drwex: (WWFD)

I'm really enjoying Dear Design Student a blog written by designers, ostensibly for designers and particularly young and student designers. Blog entries range from the practical (don't give two weeks' notice - give enough notice to wrap up your projects and make a clean exit) to the abstract (Doing the right thing the wrong way). And in some cases like this entry they wander into the philosophical. I've long thought that design was as much an avocation as a profession and here Arjun Basu lays out the basic problem - if you live in a bubble of any sort then you're doing yourself a disservice, both as a designer and as a human being.

Being very introverted myself and making new friends slowly at the best of times this is kind of tough advice for me to read. But that's what makes this an interesting blog.
drwex: (pogo)

A film (18 minutes) that captures a huge amount of what it is that I do, what I've tried and failed to describe to people. It's the best version of this I've yet seen, capturing the ideas of people-centric, networked, social, interactive, layered. All the things I've been flailing around trying to say for years.

I particularly like the bit around 10:30 where Jonas Lowgren describes the core idea of my Ph.D. thesis. I continue to love living in the future and that I may yet live to see stuff that was wild-ass impossible ideas in 1998 become accepted reality.
drwex: (WWFD)
I blame Chanaleh, and my dedication to Feynman's philosophy that if we cannot explain something simply then we haven't adequately explained it.

To wit, I took my own verbose explanation of What It Is That I Do (from 2006, holy cow I've been on LJ a long time) and ran it through the upgoer five text editor. The result is this:
I make stuff from which people get whole answers that they like. I make situations in which conversations can take place between people and the things people use. These conversations are about what people do and the conversations happen over a long time. I deal with how people get confused, with how people feel, and with what people have done in the past because this matters to what they do now.

I could not do what I do without an understanding of thought, memory, attention, and seeing. I use simple things, I watch carefully, and I try to care for other people when I make these situations. I use what I have made to deal with problems in business and problems with stuff everyone else uses. When I do my job well, things that are busy seem easy; things that seem too big to deal with feel smaller.

I'm surprised that the vocabulary includes polysyllabic words like "conversation" but I couldn't find a good word in there to use in place of "exchange". I used a thesaurus to help me on the first pass, which was just word substitution, then I did a second pass of sentence restructuring and simplification. I then did a final pass in which I rearranged the sentences themselves in order to improve the flow.

If I was trying to be really simple, I think, I would stop after the first paragraph but that felt like cheating, given the original text I was working from. I started out being frustrated by this exercise but in the end I found it quite interesting and useful. Also, I realize that I don't have a "wiitid" tag in my LJ, though clearly I ought to have one.
drwex: (Python)

My Inner 12-year-old is rolling on the floor.
drwex: (Default)

I just found out Bill Moggridge died this past weekend (fuck cancer). It's just impossible to capture in a few words how important and how visionary he was. I tried, in passing, using some of his words, back in 2006 when I sought to summarize what it is that I do and then he turned up again last year in the film Objectified..

The Times story mis-states that he "invented" the first laptop computer - really what he did was design it. But read the story anyway as some of the world's best designers have a few words to say about him. Limor Fried linked this video on G+, which is short and touches a few more highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWkk9sr_GOs&feature=player_embedded

My entire profession and career would have been different, and maybe not even have existed, without him doing what he did.
drwex: (VNV)
Last night I went to see Objectified a documentary about design. If you ever want to understand why I do what I do, see this film. It's not a perfect film, but I found myself nodding in agreement throughout, thinking "yes, that's what I try to explain to people all the time." I don't know if non-designers would get the same things out of it that I did.
Interesting points, in bullet form )
About the film itself )
drwex: (Default)
'cause I know I'd want some, and I bet lots of my friends would, too:


drwex: (Default)

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