The Empathic Civilization Animation


Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.

I love the use of the whiteboard to illustrate his message–and what a great message it is. I was especially fascinated by the mention of mirror neurons.


Psychologists have done numerous studies with newborn infants to shed light on the notion of mirror neurons. One way that they discovered the existence of mirror neurons was when psychologists stuck out their tongues at babies, the babies would instinctively stick out their tongues in response–because that is one of the easiest motor movements that a baby can make right from birth.


Mirror neurons form the basis of our ability to learn and are very important in the development of the infant. Before we learned through rationalization, critical thinking and rote memorization, we learned by mimicking other people around us.

Waterloo Region – A Symphony of Design

A Symphony of Design, the Urban Design Video Celebration, is a presentation of the promotional video consisting of introductory and summary messages highlighting the quality of architecture and urban design projects in the Waterloo Region. The video features a number of vignettes of specific buildings and urban design projects in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo that demonstrate examples of architectural or urban design excellence. Partners included CTT Inc, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation.” – (via Exchange Magazine Article)

Objectified – The feature-length documentary

Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. 

Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

Read director Gary Hustwit’s post about the filmObjectified is the second part of a three-film “design trilogy” by Gary Hustwit, details on the third film will be released soon.

Objectified had its world premiere at the SxSW Film Festival in March 2009, and is currently screening at film festivals, cinemas, and special events worldwide. The film will be available as a DVD and download soon. Join our mailing list or subscribe to our RSS feed to stay informed of new announcements.