We were happy to see this article from the Washington Post yesterday, (Weirdly we were actually alerted to it by someone on Twitter) Over the last 18 months or so, both at conferences or in private meetings we have been talking endlessly about the possibilities of web 2.0 applications such as blogs, wikis and Twitter and the impact that this new culture will have on teaching and shaping our spaces. We have even touched on this in our Design Guide for University of Bristol.  This is not new information, our teaching consultant will be trialing a blog and a wiki for his secondary school students this year and schools in the highlands of Scotland have been using podcasts for some time.  It’s easy to find fault with these applications as a valid teaching method, they do encourage abbreviated language and twitter in particular can seem at times to be full of banal nonsense.  However,  the possibilities they open us to, i.e.  a free and open global exchange of information, a forum for debate and the exchange of ideas cannot be ignored.   We have been using Facebook as a method of communicating with students for some time and are currently writing a paper on our experiences of using this as a research tool. We have found that the internet is a place where people feel at ease and will happily communicate their thoughts and ideas without inhibition or  anonimity.  As designers we have done a great deal of work exploring public spaces as well as learning spaces.  We know a lot about navigation, about ergonomics, about types of learners and the support they require, about people centred design. It has become clear to us however that we must explore how things could be/will and how/if this will shape the spaces we inhabit. We been theorising and exploring our ideas with some excitement for the last year in a number of small speculative projects and have used these as platforms for innovative design thinking.  Here’s hoping we can secure a project where we can combine the knowledge we have gathered over the last few years regarding current spaces with our ideas for the future and what could be.

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