Today is World AIDS Day, and (RED) has collaborated with Objectified participants IDEO to launch a new digital music service, (RED)WIRE, to help fight AIDS in Africa. For $5 a month, you get an exclusive new song every week from artists like Bob Dylan, Cat Power, Elvis Costello, and Death Cab for Cutie, and 50% of that money goes directly to purchase anti-retroviral drugs for AIDS patients in African countries. Think of it as a digital music magazine that saves lives.
You’re invited to the second lecture in SVA’s “Dot Dot Dot” series, featuring Objectified director Gary Hustwit and three other speakers giving four talks in forty minutes. This month’s topic:
We often see the final result — whether it be a product, a feature film, or a short story. But behind these strong finishes are strong interviewers who conducted bodies of research to inform the outcomes we now enjoy. Whether the fit and finishes of those interviews are visible or not, these interviewers play a pivotal role in shaping the final outcome. Learn from four practitioners how they ask the questions to get the answers they need; how disparate and unexpected research methods can inform the final outcome.
Speakers: Gary Hustwit, Director, Helvetica, Objectified Jason Severs, Principal Designer, frog design Clive Thompson, New York Times Magazine and Wired magazine Elisabeth M. De Morentin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design
Monday, December 8, 6pm to 8pm
145 E Houston Street, New York, NY Update: this event is now sold out.
The “Dot Dot Dot” Lecture Series is meant for broad explorations of interaction design, business, and aesthetic inspiration. Practitioners and thought leaders give short talks in an informal setting. Wisdom will be revealed and methods will be shared in a environment intended to satisfy both social and scholarly pursuits.
– Tomorrow night, Nov. 20, Bill Moggridge moderates a discussion with Yves Behar and others, to open the “Art & Design in a Global World” Design Preis Schweiz (Swiss Design Award) exhibit in San Francisco
– US television premiere of Helvetica on PBS moved from January 13 to January 6
I feel like I’ve been out of the graphic design news loop lately, and I just discovered that UK design kings Blanka issued a print by one of my graphic design heroes, Amsterdam’s own Wim Crouwel. It’s a meticulously restored edition of Crouwel’s 1968 “Vormgevers” poster. The reprint was overseen by Crouwel himself, and he’s signed the first 50 copies. Get one while they’re still around.
It’s funny, but there’s been almost as much written about the Objectified logo, created by British graphic designer Michael C. Place of Build, as has been written about the film itself. Michael has just posted a piece about the design on his smart new blog, and included dozens of images of the different variations of the logo as it evolved (click the images to magnify).
We happened to be in the Bouroullec’s Paris studio while the brothers were working with the book’s graphic designers, ericandmarie, and we filmed the meeting, so you might see some of it in the film. And check out ericandmarie’s site for a nice video they produced for the Bouroullecs’ 2004 show at MOCA Los Angeles.
The always incisive Design Observer will celebrate its five year anniversary this week with a party in New York City, Wednesday, November 5. The party will take place at Element (the beautiful 19th century bank building that became the Jasper Johns studio), located at 225 East Houston Street. It’s open and free with the password (that would be: Design Observer).
7pm-9pm: Cocktail hour. Meet Design Observer authors and contributors.
9pm-2am: DJs Kevin Smith, Debbie Millman, and myself… spinning whatever the hell we think will sound good through a 36,000 watt sound system. I am not kidding. I may have to break out the Mister Rogers record again…
It’s the night after Election Day… so I hope we’re celebrating. VOTE!
What happens when you put a hot dog, a pole-dancing doll, a Philippe Starck juicer, a Gaussian gun, a Tickle-Me Elmo, lots of marbles, and a mechanical Chinese duck together in eight locations around the world? IDEO’s global Rube Goldberg machine:
It’s not enough to make a well-designed product. The product also has to make well-designed sounds. Science Daily looks at industrial designer Elif Özcan Vieira’s PhD thesis on the subject:
The auditory experience of product users is not just “a sensory response to an acoustical stimulus.” In fact, users contribute characteristics, such as trustworthiness or a high standard of quality, to products on the basis of the sounds they produce.
I’m a huge believer in this theory; there’s not enough thought put into how we interact with objects sonically. When we were filming Chris Bangle and got to drive around the new BMW X6, I actually commented on how beautiful its fasten-your-seatbelt alarm chime was. Yes, I know those alarm chimes are supposed to be annoying in order to force you to buckle up. But can’t they be pleasantly annoying?
Speaking of sound design, I’m obsessing over Bloom, Brian Eno’s new iPhone application. [Available in the iTunes App Store.] “Part instrument, part composition and part artwork,” Bloom is a generative ambient music synthesizer (you can make pretty sounds with it). It’s addictive, and it’s especially amazing when you plug your iPhone into your stereo system and crank it up. Best four bucks I’ve spent in a while.