding not too seriously.

This game was designed by myself and Claire Marshall as a surprise for Jordan Bryon for her 30th birthday. It began White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney – and lead the participants through the back streets of Chippendale to visit unusual locations, meet interesting people and encourage their inner Tengu to break free.

[click image to download walkthrough.]

a case in design and behaviour: generation 20+

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How do millenials use media? And how do they produce media?

Generation 20+ answers parts of these questions and explains an unusual ethnographic process developed to find deeper answers to recent media developments. The year-long project was developed at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in conjunction with Raimo Lang, Head of Content Development at Finnish Public Broadcaster YLE. The program included a conference, focusing on emerging media formats in a converging media landscape, and workshops, diving into qualitative research done by students on user profiles and media habits. I documented and interpreted the whole process and am very excited to share the results.
{click image to download pdf}

premiering the world’s first story-led open design game, maybe

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Imagine a neighbourhood being collectively evicted. Councils have tried and failed to come up with a solution that alleviates gentrification; urban planners have given up, other authorities shun responsibility. What if the answer can be found in a simple game that can be applied to any problem? A fun game that can be downloaded and printed at home, a collaborative game that ignites the greatest power we all have: our imaginence (imagination + intelligence). Could local solutions created by friends and neighbours trigger landslide change?

Vivid Ideas in Sydney invited us to play the game with a groups of 19 participants from policy, social housing, and areas such as architecture, filmmaking, arts, media, and social work. They joined us in the ambitious endeavour to co-design solutions to developments issues in Australia’s social housing policy.

Inspired by 1-hour prototyping workshops, the game itself works like a handbook that guides players and can be applied to any problem. Combining storytelling, collaboration and game mechanics, the concept uses absurdity to inspire divergent thinking, and applies design principles to ensure realistic outcomes. By also creating a collective narrative that explains the solution, it can be easily explained to outsiders, so the ideas can travel. Results are creative commons and can be shared on a website to increase chances that solutions are implemented widely. We premiered in June 2013 at Vivid Ideas in Sydney.

The game was developed to help neighbourhoods, friends and other communities to come together for a social night to ideate and create around shared concerns. Therefore, the game itself is released under a non-commercial share-alike creative commons license, so you can download, print and play, no pay! (Warning: at the moment the game still needs facilitators, who know a bit about open design. We’re working on it.)

The concept was created by Ele Jansen and Lance Weiler, both Reboot Stories. Additional game mechanics were designed by Deepti Raavi and Purnima Iyer, Pinaka Interactive. Graphics by Northern Army (wishforthefuture logo) and Monique Coffey (game boards, moniquecoffey.com). The specific session at Vivid was co-created with Jordan Bryon, who works with members of Sydney’s housing communities in a participatory storytelling project called TURF.

This game is part of Reboot Stories’ www.wishforthefuture.com and will be available on the site once it is ready to be played without a facilitator.

The game can be downloaded at www.learndoshare.net.

keynote at diydays new york

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These are slides I made for my first ever keynote. At diy days New York City 2013 we shared a day around the themes creative entrepreneurship, open design and foster care. In my talk I’m walking through my PhD approach, doing ethnography on open design, using pattern language to detect dynamics and relationships between collaborating creatives. With a look towards power I discuss what it means to balance introvert and extrovert. Suggesting new forms of work organization, I conclude listing collaboration fundamentals, suggesting that my observations indicate the need for new social contracts.

THNKR filmed the entire event and will publish the talks on their channel soon.
[click image to open prez in a new tab]

new changemaker conversation


In this episode of our learndoshare Changemaker Conversation I asked Dr. Joanne Jakovich (Sydney) and tech visionary Gunther Sonnenfeld (L.A.) to share their experiences with design thinking, big data and social innovation in a collaborative times. Joanne comes from an urban development perspective and Gunther brings in a tech and business development stance. One factor that unites them is their constant search for creative ways to changes people’s ways and ethos when working together.

{Start audio}

Dr Joanne Jakovich is an architect, facilitator, researcher, educator and exhibiting artist specialising in crowd-share innovation. She is a co-founder of u.lab at UTS and producer of a new generation of urban engagement projects such as Groundbreaker, BikeTank and CitySwitch that embed design-led innovation and entrepreneurship into the city.

Gunther is internationally consulting in social technology and business innovation, running labs in a variety of markets. He has co-developed over a dozen proprietary platforms in the search, social media, business intelligence, digital content and analytics domains, and has won several awards for his innovation work, including a Forrester Groundswell Award in 2010. As a Venture Partner at K5, a startup accelerator based in Southern California, Gunther advises a number of disruptive startups, along with his strategic efforts for the Fortune 1000. He speaks around the world on the topics of digital convergence and emerging markets, and has keynoted alongside of visionaries such as Sir Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki, Arianna Huffington and Jonathan Harris. He is currently co-writing a book entitled “The Big Pivot”, a blueprint for companies looking to build sustainable customer relationships and sustainable markets within this shifting media and technology landscape.

In their 35-minute conversation, Joanne and Gunther discuss
– public-to-private crowdshare innovation at Sydney’s u.lab
– collaborative decision-making and hierarchies
– coalitions with ownership of domain
– new hybrid of coalition and committee
– multiple stakeholder cooperation
– open design and people sourcing
– bringing big data to physical open design
– network analysis: digital anthropology and the big data value of social media tribes
– socializing intelligence

You can find more on Joanne’s and Gunther’s work here:
Joanne: http://jakovich.net.au and http://www.ulab.org.au
Gunther: https://designingliteracy.sqsp.com/

case study: robot heart stories

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A tweet of 140 characters sent out to a community of creatives marked the starting point of a storyworld that engaged two classrooms in Montreal and LA for a 10-day period in October 2011. The students and 50+ collaborators from eight countries helped shaping both story and project. Initiators Lance Weiler and Janine Saunders were interested in experimenting and rapid prototyping, so their team created a lose framework that allowed participants to step in and create both the project and the story itself.

The goal was to apply storytelling as a purposeful means to improve education. This case study outlines the build of the story with a special emphasis on collaboration. It’s part of my PhD research and aims to share process and show how 21st century storyworlds can be a tool for experiential learning through creativity. Enter: Laika.

[click image or here to download]

A short survey made by Anthea Foyer and Siobhan O’Flynn is available on the {TMC resource kit website}.