Auld Sang Syne

I know this interactive creative director person. No really. I know a good many people what might fit that description actually. But this one person I’m thinking of is named Sang Han. None of the others I know are named that. I’ve never had the pleasure of working with him, but we’ve had some few interactions here and there, and I’ve seen a lot of his work. It’s really a lot beautiful stuff I think. Well, I mean, go look at it. He has that certain something, yes?

I recently wrote a post that discusses the way in which the specialists that meet at the intersection of creativity and technology are often carping about how others “don’t get it,” and how the different specialists mean different things when they say it. Yesterday, my friend Skye sent me a link to a post on the St. Louis Egotist featuring Sang’s work. In the comments, this “you don’t get it” theme presented itself. (To be honest, some of the commentary is merely inside baseball soap opera stuff which is not a lot germane to my post, but it’s there to read if you’re into that kind of stuff.) The point is that this kind of intellectual siloing is rather a lot a common thing and you don’t have to go looking very far to find it. Continue reading

Provocation 1: Public Lighting Design

I found this piece about “Flow – public lighting” at Industrial Design Served. Go check out the whole thing because it’s clever and interesting and beautiful. I’m especially interested that my user experience designer friends see it.

When I first saw it, I was first struck by its elegance and beauty. The whole green angle is clever as well. But right after that, I immediately wondered, “do these things put out enough light?” And that got me to wondering about the whole project. Did the green aims of the designer distract them from other more pragmatic concerns? Is there some visceral value to be derived from the aesthetic that makes up for its lack of usable light? Was significant illumination necessarily a part of the project requirements? Should it have been? Continue reading

They Just Don’t Get It

It’s just one of those things that people will say. You’ve probably heard it. I know I’ve heard it in various contexts. It usually goes something like this:

“He doesn’t get it. You can tell; he just doesn’t get it.”

It seems to me that there are basically two worldviews from which this kind of thing emanates. One is what Robert Pirsig would call the “classical” worldview. This view looks at how things work—what you might call underlying form—and the people that tend to hold it seem to have an intuitive understanding of systems, their workings, and their inputs and outputs. The other worldview is what Pirsig would call the “romantic” worldview. This view looks at experience—the esoteric—and the people that tend to hold it seem to have an intuitive understanding of people, relationships, and other organic structures. Continue reading

Useful + Beautiful

Pasta&Vinegar, a blog by Nicolas Nova, introduces us to a project by beste miray dogan called mapenvelop. The mapenvelop seems like an ordinary envelope, but the inside is lined with an image of Google Maps that highlights the location of the sender. The receiver not only sees the address, but sees the surrounding area with the help of Google Earth. Pretty awesome I’d say. Our visually demanding imaginations are fed with a view of the world from the sender, in a far off land or right down the street. We love to see paths connecting and the mapenvelop allows us to do just that.

Useful mailing + enticing imagery + connections + whydidntithinkofthisbefore = golden

Through The Seesmic Looking Glass

George strode languorously, rejoining no one in particular but loud enough for the room to hear. After settling on the preposterously plush yet visually modest throne upon which he spends most of the work day, he looked directly at me and sighed. Presently he spoke.

“Twitter feels like the inside of a television,” he mused. “Buzzing, busy cathode and anode. But no story! Some clever chap needs to put the gizmotrons behind the set and make with the drama. You know, do a Lewis Carroll and get us to the other side of the glass.”

George’s lineage is U.S. going back ten generations or more. They came here from Bottrop in Westphalia. This is what he claims. Of course he also goes on about how Germany is fiction and that Westphalia is rightfully Prussia.

Continue reading