21 December 2011
Latest addition. It’s a 26 year old Hillman road bike with Reynolds 531 tubes rebuilt as a single speed at Deus Cycleworks. It was my first race bike.
It is kinda an eclectic mix. The big White Industries hubs provide a lot of bling, so it isn’t all black. And they nicely match the breaking surface of the Mavic rims. I am struggling up steep hills in Sydney from a standing start, so either they have too big a gear on it or I’ve been spoilt recently by all the gears on my Bianchi & Pinarello road bikes. If I get the old Allsopp fixed I’ll almost have a different bike to ride every day of the working week. It has a gold chain because they didn’t have a decent black chain in stock. Looks OK. And it still seems like a nice fit to ride.
I just have to ride with a pump, even if it is only a few km. All those years on long rides I guess. Not that I can remember them at all really. Must have been someone else …
15 December 2011
06 December 2011
14 October 2011
12 October 2011
03 October 2011
This is the keynote presentation I gave to the ASLA 2011 Conference: http://www.asla.org.au/pd/conference/
I had a couple of good questions that went much further than the content of this presentation, perhaps into areas that I've covered in other recent presentations (also on SlideShare). One question, however, was on how we are going to manage all of the changes indicated in this presentation. I don't think I answered that one comprehensively. I said that for some of the new initiatives such as developing a new range of services that will be more appropriate to the role of a new Library within a world-leading university of technology (UTS's aspiration), we are already engaged in active learning programs to improve our understanding of Design Thinking processes as they apply to service design.
What I should have added, however, is that I don't think there is anything in this presentation that presents a major change for us beyond the development of a new range of services. At UTS Library we are already actively exploring or already doing most of the "dangerous ideas" covered here. So none of this really presents a major change in direction for us.
28 September 2011
I visited this Library in mid-September 2011 and was really impressed with the design, sustainability features and the people who work there. It is popular, efficient and a great addition to the community.
I am very grateful to those who arranged this visit for me and those who spent some of their time showing me around.
19 September 2011
31 August 2011
- I think it is a great initiative by several academics from across a number of faculties within UTS and I think we in UTS Library should be supportive of such steps. (Yes, that is a big hint for some of you reading this.)
- I'd like to learn more about the whole Design Thinking process by seeing it in action. I reckon that most adults learn more about a process by being immersed in it than attending a seminar or workshop.
- BikeTank is also about Social Innovation and a sustainable future. Those two concepts are critical to our future at UTS Library as we plan a future Library at the heart of our city campus. As well as implementing new technologies including ASRS, RFID and vastly improved online discovery (not just search but true discovery!) and building a grand new modern library that isn't primarily a book storage facility, we need to evolve as an organisation and imagine and develop a new service model. I reckon that we'd be pretty well served by a similarly inclusive and collaborative process. So here is my vision for that:
17 August 2011
I saw Blood Wedding last night at Sydney Theatre Co.
It is a credit to Director Iain Sinclair and the cast. The staging of the final act is a superb demonstration of the power that theatre has to being the written word to life. The set design by Rufus Didwiszus just has to be seen. I was amazed. See it before it closes on 11 September.
I saw this exhibition yesterday at the Art Gallery of NSW and was blown away. It is a wonderful example curatorial excellence (by Dr Jacqueline Strecker) at the highest level. The works illustrate a very creative and influential period of both art and design in Germany between two world wars. They are drawn from cultural institutions and collections across Europe, the US and Australia.
I don’t think such an exhibition could easily be mounted in Germany. It is so beautifully selected and the text is superb. I cannot write highly enough about this exhibition.
21 July 2011
30 June 2011
His vision and leadership leaves behind a lasting legacy that has taken UTS Library from mediocrity to extraordinary. We are now recognised as a clear leader in service design, digital library services and e-Scholarship. His inspirational future vision will be realised by the new Library that is now being planned for the centre of the UTS campus, driven by new technologies that open up the library spaces for people and deliver fast and relevant services in both the physical and virtual worlds.
