Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is … or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.
Inventing the next twenty years, strategic foresight, fictional futurism and English rural magic: Warren Ellis attempts to convince you that they are all pretty much the same thing, and why it was very important that some people used to stalk around village hedgerows at night wearing iron goggles.
Warren Ellis is a writer. He is not the violinist in the Bad Seeds.
Some of the things he has written have pictures in them, like Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and The Authority. Some of the things he has written are constructed entirely from words, like Crooked Little Vein and the best-selling Gun Machine.
Gun Machine is currently being developed for television. His book Red was adapted for the big screen in 2010. We shan’t hold it against him.
You can find him on Twitter, on Tumblr, on This Is My Jam, and you used to be able to find him in Second Life, but most importantly, he has his own website because he’s down with the Indie Web.
A giant water slide. A talking lamppost. A zombie chase game. These recent city interventions were enabled by networks of people, technology and infrastructure, making the world more playful and creating change. In this Playable City talk, Clare will take on the functional image of a future city, sharing how to design playful experiences that change our relationships with the places we live and work.
Clare Reddington lives in Bristol, the second nicest town in the UK (after Brighton, of course). She’s the director of iShed, a subsidiary of Watershed.
Clare “Two Sheds” Reddington works on fun, collaborative research projects that usually involve some creative use of technology. The Playable City is a perfect example.
Clare is a member of the advisory boards of Theatre Bristol and Hide&Seek. She was a finalist in the British Council’s UK Young Interactive Entrepreneur 2009 and has featured in Wired magazine’s 100 people who shape the Wired world in for the last three years (but I’d take that with a pinch of salt if I were you—they put Andy Budd and Richard Rutter on that list too).
Over 10,000 years ago we lived in balance with the network. Since then we’ve tried to control, rule and bend it to our whims. In all that time, we’ve never asked ourselves if we’re building something that controls us?
Brian Suda is an informatician, which is definitely a real word and not just something he made up once. It is perfectly cromulent.
Brian lives and works in Reykjavík by way of Edinburgh by way of St. Louis. He’s been living in Iceland long enough that he can correctly pronounce Eyjafjallajökull. That’s quite an impressive party trick …unless the party is in Iceland.
Brian is a data hound, moving from project to project, always finding interesting ways to expose and represent the data exhaust of our network engine. He built one of the earliest microformats parsers and has written a book on Designing With Data.
Together with Aitor Garcia, Brian has formed Analog. Their first project involves the production of Kickstarter-funded notebooks beautifully embossed with geographical data.
At some point, he plans to graph all the world‘s baked goods on a hypercube of bread.
Thomas Pynchon. The Anthropocene. Ferguson. Geoheliocentrism. Teju Cole. Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigms. Antigone. A wall. The sixth extinction.
The ways we transmit information—and the ways in which that information accumulates into narratives—is changing. And if we aren’t careful, it may not change in all the ways we want it to.
Mandy Brown is a wordsmith. She takes other people’s words and hammers them into shape.
Mandy edited Frank Chimero’s The Shape Of Design. She has edited articles for A List Apart and books for A Book Apart (including the particularly handsome first book).
More recently, Mandy assembled a dream team to work on her startup Editorially, an online platform for collaborative writing and editing. That didn’t work out in the end, which is a shame because it was a lovely piece of work.
Before that, Mandy worked as product lead at Typekit, whipping their communications into shape.
She is one of the Studiomates crew in Brooklyn, where she lives with her husband, Keith and her dog, Jax. They’re both adorable.
How computers and digital technology affect our lives around the world.
Click investigates triumphs and pitfalls of the digital age at the dConstruct conference.
@keithbelfast talks to @goodonpaper and @standardistas’ Chris about inspired interfaces, lovely typefaces, x-factor and beer maps amongst other things.
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 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.
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.
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