Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Humanistic Power Line Pylons

Choi + Shine Architects has a very interesting project called Land of Giants:

Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable. These iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape. Seeing the pylon-figures will become an unforgettable experience, elevating the towers to something more than merely a functional design of necessity.

The human forms adapt to the terrain where these are erected, mimicking the figure’s (imaginary) interaction with the landscape, whether it’s climbing a mountain or crossing a valley, using small design changes to convey the differences in posture and mood:

Very interesting! It’d probably brighten anybody’s imagination (or thoroughly haunt him)…especially if it’s produced in enough variations – imagine a long drive  through a  countryside where the electrical lines become an animated xkcd comic. (Am I thinking too much?)

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Microsoft Street Slide

This is Microsoft’s awesome Street Slide technology to be shown for the computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH 2010. I’ve always thought there’s little left to improve on in navigation aid (how naive…I know, I know) – so it was a fantastic pleasant surprise to see them demo this very interesting and engaging navigation mode.

Hopefully they would launch this as a real, available (and free!) interface somewhere. Not even really thinking too deeply about how/where this would be really useful – it’s just that there’s a general ass-kickery appeal that cannot be ignored!

PacMan

As Google placed a Pacman doodle on its home page and cause worldwide productivity to drop, Wired did an article on the origin and creation of Pacman. Interesting trivia that caught my attention:

Wired.com: And of course, the game was originally called Puck-Man, but the name was changed for America because someone might vandalize the “P” and turn it into an “F.”

Iwatani: Yes, the U.S. subsidiary said that that would be bad. We wondered, what should we do? And decided to change it to “Pac.” Then, after the American version came out with the “Pac” spelling, we used that for the entire world.

Read the full article here.

Sneaky Ad on F1 Cars

Came across a very interesting article on graphicology showing how Malboro attempts to circumvent the no-tobacco-ad ruling in sports like F1. Here’s the picture showing the before/after:

Could you consider this as an ingenious subversive – and perhaps subliminal – advertising? While static it’s innocent enough as a barcode-like design motif, but at high speeds it blurs off to a somewhat familiar set of colors/proportions:

In a somewhat tangential note – it reminds me also of this article on the recent re-release of  Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’. Originally released in 1999 it was a passionate report documenting how mega-corporates manipulates consumers through subversive marketing despite the products questionable origins (of manufacture, eco-credibility, etc.). However, its popularity ironically also spurred marketers to engage in marketing tactics to appear ever more authentic and grassroots – using subversive techniques that bypasses the formal channels. This Malboro ad could just be one of  the many manifestations.

Design for the First World

This is a very interesting design competition: somewhat subversive, wholly novel but really the question for me was “what took it so long?”

Our fellows in the first world often come to visit and give us their well intentioned but often very problematic “solutions”. We thought, why don’t we pay back? Dx1W is a competition for designers, artists, scientists, makers and thinkers in developing countries to provide solutions for First World problems.

Design for the First World (Dx1W)

Just as how a person from a first-world country may imagine the ‘typical’ problems of the entire third world, there were telling suggestions of ideas/problem spheres for the developed countries:

  • Reducing obesity
  • Address ing aging pop u la tion and low birth rate
  • Reduc ing con sump tion rate of mass pro duced goods
  • Integrating the immigrant population.

I’d be very eager to see the results!

Alice on iPad

What does it mean if our real life books are like those you see in Harry Potter? Would this format grow popular, or would people soon settle down to the more mundane, but solid, experience of text-on-lines?

Google Maps as Social Commentary

I’m a little late to the party, but I’m loving this series of Google Maps inspired graphics from Christoph Niemann that oscillate between social commentary to pure whimsical imaginations:

Many more here!

No Middle Ground

Amit Gupta is calling it – “The laptop starts dying tomorrow”.

I’d agree with him too. Nobody around me buys a point-and-shoot digital cameras anymore – they’re all migrating to either pro-ish DSLRs, or perhaps quirky exotics like Lomo or Holga. The point-and-shoot just doesn’t have a place in competing for the consumer’s mind, because they don’t do any one thing particularly well, losing grounds in various aspects:

  • Quality: vs DSLRs;
  • Experience: vs Lomo, Holga, Polaroids
  • Portability: vs camera phones
  • Price: phone-cameras are effectively free

Does it mean that ‘middle-ground’, jack-of-all-trades products that try to seek a compromised middle ground will eventually have no place in the market? What are some of the other products that failed (or will fail) because they inherently always try to appease everybody, especially if designed-by-committee without a clear vision?

Design Currency

Love this video from Icograda – design currency:

I thought it was a CG computer-fakery, but as it turns out:

The theme of Design Currency 2010 is ‘Defining the Value of Design’. To promote the event and play off the ideas of currency and value, we designed and printed over 2200 custom bills and fed them through a money counter to create this animation.

Open Forum/Talk: Designing Designers

[Edit/Note: This event is postponed to Apr 23 instead.]

Calling Singapore-based design students and young designers: you might want to mark your calendar for Philips Senior Design Manager Brian Ling – perhaps more familiar to most of you as the man behind Design Sojourn – will be hosting a talk/forum/discussion on April 9th at Feng Zhu School of Design. Get some tips, ask some questions, get to know people … there’s always something to learn and improve on!

RSVP by April 3rd to rsvp@fzdschool.com or +65 63349258.