Beyond UTS, Alex is widely respected as one of the most accomplished senior librarians internationally and he has contributed much as both a Board Member and President of the International Federation of Library Associations. Alex has also had strategic leadership with a number of significant national projects such as his role in shaping the direction of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive and earlier work on developing protocols for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library and Information Resource Network. He has also contributed substantially to the growth of cooperative/collaborative arrangements to share collections between different universities like Bonus+.
Alex is also recognised by those who have been fortunate enough to work closely with him as a man of multiple talents and wisdom in so many fields, from literature and the arts to politics, history and languages. He is into everything. He makes his own bookends and he is sketching and print-making at the moment. He meets up with someone he studied French with once a month to practice his French conversation skills. He made ‘from Russia with Love’ for our edible books day. He regularly attends plays, operas, and musical performances. He has friends from all walks of life from countries all around the world, including a best friend who is Polish. He is an intellectual who understands deep conversations about philosophy, politics, literature, religion, history, as well as someone you can sit down and have a beer with.
He is a particularly generous leader who genuinely trusts his staff and is not afraid of having some fun at work. He often told us to push our initiatives even further than we had suggested to him: he encouraged us to “push it over the edge”, unlocking our imagination and giving us the freedom to experiment and truly innovate.
His has been a very humane and consultative style of leadership and he is respected as a sound decision maker, but a fair, honest and open judge. Alex is passionately committed to equity, accessibility, fairness for all and an open form of management.
We will miss his intellect, wit and wisdom in so many fields but all of his colleagues in the Library wish him the very best as State Librarian for NSW.
27 June 2011
23 June 2011
A culture that believes it is better to ask forgiveness afterward rather than permission before, that rewards people for success but gives them permission to fail, has removed one of the main obstacles to the formation of new ideas.
22 June 2011
21 June 2011
20 June 2011
19 June 2011
17 June 2011
16 June 2011
(Completely unrelated image.)
1. You just don’t like to. (Fair enough really.)
2. You are too important to stop. (Of course you are.)
3. You are far to busy to stop. (Snap.)
4. You were smoking or drinking. (Quite right too.)
5. You were using your phone. (And that is O.K.)
6. This is a very busy road and people should cross elsewhere. (Why didn’t I think of that?)
7. You wear a dark suit (see #2 above).
8. You were simply following the car in front. (One must keep that traffic flowing.)
9. YOU HAVE CHILDREN IN THE CAR! (Bingo: you win this beautiful lounge suite.)
10. You have a pet on your lap. (How did that get in there?)
11. You were listening to music or the radio. (Lalalalalah)
12. You needed to adjust your hair. (I flick my hair back and forth.)
13. You really don’t like to use the clutch and the brakes. (We must all be environmentally responsible.)
14. The pedestrian wasn’t directly in front of your car. (Face palm.)
15. You don’t like pedestrians, runners, bike riders, people who don’t drive cars, etc. (Double face palm.)
14 June 2011
1. The book I’m currently reading:
Rouleur Photography Annual 2010 (Vol 4) Edited by Guy Andrews (See image above.)
10 June 2011
Storytime. Last year a few of us from UTS Library were invited to go and talk with students and then help to assess their augmented reality (AR) application concepts that could be applied to the UTS campus. They were advanced Visual Communications students working with some pretty clever and inspiring academics, including a visiting lecturer (Dr Keir Winesmith) who is normally the technical lead for SBS Digital Media. From memory, nearly all of the concepts they came up with were influenced in some way by the students’ use of and experience with social media. One of the concepts was tightly focussed on the Library and based on mobile service including mobile search and discovery and mobile check out.
The student library application included many features that they expected to see and use to search and discover our library’s collections: a basic item record; tags; ratings; reviews; comments; AND the item’s history of use. The history was represented graphically to show frequency and periods of use and even whether the item had been the subject of a fine for late return. We have taken their suggestions very seriously and it has confirmed our belief that we needed to add a basic social media layer to our “discovery layer” with new features such as folksonomic tags, ratings and reviews or comments. We are also looking into the feasibility of adding the item’s history of use.
