What goes in to a design

I used to run a Stained-Glass Business in Dunedin, for 11 years.
I attended the home show each year, and I got most of my work from the show.
I’m just going to run through the process of one of those jobs.

Design starts with a brief
Location Gillion and Sons, a new Funeral chapel.
Part of the gathering space once inside.
A 6-meter blank wall. Fill in the blank

I ask for more hints. “No, I don’t want to influence you in any way.”
What a challenge? OMG I’m out of my depth here. I can’t do this. This is serious.
The “guy” looked like Colonel Sanders

The constraints
This is going to be a lightbox not a window. There was a lot of rimu timber in the place in all the trim the ceiling.

The context
This was a tidy place, not ostentatious. Not trying to be anything else but comforting.
Death is here. What kind of thing is appropriate?

Images start flashing …a scene a lake. No someone may have drowned. Nature …seemed to dominate my thoughts. No matter the scene, I thought oh that’s going to remind them of.

Well guess what …they are thinking of the deceased person that’s why they are here so stop thinking about it.

Put the Constraints and context run it through the brain again.
I thought 6 meters in length. Five panels in a frame on a wall. Don’t want to see the lights. But how can you change the batons. A wooden box with rimu framing around the panels removable to allow access. A diffusion layer to diffuse the light. Ventilation even fluros get hot. Need a tidy carpenter. This gave me something to work with.

I have a canvas
I sat down and drew these 5 panels. 1 tenth scale. I got a ruler and randomly scribed lines on angles going horizontally and then some vertical lines on some angles. I then rubbed some out and then started making shapes between and through the panels. I drew some curves and some shapes that begun to look like buildings, hills and landscapes. What seemed to evolve was a kind of evocation of the place of Dunedin.

This design came out of the profound affection I had for Dunedin. It truly was a great place. When I arrived for the first time by train the vista was astounding. The place was full of people that were friendly and genuine. I was a stranger that had been welcomed by so many. I majored in kinetic sound sculpture. I was able to start a business. I was a founding member of an arts collective. I was singing in bands. I have a connection to this place.

Customer very little brief, a space with its limitations and rules, consideration to the place the purpose. All affect the design.
I apply this kind of methodology to all that I do.

I still get a sense of being part of the place. Part of me that is part of there.

Forgiving oneself

Today I’ve been reflecting on events that happened in the past that still leave me angry. I hold some folk in contempt. I have noticed finally the following. I can’t change anything in them. But I can change my outlook. So I’m just gonna let it go.  If I don’t change the hurt I feel is only hurting me. I’m in a sulking loop , a never ending blame loop.

So yeah.

I forgive them and myself.

I was talking with a colleague today, and he suggested …how about you use some creative outlet and create some gift for them …

This is a great idea.

Option 1 do it!

Option 2 = Option 1

Life can be good

First world problems

So I was reading an article on stuff.co.nz about some outfit that gather food donations for charity and they were saying…but don’t give us cans of tomatoes and/or chick peas.

The folk don’t want them nobody wants them. I thought if you’re hungry them eat it.  I have memories of always having canned tomatoes for ever in the cupboard …can always do something. Same with chick peas.

I’m just thinking this is news why? Is this an advertorial for the group. They’re left carrying all these unwanted cans.

Its just weird. Maybe this is a measure of dignity one can choose free food. It’s no necessarily fussy.

They want stuff that’s easy to prepare. Maybe too many folk are that dependent on fast food.

This is real first world problems.




I’ve been working with SharePoint for many years and people say to me its horrible I can’t do this and can’t do that.

Oh well its doomed to fail if you are doing it like this and like that.

What is the success of it really anyway what is it’s purpose.

Is it the role of a platform, software product to change the habits of the way people work . We all work so differently.

The clue I think is to observe the habits of those that wish to give it  a go.  Working in this way is a change this is going to change your habits.

Such a change is going to be a gradual change. One can’t change this too much.

If a persons day is working entirely in email then why bother.

But if you find a common thing that a few folk need to truly share and collborate on then you may have a chance.

It may take time.

It may be like this.

Put Policies on a page , get all policies on this page and organise them meaningfully , without folders so people can adjust their eyes to this , so editors can get used to this. So all can change a habit.

Next time through , use a standard template , editors can create a new one from scratch , tagging can be used in the document properties.  All the items are now in one central place being controlled well and managed.

It’s at this time that the provider and end user see benefit of this central place .

Habits have been changed.

This can be measured as a success. No one has had their whole  working day life usurped.

Outcomes from this success will lead to future requests for similar things to happen.

I now expect there to be less friction and all parties know about the way it works.

Less comments about it not being something else.

Its a long tale investment. As with all habits though there has to be a will to change that habit.

Software is a colonial construct

I was having a robust discussion the other day and one thing the other guy said to me was “Software is a colonial construct”

This statement really made my hair stand on end and I thought hang on what?

I was taken back. In fact my mind has been in turmoil for weeks since this statement lay itself in front of me.

