Brian Eno shares his views on creating situations to let go of control, reducing one’s options to avoid known paths, the concept of a “genius” and his idea of art education for everyone in this interview at Red Bull Music Academy in New York in May 2013. More
Some useful Processing code snippets which I’ve used during some recent projects. Print PDFs, run code before application quits, avoid exiting when ESC is pressed or find the name of the current sketch. More
This quick experiment shows how logos of major brands are rebuilt and distributed by the public and made available on the internet. It’s impossible to say which is the original logo, all versions that are freely available online differ a little bit. This is a compilation of the logos of six companies: Nike, adidas, Coca-Cola, Apple, BBC and bp. More
I’ve explored cartography in severalprojects before, and I’m especially fascinated by the way we memorise maps, for example how we build mental models of a city layout, and how we experience and remember space.
A recent brief at RCA was to think about remapping Europe. I took this as an opportunity to make an experiment to find out how we remember maps: I asked people to draw the map of Europe off the top of their heads, without preparation or reference, within a 5 minute timespan. More
Last but not least, I’d like to add a classic TED talk to my list of inspirational talks. Actually it is the most watched TED talk ever – over 15 million on the TED website and another 5 million views on youtube since 2006. And quite rightly, I think. While folks like Evgeny Morozov love to hate TED talks, which is debatable of course, Ken Robinson’s remarks on creativity and the educational system can be considered a masterpiece, rhetorically as well as regarding the argument he makes. More
I’ve spent the last two days at the IDEO make-a-thon, a workshop where 78 people met to think, create and make. The 12 challenges on the topic of “superhuman” have been meticulously chosen by IDEO staff. Our challenge, entitled “Super Games”, was how we might help the elderly strengthen their skills through play. More
According to John Cleese, certain conditions make it more likely that something creative might occur. In order to get into the “open mode”, you have to create an oasis of quiet for yourself by setting boundaries of space and of time.
In this interview with wired Joi Ito, the new director of the MIT Media Lab, explains why he sees the future of education and research in “open universities”. 27 years after its opening, Ito wants to open up the Media Lab into the “world’s leading ‘antidisciplinary’ research lab”, where everybody, academically qualified or not, can take part. He sets out to create a movement based on disobedience and breaking the rules attempting to solve the world’s most persistent problems. More
Aired on BBC Radio 4 in November 2012, this agile discussion on the occasion of the 175-year anniversary of the RCA stretches from the history and relevance of liberal art education in the UK and the RCA in particular, to the importance of developing a lively exchange between engineering and art and design, the economic benefits of this dialog, and concludes in debating the essentials of good art and design education.
In his TED talk, the american psychologist Barry Schwartz makes a valid point in explaining why it’s better to offer a limited number of choices only. This is an important lesson for all graphic designers, I think it’s especially relevant for UI and web design, but also for corporate and print design.
In capitalism, freedom is defined by having an unlimited number of choices. How could this be wrong? Isn’t it awesome to have every imaginable possibility? Well, not really. When people are confronted with too much choice, they tend to end up unsatisfied, regardless of which option they chose. Schwartz explains this phenomenon. More
In this interview from 2010 english actor Stephen Fry talks about why technology doesn’t make up for missing talent, why ego-centric people are not successful, why setting goals is disastrous, why something completely different is more interesting than your usual thing, why travelling is important for self-reinvention and self-discovery, learning from masters and with friends, the joy of giving, our need to question and test knowledge, the complex questions in life, ethics and morality, engagement in society, social networks and democracy, the absurdity of conspiracy theories, the paradox of belonging and being outside, why self-obsessed people are distressing, and the greatness of kindness. More
I’ve gotten into the habit of watching one inspirational talk almost every day. Most of the recommendations come through twitter or through conversations at the RCA. Now I’d like to start a series of posts with a few selected talks I wouldn’t want to miss. First in this series is Rodney Mullen’s talk on community, creativity and innovation.
My newest work is a visualisation of various demographic and US election-related datasets called United Stats of America, which I created in collaboration with Melissa Kim. We’ve been commissioned by KK Outlet, the London outpost of infamous Kesselskramer from Amsterdam, and they provided us with a large amount of datasets based on research carried out by Sarah Williams, Assistant Professor at MIT. The brief was to create infographic posters based on this data for their exhibition Mapping America. Let me explain what it’s about and how me made it. More
I joined the #vizmarathon 2012 at the meetup in University College London on Friday, where Alastair Moore uf UCL Advances had prepared a great environment to work in and provided pizza and beer. After getting the brief and the datasets, we watched the keynote speech by Richard Saul Wurman. Sitting in his comfortable chair in his home office / library, he inspired all of us, but also got me into thinking about the relevance of data visualizations. More
In our Visual Research elective we’ve received a brief to investigate microscopic views, X-Ray images, cross-sections – the aim is to go beyond the physical and “to go deeper, drawing through the many layers of everything, using sharp graphic scalpel-like materials to investigate, invent, discover, rationally speculate and playfully imagine. This is an opportunity to utilise such notions, as the X-Ray, the cross-section and the microscopic, be it fact or fiction, factual fiction or indeed fictional fact.” (brief by David Rayson) More
It’s crucial to select the right tools for each project. Equally important is not to spend too much time checking out the newest tools – there are just too many of them. The practice of creative coding is evolving quickly, so I thought it might be useful to document the current state of my toolbox. More
We’ve been watching Renzo Martens’ film “Enjoy Poverty” from 2008, as well as “Manufactured Landscapes”, a 2006 documentary about the photographer Ed Burtynsky. Although fundamentally different in language, aesthetics and topic, both films left me devasteted, as they adress pressing problems of our world. Ultimately they raise the question for me, where I can start to make a change? More
I was fortunate enough to get a place at this year’s summer school at Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design – CIID. Led by Matt Cottham of Tellart and his wife Maia Garau, the three-week course was aimed at getting a hands-on experience, behind-the-scenes insight and realising short practical assignments in teams and individually. We had amazing lectures on interaction design and service design, and got a good background in historical studies and design theory. The second week focused on computational design with Processing and Arduino led by Dennis Paul of The Product* and Jacob Sikker Remin, who brought a bunch of self-made sensors to realise physical computing projects. More
This blog documents my design research while studying Information Experience Design at Royal College of Art. Keeping a research blog is an experiment and I don’t know if it works out, if my posts are worth reading and – most important – if I update the blog regularly with relevant content. More