So tomorrow I leave for Europe. I'm excited and have packed lightly. I have my new PDA phone, PC tablet (since the phone is not compatible with Mac), and iPod shuffle (to store digital interview recordings mostly).
Feel free to follow along virtual the trip. Postings will be mostly image-based as I will not have time for "Epic Email-like" mini-essays.
Note that this will not be an ethnographic adventure. Its impossible to do ethnography over a period of 3-days when you don't speak the languages. The emphasis for me is of course on not speaking the language. But the trip will be interesting and exciting. We shall hopefully learn alot about design, national policy, and civic participation across the Atlantic.
If I have time, I will post excerpts from an interview I did last Thursday with Ric Grefe, excutive director of AIGA, of which Design for Democracy is a strategic program. It was really inspiring for me because it seals for me AIGA as my organizational home, which is quite a change from 3 years ago when I had not joined because "I don't belong there." Thanks Ric.
Here is my itinerary:
June 1-2 Washington DC
Highlight: Dinner at the home of Belgian Ambassador, Baroness van Daele
June 03 -06 Brastislava, Slovakia
Highlights: trip to Devin Castle; briefing with Michal Kovac, former President of Slovak Republic (1993-1998); briefing with Olga Gyarfasova, Program Director of Institute for Public Affairs (she is a sociologist, researcher, and analyst); and Jozef Slovak, filmmaker.
June 07-11 Hamburg, Germany
Highlights: appointment with Prof. Welfard Kraiker in Communications Design at Hamburg University for Applied Sciences
June 12-15 Bilbao, Spain
Highlights: tour of Guggenheim by Geary, meetings with representatives of Basque political parties, visit to Basque Cultural Association, interview at Bai- agencia da innovacion
June 16-20 Craccow/Warsaw, Poland
Highlights: tour of Cracow old town and castles, meeting with Anna Maria Orla-Bukowska, a social anthropologist; tour of Auschwitz
June 21-25 Brussels, Belgium
Highlights: meeting with members of European Parliament, briefings at NATO
So as you see, this is going to be an enlightening trip.