Fast – Slow – Society

Would we know what joy is, without having experienced sadness?
What does a solution mean without a problem?
Can happiness exist without desire?

You need one to appreciate the other. Opposites are odd pairs: they help us to acknowledge what we have, and they require the right interface to find balance. If we are just focusing on one and ignoring the other, we become meaningless.
The industrial revolution has put mankind on a high speed train and we had to adapt ourselves to the demands and possibilities that came along with the system. Now, global problems surround us, but we don’t seem to respond. The rules and patterns we live by seem so natural and logical, that we don’t question why they are there, how they came into existence and if they are necessary.
Are we captured in a bubble, oblivious to the truth of our history and our own being?
If we are disconnected from ourselves, then how to reconnect?
It seems that individualism rules in our society, where we drift around on solitary islands avoiding contact with any other. I believe that the confrontation from which we are escaping is exactly what we need in order to reclaim people’s sense of place and retrieve the patterns of memories and experiences.

We think and behave according to the cultural system with which we have grown up and we tend to assume that everyone has the same behaviour and logic as our own. In fact, logic happens to be an invention of Western society and isn’t used in the same way in other parts of the world.

We are all different and the first thing we need to do is accept each other’s differences, instead of judging them. Possibly we could overcome this, by placing ourselves more often in intercultural situations to learn to see ourselves as others see us, in order to get more understanding about our own being and the other (Hall 1989).

Our own culture -as any culture- has flaws, but we accept them, because that is what we have grown up with. The educational system of Western society is linear and therefore limits us in how we think. We are taught that the rules and schedules we have matter. The system requires us to specify our talents and emphasises status and competition before freedom of expression and diversity. This limitation in creativity and talents, also restricts our capacity to find solutions.
Our fast society might need a different pace to engage oneself and another. People get more inventive when they are challenged and placed in unknown situations (Fuller 1981). Designed interventions in our daily life, could bring a pause & reflect.

What is happening now in the Design World, is that business is being exposed to art expressions and art is being commercialised; this creates new situations, interpretations and interfaces. I have chosen to use this occasion to design forms of social engagement. I can’t change people and I can’t change behaviour. However, I can create places in space, and I can create exercises that convey learning moments, stimulate reflection and activate awareness. All of these, I hope will bring about positive behaviour and empowerment to the individual.

In times like these, when a worldwide economical crisis has suddenly emerged, it is an opportunity for us to open our eyes and genuinely see what is there; it is a chance to reform, rather than hastily attempting to take control by way of old patterns. There is a reason why things accumulate – it is time for change.

Hall, ET 1989, Beyond Culture, Anchor Books Editions, New York.

Fuller, RB 1981, Critical Path, St Martin’s Press, New York.


Design Sucks

speaks for itself.

Thanks Renata for visualizing this problem (and creating a solution)

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Good Week

It has been a busy and fruitful week!

On Monday I did a workshop with the students from the Black Nordic Theater. We worked with the problems from and came up with several different approaches to use them to bring reflection upon our behavior. It is interesting to see how Design can meet Theater and Theater can meet Design. I think both fields have a way of storytelling and we will merge them together to come with a new way of expressing! We will go out and experiment with social dialogue in the public space on the 4th of February, so be aware!!

Then on Thursday I had an interim meeting with the external examiner, who gave some good criticism telling me to think about my end result and how I am going to communicate my ideas and process in a clear and exciting way. Also clarifying what the design in my project is, since it is very theoretical and about the process and method. In my view the design in my project is design thinking and experimenting with this in all kind of different settings: open-closed, direct-indirect, professional-guerrilla, in order to find creative solutions in the process. Another thing he mentioned is that I should be thinking about how I am going to present this at the End of the Year Show.  In other words: what am I going to end up with? I have several ideas about this 1) a Design Method for Change ( a manual), where I am the neutral agent bringing reflection to cause change 2) Event. If all my plans work out I would like to bring it all together in a happening, which is social, playful and reflective. For instance the SOCIAL EVENT, but also when thing don’t work out, I think I should do it anyway and call it the NONE EVENT or the Unsuccessful Event to draw out the conclusions!

Yesterday I had a meeting as well with Louder, a marketing agency. There I will do a workshop as well. This will be all about provoking creativity. Especially since they would like to include the whole office more into the creative process and now it are mainly 3 persons doing that. My challenge is to challenge the team in a playful way to put their fears aside and dare to come up with ideas without judgement.


Problem Intervention

Today I started spreading these in public transport:

A gift package with a one of the problems I have collected in it and printed inside is a voting form. I hope to encourage people to vote for the best problem on and for the best problem of the month I will be doing another Design Intervention which will bring a possible solution!! So come on everybody, VOTE!



I am trying to explore different ways of monitoring ( the success of) my project. Virtual and real time.
These are some pictures after the intervention or spreading the 50 problems through the city. Almost all of them were taken. And as you can see here, the problem was taken out of the envelop.

Virtual- or via internet- I am testing out if the  six degrees of separation is true. How quickly or in how few steps can I reach people all over the world. I have sent emails to almost everyone I know- especially people who have an international network- and now I am waiting for response..

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Last night I went to spread 50 problems around the city. I am not sure if they will get noticed- the weather was quite bad as well, so I also don’t know if all of them survived.

I think I need to do this spreading of messages every 2-3 weeks and maybe have some regular points as kaffebrenneriet , where people also can leave their ‘problems’ in a postbox or something.

And I certainly think it needs some theatrical elements. I have approached people in dance, theater, singing, etc and I hope they will work with me to create this performance aspect, which I think will be very important. During this performance-intervention problems could be handed out.

Furthermore I think it would be good if I can make connections between problems we have here and problems that are happening in other parts of the world.

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Knot Really

I am working on a test project now, which if it works as planned will be a BIG project. Let’s see if my theory can work in practice. I have and am collecting problems to see a) what is on people’s mind b) offer a moment of contemplation and self reflection c) if I can place these problems as challenges on a platform. This is at the moment the blog knot really.

I hope to create an open social dialogue. Where I will come up with design solutions and offer people the inititive to visualize answers and solutions as well. Can I connect people’s problem to each other so they’ll both benefit from it. Can I give local actions as a solution to the problems people send in, which would result in a contribution to society and the person feeling better about himself.

Anyway ideas are spinning and thwirling through my mind. On monday I plan to do an intervention in the public space related to these problems- see if I can get the viral working- and meanwhile I am exploring this idea to its limits and beyond!

If you want to send in problems/solutions in word or picture please send it to and/or post comments at KNOT REALLY…bring it on!


Turn it Around

This is the work of someguy is an artist His language might be very valuable for my project, see if I can address people’s common sense, by telling the wrong message.

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