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La Periferia Domestica, art and design with a domestic slant / How to build the ultimate home studio. Related, how to build up a track using a sequencer / the GAZ Start Ctapt, a Volga M21 based fibreglass people mover. See also the Socialism – Vehicles, Planes and Cars flickr pool for more / examples of disruptive innovations / The Analyst’s Cookbook / a journal all about socks / GY!BE have got minimal publicity down to a fine art / EtherPad is dying, try PiratePad instead.


Chrome Experiments continues to throw up fascinating things and links. The Sketchpad developed by MugTug (worth bookmarking, by the looks of things. See also ColorJack), or the neat 3D waveform by Mr doob (give it 30 seconds or so), or the work of Jonas Wagnell / design your own Wallpaper cover / The Al Manakh Quantitative Appendix: Looking Back and Forward / all about HyperCard.


Driving around a video game world in 8 hours. Contemporary games are enormous. Admittedly, the original 8-bit Elite managed to cram in 2048 planets (‘eight galaxies, each galaxy containing 256 planets to explore’), some of which were theoretically impossible to actually reach (or leave). Combine Elite’s generative universe with modern graphics and you have an infinity of worlds ready to consume the minds of gamers.


Lost and Found Photos / Grimoires, a tumblr / Owen Hatherley in Manchester, and the architectural legacy of punk, Thatcherism and developer culture, all of which seem to have won, although everyone is ultimately a loser / Empty, photographs by Andreas Larsson / Flavorpill spotlights the work of Sarah Pickering.


The Way Things Could Be, a visual weblog / a set of flickr pages: Bashford, Clifton Burt, Joshua Quintana, Paul Tebbott / an interview with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown by Adam Marcus. See also ‘Las Vegas Studio: Images From the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’ at MOCA-PDC’. Another slice of unlikely urbanism: Empty LA, photographs by Matt Logue. Also sort of related, Saving Shrinking Cities, the problem of mass emigration from the former East Germany / Sepia Town. Mapping historical material onto contemporary maps. The ‘then/now’ button is what makes it work. See also Folksonomy, ‘Folksonomy is a structured repository of digital culture and creative practice’.


What would an iPad version of things look like? Hypertext c1995, we’d wager. While an enormous flurry of creative energy is being put into creating Apps for the device, this piece by Alan Rusbridger (referencing tablet pioneer Roger Fidler’s), ‘I was shown the media’s future 16 years ago: now with the iPad, it’s here,’ contained a pertinent note. ‘Imagine Alex Ross’s masterpiece on 20th-century music, The Rest is Noise, as a fully realised multimedia book with sound files, pictures and maps, and you get the point. No need to describe the unsettling “Salome scale” at the start of Richard Strauss’s 1906 opera when you can hear it as well.’. It’s the words ‘No need to describe’ that are telling. Ross’s book is a ‘masterpiece’ precisely because of the need to describe, the way his writing evokes music and conveys and reveals nuances that might otherwise be missed.

That made us thinking of another Sunday pop-science article, ‘Literary critics scan the brain to find out why we love to read‘, suggests that MRI scans would confirm that ‘the brain reacts differently to great literature than to a newspaper or a Harry Potter book’ (not April 1st, surprisingly). What would the brainwave patterns of a hypothetical iPad ‘reader’ of Ross’s book be like, as the reader switched from prose to music, to infographics, to imagery, etc. etc. Would comprehension be compromised as the written word lost out to imagery? Or would it lead to massively more efficient learning, as concepts and examples are instantly demonstrated? It’s hard to see if this Phaidon iPad book contains any additional information or material over the paper version – videos, interaction, etc. We’d wager it doesn’t, save perhaps for those images cleared for publication (the book came out in 2006, and very unwieldy it was too).


More grumbling about iPad good vs iPad evil / creating an artificial tornado in the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Unlike NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building which has, apparently, internal weather systems due to its scale. This is an oft-cited fact, and has been for decades, but there don’t appear to be any pictures of these artificial clouds online, something NASA should be up for / Arthur Magazine, homegrown counterculture /


Time to Rethink Design: ‘… design is now a major source of pollution, as process and a phenomenon, design has degenerated into a state of aesthetic proliferation that has reached accumulative and destructive levels, in terms of loss of meaning, value, and identity. The result is a vacancy of purpose, a world full of ‘designer jetsam and flotsam’ that is swilling around or embedded into or above our planet; poorly designed products, unwanted solutions, unfriendly materials, and a mutli-choice of artefacts that are discarded as fast as they were adopted.’

Written by things

April 12, 2010 at 22:24

2 Responses

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  1. “design has degenerated into a state of aesthetic proliferation that has reached accumulative and destructive levels, in terms of loss of meaning, value, and identity. ”

    Design and designers are to 2010 what going to San Francisco and hippies were to 1968.


    April 13, 2010 at 07:51

    • Pretty sweeping statement. Needs an infographic.


      April 13, 2010 at 09:21

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