Back to Work #3: The Second Arrow - 5by5
Gruber & Mann - HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility! (audio mp3, free on iTunes) My pal, John Gruber (from daringfireball.net), and I presented a talk at South by Southwest Interactive on Saturday,
How much did the Cold War cost everyone from 1948 to 1991, and how much of that was for nuclear weapons? The total cost has been estimated at $18.5 trillion, with $7.8 trillion for nuclear. At the peak the Soviet Union had 95,000 weapons and the US had 20 to 40,000. America’s current seriously degraded infrastructure would cost about $2.2 trillion to fix — all the gas lines and water lines and schools and bridges. We spent that money on bombs we never intended to use — all of the Cold War players, major and minor, told Rhodes that everyone knew that the bombs must not and could not be used. Much of the nuclear expansion was for domestic consumption: one must appear "ahead," even though numbers past a couple dozen warheads were functionally meaningless.
Between The Alexandrian War of 48 BCE and the Muslim conquest of 642 CE, the Library of Alexandria, containing a million scrolls and tens of thousands of individual works was completely destroyed, its contents scattered and lost. An appreciable percentage of all human knowledge to that point in history was erased. Yet in his novella “The Congress”, Jorge Luis Borges wrote that “every few centuries, it’s necessary to burn the Library of Alexandria”.
In his session James will ask if, as we build ourselves new structures of knowledge and certainty, as we design our future, should we be concerned with the value of our ruins?
With a background in both computing and traditional publishing James Bridle attempts to bridge the gaps between technology and literature. He runs Bookkake, a small independent publisher and writes about books and the publishing industry at booktwo.org. In 2009 he helped launch Enhanced Editions, the first e-reading application with integrated audiobooks.
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.
Web typography has come a long way, but how do you find inspiration to push your designs forward online? Letters can say far more than the words they spell.
In her session, Samantha will look at the lettering surrounding us everyday, tapping into the way it makes us feel. If you don’t already get emotional about which font to use, you will, looking at letters in a whole new way and learning how to translate those feelings into your web designs.
Samantha Warren loves big concepts as much as she loves badass typography and thrives on telling interesting stories through usable interfaces. She has written articles for .net Magazine, regularly speaks at industry events and is on the Board of the Art Directors Club of Washington DC. When she is not doing any of the above you can find her enthusiastically teaching typography and web design at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University.
In an age of high-speed living and info overload, visualized information has incredible potential to help us quickly understand, navigate and find meaning in a complex world.
The use of infographics, data visualisations and information design is a rising trend across many disciplines: science, design, journalism and web. At the same time, daily exposure to the web is creating a incredibly design-literate population. Could this be a new language?
In his session, David will share his passion for this merging of design, information, text and story to unveil some of the interesting, unexpected and sometimes magical things that happen when you visualise data, knowledge and ideas. And, admitting that his book is as full of mistakes as it is successes, he’ll also explore some of the common pitfalls, traps and FAILS that dog this young design form.
Using examples from his book and blog, he’ll share thoughts on what makes a successful information visualisation and journalistic tips, especially for designers, on how to zero in on interesting data and subjects—and how designing information can expose your own biases and change your views about the world. Oh yeah!
David McCandless is a London-based author, data-journalist and information designer, working across print, advertising, TV and web. His design work has appeared in over forty publications internationally including The Guardian and Wired. He champions the use of data visualisations to explore new directions for journalism and to discover new stories in the seas of data surrounding us. His blog and book ‘Information Is Beautiful’ are dedicated to visualising ideas, issues, knowledge and data—all with the minimum of text.
The actual process of design, the path you take on the way to creating something, is in many ways a “meta object” that can be applied to any design problem.
Ever since his first experiences with the humble ZX81 back in the early eighties, Brendan has continued to explore the interplay of people, code, design and art both in his role leading the team at mN and on brendandawes.com, a personal space where he publishes random thoughts, toys and projects created from an eclectic mix of digital and analog objects.
In this session Brendan talks through his three step process: boil—filling your head with many ideas and possibilties, simmer—taking time to consider, and finally reduce—removing things till there’s nothing left to take away.
Brendan Dawes is Creative Director for magneticNorth, a digital design company based in Manchester, UK. Over the years he’s helped realise projects for a wide range of brands including Sony Records, Diesel, BBC, Fox Kids, Channel 4, Disney, Benetton, Kellogg’s, The Tate and Coca-Cola.In 2009 he was listed among the top twenty web designers in the world by .net magazine and was featured in the “Design Icon” series in Computer Arts.
In an era of fast-moving markets and leap-frogging innovators, companies can no longer merely “unlock” wealth. Today they have to actively “create” wealth, or end up in the fossil layers of business history. As a result, brand-builders have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a key role in the next management revolution—the rise of the designful company.
In his session, Marty will explain why design thinking—in its broadest sense—will become the new best practice, and how you can leverage your unique position as a brand-builder to transform the way business does business in the 21st century.
Marty Neumeier began his career as a designer, but soon added writing and strategy to his repertoire, working variously as a designer, copywriter, journalist, magazine publisher and brand consultant. Having developed brand identities for companies such as Apple, Adobe, Kodak and Hewlett-Packard. He has also authored three bestselling books (‘The Brand Gap, ‘Zag’ and ‘The Designful Company’) which discuss how organisations can bridge the gap between business strategy and customer experience.
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