Going to New York on vacation

Tomorrow, I go to New York on vacation to visit my best friend from college, Claire. It will be the only vacation of the summer as I am so overextended and keep piling things on. But I'm excited.

I'll go to the MoMA to see the Richard Serra exhibit. I saw his work in Bilbao, Spain. I really like the enclosed experiences of his sculpture. I am also going to see the Comic exhibit.

I hope to visit with friends, Manual, Frank, and Meg. Everyone else is going out of town or have someone coming in. It will be chaotic, but I actually will get to use my mobile phone to blog.

So good night, check you in NYC tomorrow.

Munich Airport Signage 1

Munich Airport Signage 1
The information design in the Lufthansa terminal is exeptional. Even the instructions for tea have illustrations.

I almost did not get a boarding pass for the flight to Bratislava. Almost had to fly to Vienna and take the train.

Off to Europe tomorrow

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.