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Social Responsibility

With TED happening this week, it’s been interesting to follow the buzz of activity around it. Watching Jamie Oliver’s powerful talk, an “all-out assault” on the need to change how we teach children about food, got me thinking… What role can we play, as interactive media designers, to make change and support responsible behavior in […]

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Art is a Hammer

In a short but interesting piece in the Harvard Business Review, John Maeda & Becky Bermont provoke with Why Business Leaders Should Act More like Artists. Their three big “ahas” around breaking stereotypes and working like artists are 1) artists constantly collaborate, 2) artists are talented communicators, and 3) artists learn how to learn together. […]

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Past Present

Magic Books

When I first saw Peter Greenaway’s film “Prospero’s Books” I was drawn to the innovative use of layering and multiple images to visualize the 24 books that made up the film’s arc. I was inspired. I wanted to explore ways to create interactive books with the richness and complexity as the books in the film… […]

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Past

Toshio Iwai

In 1996 I saw the Mediascape exhibition at the Guggenheim SoHo. A collection of digital art, some interactive, it was bold show from a major museum. It received mixed reviews — but one of the pieces there left a lasting impression on me. It was “Piano – As Media Image” by Toshio Iwai. From the […]

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Decode: Digital Design Sensations

  It’s a beautiful day here in Los Angeles. So going to rainy London doesn’t seem like that much fun. But I think I might change my mind if I could go see the recently opened exhibit Decode: Digital Design Sensations at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition: “…showcases the latest developments in digital […]

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The End of Flash?

Ever since last week’s iPad launch, the image of an iPad’s web browser with the missing-plugin Lego-brick has been generating a lot of discussion. Is Apple at war with Adobe? Is Adobe’s Flash critical to the web experience? Is Apple’s restriction going to doom the iPad? It’s not only bloggers talking, even the New York […]

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Past Special

Muriel Cooper: Information Landscapes

In 1994 Muriel Cooper presented work at the TED5 conference in Monterey, CA that changed the way designers thought of the possibilities of electronic media. The work, from her group at the MIT Media Lab‘s Visible Language Workshop (or VLW), took typography, literally, into three dimensions — and gave it dynamics and interactivity that had […]

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Novelty Dining in London

Last year I was in London with some friends and we ended up having dinner at Inamo in SoHo. They’ve developed an interactive ordering system that uses your entire table as a display, using ceiling-mounted projectors The basic dilemma with these sorts of restaurants is that the novelty, whatever it may be, is what attracts […]

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Keyboard Refinements

After my post about the fluidity of using the Symbolics keyboard, I thought Phil Gyford’s recent post about typing speeds on different devices, Pen v keyboard v Newton v Graffiti v Treo v iPhone, was very cool. As an experiment, he entered the same paragraph of text into using six different devices to see which […]

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Realism Doesn’t Work

Lukas Mathis, for UX Magazine, recently wrote an interesting article: Realism in UI Design. It takes some of the ideas from Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” (a book I remember making a big impact in the UI world when it first came out) — and looks at those concepts apply to UI design. The examples he […]

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Future

Star Trek: PADDs

On the eve of the rumored announcement of an Apple Tablet, I started thinking about similar devices in Star Trek. In Trek lingo they are referred to as PADDs. For a show made in the 60s and 80s it’s interesting to see how their conception changed over time. In the original show the earliest padds […]

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Past

Symbolics Keyboard

Back in the 80s there was an AI (artificial intelligence) boom – a euphoric time of specialized computers and the belief that we were going to be able to invent smart computer systems. It was after Xerox PARC‘s peak but before personal computers had the computing power that eventually put specialized high-end workstations on the […]

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Are Phones Leading OS Innovation?

Here’s a great piece on Engadget by Paul Miller: Editorial: 10 outdated elements of desktop operating systems. It’s a very interesting read, not just about the problems of existing desktop operating systems, but pointing out that some of the possible solutions are right in front of us. What’s cool is the degree to which phones […]

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Present

Rediscovering Yugop

If you’ve never seen the work of Yugo Nakamura, known online as Yugop, go immediately to his website www.yugop.com and take a look around. And if you have seen his work, it’s probably worth looking at again. Based in Japan, Yugo’s been doing amazing interactive work since the late 90’s. His work, primarily Flash-based, has […]

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Sketching in Code

I’ve always been interested in high-level design tools as a means for designers to easily sketch ideas without getting stuck in production details. It’s too easy, and common, for a designer to create a sketch in Photoshop, or an initial wireframe, and then be reluctant to make large-scale changes to the design because of the […]

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Past

1963: Sketchpad

Today, in the US, is a holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. It was in 1963 that Dr. King gave his famous, and still relevant, I Have a Dream speach. What was happening with interactive media at that time? Well, most significantly, it was the same year that Ivan Sutherland published his PhD thesis at […]

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Future

Movie: Avatar

It’s safe to bet that interface design in movies will be a recurring theme here. They give us a glimpse of the future, but from a design perspective of when the film was made. They take current ideas of where technology is heading, and project it forward to a point beyond what is currently possible. […]

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Design Education: Don’t be Separate!

I’m very interested in how we develop the next generation of interactive design talent. Partly because I’ve been both a educator (teaching and developing curricula at Art Center) and an employer (my own studio, Triplecode, and within other firms). And also because my own personal path has covered a wide range of professions. David Malouf […]

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Haiti: Interactive Supporting Disaster Relief

The recent earthquake in Haiti is devastation beyond belief. But it’s been so encouraging to see how interactive technologies are playing a part to help those in need. The American Red Cross’ mobile giving program, where anyone can txt “Haiti” to 90999 and automatically donate $10 to Haiti relief, has been a big success. [You […]

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Past Present

I.D. and Design Culture

Over the past several years I rarely read I.D. magazine. And so when it was recently announced that the magazine was going to cease publication I wasn’t terribly moved. Yes, it was sad to lose an historic design voice. But the magazine had been feeling less and less relevant. Perhaps it was just another casualty […]