Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Young Blood = Bloody Useless (for the most part)


For those of you not enjoying the wonderfully aestival* weather of Sydney, you may be unaware that the Sydney Design festival is coming to a close for 2009.

As part of the festivities, a market was arranged at the Powerhouse Museum to enable design-hungry Sydneysiders to access the best in emerging design talent. Having more than a passing interest in the event, called Young Blood, I offered to cover the it for the Melbourne-based Design Droplets blog.

I had high hopes of shedding light on a great event and a shedload of Australian design talent.  Sadly the outcome was a little different.

Head over to Design Droplets to read the full catastrophe.

*Wicked word for the day: aestival adj. belonging to or appearing in summer.

Detour Ahead: DownsideUpDesign has a new home, becomes!


As a little treat to myself (and, hopefully you guys), I’ve decided to move to a self-hosted set-up for DownsideUpDesign. In the short term, this wont meant a great deal for you but will make my job a lot easier. It also opens up a whole heap of exciting opportunities for the future.

Although the old address will continue to work for the next 4 weeks, join in the fun and change your RSS feeds/bookmarks/permalinks to and let’s keep the party rolling!

[Image: Robin D Hinton]

Antonella gains a voice, brain, pulse and a… well, becomes a boy


There’s a risk that I may depart on some vainglorious romp here, but I figure a little self-indulgence is warranted given that DownsideUpDesign has just kicked over the 10,000 visitor mark.

While I was out in Broken Hill, I had to good fortune to catch up with Mark Charmer at the Movement Design Bureau and, even more fortuitously, Rob Hunter and Amy Johannigman, whose work I had the pleasure of reading as part of the Sue Cischke project back in May.

We ended up having a mind expanding conversation (they come along with pleasing regularity when in Mark’s company), discussing the potential for a highly personal style of social media to help generate really meaningful dialogue around design and sustainability.

It’s dialogue that companies like Ford need to be having yet can’t seem to get started. I have a sneaking suspicion, as do Mark, Amy, Rob and many others, that their reliance on mute personae like Antonella has something to do with it…

While I’ll let Mark and Amy fill you in on the details, I’m honoured by the profile they’ve put together and the concept Mark discusses is something that resonates with me on so many levels. It speaks of a bright future for not only  this DownsideUpDesigner and the others out there like me, but also a more open, responsive and sustainable future for the automotive industry, which I seem to have been destined to be a part of for a while now.

If you’ve got this far, then your the kind of reader I love to have. It’s even better if you leave your thoughts below because without the dialogue we share, DownsideUp is just another tree falling in the woods.

Thanks so much for being a part of the first 10,000. I’m looking forward to many, many more.


[Image: Juliana O’Dean-Smith. “Glamorgan”, Manilla, North-Western N.S.W, longer ago than I care to remember]

DownsideUpDesigner goes AWOL


So that you, my loyal readers, wont think that I’ve dropped off the face of the planet I wanted to let you know that I’m away from the ‘furt for the next week.

The weekend will be spent soaking up Rodchenko, Courbusier and a few drinks with mates in London. Next week, of course, will be all about the Geneva Motor Show.

After this brief interlude the DownsideUpDesigner should be back in full swing, hopefully with some incisive commentary on what I saw at Geneva and how it all fits into the rapidly evolving big picture of automotive design.

In the meantime I commend you to read a fabulous article on the legacy of Chris Bangle, written by Sam Livingstone, over at Car Design News. He successfully elucidates why I, and many other young designers, think that Chris has done more for the industry than any other designer in recent history.

@drewpasmith = Yes, I'm on Twitter!

Not having full connectivity on my pony somewhat limits my spontaneity with Twitter but I’m there for better.

Or is it for worse? Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Xing and LinkedIn combined makes me feel a little like a character in the cartoon below. “Just take ten deep breaths and relax, everybody’s doing it!”


[Abstruse Goose via PSFK]

Comment is free


So I’m just a little bit in love with this theme I’m using (it has lovely grid structure!) but for one fairly fundamental flaw: it’s not easy to see where to comment on any of the posts.

In the image above, circled in red, is the tiny link that opens up the comments form.

Now that I’ve told you, there’s no excuse for not expressing your opinion! Go on, click and comment, you know you want to…

About DownSideUp Design

I'm Drew Smith and I'm an ethnographer and strategist. By day I shape culture and strategy at Westpac. By night I sleep (mostly). And once a month, I help teams host an event called Rising Minds in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney.

DownsideUpDesign is a place for me to collect stuff that I like, often love and sometimes hate for safe keeping. All views represented here are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of anyone else.

Get in touch at drewpasmith (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me (@drewpasmith) to rant, contribute or collaborate!

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.