This rebranding article is a few years old, but definitely rings true today.
This rebranding article is a few years old, but definitely rings true today.
He’s the cover boy on this month’s I.D., has one book that’s tearing up the design press, another being made into a major motion picture, and his house has been featured in the NY Times. Where oh where do you go from there? To Michael Silverblatt’s public radio show “Bookworm.”
Kidd appears on today’s “Bookworm” to discuss his technique for taking what’s in the book he reads and putting it on the book he designs. Stream it live at 2:30pm PST or ‘cast it for later.
This isn’t something you hear a lot: designing for specific ages. Well, okay, maybe you hear about it for children, because, let’s face it, things for kids are cute and small and we’re getting all sorts of sappy goosebumps just talking about it. But, on the other end of the life spectrum (we just made that phrase up, so don’t go stealing it), you don’t hear much about designing for the elderly. That’s what made this republished article from ’91 in the RSA Journal, “Design and Elderly People” so interesting. The overall message? Don’t treat the elderly like idiots. It’s about that blatant. And thus, makes for a very compelling read. Here’s a short bit from the start:
Elderly people are not disabled. A shoe or saucepan designed for a disabled foot or hand is unlikely to suit an elderly foot or hand. Provided elderly people are considered at the right stage, all products should be suitable for young and old. “Design for the young and you exclude the old. Design for the old and you include the young,” said Professor Bernard Isaacs, of The Centre for Applied Gerontology, Birmingham.
If there’s one thing we know about designers, it’s that y’all work. Way…too…much. So perhaps on this fine Thursday we can ask you to turn down the hum of efficiency that surrounds your desk and read a few pieces that might make you re-think the meaning of that little four-letter word.
Everyone’s favorite NYTimes.com employee, Khoi Vinh, joins 37signals prez Jason Fried in the Think Tank today, discussing 37signals’ approach to designing. You’ll remember 37signals as the creators of the project management software like Backpack and Basecamp and Campfire (which enhance, improve and unencumber our lives daily–seriously, check ‘em out), so it makes sense that they try to approach their own work with a do less, have more philosophy.
One solution, which Fried alludes to in his interview, is the four day week, which seemed to work out okay for A List Apart writer Ryan Carson. So, you heard the men. Do something really productive for yourself today–and take tomorrow off.
Also another follow up, but this time from back in March, wherein this writer’s esteemed collegue wrote about the Ettore Sottsass exhibit as the LACMA. This time around, we found a recent, very terrific essay by the architect Peter Zellner at Domus about Sottass’ work, the exhibit itself, and his legacy in the world of design. You’ll have to register to read the whole thing, but the site is always running interesting bits like this, and it’s free, and it’s also in Italian, so it’s well worth it. Here’s a bit to get you started:
And, were he to visit the show, Brecht might also concur that Sottsass, perhaps more than any other present-day architect or designer, has time and again rejected not only good taste, or what Flaubert termed “…the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois”, but he has also radically cast off any number of academic and disciplinary leanings in favour of a truly sovereign, self-determining and self-regulating cultural practice. If there is a Brechtian quality evident in Sottsass’s efforts it lies especially in the designer’s insightful recognition and acknowledgment of the affiliation between human relations and material culture.
Therefore, it is worth noting that the most important disclosure delivered by this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue reveals the extent and depth of the human relationships that Sottsass has fostered across a career that has spanned some sixty-five years, bridged several disciplinary boundaries and produced numerous media and objects (architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics, jewellery and industrial design). Indeed, what stands out in this somewhat edited overview of Sottsass’s endeavours is his persistent and deeply collaborative and didactic spirit. While his work certainly retains and sustains his legacy, it is evident that Sottsass’s success, if such a term need be applied to his work, has depended almost entirely on the ongoing collaborations with artisans, galleries, craftsmen, labs, manufacturers, colleagues and clients that he has carefully seeded, nurtured and tended from his primary base in Milan. Each artefact or collection of objects is inevitably linked to a particular relationship that Sottsass has sustained and above all learned from.
As follow up to the post late last week about the opening of the new Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, we found this huge batch of photos from the opening on Flickr. Most were taken from the outside, of course, being as the building seems more the draw than the actual exhibit. But once you get to about page three, you’ll start seeing the displays. Please spend some time browsing, as the holidays are just a few short months away and what better presents to give to your favorite UnBeige editors than a pair of matching classic Mercedes?
Now that he’s safely ushered PowerPoint into the fine art realm, David Byrne is apparently going to do something equally drastic with our love for traditional music packaging.
In this article, Byrne does not mimic the similar sentiments of designerly-types when discussing music (“Waaaaaaaaaah! No more vinyl! Waaaaaaaaaaah! No one’s gonna buy my CD design!”), instead, he looks forward to a time when music packaging becomes truly “liberated,” free of the antiquated form that has held it back for far too long. We’re excited.
A tip o’ the ushanka to The Morning News for pointing us towards this incredible gallery of Soviet propaganda posters on Flickr. We’re not sure why user Ben Perry possesses such a voluminous collection of Communist imagery, but he also has a 2,820-photo set of US World War II posters, so we’d say that renders him downright neutral.
Bizarre as it might sound, given that you usually receive these things from your mother or the like, and they ordinarily involve singing cats or terrible jokes, but the e-cards on the site Maxtango are actually really interesting. Launched just days ago, the site looks to propel the e-card to something more than it is now. Or at least, that’s what we gather from the few ones they currently have available for sending. Plus it’s all free and made by designers just for the fun of it. We don’t want to get into the “we’re designing just so they can get rich” argument, so we’ll leave it at that. But the round-about point of this post is that they’re now having an event called “The ECard Design World Championship” where you design a card, some judges will judge it, and then you’ll win something (what hasn’t been decided yet. So if you’re up for it, or you have some idea that involves a hilarious scenario wherein a cat is hanging from a tree branch, maybe now’s your shot.
We don’t watch much TV, actually. But we’ll admit, after two weekends spent entirely with iTunes downloads and takeout, we’re addicted to “Lost.” Tonight’s season finale should also fill in a few blanks for the Lost Experience, the cross-media fantasy game that’s got fans foaming at the mouth for clues.
Let’s see, you’ve got the TV ad they aired a few weeks ago that leads you to a website, and a newspaper ad that makes you a bit curious about a book. Then you’ve got hundreds of sites trying to piece the clues together, dozens more trying to muddy the waters, and an ABC “insider” leaking clues, all of which–so far–have lead viewers to…Sprite and Jeep?
Wait. So, the Lost Experience is really just product placement? Wow. They’re smarter than we thought.
Thanks to Nat “Charlie” Bolton and Keith “Jack” Scharwath for links.