Friday, December 27, 2013

A Look Toward 2014

More humanism in design? Sure. Advancements in automation for the end user? Probably. More voices than ever before? Always. 

It can be hard to think of new surprises for the near-now, but if remix culture has taught us anything, it's that novelty often extends from trying on a new lens, or 13

1. On new physical tokens to act with digital interface:
2013 showed us grasping at straws from comically misplaced energy in watches to virtually-there presence through physical armatures (like this). For 2014, we can all agree that hardware will continue its step down and software its rise while we (hopefully) return to the experiment phase that began with the ubiquitous glass brick. Now that we've mastered a million ways to post selfies, it's time to continue to unlock the true power of all this hardware in our pocket. Full room computing is a good start.

Thanks frog and GawkerMedia!

2. That same Heads Up Display on-demand approach will apply to our attitudes to permanence in environment as well. Like our grandparents know to never touch and smudge the glass, we've learned to always touch the glass, because, usually, it makes something magic happen. In 2014, look for our hard-edged, permanent physical barriers to be dynamic in the information they provide and the linkages they create to surrounding and remote zones. Digitally hail a taxi from any concrete curb? Yes, please get me our of the pouring rain!

3. Lastly, the joint concepts of ownership and sharing will continue to fall into question. Digital content licenses and streaming content set up a world where we rent our content and buy a temporary holding vessel to access it. There's already been attempt and backlash to this idea, like the Xbox One strategy (this video sums it up nicely), but early adopters will eventually influence the market and solidify the digital licensing puzzle. All of it is way out of my area of expertise, though, so I'll say as designers, it's time to look into the advantages of the system. We certainly like de-cluttering. And what about that hardware? Why bother collecting logo'd boxes for generations of the same device? Let's face it - we've been collecting obsolete 'stuff' for years. Isn't it time we figure a way to keep the closets clean? Watch those pitchforks come out when the proposal to rent hardware starts rolling (I'd expect from credit card companies most of all).

Those are my sweeping declarations common to this time of year. What's on your horizon? 

Cheers to the New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Environment: Like any confine, only perceived

"A waterfall is not a 'thing,' nor is a flame of burning gas // both are, rather, a stable pattern of energy determining the boundaries of a characteristic sensible 'shape' in space and time. The waterfall I present to consciousness only so long as water flows through it, and the flame, only so long as the gas continues to burn."

Quote: Architectural critic, Reyner Banham
Drawing: me

What if your space grew to how you actually used it? What does group mass-customization look like? A bit like the above from studying a government building's lobby in Brasil. 

Bon sui-

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Resiliance of the Strand

Gotfried Semper announces his third of The Four Elements of Architecture, enclosure, as enabled through weaving - the first creation of surface, thus the first to grow in scale to divide space.

I've spent time adapting this idea to 3 and 4 dimensions as in the coded experiment in the above image: A snap shot from my bio-weaving thesis, which can read more about here. The main relevance is in the idea of taking strand-based materials, training bacteria to weave them in to various forms and densities at the molecular scale, and therefore re-adapt broken architecture into usefulness once again. 

Now that is both en vogue and notably beneficial to develop structural form with woven tensioned bits, such as the luscious and sought-after Nike Flyknit , it must now be wondered, are we in the position to push the technology to tighter tolerances and drive our built environment full circle? 

Will your next (maybe one after that) be woven instead of predictably 3d printed? Carbon fiber is the couple-decades old awareness builder in this category - no? One can hope, just as I can hope to find the right outlet for this experiment, maybe in a non-weather tight scenario. 

Cheers, and do good work.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The View Onward

Has it been since January? Ridiculous. Let's get things warmed back up with a bit of a refresher in my madness. We'll be trying out fewer essays and more quick whits to keep things moving forward while attempting to not stall out all over again. Ready? Go.

Lead image: from graphic novel by Jean-Claude Mezieres.

Many elements of the science fiction future are no longer relevant as societal goals. For example, the flying car is obsolete, giving way for our emphasis on communication technologies, which can provide more efficient roads through autonomous cars. An urban evolutionary curve ball.

See below on clear trends throughout history toward that conclusion, beginning with ancient man's stone sat nav.

*note: driverless cars are obvious now, and neatly on the near horizon. These works date to near 5-years ago. Pretty keen - no? My obvious mistake? I put the mass production and adoption of driverless cars way off in the future (ad2043), when, really, we can expect to buy one in probably less than 5.

Talk soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Physical Tactility from a Digital World: Firewall by Aaron Sherwood + Mike Allison

Find the original designboom post here:

This piece of awesome must be noted for it's relation to developing an interactive multi-media experience with physical controls, operating in digital space. It's use as part of the performance piece, "Mizalu" to premiere in June of 2013, hits home for me as a logical step in the growing digital influence on high art, including spatial design, audience engagement, and increasing permanence in architecture. Once again, we see further achievement the use of affordable, available tools in making novel experience, and very close resemblance to the oft mentioned dream sketch my programming-inabilities won't yet let me achieve, Monster: The Entertainer's Guide.

Watch it work:

I'll be the first to point out the light connection between music change and users' touch, but this being a result of visual input (the Kinect sensor monitoring the extent of spandex beyond its frame), this lower resolution is to be expected. The project stands as metaphor for the barriers of unknowing the relation of life and death, and I hope, as well as near-future of nextgeneration multi-reality interactive environments. Cheers to 2013!