The Viridian Design Movement

Viridian Note 00418:
Notes from High Ground

Key concepts
High Ground Design Conversation, Colorado, Tucker Viemeister, spimes
Attention Conservation Notice:
I was in Colorado at this event, and discussing a book that I'm writing on design. Okay, it's a big pamphlet. But it will have some new ideas in it.


Oh man, that is just so beautiful. Have a look! Tell all your friends.

Oops! No more London. Thanks, Esso!,12374,1260825,00.html

Protesting in the streets this fine political season? Try not to drop dead of the heat!

This must be a mighty fine design gig if it's got Natalie Jeremijenko and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer involved.

Tucker Viemeister, industrial designer Link:

"I've just returned from the latest annual High Ground gathering at the McCoy's. (((Same here, and boy did I enjoy that.)))


"Many of my friends and colleagues ask me what happens there. Basically about 10 = 20 designers and educators meet at the McCoy's Colorado mountain retreat to make informal presentations and have discussions on a wide range of design ideas. I had to skip last year's – and I really needed it!

"It was refreshing after IDSA's totally business focused summit in La Conner, to have a frank discussion that did not revolve around business issues (i.e. 'how to get rich').

"This year's group: Kathy and Mike McCoy, Jamer Hunt, Lorraine Wild, Prasad Boradkar, Rafael Fajardo, Louise Sandhaus, Andrew Blauvelt, Steve Wilcox, Melody Roberts, Susan Yelavich, Bruce Sterling, Paul Rothstein, Fred Murrell, Scott Klinker... and now we will always missed one of the regulars, John Rheinfrank. (((Just google them. Man!)))

"Here, in my misquoted nutshell, are some of the ideas we batted around:

"Jamer Hunt put aside the kittens and puppies, with his talk entitled 'Designing the Handbasket.'

"Change vs. preservation drove Andrew Blauvelt's 'rant' about the suburbs and the shabby new corporate identities of NWA and UPS.

"Lorraine Wild lamented design blogs.

(((Especially these:)))

Speak Up

Design Observer

"Prasad Boradkar and Louise Sandhaus presented their book proposals (one called 'A Very Strange Thing' and the other about California graphics).

"Scott Klinker told us about how he is using narratives to create products that tell stories. Aristotle (who wasn't there) said that 'poetry is more accurate way of understanding than science.'

"Kathy McCoy discussed the conflicts of universal vs. audience-specific language and how we are headed for the global village of consumption.

"Steve Wilcox recounted his trip into Africa wondering how design can help support delicate cultural ecology.

"Rafael Fajardo told about how he subverts video games into social commentary. (((And he wasn't kidding.)))

"Melody Roberts of course was searching for ways to break the cycle of consumption through services like Banana Republic turning into a clothes-laundering and lending place.

"Fred Murrell wants to figure out better ways to deal with the crazy mess people encounter when they go to the emergency room for the last time.

"Susan Yelavich looked at the deep dissatisfaction of smart babies and dumb adults toward hobby kits and health spas. A re-appreciation of the time it takes to makes fine stuff – 'snobjects' as Bruce Sterling calls them.

"Mike McCoy was looking to slow things down, maybe the ergonomics of difficulties and inefficiencies – basically it's not about winning, but how you play the game.

"Paul Rothstein described his Innovation Space at Arizona State. "Bruce railed that 'we can't go on like this –

it's going to crash! The world is getting top-heavy with old people [which is good since we have experience]. The weird have to turn pro. There are no 20th century equivalents, there is no artificial ceiling. We have to cut our losses. Quit kissing the feet of Business Week – make stuff that works.'

"Although I tried to sum it all up into the single word: 'truth,' it seemed like everything we talked about revolved around Time. Three issues defined this year:

"1. stories and preserving things (catching time) "2. death, or at least the 'experiences' around it and mortality (end of time)
"3. 'Spimes' Bruce Sterling's new definition of products that are not ends-in-themselves, but 'stalls in the products stream, they don't stand alone, and are even easily recycled into the next spime' (timely).

See ya

tucker viemeister

(((Yes, "spimes." With a pressing need for a neologism, to describe the next logical development in the historical arc of "artifacts," "machines," "products," and "gizmos," I spontaneously invented the word "spime" at High Ground 2004. Since that seemed to go over pretty well, I will be venting my sentiments on the subject of "spimes" in much detail, when I keynote SIGGRAPH in a few weeks. The address is entitled "When Blobjects Rule the Earth.")))

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O

Go back to the Viridian Design home page.