Blog

Hi, Matthias Brendler here, transdisciplinary designer blogging what's interesting or significant relating to: Design, Education, Culture, Technology and Business (as well as anything that's really cool).

Loving the 16 yr old “Sneaker Don”

Loving the 16 yr old “Sneaker Don”…  and apparently so are DJ Khaled and Chris Brown. His 1+ Million in sales track  with 2018  projected sports global shoe sales of 84.4 Billion.  source: Transparency Market Research #entrepreneurship #disrupt #kids #growth #shoes #2018 #sportshoe #Sneakers #Kicks #Consumption

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOF9EONBo2...

Flat UI leads reduces usability by 22%

“In experiment used to target findability tasks, more time and effort spent looking around the page are not good. These findings don't mean that users were more 'engaged' with the pages. Instead, they suggest that participants struggled to locate the element they wanted, or weren't confident when they first saw it."

http://flip.it/wkhZCv

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The beauty of the modern design challenge by Seth Godin

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  “If you run everything through a spreadsheet, you might end up with a rational plan, but the rational plan isn't what creates energy or magic or memories…It might not be about being cheaper. It's tricky to define better. But without a doubt, the heart and soul of a thriving enterprise is the irrational pursuit of becoming irresistible.”

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/09/irresistible-is-rarely-easy-or-rational.html

Step outside your comfort zone to gain empathy.

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/4655-you-have-more-power-than-you-think-when-stepping-outside-your-comfort-zone

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Whether small or big, embracing and effecting change in our life can make us healthier and more effective. I found that living and working outside of my comfort zone in Brazil for over 10 years has made me more empathic, transforming my design approach and creative process. Strengthening the ability to sense and adapt to change has increased my resourcefulness and tested my creativity.


What do you think?

DESIGN: Bauhaus books COURTESY OF Bibliothèque Kandinsky

Just found that these Bauhaus books as downloadable PDFs on this website: https://monoskop.org/Bauhaus

“The following nine PDFs are linked from the Bibliothèque Kandinsky which published them online on an unknown date (follow this link to explore the respective entries on its website). This is an important milestone in the digitisation of essential but hard-to-get art publications for the public use and we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation. <3 ! The whole set of these high-quality digital facsimiles is about 1 GB large, if anyone feels like starting a torrent to relieve bandwidth of the library let us know and we'll include your link here. (17 Aug 2014). Update: you can now download the whole set in a single ZIP file from here. Thanks to Gabriel Benderski. (29 Aug 2014)”

Source: https://monoskop.org/Bauhaus

CHILDHOOD: Walking The Beat In Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Where A New Day Began Together : NPR

Thank you Officer Clemens, family friend Francois. I remember your visits and voice.

This StoryCorps is invaluable contribution to the Library Congress. Touching and inspiring.

Officer Clemmons and Mister Rogers, reprising their 1969 foot bath more than two decades later, during their final scene together in 1993.  (c) The Fred Rogers Company

His is not just a gentle voice; for many people, it's a very familiar one, too. For 25 years, Francois Clemmons played a role on the beloved children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Clemmons joined the cast of the show in 1968, becoming the first African-American to have a recurring on a kids' TV series.

And, as it happens, it was Clemmons' voice that Fred Rogers noticed, too, when he heard Clemmons singing in church.

"Fred came to me and said, 'I have this idea: You could be a police officer,' " recalls Clemmons, speaking with his friend Karl Lindholm during a visit with StoryCorps.

Clemmons says he didn't like the idea much at first.

"I grew up in the ghetto. I did not have a positive opinion of police officers. Policeman were siccing police dogs and water hoses on people," he says. "And I really had a hard time putting myself in that role. So I was not excited about being Officer Clemmons at all."

Still, Clemmons came around to it eventually and agreed to take on the role.

And, in the decades he spent as part of the show, there's one scene in particular that Clemmons remembers with great emotion. It was from an episode that aired in 1969, in which Rogers had been resting his feet in a plastic pool on a hot day.

"He invited me to come over and to rest my feet in the water with him," Clemmons recalls. "The icon Fred Rogers not only was showing my brown skin in the tub with his white skin as two friends, but as I was getting out of that tub, he was helping me dry my feet."

Clemmons says the scene — which the two also revisited in their last episode together, in 1993 — touched him in a way he hadn't expected.

"I think he was making a very strong statement. That was his way. I still was not convinced that Officer Clemmons could have a positive influence in the neighborhood and in the real-world neighborhood, but I think I was proven wrong," he says.

