Monday, August 28, 2006



Sunday, August 27, 2006

Art Gallery

I view my portable hard disk as an art gallery, my documents as pieces of art and myself as the curator and guide.

Hard disk = art gallery metaphor

Let me take you through my gallery. The first piece of art we are looking at is Customer Knowledge. It was the page 33 in the Aspect 2000 annual report. Design in 2001 by Cahan & Associates.

Customer Knowledge

This piece of art is interesting as I see it as a good way to introduce customers to companies’ staff. The company is Aspect and the customer is Saks. The art includes:
A person ( maybe she is a staff of Saks )
What Aspect offers Saks?
What value Saks gain?
What does Saks do?

Let’s move along this way to the second piece. The second piece we are looking at is Employee Talents. It was the page 9 in the Informatica 2000 annual report. Design in 2001 by Cahan & Associates.

Employee Talents

This piece of art show us a way to understand employee have talents that we fail to see and capitalized on. Please replace the word most responsive supplier with your employee. The art includes a person and what he is also? He is also an Internet millionaire and medical school drop out.

Friday, August 25, 2006


What are perspectives?

Sense from:
Zen Keys
Thich Nhat Hanh, Philip Kapleau
Page 10
ISBN: 03854-75611

What is a tree?

  • A philosopher might call it ultimate truth.
  • A botanist, a living organism.
  • A physicist, a mass of protons and neutrons swirling around a nucleus.
  • An artist, a unique shape with distinctive colouring.
  • A carpenter, a potential table.
  • To a dog, however, it is nothing but a urinal.

All descriptions, explanations or analyses are but a looking from one side at that which has infinite dimensions. The true nature of the tree is more than anything that can be said about it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Meaningfull Life

Did I live meaningfully?

Sense from:
Whistle while you work
Richard Leider, David Shapiro
Page 78
ISBN: 1-57675-103-1

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, arguably the world’s expert on people’s attitudes about death and dying, summarized a life of research in three simple questions. When people look back upon their lives, she found, they ask three questions that determine their sense of whether it was meaningful:

  1. Did I give and receive love?
  2. Did I become all I can be?
  3. Did I leave the planet a little better?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Experiential Learning Cycle

How do we learn from experience?

Roles of volunteer in development
Peace Corps
Page 31 – 33

The process of learning is a process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and attitudes so that we can solve problems and make changes in our lives as we move toward fulfilling our needs and our goals. This learning process can be conceived as a four-step cycle.
  1. We experience something.
  2. We review the experience critically.
  3. We draw a conclusion and / or infer useful insights ( lessons learned ).
  4. We apply or try out our new insights or hypotheses in a new situation ( which leads to another experience and so on ).
This natural process is called “experiential learning” and we use it all the time although we may not be completely conscious of the four steps. In many structured adult learning situations, we try to design most of the activities to follow the experiential learning cycle. Here’s what the cycle looks like in a training context:

Experiential Learning Cycle

The “experience” that activates the experiential learning cycle may be an event from your past, an activity you conducting or a case study you read and analyze. In this step, you do something or remember something you did in the past. It usually involves uncovering new information that requires a response from you.

Reflection is a way of exploring and sorting out what happened during the experience stage. What new information do you now have and what does it mean? What feelings has it provoked in you? How might you relate the experience to things you already know? If you are participating in a group activity, how is your learning experience similar to or different from that of others?

Drawing conclusions and lessons learned
After reflecting on the experience, we arrive at the critical stage of determining what lessons can be learned or what principles can be drawn from the experience. This is the “so what” stage. How does all of this fit together? What are the major themes or insights you can infer from your experience?

Planning and application
Planning and application is the stage where you relate the learning to your world and actually start using the information. It’s called the “now what” stage. What will you do differently now that you have learned these lessons? How will this new insight help you improve your technical ability, your interactions with the community, or your collaboration with your Counterparts? As you apply what you have learned, you generate new experiences and the “experiential learning cycle” starts all over again!

All four of these stages are important for a rich and complete learning experience. Sometimes, we jump too quickly from experience to experience and shortchange the other three steps in the learning cycle. It is important to be as conscious as possible of your own experiential learning processes and take the time to really reflect, draw conclusions, and apply lessons learned before moving to the next experience.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Starbucks customer journey

Experience design languages
John Rheinfrank and Shelley Evenson
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


What make us happy?
Money, good looks, intelligence or youth doesn’t bring us happiness. Narcissism and sense of humor do.