So why am I taken back by this. Well software is a tool. Yes it is a construct with limitations on what you can do ….but this is not either.

Everything is a colonial construct. So in countries that did not get colonized, is software a colonial construct.

It is in ones mind I suggest.

For years I have seen young fellows say they are not good enough.

I have seen some people not bother because they ain’t going to win.

Is it easier for me because of my skin ? Yes this is a biased caused by the colonial construct. But this just has to be broken and removed. It will take some doing but there are glimmers of hope.

Here’s a couple of articles that show this glimmer of hope.

If the hills could sue: Jacinta Ruru on legal personality and a Māori worldview

Brand Aotearoa

I’m only human after all

All the habits that I make or break over the years. The routines I fall into.  These are my behaviours where I feel safe.  Some one said to me the other day .

Software is a “Colonial construct” . Let me put some context to this but. This person is studying Maori that get involved in IT.

I was defensive of software. This is not about the colonial construct.

We can try to make software bi lingual. We can try to adapt software to do this and that for ever and a day. All in all software is a construct that we make to do something.

I am constantly hearing this software can do this and it can do that. What it won’t do is change behaviour.

This got me thinking …..

Then another pearler. Apple makes things so elegant so intuitive. “I don’t like that” …”I want to think for myself”

this got me thinking….

So yes what ever you like. It’s abstract.  Software has its own culture it dictates the way you input informatin. It has no concern or understanding of your culture . It conforms to rules and guides.

Can it ever be reflective of our culture. What can this mean.

What am I thinking writing this blog in the total absence of conversation.

Am I expecting that these ramblings will resonate with some one that may stumble across this and type yeah or like this.

Is it not my culture conversational.

What this is is my personal log. My notes jotted down for some kind of recall to come back to to draw an idea from.

This is a sketch , a solitary thing.

My private journal that’s in a public place. This software , this internet gives me the relative sanctuary of anonymity.

Cher Point T shirt


The Housing Problem

First of all let me lay a bad pun down here.

”The land problem is something people don’t want to dwell on”

But seriously. I have been for a long time astounded by the fact that in 3 years, my house doubled in price and the market is willing to pay that.

All I did was mow the lawns and this happened with no effort.

My response at the time was to re finance and spend the bulk of my new found wealth or supposed wealth and transfer this to a new build new asset that my wife and I were building.

I remember at the time this felt weird but I did this because I could.

Now the correction is coming.

But who’s gonna change things .

The council gets benefits by increased rates, the banks get more bang for their buck, the homeowner’s equity inflates and we go around again.

So now the thoughts are looking at ways and means of measuring improvements.

Yes it should be real if you show improvements and its a value add.

But if you don’t perhaps there should be some measure of depreciation.

But no ones going to like it huh?


What are Microsoft thinking

I went to a talk last night about Machine Learning and ‘R’ Services in SQL 2016.

It was a very interesting talk. I think I understood the talk. However the conclusion was at one point though.

I imagine machine learning is using an abundance of CPU and RAM and such from a cluster of computing that one can call upon to learn stuff and process.

I understand that for years things like Data Layer , Business layers. Tiers of architecure for Dev’s to use logically.

This service from Microsoft seemed to be wanting to do this stuff right in close . Right in the SQL server itself.

The presenter rightly or wrongly emphasised how all DBA’s would go into a clench. They are alll worried about  performance.

To have such heavy lifting stuff in the same space competing for the same CPU , thread RAM.

Today it got me thinking what’s going on ?

What are microsoft really up to? Is it just so one can say

“Yeah we got machine learning …switched it on last night”

The takeaway was one of confusion. No doubt all will be revealed over the coming years.

One thing was attractive that my brain began to tick over was with the closeness of this perhaps there are some ways of using this method for running calculations and learning from your data close in at the data layer.

– Send transactions to your learning engine  and do something with.

– Do some smarts and manipulation that you can’t with simple rows

I think the clue is Microsoft is teasing us enticing us to try and see what we do.

Thoughts on repairing the past

For years and years I have reflected on my school years and the aspects of cruelty and the morale hiatus that seemed to exist during those years.

I have tried to explain to others that the “Lord of the flies”, was a picnic compared to life as it was for me for my school years from aged 9 through to 16.

I have at times thought that someone should have been more responsible and not allowed things to happen.

At times I think how could this happen.

  1. There was the archaic school doctrine and rules to abide by or you were caned.
  2. There was a bullying and full fagging system that was self governing by “seniority”
  3. Staff that were sometimes sadists, some paedophiles that had another set of rules . They were in a position of trust and care.

All of us children were from broken homes from tragedy, divorce or otherwise.

So many people to blame.

Some of the kids from that age have been so messed up. Some have suicided, some have had tortured lives trying to grow up.

How does one heal from this.  The only way to heal is to not let this happen again to break the cycle . Stop and heal for the future . The damage from the past can’t be undone.

By healing the future though there is hope.



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