During Clemmons' time on the show, he wasn't simply the friendly neighborhood police officer. Off the set, he was also a Grammy-winning singer, who performed in over 70 musical and opera roles and founded the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble.

Rogers, for his part, wasn't simply Clemmons' iconic costar. He was also Clemmons' "friend for life."

He says he'll never forget the day Rogers wrapped up the program, as he always did, by taking by hanging up his sweater and saying, "You make every day a special day just by being you, and I like you just the way you are." This time in particular, Rogers had been looking right at Clemmons, and after they wrapped he walked over.

Clemmons asked him, "Fred, were you talking to me?"

"Yes, I have been talking to you for years," Rogers said, as Clemmons recalls. "But you heard me today."

"It was like telling me I'm OK as a human being," Clemmons says. "That was one of the most meaningful experiences I'd ever had."

Produced for Morning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher Morris.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, atStoryCorps.org.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2016/03/11/469846519/wa...

PLAY: Minecraft x Classroom: “engage students and drive new ways of thinking”

MineCraft x Social Studies

Making allows students to learn by doing and solve problems by tinkering, trial and error. Minecraft is a 3D sandbox game, which has made its way into classrooms because it engages students across a range of subjects. Imagine the learning that happens when these two popular education movements are combined.

The outcome is a powerhouse of student engagement, says Mike Washburn, head of computer science at Richmond Hill Montessori & Elementary Private School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  In his mind, games shouldn’t be relegated to the fringes in classrooms. Educators should leverage them to engage students and drive new ways of thinking.

Source: https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail...

URBANISM: Workshops — Design & The City

AMSTERDAM UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES

Knowledge Mile Amsterdam
19-22 APRIL 2016

Design & The City explores citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city.

Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and sociable urban futures.

The Design & the City workshops are hands-on sessions around the many facets of citizen-centered design for the smart city. We invite designers, students, scholars, public administrators, artists, activists and all smart citizens to join us in sharing insights, collaborate on research practices, experimenting with research methods, and cooperating towards new civic platforms.

Source: http://designandthecity.eu/programme/works...

PLAY: “ChangeGamer”: PROMOTING GAMES TO INSPIRE UNDERSTANDING OF TODAY'S REAL + COMPLEX CHALLENGES

ChangeGamer promotes the use of computer games to study themes such as energy, climate change, natural disasters, the environment, economics, politics, history and science.  The main function of ChangeGamer is to find high-quality games, and to create student activities for each of those games.  The vast majority of games are free, browser-based, and playable on a number of different platforms (e.g. PC, Mac, Chromebook, etc.).  All of the posted activities are free and have been tested in middle and high school classrooms (Gr.7-12). We have created answer keys for a number of the student activities where applicable - if you are a teacher and require any of these email us through the contact page using your school email address. 

In addition, ChangeGamer:

    
ChangeGamer is comprised of teachers and academics who volunteer their time to further the use of computer games in subjects such as Social Studies, Geography, and Science.  ChangeGamer was founded in 2014 in Toronto, building on the experience of teachers who have been using computer games in their classrooms for up to 10 years.   

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10 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids (and What to Say Instead)

Current research shows that some of the most commonly used and seemingly positive phrases we use with kids are actually quite destructive. Despite our good intentions, these statements teach children to stop trusting their internal guidance system, to become deceptive, to do as little as possible, and to give up when things get hard.

This is a guest post by Shelley Phillips via Lifehack.org

Here’s a list of the top ten things to eliminate from your vocabulary now. I’ve also included alternatives so that you can replace these habitual statements with phrases that will actually encourage intrinsic motivation and emotional connection.

“Good job!”

The biggest problem with this statement is that it’s often said repeatedly and for things a child hasn’t really put any effort into. This teaches children that anything is a “good job” when mom and dad say so (and only when mom and dad say so).

Instead try, “You really tried hard on that!” By focusing on a child’s effort, we’re teaching her that the effort is more important than the results. This teaches children to be more persistent when they’re attempting a difficult task and to see failure as just another step toward success.

“Good boy (or girl)!”

This statement, while said with good intentions, actually has the opposite effect you’re hoping for. Most parents say this as a way to boost a child’s self-esteem. Unfortunately, it has quite a different effect. When children hear “good girl!” after performing a task you’ve asked them for, they assume that they’re only “good” because they’ve done what you’ve asked. That sets up a scenario in which children can become afraid of losing their status as a “good kid” and their motivation to cooperate becomes all about receiving the positive feedback they’re hoping for.

