The relationship between digital and physical products is larger than if it exists on a hard drive or a shelf. It’s the tension between access and ownership, searching and finding, sharing and collecting. It’s a dance between the visible and the invisible, and what happens when we’re forced to remember versus when we are allowed to forget. How does this affect usânot just as makers, but as consumers of these products? Does collecting things matter if we don’t revisit them? We may download, bookmark, tag, organize, and star, but what then?
Tagged with “creativity” (8)
Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author.
In his new book You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, he discusses what he believes to be the biggest problem on the web today: intellectual piracy.
Initially, Lanier was one of the early digital leaders that praised the possibilities of the Internet and was optimistic about its uses for musicians, artists, scientists, and developers. He has since come to the realization that the intellectual collective that the Internet has fostered may have come at the expense of individual creativity.
Lanier’s new book is a manifesto against "open culture" in which he posits a new theory against hive mentality. He argues the Internet has produced a new social contract in which the work of creatives has become public domain, the property of the majority.
Toys are not idle knick-knacks: they allow us to explore otherwise impossible terrain; fire the imagination; provide sparks for structured play. They do not just entertain and delight; they stimulate and inspire. And always, they remind us of the value - and values - to be found in abstract play.
Toymaking is not an idle habit. Toys are a fertile ground for creators to work in. They offer a playful space to experiment and explore. They are a safe ground to experiment with new techniques, skills, or ideas. Though they emerge from no particular purpose, they expose purpose and meaning through their making. Toymaking ranges from making realistic simulations of life to producing highly abstract playthings. And everyone who makes things - out of paper, wood, metal, plastic, or code - has something to gain from making them.
Trying to draw a thread through what, it turns out, has been a lifetime first shaped by toymaking, and then spent making toys in idle moments, Tom will take in (amongst other things) woodwork, Markov chains, state-machines and fiddle-sticks, to examine the values of toys and toymaking to 21st-century creators.
Tom Armitage is a game designer at Hide & Seek. He’s also a hacker in the true sense of the word, wrangling code to create a Twitter account for Tower Bridge and print out eight years of links.
He writes on his blog Infovore (and elsewhere) about code and play. You should read it. It’s excellent.
He also talks about games, technology and social software.
Designer and technologist Tom Armitage argues that learning to write computer code means learning to think in a modern way, and that it should spur creativity: the possibility of doing entirely new things.
At the 1983 International Design Conference at Aspen, a young Steve Jobs predicted that within two years, the market would see more computers than automobiles. He also said the computers would likely be poorly designed, though they didn’t have to be. It was difficult for the audience to understand the deep sense in which he meant this commitment to good design. Beyond mere “gift-wrapping,” the emerging graphical interfaces were to signal computational functions that most could not even imagine. How might we be comparably limited today? What new futures might be realized in a year or two – let alone 29 years from now? We listened to Steve Harberger’s cassette recording of this little-known Jobs speech, followed by viewing a contemporary recording of the TEDx talk by Ryan Chin. He’s envisioning “smart cities” with a wireless infrastructure that mitigates congestion through “sharable, collapsible, rechargeable CityCars, GreenWheel bicycles, and RoboScooters,” along with knowledge of our habits using different modes of transportation. Join in the discussion! Consider what to do when imagination cannot keep pace with technology development.
Freud popularised the term, “The Narcissism of Minor Differences”, to describe how adjacent villages—identical for all practical purposes—would struggle to amplify their tiniest distinctions in order to justify how much they despised one other. So you have to guess how much he would have enjoyed design mailing lists. And, Perl.
Truth is, to the untrained (un-washed, un-nuanced, un-Paul-Rand’d, and un-Helvetica’d) outsider, discourse in the design community can sometimes look a lot like a cluster of tightly-wound Freudian villages.
So, how is the role of design perceived by the people who are using the stuff you make? What role (if any) should users expect in the process of how their world is made and remade? What contexts might be useful in helping us turn all of our obsessions into useful and beautiful work?
Can an Aeron chair ever be truly ‘Black’? Will there ever be a way to get Marketing people to stop calling typefaces ‘fonts’? And, when, at last, will the international community finally speak as one regarding the overuse of Mistral and stock photos of foreshortened Asian women?
By leveraging his uniquely unqualified understanding of design, Merlin will propose some promising patterns for fording the gap between end-users and the unhappy-looking people in costly European eyeglasses who are designing their world.
Is there hope? Come to Brighton, pull up a flawlessly-executed mid-century-Modern seating affordance, and we’ll see what we can figure out together. One village to another.
Merlin Mann is best known as the creator of 43folders.com, a popular American website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.
Have you ever had a spontaneous creative triumph, perfectly in sync with your team?
A passionate believer in improvisation as a design skill, Hannah’s session will talk about the importance of this technique in her own design process and what lessons can be borrowed from improvised music.
From the jazz masters to the humble basement band practice, musical concepts such as timing, structure, rolls and expression have many lessons for designers creating an off-the-cuff interface.
Hannah will explore how the methods of music translate for a design/development team, as well as sharing personal stories and techniques for those times when you need a bit of a jam session.
Originally from Canada’s icy north, Hannah Donovan is creative director at Last.fm, where she’s worked for the last four years. Before moving to London, she designed websites for Canada’s largest youth-focused agency, working on brands such as Hershey, Heineken and Bic. Hannah also plays the cello with an orchestra and draws monsters.
The work we’re collectively doing—opening up gradually all of human information and media, making it recombinable, helping people create and share their work—is a huge unspoken, sexy, world-redefining mission.
It’s a mission that many of us have become blasé about, almost unaware of. It’s a project so large that it’s hard to get a grasp on. And the next few years are going to get even more interesting as the network pervades physical objects and environments, sensing and manifesting information in the real world.
It’s time to recognise the scale of the project we have in front of us, the breadth of the material we have to work with, and the possibilities of design within it. All of human knowledge, creativity—even the planet itself—is our canvas.
Tom Coates is a technologist and writer, focused on the shape of the web to come and on developing new concepts that thrive in it. He’s worked for many prominent web companies including Time Out, the BBC and Yahoo! where he was Head of Product for the Brickhouse innovation team. He’s most known for the Fire Eagle location-sharing service, and for his work on social software, future media and the web of data.