Showing 1–10 of 17 notes tagged #design.

Certain quotes lodge themselves in your head. So many of the ones in my head come from the fourth edition of What is a designer by Norman Potter published by Hyphen Press in 2002.

p.23, on design education

The words by which people describe themselves – architect, graphic designer, interior designer, etc. – become curiously more important than the work they actually do. In one respect this is fair, because under modern conditions it may be very difficult to find one word to identify their work, but such words tend to build up irrelevant overtones of meaning which are more useful as a comfort to personal security than as a basis for co-operative enterprise.

p.30, wrapping up his thoughts on design education

All we can do is make good work possible, and be alert to its coming; never fooling ourselves that all good things come easily. To work well is to work with love.

p.57, on recognising the value in nuance

In raising consciousness of these matters, it should be remembered that our civilization sells itself through sensation, preferably with the volume turned up. This is good reason for designers to learn how to speak quietly, and to understand how it is that conversation becomes possible between people and things.

And nearly every point in chapter 18, “Advice for beginners”, and 19, “Questioning design”.

We’re working on a new site for SB-PH at the moment, and we’re using Airtable to get our project documentation together. It’s also a good opportunity to test the platform a little (+ I’m a fan of tables). To grab tidy JSON for use with data-friendly design software like Sketch, we’re using the Airtable API with cURL and ./jq.

Simple example that dumps table records in to a JSON file for use with the the Sketch Data Populator plugin:

$ curl https://api.airtable.com/v0/YOUR_BASE_KEY/YOUR_TABLE_NAME -H "Authorization: Bearer YOUR_API_KEY" | jq '.records' > records.json

Surfing w/ coffee 3. Order of exploration, seems more single-track than usual:

A
Open Hacker News, drawn to Frequent versus infrequent developers (in languages and so on) (↓B) (↓C)

B
Is it worth the time? on XKCD; pleased to find this again

C
Hello, I am a DWiki (↓D)

D
Wiki Principles (↓E)

E
Wiki Is Not Wikipedia (↓F)

F
GitHub repo for remodelling wiki as a single page application (↓G)

G
Cunningham & Cunningham Inc., “a small consultancy that has specialized in object-oriented programming” (↓H) (↓I) (↓J)

H
Plate Blading; “As he skates away he feels the need to fabricate further explanation.”

I
C2.COM as Public Space; “Have you ever noticed that some publicly owned museums can be hard to see while privately owned billboards are hard to avoid?”

J
Expense calculator shell script


See previous: surfing 2, surfing 1

Did some research on Chinese web font best practices a while back when working on Memory Machine for Tyler Coburn + Asia Art Archive with Luke Gould. It was an interesting challenge. This was my overall takeaway from the research:

  • Self-hosted fonts are out, the font files are prohibitively enormous due to the number of characters
  • The Great Firewall can cause issues with most font services, so no Google Fonts or Typekit
  • If you need to render a mixture of Latin and Chinese characters and want them to use different fonts, the font stack structure and naming is critical (see article by Kendra Schaefer for more info)
  • Bold and italic should never be used for emphasis on Chinese characters since it distorts their meaning

Read more

The e-newsletters we made for Penguin Classics got a mention in a recent newsletter from The Better Email [✉ ∞]. Made me smile. Here are a few newsletters from the Penguin Random House team that I particularly like.

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GitHub repo for lobste.rs

lobste.rs is a link aggregator by Joshua Stein that runs on Rails. See the About page for a run down of it’s features and the reasons behind them.

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What Do We Lose When It’s Easy to Use? In Defence of Inefficiency

Lecture by Andy Pressman of Rumors and Verso Books for DWP.

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“The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge” by Rainer Maria Rilke

‘There are no beginners’ classes in life. What is required of you is always the hardest thing, right from the start.’

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before sleep at the end of love (description of a lullaby)

Tuesday 27 September 2016, 7–7.30pm
Bold Tendencies, Car park floors 7-10, 95A Rye Ln, London SE15 4TG
Tickets £8 on door

An opera by Sarah Hardie. Music composed collaboratively with Jack Sheen, choreography by Eleesha Drennan. Performance by Sarah Hardie, Angela Hardie, and Musarc. I’ve really enjoyed working on this and am looking forward to the performance.

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Lots of Eames notes recently. SB recommended this video to me, I love it. Also, found the Guardian review of the Eames exhibition kind of interesting. It does seem contradictory that they managed to be so unflaggingly optimistic in their lives and output in the face of some pretty harsh concurrent events.

Quotes from Alison Moloney’s essay in The World of Charles and Ray Eames regarding the couple’s uniform-esque attire.

Their relaxed, workwear aesthetic was an integral part of a carefully considered image, one that complemented the practice of the Eames Office, its philosophy and the Eameses’ own resolute work ethic.

Moloney, Alison. “The Dress of Charles and Ray Eames.” The World of Charles and Ray Eames. Ed. Catherine Ince with Lotte Johnson. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd in association with Barbican Art Gallery, 2015. 149.

Black and white photo of Ray Eames in her standard pinafore
Photo of Ray Eames in her standard pinafore dress (image source)

Ray’s aesthetic was feminine – unsurprisingly so, given the era in which she was working – but it is the habitual wearing of the same style that is most telling, and which, instead, reveals her to be uncompromising and non-conformist.

Moloney. The World of Charles and Ray Eames. 149.

Black and white photo of smiling Charles Eames in bowtie and checked shirt
Photo of Charles Eames in bowtie and checked pullover shirt (image source)

His shirts were well worn, as evidenced by numerous repairs, and reflected the Eames’ make-do-and-mend mentality, which extended to all aspects of their lives, from their routinely darned pillowcases to their wedding-gift toaster, which was said to be constantly repaired.

Moloney. The World of Charles and Ray Eames. 151.

Still from Design Q & A, questions asked by Madame L'Amic and answered by Charles and Ray Eames
Still from Design Q & A (image source)

Q: How would you define yourself with respect to a decorator? an interior architect? a stylist?

A: I wouldn’t.

One of 29 questions posed by Madame L’Amic and answered by Charles and Ray Eames. The resulting Design Q & A formed the conceptual basis of the exhibition Qu’est ce que le design? (What is Design?) at the Louvre. I believe the exhibition was held in 1969, though I have seen 1972 listed elsewhere.

The transcript and video are available online. For best results however, see it at the excellent The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition designed by 6a architects and John Morgan studio. It’s on at the Barbican until 14 February 2016.

Black and white photo of sculpture titled Gomma by Maria Blaisse from 2003
Maria Blaisse, Gomma, 2003, tubes. Image from Augenweide (i.e. Beatrice Oettinger). (image source)

The other evening, a friend introduced me to Maria Blaisse’s work as well as the lovely book The Emergence of Form published by nai010. The dedication evident in her output is incredible, and her canal-side studio in Amsterdam sounds pretty great. Wish I could find one of the images from the book online, it’s a black and white photo possibly taken in the 70s of her working on a woven piece with an enormous knot in the middle that’s easily twice her height. Will just have to buy the book (like I need an excuse).

Sidenote, Augenweide (source for the image) is a very enjoyable browse, glad to have come across it.