"Zhang Yue, founder and chairman of Broad Sustainable Building, is not a particularly humble man. A humble man would not have erected, on his firm’s corporate campus in the Chinese province of Hunan, a classical palace and a 130-foot replica of an Egyptian pyramid. A humble man, for that matter, would not have redirected Broad from its core business—manufacturing industrial air-conditioning units—to invent a new method of building skyscrapers. And a humble man certainly wouldn’t be putting up those skyscrapers at a pace never achieved in history." [Meet the Man Who Built a 30-Story Building in 15 Days]
For a few people, fascination with pogo sticks didn't end in childhood. The Smithsonian takes a look at the design challenges, and the sport, of modern pogo. They also provide a short video demonstrating these advances. [more inside]
Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012 "I think it's always wise to remember to use the dirtiest method you possibly can at the time. Use the quickest thing and the simplest thing for the stage you're at." Bill Moggridge, designer, co-founder of IDEO and director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, died after a battle with cancer on September 8 2012. [more inside]
This is a big deal because one of the main ways that people are socialized is through using, observing and contemplating material objects. The idea that people learn their places in society by engaging with the physical stuff around them has a long history in anthropology, but it was finally cemented into the theoretical mainstream in 1972 when Pierre Bourdieu published his Outline of a Theory of Practice. Bourdieu makes the case that we come to internalize the expectations of our particular social group by analogy with categories, orders and relations of things. Spatial arrangements of objects in the home, for example, or the use of different farming tools at different times of year, come to stand for intangible relationships between genders, social strata and the like, thereby anchoring abstract ideas about social organization to the physical world. ~ Designing Culture by Colin McSwiggen
The first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained and controlled flight, the Gossamer Condor (6.3 MB PDF), now belongs to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2.2 MB JPG). So you'll need to build your own. (previously)
Hawk Krall loves hot dogs, sampling and illustrating the nation's finest encased and embunned meats from Tijuana to Maine, and everywhere in between. Hold the ketchup, please.
Start Your Own Currency - "In the Catalonia region of Spain, a restaurant and a community garden are part of an experiment in alternative cash--they are accepting a home-grown currency called the Eco as well as the Euro." [viz. gated article (Google link), cf. The Wörgl Experiment]
A jury has ruled for Apple in its huge smartphone patent infringement case involving Samsung and ordered Samsung to pay $1.5 billion.
After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad. The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. An appeal is expected. [more inside]
Boingboing has the short version of a sad story in which some young independent designers have an unexpectedly successful Kickstarter for a novel idea for a pen. Young designers turn to Joiga, an American-Chinese manufacturing firm that "minimizes the risk of turning an idea into a market-ready product." Joiga underdelivers, causing massive delays for the designers. One year later, a new "men's gift" company offers a bad copy of the designers' pen made with the same plans at the same factories. The sad and sorry punchline? The manufacturing company and the men's gift company are run by the same guy, Allen Arseneau. Long version at Notcot.
Even if you don't have a fondness for building-sized, stomping war machines, you might find this detailed interview and pictorial about the process of designing, from concept to texturing, a mech interesting.
LunchBook won the 1st prize in the competition “Expopack” for the design of a paper lunch box for Expo Milan 2015, which is dedicated to food and sustainability. LunchBook is a recipe book made of paper dishes showing recipes from all over the world. The user can taste the food while walking among the Expo 2015 stands. Once a dish gets dirty, he can remove it and use the following dish. (via book patrol) [more inside]
THE FULLER MAP This document is a study of the comprehensive designer Buckminster Fuller, an outstanding character of the 20th century, and a kind of practical visionary. [...] This presentation of his ideas is not intended as a slavish devotional exercise, nor a piece of cynical criticism. Part of the plan here is to investigate the logic of synergetics. At this stage the account is verbal, not visual, but what is important in geometry is the logic rather than the pictures. The text is a work-in-progress, begun in August 1991, and originally written to meet the structural requirements of John Wood's IDEAbase system. It was compiled and edited as an experimental, dynamic, interactive, screen-based document. It was not, therefore, intended as a completed linear text to be printed onto paper or other static medium.
Readymag is a new interactive publishing platform which allows you to create, publish and discover truly amazing webzines. Be sure to play with the demo for a look at the bleeding edge of web interactivity. It's not quite a sci-fi future yet, but it's getting closer.
iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo) “Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.” Complete text of the internal memo submitted in the Apple vs Samsung case. Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case. And the memo is rife with ammunition.
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
Both inside and outside the walls of Facebook, the story of social games has become one of dead geese and golden eggs, flatlined growth, formulaic games and shady practises. Many warned that the sector was slowing down, but sometimes giants need to fall. It needs to get bad enough before people start to really consider what's next... So what comes next?
Simple Desks: A frequently updated collection of beautifully minimal desks and workspaces, interspersed with occasional musings on minimalism, productivity, design and technology
The Perfection of the Paper Clip - It was invented in 1899. It hasn’t been improved upon since. [more inside]
AmoeBAND has become a 2012 International Design Excellence Award finalist by innovating the hell out of the lowly plaster.
Turn all book covers into wallpapers [via mefi projects] Lovely book cover images from classic novels, remixed with "the most defining quote" from each book.
"You really learn to look..and suddenly you begin to see wonderful things in your daily life... its one of the most wonderful presents you get in an art education: to enjoy seeing." -Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See. Brought to you by Edward Tufte. (single link vimeo)
Classic movies in miniature style. It all started 2 years ago with an experiment to blend traditional ‘oriental’ (Ottoman) motifs and contemporary ‘western’ cinema. After a positive response to "Ottoman Star Wars", I decided to take the theme further, and developed more film posters using the same technique.
Could the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier from The Avengers movie actually fly? Last link does the math and has homework.
London underground film group Future Cinema exploded into public consciousness this week with the news that their Secret Cinema run of Prometheus outsold the BFI, the usual box-office champion. [more inside]
FF Chartwell is a typeface for creating simple editable graphs and charts, designed by Travis Kochel. Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Watch the demo video. Buy a license.
Picturing Books: What do we see when we read? (Other than words on a page.) What do we picture in our minds? A consideration by Knopf's senior designer Peter Mendulsund. [more inside]
Factum Arte in Madrid has made an animation film based on Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzione prints; and have also built many of his pieces which shows the workings of his imagination, merging his architectural ambitions with his obsessive interest in antiquity. Giovanni Battista Piranesi was a source of inspiration for, among others, Goya, Poe, Escher, Max Ernst, De Chirico. [more inside]
Beach-faring designers take note: Fashion Factory has created a line of official Pantone swimwear for men.
Are you curious how the brand of a large suite of complementary products is developed? It's more interesting than you might think. Adobe describes the decisions that went into the new icons, splash screens, and other brand elements of Creative Suite 6.
Having previously been disappointed by the information available on the topic, this is my attempt at categorizing different ways to implement 2D platform games, list their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss some implementation details.
Stodgy design institution does animated supercut video. “The Forty Story” uses iconic snapshots from seemingly every client from Pentagram’s first 40 years to tell the life story of a boy brought into the world when Pentagram was.
The Eephus League presents: a web magazine about baseball.