Tag: world

Dissertation

It has been more than a month that I finished my dissertation. But better later than never…

Here is the abstract and you can click on the cover bellow to access it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 15.18.23By obfuscating what western human being take for granted, such as the knowledge offered to us by maps, clocks, or more recently electronic de- vices, my research aims to reveal how technology fails to give us the ‘god’s eye view’ that it promises. This dissertation presents three of my projects: MyMap, Circadian Clock and SAAD, which encourage people to reflect on how we might overcome the challenges that modern technology puts in front of us, in order to reconnect with others and nature.
This dissertation explores the concept of borders; physical, symbolic, invis- ible or psychological, which I would argue are partly responsible for ‘dim- ming’ our perspective of the world. The research and projects, allowed me to develop the concept of ‘Design Geography’, which I define as the prac- tice to mediate the value of human interaction with others and the natural environment, using design processes.

 

Happiness in the affluent West

On a BBC article Happiness dips in midlife in the affluent West it is argued that “in countries such as the UK and the US, life satisfaction followed a U-shape, dipping to a low in midlife.”

For this research, the data set is coming from the Gallup World Poll in more than 160 countries covering more than 98% of the world’s population. As well as physical health and pain, they considered three measures of wellbeing:

  • evaluative – how satisfied people were with their lives
  • hedonic – feelings or moods such as happiness, sadness and anger
  • eudemonic – judgements about the meaning and purpose of life

_78783305_global_life_satisfaction_624

The work by MoveHub is related to this topic. He ask the question : Which country is the happiest in the world? And made an infographics out of the result of the research. It is a visualisation of the data of Happy Planet Index (HPI), which shows to what extent 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy, and sustainable lives for their citizens. The index measures three components:

  • life expectancy
  • experience well-being
  • Ecological Footprint

happiness-around-the-world_feeldesain_01

 

 

Wealth and Power

I wanted to share an article from Alternet about the distribution of the world goods. It is always something which raise a lot of questions: why am I part of the world’s richest even by being a broke student  ? How can I contribute to make the world a better place ?

Here is the article: 

The Shocking Amount of Wealth and Power Held by 0.001% of the World Population
The level of inequality around the world is truly staggering.

Many now know the rhetoric of the 1% very well: the imagery of a small elite owning most of the wealth while the 99% take the table scraps.

In 2006,  a UN report revealed that the world’s richest 1% own 40% of the world’s wealth, with those in the financial and internet sectors comprising the “super rich.” More than a third of the world’s super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world’s richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet’s total assets, while the bottom half of the population – more than 3 billion people – owned less than 1% of the world’s wealth.

Looking specifically at the United States, the top 1% own more than 36% of the national wealth and more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%. Almost all of the wealth gains over the previous decade went to the top 1%. In the mid-1970s, the top 1% earned 8% of all national income; this number rose to 21% by 2010. At the highest sliver at the top, the 400 wealthiest individuals in America have more wealth than the bottom 150 million.

A 2005 report from Citigroup coined the term “plutonomy” to describe countries “where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few.” The report specifically identified the U.K., Canada, Australia and the United States as four plutonomies. Published three years before the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, the Citigroup report stated: “Asset booms, a rising profit share and favorable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper and become a greater share of the economy in the plutonomy countries.”

“The rich,” said the report, “are in great shape, financially.”

In early 2013, Oxfam reported that the fortunes made by the world’s 100 richest people over the course of 2012 – roughly $240 billion – would be enough to lift the world’s poorest people out of poverty four times over. In  the Oxfam report, “The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt Us All,” the international charity noted that in the past 20 years, the richest 1% had increased their incomes by 60%. Barbara Stocking, an Oxfam executive, noted that this type of extreme wealth is “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive…We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.”

The report added: “In the UK, inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10% now take home nearly 60% of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more unequal than at the end of apartheid.” In the United States, the share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled from 10 to 20% since 1980, and for the top 0.01% in the United States, “the share of national income is above levels last seen in the 1920s.”

Previously, in July of 2012, James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey, a major global consultancy, published a major report on tax havens for the Tax Justice Network which compiled data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the IMF and other private sector entities to reveal that the world’s super-rich have hidden between $21 and $32 trillion offshore to avoid taxation.

Henry stated: “This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of ‘source’ countries.” John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network  further commented that “Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people… This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: for three decades extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich.”

The photo that sums up our world

world_0

 

As African would-be migrants try to scale a triple-strength 7m (23ft) border fence that separates the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco, golfers continue to play their round.

This photo was taken by local humanitarian group Prodein, which earlier this month released a video supposedly showing Spanish police carrying an unconscious man from Spanish territory to Morocco.

Commenting on the video, in which a 23-year-old Cameroonian man named Danny is removed, Human Rights Watch’s Judith Sunderland said: “Spain needs to call an immediate halt to these abusive returns, and the public prosecutor’s office needs to investigate this horrific case. Until the case has been fully investigated, the Guardia Civil should remove these officers from border duties.”

Spain claims that 28,000 migrants have entered the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in the last decade, with 36 attempts upon the fence this year alone.

From i100 Independent and Rue 89

CSIS Data Chandelier

 

 

” Commissioned by the Center for Strategic and International Studies for their new headquarters in Washington, Sosolimited partnered with Hypersonic Engineering & Design, Plebian Design, and Chris Parlato to design, program, and fabricate one-of-a-kind chandelier. 425 hanging pendants form a map of the world when viewed from below. This map becomes a low-res display for illustrating global data such as GDP growth rate, renewable water resources, and energy consumption.

Each data set is paired with a lighting animation. In addition, CSIS can highlight regions of the map that correspond with international developments or events within the building. The entire system is automated, linking to web-based data to dynamically build animations. By parsing CSIS website, the team can identify countries in the news and highlight them on the chandelier.

The system currently uses UN Data GDP growth rate, USEIA Total Energy Consumption per capitaand Aquastat Total Renewable Water Resources per capita. Each of these data sets updates on an annual or quarterly basis. The team wrote a series of python scripts that process the data and colour an SVG map of world to match a normalized value for each set. An openFrameworks app loads these maps and uses the data to drive a series of animations. Each animation is unique to the data set and attempts to resemble the underlying data: water feels like rain drops, energy pulses, and GDP grows. There are also visual modes that let researches at CSIS select specific regions of the world to highlight – either to show conflict, or to show progress — John Rothenberg of SoSo Limited explains to CAN. Finally, the oF app outputs DMX to a series of DMX dimmer boards that control the light fixtures. Each pendant lights contains an MR-11 LED bulb that becomes a pixel in the display. “  from Creative Applications

Bruce Munro

 

British artist Bruce Munro is best known for immersive large-scale light-based installations inspired largely by his interest in shared human experience. Recording ideas and images in sketchbooks has been his practice for over 30 years. By this means he has captured his responses to stimuli such as music, literature, science, and the world around him for reference, reflection, and subject matter.

His web site