The ANZSEE 2019 Conference on Ecological Economics was held in Melbourne this week. I have collected a few photos and quotes from my notes below.
I learned to swim in calm waters. Small lakes, predictable and easy. You don’t need to worry about the waves, or timing.
The ocean is a different beast. The coastline is beautiful, the waves majestic and powerful.
I am not a strong swimmer, and I was repeatedly reminded of this years ago when trying to learn surfing (which I failed).
Some of those moments: awe-inspiring waves, fun play in the water. Then a wave crashing over your head, a big tumble underwater, and a sudden realisation that you are not running the show – the ocean is.
Awe and fear.
In the 1990’s, I worked as a programmer and a software developer. Back then, using computer software was quite difficult for the layperson. I moved into the field of interaction design and learned about usability in the 2000’s. It was a revelation: we could no longer blame the user for everything that went wrong with software – the blame now lay squarely with us, the ones who made the software.
The disciplines of usability and interaction design, along with several others, have since evolved into a field we now tend to call User Experience. We follow an approach called Human Centred Design, which involves ‘the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process’.
I have spent nearly a decade and a half working in this field and have always held a strong belief that design should be human centred.
Lately, I have been having some doubts. Let me explain.
I recently joined the New Economy Network Australia conference for three days here in Melbourne. It was fantastic – you can find the program here (pdf). I’ll cover some of my reflections and highlights from the conference below.
The modern society wants us to be productive, to optimise, to fit more into a day. Slowing down is thought of as a weakness, something to look down upon.
Consider a Monday conversation at the office, where your colleague asks what you did over the weekend. The reaction is to rattle off a list, to recall each activity, to talk about the quantity of things we did. The more the better; otherwise your weekend must have been a waste.
A key to fitting in more is choosing convenience. Convenience is sold as the solution to help with our busy lives, and it comes in many shapes and forms.
This post is about noise. It follows us everywhere, and there are lots of it.
I am writing this in the middle of Melbourne at an open-plan office where the floors above and the property next door have been renovated for months. Drilling, grinding, banging, hacking, boring, buzzing, sawing.