Thrill Laboratory

Just spent a thrilling evening at the Dana Centre in London. The theme was Fairground – Thrill Laboratory. A full evening programme about the pleasures of thrill seeking behaviour. Some serious talks, but also very entertaining performances and even a live fairground ride in the garden! The coming weeks will feature two more of these programmes, exploring the themes anxiety and bodily arousal. Each session with different talks and different rides. Check it out.

The Dana Centre is a place to watch anyway. They often organise interesting programmes on the cross roads of art, science and technology.…

Food for Thought

InnovationRCA has just published an interesting book by Toke Barter and R√© Dubhthaigh from Radarstation. This book, ‘Food for Thought: A service based approach to embedding innovation‘, addresses innovation processes in corporate organisations.¬†Given the current importance of design-led innovation, the authors have explored the ways that design can play a role in everyday innovation processes. They have come up synthesised the results of their research in a proposal for an in-house, cross-organisational innovation support service. They have chosen the restaurant as the metaphor for this service, and suggest three levels of service: Snacking, Fast Food and Gourmet.…

Uncommon Ground

During the Crossmedia Week PICNIC06 in Amsterdam, an interesting workshop on knowledge sharing between academia and industry took place, organised by The Virtual Platform and the Utrecht School of the Arts. The title of the workshop was Uncommon Ground, as a reference to the importance of being open minded and¬† prepared to venture into unknown territories when collaborating across domains. Participants from various countries and various types of organisations (universities, large corporations, SMEs, art, non-profit organisations) presented case studies of successful multi-disciplinary projects. STBY was involved as an adviser in the run up to the workshop and participated during the event as the chair in one the break out groups.…

Design and Innovation

A seminar on Creativity Technology & Design, organised by the Tanaka Business School of Imperial College during London Design Festival, clearly showed that business strategist are warming up to the fact that design is a integral part of innovation. All three speakers, Nick Leon (Imperial),¬† Jennifer Whyte (Imperial) and Isabel Pollock (Audi Design Foundation) stressed the importance of close collaborations between business consultants and designers. They frequently referred to the Cox review as a key source to have pointed out that design thinking is a crucial driver of innovation processes.…

Smart molecules

This is a really smart product! Embedded in the knitwear this cap contains D3O material. It is flexible as long as you move in a ‘normal’ way, but locks together on shock. We have been using caps like this since a few months, both for snowboarding and cycling through London. They are much more comfortable than the traditional helmets, and also much better looking! The caps are made by Ribcap. I had some trouble finding a store that sells them. In the end I succeeded in Amsterdam at

Video Clips

Do you recognise the feeling of creating a live video clip on the fly when you go through a city or landscape with your music in your ears? Music can be a very strong guider of our perspective. When you have a certain song in your ears, let’s say Computerworld by Kraftwerk, and you watch out the window of the train you start seeing things that were not there before. Today I was travelling from Eindhoven to Amsterdam by train and Kraftwerk made me see the Dutch landscape in an even more artificial form than it already normally is.

In the Netherlands almost every nature landscape is cultivated or created from scratch. From my window I saw a new dike for a train, a grid of young trees, some poles in the ground to provide measure points, a dozen cows and three black horses nicely distributed on a fresh green meadow. Computerworld helped me see that all this is created by man, nowadays with…

New media in everyday life

It’s tempting to make a short manifesto of this post, but I’ll save that for later ;-). This blog is just a daily notebook for things related to our research into new media and everyday life. Have a look at our website to get a bit more information about the research. Expect here small observations of unintended use of communication technology. Like recently, when people around me in a dark train (the train manager had accidentally leaned on a switch!) started reading their papers and books with the light of their mobile phone screens. Phones don’t make very strong flashlights, but good enough to read for some 15 minutes in your book it turned out. When the first person started doing it, many followed within seconds, it spread like virus. While getting of the train I saw the train manager and pointed out to him that we had been in the dark between the airport and Amsterdam…

Prototyping Clean Energy Futures

In a workshop hosted by STBY during the Service Design Days in Barcelona on the 5th and 6th of October 2018, we prototyped ideas for new service concepts in response to the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge.

A New Breed of Design Research Tools

Gone are the days of lugging around clunky recorders, hefty cameras and brick-like hard drives to interviews and observation sites. The design researchers of today need only bring along a smartphone hooked up to a few complementary gadgets and software to capture and save quality audio, video and images.

STBY’s Action-packed Autumn

From Service Design Days in Barcelona to a 'Happy Pedestrian' Conference in Amsterdam, STBY has a packed agenda for Autumn. Here's a sweep of what we are up to.  

Unpacking the Journey from Farm to Fork in Nairobi

STBY recently went to Nairobi to work with local design research partners on the preparations for the latest Global Design Challenge on Clean Energy. Through workshops with creatives and energy experts we explored local energy issues and developed a better understanding of the Kenyan perspectives on climate change.

Rigorous documentation: A research superpower

When research activities get going in earnest, a lot is produced. If treated too casually, the mass of audio files and transcripts, flip-overs and mini-posters full of post-its, photos, interview notes and feedback mails can quickly turn into a massive hairball that no-one can unpick.

Where do people fit into the Internet of Things?

There are now more things connected to the internet than the number of people in the world. Many of these devices are inside our home, from Bluetooth speakers to smart coffee machines and fridges. In the future, even our plates and curtains might be hooked up to the internet. The house will then resemble a lab, in which we are the studied subjects. How much alcohol do we drink? How often do we wash our hair, or cut our nails? Are we snacking more than usual? Spending longer in front of the mirror? Maybe the homes of the future will know.

Imagining More Walkable Cities

What does ‘walkability’ mean? Exploring more walkable cities could help us envision streets that can be used and enjoyed by everyone. Much…

What Design Can Do For The Climate

How can designers tackle a problem as complex as climate change? That was the question we were faced with when we partnered with What Design Can Do…