Instead, try “I appreciate it so much when you cooperate!” This gives children real information about what you’re wanting and how their behavior impacts your experience. You can even take your feelings out of it entirely and say something like, “I saw you share your toy with your friend.” This allows your child to decide for himself whether sharing is “good” and lets him choose to repeat the action from his internal motivation, rather than doing it just to please you.

 

“What a beautiful picture!”

When we put our evaluations and judgments onto a child’s artwork, it actually robs them of the opportunity to judge and evaluate their own work.

Instead try, “I see red, blue and yellow! Can you tell me about your picture?” By making an observation, rather than offering an evaluation, you’re allowing your child to decide if the picture is beautiful or not, maybe she intended it to be a scary picture. And by asking her to tell you about it, you’re inviting her to begin to evaluate her own work and share her intent, skills that will serve her creativity as she matures and grows into the artist she is.

Stop it right now, or else!”

Threatening a child is almost never a good idea. First of all, you’re teaching them a skill you don’t really want them to have: the ability to use brute force or superior cunning to get what they want, even when the other person isn’t willing to cooperate. Secondly, you’re putting yourself in an awkward position in which you either have to follow through on your threats—exacting a punishment you threatened in the heat of your anger—or you can back down, teaching your child that your threats are meaningless. Either way, you’re not getting the result you want and you’re damaging your connection with your child.

While it can be difficult to resist the urge to threaten, try sharing vulnerably and redirecting to something more appropriate instead.“It’s NOT OK to hit your brother. I’m worried that he will get hurt, or he’ll retaliate and hurt you. If you’d like something to hit, you may hit a pillow, the couch or the bed.” By offering an alternative that is safer yet still allows the child to express her feelings you’re validating her emotions even as you set a clear boundary for her behavior. This will ultimately lead to better self-control and emotional wellbeing for your child.

If you _____ then I’ll give you _____”

Bribing kids is equally destructive as it discourages them from cooperating simply for the sake of ease and harmony. This kind of exchange can become a slippery slope and if used frequently, you’re bound to have it come back and bite you. “No! I won’t clean my room unless you buy me Legos!”

Instead try, “Thank you so much for helping me clean up!” When we offer our genuine gratitude, children are intrinsically motivated to continue to help. And if your child hasn’t been very helpful lately, remind him of a time when he was. “Remember a few months ago when you helped me take out the trash? That was such a big help. Thanks!” Then allow your child to come to the conclusion that helping out is fun and intrinsically rewarding.

"You’re so smart!"

When we tell kids they’re smart, we think we’re helping to boost their self confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, giving this kind of character praise actually does the opposite. By telling kids they’re smart, we unintentionally send the message that they’re only smart when they get the grade, accomplish the goal, or produce the ideal result — and that’s a lot of pressure for a young person to live up to. Studies have shown that when we tell kids they’re smart after they’ve completed a puzzle, they’re less likely to attempt a more difficult puzzle after. That’s because kids are worried that if they don’t do well, we’ll no longer think they’re “smart.”

Instead, try telling kids that you appreciate their effort. By focusing on the effort, rather than the result, you’re letting a child know what really counts. Sure, solving the puzzle is fun, but so is attempting a puzzle that’s even more difficult. Those same studies showed that when we focus on the effort — “Wow you really tried hard on that!” — kids are far more likely to attempt a more challenging puzzle the next time.

 

"Don’t cry."

Being with your child’s tears isn’t always easy. But when we say things like, “Don’t cry,” we’re invalidating their feelings and telling them that their tears are unacceptable. This causes kids to learn to stuff their emotions, which can ultimately lead to more explosive emotional outbursts.

Try holding space for your child as he cries. Say things like, “It’s OK to cry. Everyone needs to cry sometimes. I’ll be right here to listen to you.” You might even try verbalizing the feelings your child might be having, “You’re really disappointed that we can’t go to the park right now, huh?” This can help your child understand his feelings and learn to verbalize them sooner than he might otherwise. And by encouraging his emotional expression, you’re helping him learn to regulate his emotions, which is a crucial skill that will serve him throughout life.

"I promise..."

Broken promises hurt. Big time. And since life is clearly unpredictable, I’d recommend removing this phrase from your vocabulary entirely.

Choose instead to be super honest with your child. “I know you really want to have a play date with Sarah this weekend and we’ll do our best to make that happen. Please remember that sometimes unexpected things come up, so I can’t guarantee that it will happen this weekend.” Be sure you really are doing your best if you say you will too. Keeping your word builds trust and breaking it deteriorates your connection, so be careful what you say, and then live up to your word as much as humanly possible.