This experience started me thinking about a number of things. Are we really offering true “discovery”, i.e. the chance of uncovering something accidentally or serendipitously that you may not have been specifically searching for in our online search interfaces? I don’t think so, not yet. They are mostly enhanced search, federated search or unified index based searching. Are we offering our clients, or users, or readers (or whatever you want me to call them Kathryn!) the kinds of services they are expecting to find online now based on their use of social media and various online services and applications that enable profile sharing and which deliver a more personal or shared experience online? No again I’m afraid. To do that I think we need to find out what our clients are doing, observe their behaviours and also talk to people from outside the library world to find out how we might leap ahead of what the predictable, slow-moving crowd that sells us library management systems and so-called discovery layers has to offer. In short, we need to stop walking like Egyptians and learn some new dance steps.
Now, in case you still don’t get it, here are some suggestions that might lead to enhanced serendipitous discovery. They are taken from my own experience with social media and other online services that I think are a long way ahead of our offerings. They enhance your ability to discover new things accidentally through your network of contacts or friends or through the “muddy foot prints” of others who have gone before you and altruistically shared their experience. For me I think it all comes from understanding the power of connections and sharing that is now offered by the web.
For a start, we definitely must start offering these features for our catalogues and search layers: comments (e.g. Flickr); folksonomic tagging (Flickr, Twitter); easy to use ratings (iTunes, LibraryThing); virtual browsing using Cover Flow (I know some libraries are already offering this); and reviews (Amazon, Expedia, iTunes Store).
And now a listing of the other features I like to use and would like to see some of us playing with:
- Little icons that quickly allow you to share a link to what you are viewing on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or a blog (Flickr does this very well now). I was also going to suggest little icons to social bookmarking services like Delicious and Diigo, but maybe the toolbar icons that are now added so easily in browsers like Google’s Chrome account for that?
- “Like” icons (Facebook, Tumblr).
- Reblog, retweet or re-post options (Twitter and Tumblr again, and yes Kathryn, I think we have much to learn from the pr0n industry online).
- The optional ability to establish, customise and share online profiles (last.fm) for “your library” that then facilitates the use of favourites (Flickr), “following” (Tumblr, Twitter), asking (Tumblr, Twitter) and things like wishlists (Amazon) which for libraries could mean things like planned reading lists stored for later and shared with friends or colleagues. I see this kind of thing being really useful in facilitating peer-to-peer help or advice that would be helpful to those using our databases or journals.
- Online profiles would also enable features like “scrobbling” your reading, use, borrowing history (last.fm). These profiles allow us to explore through the eyes of others. It works for music because people can easily find music they might like that is well beyond the boring and repetitive play lists of most radio stations.
- A check-in or currently reading/viewing service that might operate something like FourSquare. So, instead of locating yourself geographically, you are sharing where your headspace currently is in the library.
- Randomly exploring what you already know but have forgotten (Apple's Genius) related items (iTunes Store Genius recommendations).
- "Looking within" or sampling from a catalogue entry (Amazon & iTunes: e.g. listening or getting sample of an e-book before you buy).
- Is anyone offering an “I’m Feeling Lucky” button yet (Google)?
- Item use history (UTS students), including the application of late fees!
- Stumbling (StumbleUpon) another opt-in service that tracks your searching, browsing, use or borrowing history and then feeds you other items you might also find interesting or relevant.
I realise that doing all of the above isn’t feasible, nor would it be wise. We do, however, need to try a few of those features and when we set them up we must make them really easy and simple to use. I’ve probably missed a few things, so please let me know what you think.
This post also appears over here:
07 June 2011
Seven Things that Scare Me
- City traffic (when I'm riding my bike)
- City traffic (when I'm driving my car)
- Tony Abbott
- Extreme heights
Seven Things I Like
- Plain chocolate
- Abstract impressionism
- Calligraphy & illumination
Seven Random Facts About Me
- I get on well with most of my ex-partners (let's not try counting them all now
- I worked in London for a while doing intelligence analysis
- I've rafted the Franklin River in Tasmania twice in an individual raft
- I never miss a vampire series on TV
- I now own a Pinarello Prince (bike)
- I painted an Australian coat of arms that was signed by HM The Queen (and dated by the DoE)
- I own rather a lot of shoes (maybe it is a gay thing?)
