Week 51, Year 2018 — Events in Tokyo

This week I flew out to Tokyo to start my annual winter trip.

Ran a workshop about Designing your talk topic

As my first activity as an instructor for Women Talk Design, I ran a workshop at AQ’s office for people interested in public speaking. Anyone who’s able to attend a 2hr workshop after work during peak party season must have an iron will, and my job was to hold the space for them to reflect on why they want to put themselves out there and articulate how they might make it happen. There was a really warm energy in the room and I thought it was a great way to start wrapping up the year.

Never mind that I was severely jet-lagged and promptly passed out as soon as I dragged myself home. I kind of love being in Tokyo trains because we openly share in the various states of coming and going, either in a total zombie mode (as I was that night) or focused work mode (it’s prime email catch-up time) or winding down from a boozy outing. Alone but together in space, letting our bodies be methodically hurled to someplace else.

Learning about the cutting edge of haptic design

There are tons of interesting events in Tokyo, partly thanks to a rise in the past decade of suitable venues for organizing all kinds of gatherings.

I caught an edition of the Haptic Design Meetup, where the theme of the night was haptic design in the context of sports.

Some of the research topics being explored: How might we watch sporting matches with blind and deaf people and communicate in real-time what’s going on? How might we capture non-verbal cues that professional athletes heed to help others master physical movements?

Application of haptic design interests me because in order to be effective, it needs to identify the essence of an interaction without words or screen interfaces. I also enjoyed being introduced to the research in Japanese — there are nuanced concepts that are rendered in this kind of sensorial design which becomes something else when using words from another language.

Organizing a Design Research Tokyo event in January

Johnny and I launched the event page for our January event, which will be the biggest yet for DRT. It will be a content-heavy event with three speakers, designed to get the word out about this new initative. Check out the details here.

I didn’t manage to publish a weeknote in the week that we rolled out DRT’s new visual identity courtesy of Ryan Ruel.

Here it is 😎

I also had three coffees and very engaging conversations with people I’d not met in person before, on top of catching up with friends and colleagues. A good week. I’m happy to be in Tokyo.