Let's call 2011 the year of the tablet. In the last several months, virtually every major electronics manufacturer has introduced a hopeful competitor to Apple's iPad, and the aisles at January's International Consumer Electronics Show were crammed with dozens of variations on the rounded rectangle.
For those of you who've never had the pleasure of visualizing music, of watching it twist and turn and bend through the protean halls of space-time, allow Süperfad to fill what your imaginations (or your drugs) have cruelly withheld: The American design studio (sorry, stüdio) produced a short, live-action film recently that paints an abstract portrait of what it's like to actually see music.
Every house has some impossible corner, some ill-shaped nook, some domestic no man's land, where furniture simply does not -- will not -- go. To that end, industrial designer William Lee and Manu Garza of Brooklyn-based et al. collaborative dreamed up Lean: an odd and yes, lean, wedge of a chair (or a table, depending on how you arrange it), that's designed as the perfect remedy to your most imperfect residential architecture.
Great user-interface design doesn't kill complexity, it clarifies it. But even so, there's a fine line between empowering users and infantilizing them. Last week, Bloom's president railed against "the urge to make everything into one giant likable button" -- an image of reptile-brain stimulus/response at its worst.
When we come across a compelling architectural project, we think about how to frame the story. Will it be about sustainability? About overcoming building regulations? Meeting the needs of a specific set of clients? Or just plain beauty? Occasionally, it's all of the above. As is the case with this truly energy-efficient home inserted into a tight plot in Tübingen, Germany.
"Using every space in the best possible way is the most eco-friendly act."
Henri Cartier-Bresson, god of street photography, would have loved the iPhone camera. But he might have been frustrated with its ergonomics -- how are you supposed to capture "the decisive moment" quickly, spontaneously, and artfully when you're pecking at a featureless screen with your index finger while fumbling to keep the camera steady?
Nike+? "Kinda bullshit." So concludes Allison Shaw in a cheeky infographic charting runners in New York -- and the impossible things Nike+'s popular, but astonishingly fallible, tech claims they can do.
What will the future of in-patient health care look like? Perhaps something like the "Patient Room 2020," a project that NXT, Clemson University, and Birdtree Design are trying to bring to market in the next 10 years.