Seven Things I want to Do Before I Die
- Visit NYC
- Visit Italy
- Return to Sweden & visit Norway
- More painting, calligraphy & photography
- Develop better bike handling skills
- More surfing
- Read more and see more movies and live music
Seven Things I Can Do Well
- Run (well, I used to)
- Cook fruit cakes (like Xmas cakes)
- Coach swimmers and triathletes
- Get on with a lot of animals
- Quickly digest and analyse complex data or facts
Seven Things I Can’t Do But Wish I Could
- Play a musical instrument
- Fly an aircraft
- Ride a track bike
- Graphic design
- Be more tolerant of idiots
Seven Phrases I’m Known to Use
- Okay (& okey dokey)
- Hang on . . .
- For s*** sake!
- Look . . .
- Hey . . .
- You d*** head
03 June 2011
Christopher Nicholls the founder of Sistema Australia was up next and spoke of the power of unlocking imagination through culture and technology. His initiative with Sistema brings to Australia a program started in Venezuela that transforms the learning and development of disadvantaged students through the power of music. He says it develops their ability to imagine and that is lacking in our current learning structures, possibly because of too many boundaries, rules, measures that do not value creativity and competition between institutions.
Finally Sharon Clerke from the Foundation for Young Australians/NAB Schools First program spoke of the benefits of deeper community involvement and partnerships in school education programs.
The discussions after their short presentations stressed the importance of social connections, sharing and a future in which personal and learning connections extend well beyond physical and institutional boundaries. The panelists saw great benefit in immersive sharing and the use of social capital if it is accessible as well as blurred boundaries between school, community, home and work. There was some talk about performance measurement and assessment in schools and how that fails to properly recognise the humanities and creative skills.
When asked to quickly sum up their key points for the future these were their final messages:
- We must unpack all of our current assumptions about education;
- We should embrace change now because it is only going to become more rapid;
- We must understand our humanity; and
- We need to increase our openness to community & our willingness to share.
01 June 2011
So here is my suggestion for the process we should follow now, with thanks again to Perian Sully who first suggested it. It comes from a slide I used at ALIA InfoOnline in a keynote a couple of years back:
Oh, and just in case you are interested, for this month I'm going to use several different platforms (including this blog) just to add a further layer of confusion and chaos. These platforms include, but are not limited to:
23 May 2011
09 May 2011
05 May 2011
12 April 2011
11 April 2011
06 April 2011
In this presentation I’d like to discuss some of the elements I see as necessary in a more inclusive, participatory approach to planning our future library. I hope to illustrate an approach that isn’t just about the technologies we will use, but also the way we select them and how we will deploy them. I will cover the following points as I illustrate that approach:
- We need to learn (again) how to be active, creative, innovative and inclusive contributors in order to fully understand and utilise fully some of the new technologies we are deploying. Most cannot fully be understood by observation alone nor by reading about them in books. We also need to re-learn how to see possibilities, not problems and to be brave enough to have a go. Any form of innovation has almost been sidelined by an obsession with risk management that has become risk avoidance at all costs.
- We need to learn how to take responsibility for our own future and do things for ourselves, not wait for a consultant to design a matrix to contract out the risk, experience, learning, responsibility and activity. Nor should we simply wait for our masters or government to invest in our future. Yes, there are hard decisions to make, but if we were really pressed by an emergency or disaster such decisions about what really matters and what doesn’t would be made efficiently and quickly, so why not try to do it without that imperative? Do we really need adversity to inspire action?
- We must also understand the power and benefits of randomness and chaos. Freedom from yesterday’s policy barriers, useless governance structures, risk aversion, committee bureaucracy; and freedom to explore new ways and new methods is vital. Creative innovation is almost completely ruled out and its sharp edges are dulled by a comprehensive and bureaucratic set of rules, procedures, guidelines and policies covering everything we might do. We should not rule out the unknown so completely because we fear it. Sometimes the unknown contains the answers.
