Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

Dandelion – Call for Entries at IDAsia

Dandelion Logo

The Singapore Design Festival 2007 is coming right up at the end of this year from Nov-Dec 2007, and IDAsia.org is gearing up for an online exhibition showcasing design talents from Asia. Titled as ‘Dandelion’, it is a virtual exhibition that has the blessing of DesignSingapore as one of the official events in this festival.

It is pretty much targeted to designers who are interested to sell themselves or their products that this exhibition will be their means to an end. Therefore the big requirement is that product images must consist as either non-functioning and functioning prototypes or models. They can be anything, portfolio work, furniture, packaging or anything product related.

The internet is filled with beautifully rendered images that really are at the end of the day impossible to make or realise, often this becomes a circular discussion that goes back to the fact that the design is just not well resolved. Therefore we aim for this exhibition to only showcase fantastic designers that can not only dream but also make as well.

If you have it, go flaunt it! Much more details at IDAsia.

Packaging Design Blog

 Packaging Design

Here’s to yet another niche design blog – this time focusing on the art of packaging. According to the blog owner Torben,

A quick count shows that an average person is in contact with a packaging approximately 52 times per day! If you didn´t notice this fact before it is maybe because you´re surrounded by good and well worked out packaging designs.

But for those who are disabled to some extend, bad packaging design can turn out to be an everyday nightmare. That is what I deal with and want to improve!

It’s a budding blog but it certainly shows promise. Head over to Design Better Packaging to shower some love!

Luxury Design Blog

Luxury Design Blog

Poverty wants some things, Luxury many things, Avarice all things – Benjamin Franklin

While some may see luxury as almost a crime – who are we to deserve such opulence and indulgence – others see it as a benchmark of the ultimate in performance, refinement and design. If you need a dose of how the rich (or, perhaps more commonly nowadays, simply those who are willing to splurge) live their lives, their toys and their fancies, here’s a well-presented blog that focuses solely on designs and developments in the luxury segment – be it high-tech goods, automobile or fashion. It’s in both English and French even!

Desktopography

Desktopography

Desktopography is a website that has a collection of desktop wallpapers:

Desktopography is an exhibition, a showcase of nature themed desktop wallpapers created by designers worldwide.

Designers spend around 90% of their waking life in front of a computer so the most appealing genre for a wallpaper would be one that has beautiful design mixed with the all important aspect of being outdoors. This year we present over 40 new desktop wallpapers for you to display and enjoy.

They do have some really beautiful, high resolution pictures. Some of which perhaps are not quite suitable as desktop as much as just beautiful scenes to look at (I can’t use desktop backgrounds that are too distracting for me to find my icons). What I like most, however, about this website, is their title. A word that succinctly and elegantly summarizes their page: Desktop, photography, topography, all in one word. Whee!

Don’t Click It!

dont click it

The Internet is pretty much defined by the “click” – people are trying to improve “clickthrough” rate, the cliché goes: everything is just a “click” away, etc. Whether we realize it or not, our experience and perception of the Internet is defined by the “click” (and by extension, the physical input that goes with it, like the mouse). Don’t Click It is an interesting website that attempts to breakthrough the “click”, featuring a full website where clicking is not an option – there are no buttons or links that are clickable, so alternative navigation methods were explored. Personally I felt this is quite a refreshing take on the Internet and the browser environment – I was secretly hoping for even more conceptually interesting navigation though!

PS: You’d have to click on the “Don’t Click It” link to get there.

Risk and Reward Analysis for Fruits

Justin, a copywriter from Brooklyn, applied the risk-and-reward analysis to the realm of fruit eating, resulting in some rather amusing muses:

fruit: banana
risk: low
reward: moderate
analysis: Never a bad choice, the banana is the .290 hitter of fruit. When was the last time you had a surprisingly bad banana? Never, that’s when. More importantly, the banana offers the most easily interpreted warning signs in the fruit family: if it’s slightly green or covered in brown spots, you know you’re rolling the dice. You will most likely never eat a memorable banana, but for a low-risk fruit that pays out solid dividends, you can’t do better. If you don’t like surprises, the banana might be the fruit for you.

Head on to his blog for 14 more fruits!

Gems Sty on 9rules

9Rules

On 21 Dec 2006 (which coincidentally, happened to be yours truly’s birthday), a email from 9Rules came in, informing me that Gems Sty is now part of the 9Rules web community. For those of you who might not have heard of it before:

9rules is a community of the best weblogs in the world on a variety of topics. We started 9rules to give passionate writers more exposure and to help readers find great blogs on their favorite subjects. It’s difficult to find sites worth returning to, so 9rules brings together the very best of the independent web all under one roof.

