• Archive for July, 2009

    People Prototypes and Service Design

    July 27, 2009 // Comments Off on People Prototypes and Service Design

    We went to a theater performance workshop on Saturday run by our friend Pedro Manuel. The workshop was about role models, representation of characters and dialogue with public representatives. The young people come from different theater groups here in Maputo and were quite professional in their performance and delivered their presentations well. The aspect that interested me most in Pedro’s experiment was how they had to represent volunters from the audience and in that way try to understand the character and deliver a truthful representation to the audience. The actors were to take a short question and answer dialogue with the voluters and then answer questions from the audience about various issues, mostly political. Then in the end there was an election amongst the audience to select the representative people most liked. The idea was of course about how can someone represent a group in a democratic manner and the interfaces that happen from one person and group to an other. This is very relevant to what we deal with in design, where the designer has to represent the user through herself while testing prototypes. In service design prototypes are very often people or representations of people to test the services provided. My feeling is that service design has much to learn from the skills that are inherent in theater. I for myself, since I am brought up in theater, always when working on architectural models create scenarios and even dialogues in my projects so as to test the viability of my proposals on paper. Almost like when I was small playing ‘make belief’ life with Matchbox cars. The images show the actors and the election in the end that became a great spectacle.



    Posted in DORI BLOG, Dori reflections

    First course of the semester TIPOGRAFIA

    July 23, 2009 // Comments Off on First course of the semester TIPOGRAFIA


    There is an ‘unwritten’ rule here that there is not really a schedule the first week of school. There are both few students coming to school and few teachers. It seems to be the question of the hen and the egg, what comes first? The students do not come because they are sure the teachers will not arrive and vice versa. I was strict to my students and sent them an SMS message via mobil phone (the best and only way to reach young people in Maputo) about when the first lesson started and told them to meet up. 9 students out of 14 turned up, but the teacher did not. So we had a talk about plans for the semester instead. The day after their first lesson was supposed to be maths and I insisted they should come, even if they were sure that the teacher would not come. They were right, no teacher again. So I just decided to become a maths teacher (my father would faint if he knew).
    But the Graphic Course started and the students that do turn up are beginning exercises with type. I have been so lucky to have a Barbara Alves around. She is Portuguese and has a Master’s degree in Typography. She has been so helpful and gave me lots of material that I can use and material in the Portuguese language which is difficult for me to find, tips about websites and more.
    The first project is playful and relaxed Each student has to do a poster of a letter in the word tipografia but still have all the other letters in the word on the poster. So the poster should look good and communicate the word in itself and be a part of the poster-series that will form the word.


    Posted in SOLEY BLOG, Soley work in ENAV

    Off the Beaten Track in Mozambique

    July 19, 2009 // Comments Off on Off the Beaten Track in Mozambique


    We spent a few days last week in the Mozambiquan part of the Transfrontier National Park that is to span over a very large area linkin together the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, as well as two areas between Kruger and Gonarezhou, namely the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa. The total surface area of the transfrontier park will be approximately 35,000 km2.

    fillWe entered Mozambique through the Kruger park in South Africa where we had spent some time to visit mountains (something we badly miss from our home). Visiting Kruger is always great fun since animal sightings are many and varied. The services and infrastructure is great, one can buy food, petrol and visit many restaurants albeit those we have visited have the classic fast food feel about them. I have heard similar comments from people that visited Kruger before that it has become so commercial. But what can one do with progress? Many people want to visit and they should be allowed to do so and enjoy the nature and learn. The question becomes: How is it possible to help with access to nature while not destroying it with capitalistic voyeurism? This has been my preoccupation about our sensitive nature in Iceland.

    doriAnyway, coming over to the Limpopo Mozambiquan side was a revelation. There the park is almost untouched, the roads are part of the landscape as tracks, the animals have a completely natural habitat (not concrete watering holes like in Kruger) and the camp that we visited was completely a Bush Camp, just tents in the forest. When we arrived we were taken aback since the camp just appeared on a river bank with loads of baboons running around on the other side (reminding of Apocalipse Now arrival at Kurt’s location) and tents hidden in the trees. We were welcomed by Johan Kriek (an old hat in safari travels all over the Southern Sahara Africa) and his staff. The reception was warm and clear and on top of that an elephant was eating a tree just a meter from the eating tent so he had to tell us to wait and keep silent while the elephant had his way around the camp. They told us that the animals always leave the tents alone, – something which was nice to hear since we did later stay in one.

    konurnarThe camp is called Machampane Camp and is run on the philosophy of being completely in harmony with nature, not killing one creature, just observing and experiencing. They do not even wash textiles there since soaps etc could go into the groundwater. Local people from the nearby Massingir village and Velo Massingir work there as cooks and guides, actually taking training in bush guiding from Johan and Thorstein a German specialist bush guide working there. In the morning we went for a hike to see the bush in close up. We enjoyed a nice dialogue about nature and the resposibility of tourist facilitators to educate the guests and the fragile interface they have to manage between the local culture and the sensitive nature with the guests from afar. Many of the issues are just the same that we have been dealing with in our country of volcanoes and glaciers, where we have been involved as designers in developing facilities for foreign guests.

    verdirIt was really interesting to hear how Johan and his people handle things here in Mozambique and compare notes. Our impression was that the people running this operation have a philosophy of trying not to imitate the Kruger way but to complement it with much more sustainable eco perspective. One just has to hope that this will be successful. Here are some images from our visit.


    Posted in DORI BLOG, Dori reflections, TRAVELLING

    One New Mac in ENAV

    July 18, 2009 // Comments Off on One New Mac in ENAV


    Soley has been working all her time for getting the new computers that she was told would be available before she came – with no results yet. Lots of phone-calls, meetings, pushing and pulling has not moved the issue so far. But in this winter break some some of her students went to Porto for a workshop as part of the IDENTIDADES program that Paiva and his people run there. When they came back they brought one Mac that was donated to the school here. Soley has been happily setting it up, realizing that this is a 25% improvement in the digital performance in the school, – one computer! The picture shows a happy Soley and Pedro and Barbara, Portuguese partners that are running a social arts and design program here.


    Posted in DORI BLOG, Soley work in ENAV

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