How to make us happy?
  1. Develop good social skills
  2. Volunteer
  3. Get married or at least cohabitate
  4. Purse meaningfull goals and take pleasure in the process
  5. Enjoy little things
Sense from:
Psychology Today 2005 Jan
Kathleen McGowan
Pg 52 - 53
ISSN: 0033-3107

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Interest Expedition

How can I learn in the most effective way?
Possible Answer
Follow your interest
Sense from:
Information Anxiety 2
Richard Saul Wurman, Loring Leifer, David Sume
Page 87
ISBN: 0-7897-2410-3
You can follow any interest on a path through all knowledge. Interest connections form the singular path to learning. It doesn’t matter what path you choose or where you begin your journey. A person can be interested in horses or the concept of time and can make connections to other bodies of information.

Someone who’s interested in cars could move into a fascination with the Porsche and the German Language or the physics of motion or the growth of cities and the pattern of movement and defense or the chemistry of fuels. Various cars are made by various countries that have different languages and histories. Studying Italian automotive design, you can gain entry into the study of roads, the Appian Way, the plan of and the history of transportation itself.

The idea that you can expand one interest into a variety of other interests makes your choices less threatening. You can jump into a subject at any level and not only can you follow the subject to greater levels of complexity but you can follow it to other subjects.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Chris Anderson's views on innovation

What are Chris Anderson's views on innovation?
  1. Do not hire for fit. Hire misfit. Look for connections between fit and misfit.
  2. Do not hire for deep knowledge, hire for broad knowledge.
  3. Innovation and value are going to be found in the synthesizers - the people who draw together stuff from multiple fields and use that to create an understanding of what the company should do.
  4. Businesses that don't offer meaning to their employees will not succeed in the long term.
Sense from:
Finding Ideas
Harvard Business Review 2002 Nov
Chris Anderson, Bronwyn Fryer
Page 18-19
ISSN: 00178012

Friday, August 4, 2006

Inspiration Sources

I scan through the book - inspiration = ideas to find out where designers get inspiration. They got their inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. 15 inspiration sources caught my attention. They are:
  1. Bauhaus
  2. Books
  3. Circus
  4. Conversion
  5. Fashion
  6. Flea Markets
  7. Garage Sales
  8. Internet
  9. Leonardo da Vinci
  10. Mistakes
  11. Music
  12. Music Stores
  13. Oblique Stratgies
  14. People
  15. Places
Where do I get inspiration?
Magazines and Journals
  1. Business 2.0
  2. Dwell
  3. Fast Company
  4. Harvard Business Review
  5. I.D.
  6. Sloan Management Review
  7. Travel + Leisure
  8. Wallpaper
  9. WIRED

Learning is remembering what you're interested in

I do not remember everything I learn.

How can I remember what I have learned?

Possible Answer:
Instead of learning will result in remembering, why not - learning is remembering what you're interested in.

Sense from:
Information Anxiety 2
Richard Saul Wurman, Loring Leifer, David Sume
Page 249 - 250
ISBN: 0789724103

Learning can be seen as the acquisition of information, but before it can take place, there must be interest; interest permeates all endeavors and precedes learning. In order to acquire and remember new knowledge, it must stimulate your curiosity in some way.

Interest defies all rules of memorization. Most researchers agree that people can retain only about seven bits in their short-term memory, such as the digits in a ZIP Code or telephone number.

Learning can be defined as the process of remembering what you are interested in. And both go hand in hand - warm hand in warm hand - with communication. The most effective communicators are those who understand the role interest plays in the successful delivery of messages, whether one is trying to explain astrophysics or help car owners in parking lots.

Multi-level parking garages are generally pretty threatening places. They conjure up frightening images - a favorite site for nefarious activities, clandestine meetings, rapists, and mob hitmen, to say nothing of the fear of remembering on what level you parked your car.

In downtown , I recall there was a multi-level parking garage that used the names of countries instead of numbers to denote each level. In the elevator, the buttons were labeled France, Germany, etc., each in a different typeface. In the elevator lobby on each floor, the national anthem of the country was broadcast through an intercom. While parking garages don't seem to inspire the imagination of the public, foreign countries do. People didn't forget where their cars were parked, and many left the garage smiling.

The developer of this parking garage took a mundane thing and not only made it work, but made it into a cultural learning center as well. This parking garage exemplified the principle that we learn only if we are interested in the subject.

In his book Freedom to Learn, Carl Rogers states that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is "self­discovered, self-appropriated" learning. Only when subject matter is perceived as being relevant to a person's own purposes will a significant amount of learning take place.

