In a previous post I mentioned the work on conversational modeling, which is part of the research I have been doing lately. In fact, it is one aspect of a three-year project with my excellent colleagues down in Brazil, who are interested in how design can contribute to better strategic planning. It pleases me no end that one of the consequences of the funding is that I am now designated a “Scientist without Borders.”
Under the terms of the project, I have committed to spend a couple of months each year in Porto Alegre, which is a city in the heart of the gaucho area of Brazil. For those of you unfamiliar with these cowboys of the south, they have been a political force for freedom and independence for centuries, and are also responsible for the invention of churrasco, which is essentially the practice of barbecuing various kinds of meat on swords. It is so popular in the province of Rio Grande do Sul that most houses have a barbecue built into the interior, much like houses in Canada would have a fireplace, only these are dedicated to deliciousness.