- Liaison needs to be extended both within our own communities and networks and also outside our communities because there is a great deal we can build on. There are valuable partnerships to be made from that liaison and external collaboration. Not all the answers and inspiration will come from within or the familiar.
- Can we crowd-source and co-design better ideas, services and solutions to some of our challenges and even provide much-needed infrastructure more effectively using social media technology? Has anyone really tried? We must understand the power and influence of communities and living networks and how connections are best made and facilitated within these.
- Do we listen to what our users are saying and how can we do that better these days? Can we set up convenient, intuitive and more engaging ways for users to communicate with us (e.g. encouraging conversations instead of complaints through the use of Wallwisher feedback software). When our users or students express interest in academic services like libraries, do we listen and respond accordingly, i.e. seriously consider taking up their ideas and making them real (examples here include our work with Designining Out Crime students, taking up student ideas for the Augmented Campus, regular displays of student art and design work in the Library, and our Digi-stories competition).
29 March 2011
08 March 2011
This is a silly beat-up: Books get the shove as uni students go online
04 March 2011
TWITTER v. ZZZZZZ
16 February 2011
11 February 2011
07 February 2011
31 January 2011
30 January 2011
Sufjan Stevens' music must be seen as well as heard. @MissSophieMac said I'd be blown away and I was. He had a 10 piece orchestra on stage at times including two drum kits, four keyboards (maybe more), assorted guitars, a two-man brass section and two female backing vocalists who danced all night. They played mostly new music from The Age of Adz after a beautiful supporting show from one of their own: DM Stith.
It was full-on creativity surrounding the brilliant music with images, video, dance, costume, glitter, smoke and lighting. They are truly star people. The highlights for me were probably Vesuvius and the final song of the encore, the really wonderful Chicago.
Part of the way through he revealed that he was Steiner-schooled and I doubt that this came as a surprise to anyone who was revelling in his genius. It was an amazing show and a really memorable experience.
16 January 2011
15 January 2011
From a new exhibition at Gaffa www.gaffa.com.au I was taking a visitor around Sydney today and we went to one of my favourite galleries. They had a new exhibition by glass artists. Sometimes I should not walk into exhibitions like this. I just could not control myself. Who knows where I will put it!
From a new exhibition at Gaffa www.gaffa.com.au
I was taking a visitor around Sydney today and we went to one of my favourite galleries. They had a new exhibition by glass artists. Sometimes I should not walk into exhibitions like this. I just could not control myself. Who knows where I will put it!
07 January 2011
Making this burnt out my old Bamix. Even if the recipe destructions say you must beat over heat for 4-5 minutes and then for a further 5-6 minutes away from heat, this still doesn't over-ride the Bamix manufacturer's destructions that you must not use it continuously for over 5 minutes. If you do, the magic smoke comes out and it is impossible to get it back in (thanks @greengecko29).
06 January 2011
I bought my niece Alexis an illustrated copy of Peter and Wendy for her birthday and will give it to her tonight. I've written an abridged version of this inside the book for her:
In 2006, I visited the house where J.M. Barrie wrote Peter and Wendy (image above). I was trying to borrow a dagger once owned by T. E. Lawrence that was given to Kathleen Scott who was a sculptor. Her son, Wayland Hilton Young, second Baron Kennett owned the dagger and the house and had known Barrie when he was a small boy. He told me that Barrie had looked after Kathleen and Wayland’s older brother Peter in the house after the death of their father Captain Robert Falcon Scott in the Antarctic. Baron Kennett told me that Barrie had written Peter and Wendy in the house and as I looked out towards their backyard I could almost see fairies buzzing about in their trees.
Baron Kennet didn't lend me the dagger for an exhibition in Australia as he thought it was too far away. My visit to the house and the stories I heard there I will never forget.
05 January 2011
I mentioned buying two issues of Rouleur yesterday. I read more today and fell in love with this magazine.
