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speaking exchange
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speaking exchange

I’m at a conference on aging and design, hosted by the Institute For the Future’s Health Horizons research group. It’s just beginning, but I already have a favorite project I hadn’t seen before: Speaking Exchange, a simple social arrangement between high school students in Brazil, who want to learn English, and older adults in Chicago … Continue reading

empathy and education
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empathy and education

Via the new Harper’s, I picked up Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams—a series of essays including the opening piece of the same name, which is partly about Jamison’s job experience as a medical actor: someone paid to fake various kinds of ailments in order to train doctors in both diagnostics and bedside manner. The actors … Continue reading

supporting publics
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supporting publics

I’ve been reading Shannon Jackson’s Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics, a much needed discussion of social arts practice, new genre public arts, or whatever you want to call such hybrid forms of expressive work. One of Jackson’s big claims is for works that do something other than disrupt institutions, commonly accepted practices, the status quo—when notions of support, … Continue reading

play, criticality, access
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play, criticality, access

I’ll be at the University of Toronto next Monday night, speaking on The Edited City: Criticality, Access, Play. The history of science, skateboarding culture, the politics of amateurship, and the future of universal design. I’d love to see you there! I’m also looking forward to visits with Ryerson’s EDGE Lab and OCAD’s Inclusive Design Research … Continue reading

walking social
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walking social

The Firefly Upsee is a walking baby carrier, designed to give the experience of ambulation to children who have motor delays or mobility restrictions. It brings the child upright, anchored closely to a caregiver, while also leaving her hands free to explore and play. The design is a collaboration between Debby Elnatan, the Israeli mother of a … Continue reading