Oslo was excellent. I spent two weeks with first-year MA students, on a brief called ‘Talking with People’. Their task was to do some speculative public service redesign thinking/prototyping (I didn’t much mind what they looked into or what form it took) and present their final projects with reference to how research with people shaped their process. The “work” was a McGuffin. I wanted to see people in presentations, hear some stories from outside the classroom, and hear about students talking to people outside of their cohort.
The brief came out of discussions Mosse and I had after my second time being an external censor there. Project after project were presented as if they’d sprouted from the minds of isolated geniuses tucked in a corner. In most cases that wasn’t true – they’d improved precisely because there had been testing and research to improve a project – but the student weren’t very good at showing that. I wanted that front and centre in this project, and the students did some really excellent stuff in response.
As part of the couple of weeks I also did some speaking for the local IxDA chapter. Nice bunch of people with some fascinating questions, and a really nice opportunity to put the last few years at GDS in a new context.
Their interim site is up, which starts road-testing some of the messaging I’ve been working on with them. The last month was about refining a few of the core phrases and sentences them before a concentrated burst on that this month. They’re a really excellent team, and I’m really enjoying working with them.
I also went on my first holiday. I have to say, the anxiety of leaving jobs open/unfinished got under my skin a bit – I can only hope I’ll get better at that – but walking up a mountain through clouds was about as far from typing at home as can be. More of that sort of thing.