Yesterday I came across WIM*BLE*DON by Californian designer Bryan Ku, and loved it. It’s a very simple, clever treatment of info graphics with a slight twist. Traditional graphics struggle to capture change over time, web graphics feel too abstract or ‘boxed in’ by the browser window, and animated info visualisations can take a very long time to produce. I like this approach, it takes a small amount of clearly thought-through effort and pulls it off with style. I particularly love the timber floorboards and the fact that it’s all bound together in book form.
Our comrades at BERG London have been recognised in the press recently, which is a well deserved pat on the back for all the great work they’ve been banging out over the last few years. Remember Schooloscope? BBC Dimensions? Suwappu? The ghost in the field? Yep, all of them came from BERG. Whilst they’re busily innovating, they take the time to share snippets from around the globe (inspiring this, for instance), I noticed a small story about a picture of earth taken from space, called That Wasn’t planned originally
The Robbers Cave Experiment story is a fascinating glimpse into self differentiating social groups, á la Lord of the Flies…
During the study, Sherif posed as a camp janitor. The study team screened a group of 24 twelve-year-old boys with similar backgrounds. They were picked up by two buses carrying 12 boys each. Neither group knew of the other’s existence. The boys were assigned to two living areas far enough apart that each group remained ignorant of the other’s presence for the first few days. The Sherifs had broken up pre-existing friendships to the extent they could, so that each boy’s identification with his new group could happen faster. Asked to choose names for their groups, one chose “The Rattlers”, the other “The Eagles.” Within two or three days, the two groups spontaneously developed internal social hierarchies.
Apparently not too long after the two groups self-identified, they noticed each other and started to aggressively interact. This apparently devolved into violent raids which had to be stopped before any of the boys were hurt. The solution to this problem? Get the two groups of boys (who were from a very similar background) to cooperate and solve joint problems together, like a water shortage or pulling a broken down truck a short distance.
Weather Wheel, a weather visualisation by Bard Edlund, is just beautiful to watch. Make sure you take a look at it in motion..
Cinemetrics is a brilliant visualisation project by Frederick Brodbeck, produced for his Bachelor major project from the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK), Den Haag. It’s an incredibly detailed study of film focussing on many of the common elements of film (shot length, predominant colours), with the intent of identifying a film’s fingerprint.
I’ve had it in mind lately to do more than simply collect and store the design inspiration ideas, concepts and images which get the creative juices flowing. If design school taught me nothing else, it’s that ideas and concepts don’t exist in a vacuum, and that any creative process will thrive when given the right nourishment. So to that end, I’m commencing a small project to share the small collection of ideas/concepts which excite, inspire and guide us as designers.
So, without further ado, here is the first instalment of
As noted elsewhere..
First up is a short series of questions about design, conducted with Charles Eames in 1972.
Staying with the Eames pair for a moment longer, here’s their seminal Powers of Ten video, made with IBM in 1977. It’s a short film dealing with the relative size of things in the universe, and the effect of adding another zero. Each 10 seconds the film zooms out (and in) by a factor of 10. Charles & Ray Eames also produced this as a flip book, but the youtube video is the best we’ll get.
Changing tack completely, our friends at BERG linked to the amazing Kinect Fusion project, emerging from researchers at Microsoft and a number of universities in the US and UK. This incredible video is made possible through the innovative kinect camera, a consumer grade camera designed for use with the XBox 360 gaming console! It’s an incredible piece of technology that appears to be reinventing much of what we think is possible with 3D scanning techniques. Of particular interest is the ‘physics simulation’ 4 minutes in, and the object detection algorithm, detecting new objects in a 3D mapped space. It’s not clear how open the software will be, but it certainly points to a new paradigm of site analysis.
Staying in the UK, BERG and Denstu London recently teamed up to introduce a new type of toy, being described as a new type of media platform, full of possibilities. The toys interact using augmented reality, which is certainly a new direction for media-gaming.
Recently we were linked to the Hyphae lamp by Nervous System, a design firm using generative algorithms to create unique lamp designs for their new series of lamps. Inspired by the growth of leaf veins, they designed a script to create new lamp geometry for each lamp, which is produced by a 3D printer.
We’ll leave it there for now, stay posted for more notes from elsewhere.
For your viewing pleasure, simply scroll down a little bit, and enjoy.
What you’re seeing is a simple js script running in the html5 canvas element, and comes from the very clever and talented Tim Holman, who’s a Brisbane based programmer and web experimenter. I caught sight of it over at creativeapplications.net and wanted one of our own.