One more note on this, if you do break your word, acknowledge it and apologize to your child. Remember, you’re teaching your kids how to behave when they fail to live up to their word. Breaking our word is something we all do at one time or another. And even if it’s over something that seems trivial to you, it could matter a lot to your child. So do your best to be an example of honesty, and when you’re not, step up and take responsibility for your failure.

"It’s no big deal!"

There are so many ways we minimize and belittle kids feelings, so watch out for this one. Children often value things that seem small and insignificant to our adult point of view. So, try to see things from your child’s point of view. Empathize with their feelings, even as you’re setting a boundary or saying no to their request.

“I know you really wanted to do that, but it’s not going to work out for today,” or “I’m sorry you’re disappointed and the answer is no,” are far more respectful than trying to convince your child that their desires don’t really matter.

"Why did you do that?"

If your child has done something you don’t like, you certainly do need to have a conversation about it. However, the heat of the moment is not a time when your child can learn from her mistakes. And when you ask a child, “Why?” you’re forcing her to think about and analyze her behavior, which is a pretty advanced skill, even for adults. When confronted with this question, many kids will shut down and get defensive.

Instead, open the lines of communication by guessing what your child might have been feeling and what her underlying needs might be. “Were you feeling frustrated because your friends weren’t listening to your idea?” By attempting to understand what your child was feeling and needing, you might even discover that your own upset about the incident diminishes. “Oh! He bit his friend because he was needing space and feeling scared, and he didn’t know how else to communicate that. He’s not a ‘terror,’ he’s a toddler!”

PARENTING: Read books to babies.

 

 

In between dispensing advice on breast-feeding and immunizations, doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a new policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics will announce on Tuesday.

With the increased recognition that an important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life, and that reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important communication skills, the group, which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, is asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor.

“It should be there each time we touch bases with children,” said Dr. Pamela High, who wrote the new policy. It recommends that doctors tell parents they should be “reading together as a daily fun family activity” from infancy.

This is the first time the academy — which has issued recommendations on how long mothers should nurse their babies and advises parents to keep children away from screens until they are at least 2 — has officially weighed in on early literacy education.

While highly educated, ambitious parents who are already reading poetry and playing Mozart to their children in utero may not need this advice, research shows that many parents do not read to their children as often as researchers and educators think is crucial to the development of pre-literacy skills that help children succeed once they get to school.

Reading, as well as talking and singing, is viewed as important in increasing the number of words that children hear in the earliest years of their lives. Nearly two decades ago, an oft-cited study found that by age 3, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than have those of less educated, low-income parents, giving the children who have heard more words a distinct advantage in school. New research shows that these gaps emerge as early as 18 months.

According to a federal government survey of children’s health, 60 percent of American children from families with incomes at least 400 percent of the federal poverty threshold — $95,400 for a family of four — are read to daily from birth to 5 years of age, compared with around a third of children from families living below the poverty line, $23,850 for a family of four.

With parents of all income levels increasingly handing smartphones and tablets to babies, who learn how to swipe before they can turn a page, reading aloud may be fading into the background.

“The reality of today’s world is that we’re competing with portable digital media,” said Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician in Orangeburg, N.Y. “So you really want to arm parents with tools and rationale behind it about why it’s important to stick to the basics of things like books.”

Reading aloud is also a way to pass the time for parents who find endless baby talk tiresome. “It’s an easy way of talking that doesn’t involve talking about the plants outside,” said Erin Autry Montgomery, a mother of a 6-month-old boy in Austin, Tex.

Low-income children are often exposed little to reading before entering formal child care settings. “We have had families who do not read to their children and where there are no books in the home,” said Elisabeth Bruzon, coordinator for the Fairfax, Va., chapter of Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, a nonprofit program that sends visitors to the homes of low- to moderate-income families with children ages 3 to 5.

The pediatricians’ group hopes that by encouraging parents to read often and early, they may help reduce academic disparities between wealthier and low-income children as well as between racial groups. “If we can get that first 1,000 days of life right,” said Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, “we’re really going to save a lot of trouble later on and have to do far less remediation.”

Dr. Navsaria is the medical director of the Wisconsin chapter of Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit literacy group that enlists about 20,000 pediatricians nationwide to give out books to low-income families. The group is working with Too Small to Fail, a joint effort between the nonprofit Next Generation and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that is aimed at closing the word gap.

At the annual Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Denver on Tuesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce that Scholastic, the children’s book publisher, will donate 500,000 books to Reach Out and Read. Too Small to Fail is also developing materials to distribute to members of the American Academy of Pediatrics to help them emphasize the read-aloud message to parents.

 

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