This is rude:
This is not:
Let’s be polite. Especially when starting relationships.
I stumbled on this earlier.
It is, of course, a faux-leather-bound, vintage TV with a side-protruding, retro camera lens.
I was reminded of Russell’s Wired piece about the absence of futureness.
Everywhere the current look is classic, vintage and plain. We’re dressing like artisanal leather workers with sidelines in egg collecting and a thing for moustache wax. Where are the futuristic fabrics, the exoskeletal tabards?
This is for an app – seems to be Instagram but for video – which may not be earth shatteringly innovative, but it’s still compositing video and music with a handheld telephone. On the fly.
I think we’re ready for better metaphors.
Her: Tell me when you’ve worked out what it is.
Me: No, that’s kinda the point. I want to tell you so I can work out what it is.
James Burke says we ‘abhor complexity, and seek to simplify things whenever we can by whatever means we have at hand.’ I agree.
He also says ‘through fear of chaos we impose system on it’. I agree, again.
And we talk about the these kind of systems a lot. We heroicise them. Because the output – the system, the solution, the boxed product – is mainly what we set our sights on. And get paid for (as designers). And cry wank over with our peers.
I have no problem with this. It’s good, and worthwhile and it gets us somewhere comfortable and often meaningful.
But the last few days, to me, seem to have been less about the end and more about the getting there. Tom’s celebration of toying epitomised this for me. So did the glorious working parts of Maker Faire. And the various provocations of SF.
The divergent bit of design – where everything is half-formed, and possibly wrong, and likely to embarrass – is often forgotten. Mainly because it’s not at the end. But also because it doesn’t make for a shiny press release. Or a cohesive presentation. Or a 10 tips on how to do this better blog post.
I want to find a way of making these things more evident and more discursive. Exposing ideas at their most fertile moment, when they’re ripe for change and would benefit from nurture.
James’ Happenstance work does some of this. I love the idea of people being able to walk through the problem and see the debris of design (before it gets swept away). And eventually start to play with it themselves or just talk about it.
—Brute Force Architecture and its Discontents - etc Rem Koolhaas, Bigness essay in S,M,L,XL
They [clients] effectively pay a premium for an agency who knows what they’re doing to do that thing well. It tends not to play well for an agency to then spend the duration of the contract being actively uncertain, making hypotheses and validating them, using the client’s money to ‘learn’.
This, traditionally, is not what we pay a top class agency to do. We pay them to know stuff and to get stuff right, and to be the people we blame if it doesn’t work out well. Until clients get comfortable with this (will they ever?) it will be difficult, nigh impossible, for an agency to be properly Lean or even agile.
—Jim Glymph, Gehry Partners
Or consider this 2009 experiment, published in Science. The psychologists, at the University of British Columbia, were interested in looking at how the color of interior walls influence the imagination. They recruited six hundred subjects, most of them undergraduates, and had them perform a variety of basic cognitive tests displayed against red, blue or neutral colored backgrounds.
The differences were striking. When people took tests in the red condition – they were surrounded by walls the color of a stop sign – they were much better at skills that required accuracy and attention to detail, such as catching spelling mistakes or keeping random numbers in short-term memory. According to the scientists, this is because people automatically associate red with danger, which makes them more alert and aware.
The color blue, however, carried a completely different set of psychological benefits. While people in the blue group performed worse on short-term memory tasks, they did far better on those requiring some imagination, such as coming up with creative uses for a brick or designing a children’s toy out of simple geometric shapes. In fact, subjects in the blue condition generated twice as many “creative outputs” as subjects in the red condition. That’s right: the color of a wall doubled our imaginative power.
—Vilayanur Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and professor with the Psychology from Responses | 2011 Annual Question | Edge