Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hola! Our good friend Kevin Karst is getting props at IIDEX/NEOCON 2006 as his Karst Tables for Nienkamper were awarded the Bronze Award in the tables category. A hearty "Well done and well met, good fellow!" from us to Kevin.

Karst Table

Friday, August 25, 2006

Think Twice, Search Once

Before thinking that you might want to upload a video for discussion, search to see if it's already posted. I know this sounds obvious, but a few weeks I searched for this Daft Punk Video (Around the World) directed by Michel Gondry and found nothing. Now here it is. Like animation and information design come to life - Gondry assigns a different set of characters for the different components of the track (giants are the bassline, bathers the synth keyboard, mummies are the percussion, skeletons the guitar hook) , all in front of a light display programmed by Gondry's brother. So simple and logical and funny, it makes you want to laugh, cry and dance all at once.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

These mudflaps are so much cooler than those simple Yosemite Sam and Road Runner mudflaps you see everywhere. Why can't I get me some Dirty Harry mudflaps or even some Elvis mudflaps on my VW Golf. I guess being a conservative semi-serious guy means you don't pimp your ride with the best of them. That would be behaviour unbecoming of a black-clad designer. sigh.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What the Hell is going on? To Hell with web standards, on the Road to Hell, the collapse of the sacrement of marriage, breaking all ten commandments before breakfast - it must surely have something to do with today's ominous date, 06/06/06. Well at least these people hope so - when did the Devil get so popular again? I'm not sure, but it seems to have something to do with the re-emergence of the stilletto heel?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yves Béhar may be the hottest thing since your momma's grill cheese sandwich because of his Leaf Lamp (a light that requires the entire head to be changed if the LED lights go out)premiering at ICFF, but I would really like to remind everyone that he's no Ross Lovegrove.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Last night as I was flipping channels I saw the last few minutes of The Apprentice and I sat stunned as I heard Trump declare, "I know a lot about design,...and I thought your design stunk..." From what I could tell, he was right. The losing team did have a crap design while the other team did the right thing and outsourced all of their graphics. Unfortunately, the local printers let them down and their display was incomplete. That's not really the point, the point here is that Trump, who admittedly spends millions of dollars on designed environments where creating an eye catching product counts, really believes that he knows a lot about design. As an arbiter of taste, Trump and his incredible comb-over (over/under/about/topping?) fail miserably. Yet he would disagree (of course, he would also disagree about his involvement in two corporations he headed filing Chapter 11 in the last decade). This is a problem. People of power and influence who entrust decisions to their lawyers or accountants but see themselves as experts of design. I'm not saying Trump doesn't know his market, he clearly does, but his "market" obviously are as ignorant to design and design issues as he is. This is one reason (of many) why North American (particularly Canadian) industries will fail. Their complete lack of investment in design and design professionals.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What's this? Will Alsop has to sell his firm? Well, no one ever said architects and designers had to be good in business but maybe they should think about a 'design-flavoured' MBA. I've long thought that we really don't need anymore business grads or lawyers but we could use a few good designers to sacrifice their lucrative careers and get MBA's, law degrees and go forth and become our next breed of executives, law and policy makers. Who's with me? You there? Wearing the iPod-what are you doing with the rest of your life?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Can you keep a secret? Me too.
Apparently these folks can't. Their revealed secrets range from the funny, to awkward to the horribly sad. This art project seemed to allow people with suicidal thoughts or deeply saddening secrets of abuse to have a voice, and all of it told through artful and esoteric home-made postcards.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Planning on watching the Oscars Sunday night? Again this year, Animation World Network is showcasing both the feature length and short form animated films. You can watch clips and read descriptions of this year's nominees or nominees of previous years. Inform thyself.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Witold Rybczynski's essay about McMansions may not be definitive or you may not even agree with some of his assertions but it's worth a look as it contains a simple message to builders, "Design Matters". Many consumers appreciate design consciously, but often their choices are defined by the makers rather than the market. Unlike markets in Japan or Europe, where every taste is catered to, North America is the land of the bland. I can't really fathom how a place where competitive market place economics dictate daily life yet design is still considered the chromed or goldy bit you glue on at the end of the assembly line. Of course, after a year of tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and war, it would be hard to sell "Design Matters" t-shirts but if L. Ron Hubbard could sell a religion based on bad sci-fi novels, I say we give it a try and shove "Design" down manufacturer's throats.