Well and wow then! I’m not quite sure if this is “the very best” stuff online just yet – but it’s pretty cool to have it recognised by a community where its editors do actually go through some sort of curation – selecting and sifting among blog submissions – traditionally about 8-15% of the submissions are accepted.

And it is this very thing about human selection that draws me too – many blog aggregation sites are either incarnations of the “Blogring” concept – whereby a central place links to any website that was submitted, or the “Digg” mode, where popular posts are voted and moved to a prominent front page.

“Blogring” style aggregators can quickly get boring as quality and appeal varies – how many of you really do click on the “Next Blog” button on top of Blogger pages? The “Digg” style requires popular topics with wide audiences, sometimes those that appeals to the common denominators of a broad audience.  Human-intervened selection process, on the other hand, has the gift of judgement, and it can pick up stuff that may have been left behind because of its quirkiness, niche content, etc. And that’s where 9Rules come in – picking the best content on the web, regardless of a blog’s popularity or links.

So there! Another little milestone for Gems Sty! 🙂

World Time Clock

World Time Clock

I stumbled upon this unique clock while surfing at New Urbanite (which is a very cool blog on design and lifestyle blog – in his own words “think of New Urbanite as the GQ minus the midlife crisis articles.”). The clock’s shaped like a grenade or a rugby ball – the cool thing about it is the various cities carved on the sides – to choose a time zone, simply choose the city you want and put it at the 12 o’clock position.

Definitely a much simpler solution than the cumbersome dials, or multiple faces, or other more conventional solutions. Available here for $75.

What should I get?

What should i get?

I came across a rather interesting site called “What Should I Get?“. What it basically does is – give you a single recommendation in a particular product category. For example, you’re in the market looking for a pair of earphones. But just which one? This site simply states that the one to get is the Sony MDR-EX51LP (with a picture accompanying that recommendation).

In their own words,

We are not a shopping search engine. They return too many results to sift through and deal with. We are not a product comparison page. They take too long to navigate through and interpreting the results is too difficult.

We are not a review site. There are tons of them out there. They take a really long time to sift through and read. Reviews are often outdated and go into much more detail than you care about. Sometimes the product comparison charts are so big they don’t fit on the screen!

We do one thing and we do it well. We just tell you what to get.

Products are really a dime a dozen nowadays. Too many of them, in fact. If you want to buy a cellphone, there’s at least 50 choices from a single manufacturer alone. As a industrial designer who dabbles with consumer products day in and out, I’m already finding it difficult to keep up with the developments of new technologies, models, etc. Like they say, review site sometimes give too much, and makes it even harder to make a decision.

In a way, this site reminds me of Google. When every review site out there aims to feature more comprehensive reviews, indexing more products, this site realises that when people surf review sites, they are likely to want to make a purchase. The site attempts to maintain a simple path, cut through the cheese and bring them straight to the purchase (they link to the Amazon purchase site directly from their recommendation – and earn clickthrough commission – although they are not endorsed by any manufacturers/brands).

I think a site like this has great potential. While Yahoo! overwhelemed users with features and information, Google undercut Yahoo! by removing all the clutter and leading the user straight to the one thing it does best – search.

I am, however, rather peeved with the way it tries to manipulate users into clicking the Google Adsense ads, which masquerades as content proper. Sure, a site needs bandwidth, and those cost money. Deceiving the users into clicking ads may give some easy income, but it definitely does not project the honest, sincere and neutral image that this site should have.

Anousheh Ansari Space Blog

Anounsheh Ansari is the first woman to travel into space as a tourist (4th space tourist). What is different though, is that she kept a blog where she documented her emotions and thoughts from before, during and after the space flight. Perhaps it’s because she’s a woman; while earlier tourists may simply attract press releases and general interviews, her blog – written in a simple and approachable manner – made it seem more like a fireside chat that honestly and vividly painted the picture of space. I’d say while she may not be the first tourist to go up into space, she’s the first to bring space down to us intimately.

As I read her entries, I imagined myself floating in space, looking through the round windows. Looking back at Earth. The peace and serenity that makes one smirk about sweating the small stuff. About life’s priorities. And about the silliness of running the rat race. About love and generosity. In some ways, it is in a similiar spirit to my earlier post about Earth being a pale blue dot. But this is a much more personal account, and so much more relatable.

The cities are easily distinguishable because they look like someone took a shovel and messed up the ground in that area. The agricultural lands have specific geometric shapes and demonstrate different colors based on the crop and the type of soil. You cannot see any borders… you cannot tell where one country ends and another one starts… the only border you see is the border between land and water.

Anousheh’s Space Blog