Archive for the 'Architecture' Category

Why Can’t Every Site Be Lateral?

 Lateral

Sometimes I despair of social networking sites. They have a promise of interesting connections and influences and then fall a bit short of the dream. Much like any kind of technology I guess. I’m thinking that Virb is not going to live up to it’s designer promise. The pages dedicated to Art, Photography and other creative output have not arrived, despite months of promises. I’m sure they’re busy and music is the easiest way into this business, but c’mon! Most of the people I chat with on the site are designers of some sort and how awesome would a chart of top illustrators on Virb be? Anyways, every now and then I’m surprised by someone that wants to be friendly and what they’re attached to.

The other day a guy called Franks contacts me on Virb. And it turns out he is the Head of Design (and a damn good drawer) at a company called Lateral, based in London. They’re an interactive type of agency who’ve done boat loads of work on Nintendo DS and Levis. While their portfolio is impressive, it’s their website that caught my attention. It’s a damn clever piece of information design. Slick, simple and fast. The expandable blocks provide excellent bite size pieces of information and the colour work is fun and intuitive. I think it’s built in Ajax.

It’s a lesson in how a single page can be an entire information architecture.

Lateral 

Nokia’s “Where’s the Phone” Research

 Chongqing

“A lot of rich qualitative user research loses its soul by the time it’s been squeezed into conference and journal submission formats and in addition, work involving concept generation tends to remain confidential. So what you see here scratches the surface, nothing more.”

And that quote is about right, but do not think that it’s not very interesting. There are a lot of  odd tidbits that are worth knowing. They traveled to 11 cities, interviewed over a thousand people and have the pictures to prove it. If you have any interest in how hand held devices, any hand held device, may change in the future, these presentations may give you a little head start.

I enjoyed the blog format of their travels coupled with the PDF files that explain what they found. I guess the questionnaires must have been an exercise in information design by themselves, how do you ask a guy from Kampala about the interface design issues he’s been having? The writer posts some interesting thoughts from the cities, like this one, ‘ “What happens when everything is transformed into ‘experience’ shopping? And the experience shops are clustered in close proximity? Is it possible to experience, well, ‘experience fatigue’?” Some of them sound like he’s a bit jet lagged, some are relevant musings from a good scholar. It’s a blog, dammit.

Link 

Spaceship Crashes into Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

Cardassian Ship Crashes Into Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
“It looks like a Cardassian spaceship crashed into a castle,” says my friend Dré as we cruise by, gawking at the new ROM which opened to the public this June, 2007. Designed by Daniel Libeskind on a cocktail napkin, this celebrated and reviled work of modern architecture will continue to provoke commentary.

Hima Bativia from The Cool Hunter has this to say: “To be precise, world-enthused architect Daniel Libeskind, who also recently won the 2002 contest to replace New York’s World Trade Centre, faxed the napkins in. Since then, the 56,000 square foot renovation has brewed several controversies amongst Torontonians and architecture buffs – as does any visionary, so they say. While some praise its bold design marked for its angle specific complexity, others believe it’s an audacity to a heritage monument. On the other hand, some just think it resembles an alien ship from space. At least it has got people talking.”

dsc03632.jpg

What’s your opinion?


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