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December 31, 2008

Old School Prototyping

stencil.jpg

The Design Commission, possibly tongue in cheek, promises an analog website prototyping stencil in January. (This would go so well with the typographic e-scale and PMT enlargement/reduction wheel I dug out last month.)

[via Basement.org]

December 30, 2008

Helvetica by Other Means

fonts.jpg

Autobahn recreates Helvetica in 'toothpaste, hair gel, and ketchup. Which is not that odd (who hasn't redone fonts in toothpaste?); the interesting part is that they digitized the forms and converted them to fonts that they've released for free.

[via Designboom - Weblog]

"Paris, the city of light, so open"

invisible.jpg

Latour's Paris: Invisible City is off the ground, virtual-wise, anyway. On the other hand, I can't get the Flash interface to really work (in Mac or Windows) unless I'm missing something, which is less promising. So this is more of a movie trailer for something I look forward to seeing..

[via metafilter.com]

December 25, 2008

Little Drummer Boy: Hendrix

I'd never heard this clip, but apparently from a Dick Cavett show: Jimi Hendrix playing Little Drummer Boy. Seques into Auld Lang Syne (really). (A music track w/somewhat cheesy slideshow laid over it.) Possibly a fake, but inspired nonetheless.

December 11, 2008

Pantone's Color of the Year (2009 Edition)

mimosa.jpg

In a surprise move, Pantone names "Pantone® 14-0848 Mimosa" (above) as their pick for color of 2009.

"The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."

Who am I to argue?

[via Fimoculous.com]

December 10, 2008

Daily Routines: Writers and Artists

Daily Routines reprints short interview segments of artists and writers talking about their daily routines.

John Updike

You've said that it was fairly easy to write the Rabbit books. Do you write methodically? Do you have a schedule that you stick to?

Since I've gone to some trouble not to teach, and not to have any other employment, I have no reason not to go to my desk after breakfast and work there until lunch. So I work three or four hours in the morning, and it's not all covering blank paper with beautiful phrases. You begin by answering a letter or two. There's a lot of junk in your life. There's a letter. And most people have junk in their lives but I try to give about three hours to the project at hand and to move it along. There's a danger if you don't move it along steadily that you're going to forget what it's about, so you must keep in touch with it I figure. So once embarked, yes, I do try to stick to a schedule. I've been maintaining this schedule off and on -- well, really since I moved up to Ipswich in '57. It's a long time to be doing one thing. I don't know how to retire. I don't know how to get off the horse, though. I still like to do it. I still love books coming out. I love the smell of glue and the shiny look of the jacket and the type, and to see your own scribbles turned into more or less impeccable type. It's still a great thrill for me, so I will probably persevere a little longer, but I do think maybe the time has come for me to be a little less compulsive, and maybe the book-a-year technique which has been basically the way I've operated.

We've spoken to a number of writers who said they wrote a certain number of pages every day. There's a lot to be said for having a routine you can't run away from.

Right. It saves you from giving up.

[via The Morning News]

December 08, 2008

Mother of All Demos

I meant to post this earlier, but December 9, 2008 is the 40th anniversary of Doug Englebart's "Mother of All Demos": The demo of early hypertext system NLS includes the first known working versions of things like the computer mouse, videoconferencing, email, and hypertext linking.

The Wikipedia link is pretty sparse, considering the geek-quotient of the event; Stanford's MouseSite has more info.)

[via Kick It]

Groovy Mellotron Demo

Two vintage 1960s British High-Culture blokes cheerfully demo a Mellotron, the audiotape-loop, keyboard-based sampler (think the open strains of Strawberry Fields. (Earlier on work/space, the Birotron, a failed Mellotron competitor and a Walkman-powered Mellotron from Make.)

[via Boing Boing]

December 06, 2008

Eames Shell Chair Construction Video

Crafting an Eames chair: "Something of How They Get the Way They Are."

[via metafilter.com]

United States of Whatever

Very stupid, in a good way. (More Sifl & Olly links at this mefi post.)

December 05, 2008

Dissertation as Interpretive Dance

Gonzo Labs/AAAS asked PhD students to translate their dissertations into interpretative dances, then post the performances to YouTube. Here are the winners.

Above is Vince LiCata's Resolving Pathways of Functional Coupling in Human Hemoglobin Using Quantitative Low Temperature Isoelectric Focusing of Asymmetric Mutant Hybrids, which Randi Zuckerberg describes as falling "somewhere between a prayer, a baseball game, and a round of Kumbaya."

[via metafilter.com]

Tilt Shift Video Lagniappe

The only think cooler that tilt-shift photography is tilt-shift video. With monster trucks. (The Robosaurus is just plain overload.)

[via Super Colossal]

December 03, 2008

Star Wars + Everything Else

John Powers' dense, sprawling, provocative star wars: a new heap (or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Death Star) filters George Lucas' movie through Kubrick, Kandinsky, Diego Rivera, the Pruitt-Igoe low-income housing projects, Thomas More, Frederic Jameson, OMA, Jane Jacobs, Venturi, and more. It's sort of dizzying, in a good way.

Unlike the residential architecture of Robert Venturi, which invokes bygone palaces, Star Wars was not a retreat to the imagery of past. Lucas was not reacting against the dominant program of faux-industrial imagery, which Venturi righteously criticized. Venturi’s passive ambit of comforting the old with a palatial appliqué had nothing to do with the modernist compulsion to make it new. Lucas, like Smithson, Morris, and Jacobs, dug deep into the dominant ethic of rationalizing the inconsistencies and contradictions of modern senescence. Star Wars built on the radicalism and procedural logic of minimalism and made a bold visual assertion, proposing a future “drawn not from how it ought to be, but from how it is.” In defiance of conventional wisdom, Lucas revealed a place that was modern, but not new, a future long occupied, unfinished, worldly. Modernity is the presumption that the natural environment for man has yet to be built. Lucas was the first to imagine that future built environment as already old.

[via kottke.org]

Grids

Everything for the neomodernist designer (and I say that in a positive way): The Grid System site include ton of material on grid systems in design. Online articles, tools, books, templates, blogs, a Flickr group, and inspirational sites.

I'm going to put this into the template I use as a starting point for all my class syllabi.

[via Ace Jet 170]

Touchscreen Stencils

gesture.jpg

Dan Saffer is releasing the stencils for gestural interface design book he just published, cunningly titled Designing Gestural Interfaces. The stencils, taken from Rachel Glaves' drawings for Saffer's book, are available in multiple formats (OmniGraffle, Illustrator, Photoshop).

On a directly related topic (I so infrequently have a segue), check out Rachel's photo of her process for creating gestural icons.

[via Kick It]

Neil Young Show

Neil Young

From the Neil Young (w/Wilco opening) show in Ottawa a couple of hours ago. Cool show. Long drive.