Yesterday I really needed one of the wind up computers we’d discussed earlier in the morning. With both electricity and internet connections failing I realise how much I rely on technology, not just for keeping in touch with my son in Australia and daughters in Edinburgh, I do my husbands business letters, prices etc. I process my photographs, do digital design, write the assignments/lecture notes up and then place my assignments on my web log. I check my flickr site, twitter and facebook and also my two email addresses not forgetting VLE! I couldn’t even access the world wide web through my iPhone! Which brings me nicely to that brilliant design; the wind up computers are actually produced by OLPC – one lap top per child a non-profit organisation, their mission statement: “To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future”. OLPC
A brilliant design without the need for electricity it uses a wind up handle to power it. They are sent to schools in Africa however as much as the children enjoy the laptops can the programme really work without the primary concerns being addressed, providing a school building, teachers, desks and books, can the children learn with these alone if no other resources were available ? More can be read here.
Staying with Africa another image was of the T. shirt designed by Danish artist, Nadia Plesner in response to the press reporting on celebrity news, whilst in Darfur there was genocide.
The design featured a naked African child holding a small dog and a Louis Vitton bag. I remember at the time initially being quite shocked by the image but then Nadia sold the T shirts and posters on her web site and all the profits were given to an organisation helping out in Dafur. Although this backfired for her and ended with a law suite from Louis Vitton the press picked up on this and the exposure was immense and raised large amounts of money for the cause. This was Nadia’s way of using design to raise a point, she didn’t sit back and watch it all happening she made a design decision and went through with it. There are those who feel the Louis Vitton bag shouldn’t have been used as it infringed copyright but what Nadine was trying to say was how our society is more interested in so called celebrities having breakdowns than in the real suffering which wasn’t getting the press it should have. Whether Nadine used the bag in the image to provoke a response like this I’m not sure but if she hadn’t would she have got such a response and got so many people to talk about it? I know I’ve still got a lot to learn and I do realise copyright shouldn’t be infringed but I believe her response was from the heart.
The other images really brought back bad memories as they had associations with things which weren’t good. I’ll maybe go into this later but to put you in the picture I was born in 1960 and my early years were very different to my life now.They were taken from Ladybird Books from the 1950- 60’s. They depicted the ideal family where mother was in the kitchen cooking with daughter and father was in the garage with his son. Another was mother feeding the children and father sitting by the fire in his suit reading. The perfect family? Below are the kind of images that publishers printed in their magazines and in books in the 60’s. These images were influencing how we thought and behaved but a lot were a contradiction to how we lived. These were most definitely middle class images being shown in schools mine included but so many in my class were working class families; miners, farmers and manual workers. The images gave men and women stereotypical roles and looked very harmonious but behind the images the messages they portrayed were very powerful for us as children.
the nuclear family
and just for fun? Although we do need a new sink,this better not be me on my birthday !