Matters Arising, 22nd October

For the record, and your general edification, here’s stuff that came up during today’s tutorials…

First off, Lauren found a nice little book in the library: Culture and Technology by Andrew Murphie and John Potts (Palgrave MacMillan, 2002).  I only scanned it but it looks like a very accessible overview, and introduces important players like Sadie Plant and Donna Haraway.

Talking with Leighn about Art vs Design and “Design as Art”… Paola Antonelli has written and spoken about this at length over the last couple of years.  Watch a video of her talk at the TED conference (2007) online.  TED is a fantastic resource — big issues and brilliant speakers — and the videos are invariably great, but often also really inspiring or moving.

Also related to design/art: Alice Rawsthorne (again) on “what is design?”.  Also Troika in general, because they (and especially Sebastian Noël) generally reject notions of “artist” and “designer”, but specifically looking at their new book Digital by Design which examines artists and designers — or rather people making art and design — who work in the interactive/digital arena.  I just bought a copy of this and it’s still shiny and new and you’ll be lucky to pry it away from my bony fingers, but I could maybe copy some sections for you if interested.

This came up a couple of times today: Equator was a huge research project (£11 million, 6 years, 8 universities),  looking at “technical, social and design issues in the development of new inter-relationships between the physical and digital”.  Some interesting treatments of technology and design in the home, and many of the publications are online.

Talking with Michael about methodologies such as user-centred design, this recent controversy came up between Don Norman and the software company 37signals.  As reported on ‘putting people first’, an interesting blog by Italian design consultancy experientia.

Gavin and I were discussing sci-fi movies and their visions of the future, which led us to talking about production designers Syd Mead (Tron, Blade Runner, Aliens), and Ken Adam (Dr Strangelove, loads of classic James Bond movies).  BoingBoing featured some video interviews with Syd recently (and there’s a great-looking Documentary DVD out there), plus Christopher Frayling has interviewed Ken lots recently, relating to a couple of  books he’s written: Ken Adam Designs the Movies: James Bond and Beyond and Ken Adam: The Art of Production Design.  The modern mechanix blog also comes up at regular intervals, particularly in discussions about ‘the future ain’t what it used to be’.


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