Information anxiety results from constant overstimulation; we are not given the time or opportunity to make transitions from one room or idea to the next. No one functions well perpetually gasping for breath. Learning (and interest) require way-stations where we call stop and think about an idea before moving on to the next.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Design Rolodex

Where do Michael Braley ( Cahan & Associates ) get his inspiration?
He gets his inspiration from his sketchbook and Rolodex cards.

Sense from:
Inspiration = ideas
Petrula Vrontikis
Page 106 -107
ISBN: 1-5649-6866-9

Michael Braley's sketchbook

Michael Braley's Rolodex card 
I keep a pocket-sized sketchbook and I spend a lot of time recording and collecting information. It might take days or months before it turns into inspiration and even longer before it may be directly linked to a specific project. Most of the time, these sketchbooks are just a very personal collection of ideas, images and textures that I enjoy for myself.

Silicon Valley Bank 2000 annual report 
Additionally, I still keep a Rolodex on my desk and use each card as an extension of my sketchbook. This annual report for Silicon Valley Bank provided the right opportunity to link my personal notes and sketches to the finished commercial work. The Silicon Valley Bank 2000 annual report was designed to resemble a Rolodex symbolizing the bank’s extensive, mutually profitable relationships with entrepreneurs, investors and service providers.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Steve Jobs Experience

I respect people who do their own thinking. One of them that belong to this class is Steve Jobs. He started the companies that given us Mac, iPod, Toy Story, The Incredibles...

He gave a speech to Stanford University students on 12 Jun 2005. I found it very interesting.

He shares 3 experiences with the students:

  1. Connecting the dots
  2. Love and lost
  3. Death

I found 3 parts of the speech interesting:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Learning Fantasies

How do we make learning interesting?
Richard Wurman’s 15 suggestions

An ideal school would be like a smorgasbord. You could take large or small plates and eat fast or slow. You could construct the meal going forwards and backwards and you could start again. You would be given permission to have desert first and the people who fill up the plates would have conservations with you. You could pick up a plate called fancy cars and have somebody advise you that this salad here, the road system and mode of transportation, go with it.

But most of us don't have that kind of experience with schools. In an attempt to overcome any shortcomings in my education, I try to create learning environments in my life. I have developed a list of imaginary courses that I thought would be good courses that would inspire me. They inspire me to look at the world differently.

1. Learning about learning
For me, this should be the only course taught for the first six years in school.

2. The question and how to ask it
Asking questions is the most essential step toward finding answers. Better questions provoke better answers.

3. What do you want?
We don't pay enough attention to the old adage: be careful what you wish for because all too often it will be exactly what will you get.

4. A day in the life
Studying in intimate details a day in the life of anything - a truck, a building, a butcher - would not only provide a memorable understanding of what it means to be something else but would also permits us to have a better understanding of ourselves in comparison.

5. What are we to ants?
This would be an advanced version of a day in the life. The whole idea of how a thing relates to something else is often left unexamined in school, yet it is the essential doorway to knowledge.

6. Time, fast and slow
If you studied all the things that take place in a minute or a day, or a week, or a year, or a thousand years, you would have a new framework for understanding and for cataloging information.

7. The five-minute circle
What could you do or see in five minutes from where you are sitting?

8. The five-mile circle
What could you do, see and understand about sociology, the fabric of schools, urban life and systems within five miles of where you are sitting?

9. This is your New World?
If you were king of this five-mile world how would you run it, change it, understand it, communicate with it?

10. A person course
You could have a course on Albert Einstein, Louis Kahn or Yasir Arafat.

11. Hailing failing
More learning is possible by studying the things that don't work than by studying the things that do. Most of the great technological and scientific breakthroughs are made by examining the things that fail.

12. Wait-watching
We spend a great deal of time waiting - in checkout lines, in ticket lines, in doctors' offices. How could we better occupy this time?

13. How to explain something so your mother could understand it?
The recognition of someone else’s ability to understand is essential to all communication, yet it is something we rarely think about. We assume that others can understand the same things we can.

14. The difference between facts and the truth
Facts are only meaningful when they can be tied to ideas and related to your experience, yet they are offered in place of the truth.

15. The obvious and how to hug it?
In our zeal to appear educated, not only do we often forget the obvious, we avoid it. Yet it is in the realm of the obvious that most solutions lie.

Page 243-244
Richard Saul Wurman
ISBN: 0789724103