It is probably the best magazine I've bought in ages. I must have been hiding under a rock for the last several years while most of the first 20 issues became collectors' items. The features, images, typography, paper and layout are magnificent. This issue has a beautiful feature on cycling photographer Bernard Thompson.
04 January 2011
I was out a lot today. Well, not as much as the Australian cricket team, but a lot nevertheless.
I started back at the gym. It has been closed for the last two weeks so the weights can have a rest. As someone once said, all gyms are gay, but some are yet to admit it. As soon as I went in to the change room to put my things in a locker I was confronted by a naked man who seemed to be waiting for a comment from me about how well hung he is. I didn't, it was too early for that.
After that I just wandered around at the shops, first in the city and then in Newtown and Annandale. I did find a cover for my baby BBQ, but he still doesn't have a gas bottle as there seems to have been a run on them recently. The city seemed full of shoppers, so who knows why the retailers are complaining about people shopping online. In some parts you could not move. I tried to get some foods at Broadway after walking back to my car from the city, but it was so full I drove into the carpark and straight out again.
I'm a magazine addict and purchased three today: the November 2010 issue of Wallpaper; and issues nineteen and twenty of Rouleur, a very stylish quarterly cycling magazine. Rouleur is a truly beautiful magazine. I love the layout, images and content. Wallpaper had a feature on the top 20 reasons to be in Australia and a very cute young man on the cover (Ben Waddell from The Men's Division). The "reasons" were an odd mix: cosmetics containers (of course); designer tables; sandwiches, a bar, vintage bike hire and dessert degustation from Melbin; Tasmanian things (four in all); some fairly dull-looking clothes(!); jewellery (sadly, not designed by Ian Thorpe); modernist furniture; beers (of course); the Chrysler Valiant VG (oh FFS!); urban art projets; a Sidknee hair salon; wearehunted.com (at last a real reason!); and a fashion designer (zzzzzzzzz).
03 January 2011
So @katejf has done it again and found me another out for this 12 day blog challenge. Here is my world travels map. Doesn't look that exciting does it? There are a lot of repeat visits represented here too. Maybe I need to get out more.
And here is my USA map. DC is in there but you can hardly see it. Lots of repeat visits here too and I'm heading back to Hawaii in mid-2011 for a holiday for about my squillionth time. I love it and would live there tomorrow if someone offered me a job there.
Image from the last Deus swap meet, by me.
Today a meme from @katejf.
According to IMBD the top 25 grossing films of 2010 are:
Top 25 Box Office of 2010
(as of December 13, 2010)
- Toy Story 3 ($415M)
- Alice in Wonderland ($334.2M)
- Iron Man 2 ($312.1M)
- Eclipse ($300.5M) seen (over-rated)
- Inception ($292.5M) not seen yet, but I will, I um, seem to have um, 'acquired' a copy on my 'puter
- Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($259.2M)
- Despicable Me ($250.3.7M)
- Shrek Forever After ($238.4M)
- How to Train Your Dragon ($217.6M)
- The Karate Kid ($176.6M)
- Clash of the Titans ($163.2M)
- Grown Ups ($162M)
- Megamind ($140.6M)
- The Last Airbender ($131.6M)
- Shutter Island ($128M)
- The Other Guys ($119.2M)
- Salt ($118.3M)
- Tangled ($117.2M)
- Jackass 3-D ($116.8M)
- Valentine’s Day ($110.5M)
- Robin Hood ($105.3M) seen, on an aircraft (OK but they tried to make the story too historically relevant)
- The Expendables ($103.1M)
- Date Night ($98.7M)
- Due Date ($95.4M)
- Sex and the City 2 ($95.3M) I would struggle to think of a worse way to waste my time than seeing this
I have seen only two and may only see another couple. How many have you seen?
Of those I have not seen, the ones I want to are: not on this awfullist. And can I just add that after seeing Hugh Jackman's annoying Lipton Ice tea ads that I probably won't ever want to see another movie with him in it. They may well be worse than the whole McOprah "tourism" to MacCafe campaign.
If you want to see the whole list of 228 titles click here
Thanks again Kate.