Norway Memorial Will Cut Through An Island

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

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In 2011, Norway suffered one of the worst days in it’s modern history. To commemorate the attacks and the 77 people that lost their lives, Norway held a competition for architects and artists to design a memorial.

Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg was picked as the winner with his proposal named Memory Wound. His design is focuses on the Island of Utøya, where the shootings took place, and features an 11 foot cut through the headland at Tyriforden, separating it from the mainland. The cut will symbolise the loss of life by literally removing a part of Norway, leaving the rest as a reminder.

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Visitors to the memorial will by guided down a pathway through the island’s forest into a tunnel that leads to the cutting. The tunnel ends abruptly at the cut, where visitors will be able to see to the other side from a viewing platform. On the other side will be written the names of all those who lost their lives on July 22nd. “The names will be close enough to see and read clearly,” explains Dahlberg, “yet ultimately out of reach. This cut is an acknowledgement of what is forever irreplaceable.”

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The earth, plants, and trees removed through excavating the cut will be transferred to Oslo, where it will act as the foundation for the city’s memorial. The Oslo tribute comprises a contemplative path situated alongside an existing busy walkway. The memorial will take visitors off their regular path but ultimately lead them in the right direction. It speaks to the massive impact the attacks had on the everyday lives of Norwegians, but concludes that although we should take time to remember what happened, life must carry on.

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Jony Ive Redesigns Things

June 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Jony Ive redesigns his only t-shirt

The recent big reveal of Apple’s iOS 7 has been a huge talking point over the past couple of days. Graphic designers from around the world were comfortably prepared for a large-scale shift from past skeuomorphic design principles to a modern flat approach that has been successfully implemented by Google and Microsoft, but were not prepared for many of the design choices shown in the keynote. In particular, the over-flat approach renders many interactive elements unclear to the user, visual hierarchy is lost, the incredibly saturated colour palette is painful and certain icon designs such as the Newsstand icon are very poor. Having spent many hours digesting various opinions and redesigns for iOS7, I feel my own views are very eloquently explained by graphic designer Bill Labus (@labusdesign) who commented:

”I was initially extremely disappointed in not just the overall style, but the actual execution of that style. I realize Apple is keen to update the visual style of the OS after so many years, but in attempting to differentiate from all previous versions, I believe they pushed a bit too far in the opposite direction (note that all of this is referring to the visual/UI design- everything I’ve seen/used with regards to the UX/interaction design is top-notch, as always).

I’m starting to warm up to the general ‘lightening’ of the UI, as it lends a clean, airy feel (not that the current OS suffers from the opposite, but the new aesthetic is indeed refreshing, so I think they succeeded there). Having said that, I think the core issues revolve around the execution of that aesthetic. The UI has indeed been ‘flattened’, but when combined with the overall lighter color scheme, it seems to lose a sense of visual order and hierarchy, with many of the apps suffering from their content blending in with controls and making it difficult to distinguish exactly what is interactive (borderless textual buttons, lack of gradients and drop shadows to separate nav bars/toolbars from view content,…)

I’m convinced that the sweet spot lies between the two extremes, and I think the UI could benefit from taking the best of both styles to create something new and refreshing, but still discoverable and intuitive.”

In typical Internet fashion, a hilarious Tumblr site mocking iOS7 was launched immediately. You can see more things ‘Jony Ive has redesigned’ right here,  Enjoy!

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Jony Ive redesigns Mac OS X

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Jony Ive redesigns the battery icon

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Jony Ive redesigns Windows Phone

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Jony Ive redesigns Garage Band

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Jony Ive redesigns Microsoft

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Jony Ive redesigns Adobe Creative Cloud

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Jony Ive reveals the inspiration behind iOS7

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Jony Ive redesigns Pinterest – I actually like this one

The Life Infographics From The Man Who Designed The Facebook Timeline, Nicholas Felton

May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Data visualisation genius Nicholas Felton, a man who is likely best known for his work designing the Facebook Timeline, recently announced that he was leaving Team Zuckerberg. Rather than revere over the timeline however – something conceptually brilliant but executed averagely in my mind – i’d like to introduce Felton’s annual reports; an amazing infographic representation of a person’s life and a real insight into the future of measured social metrics. Take a look at some of these beautiful HQ images!

Nicholas Felton spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines. He is the author of several Personal Annual Reports that weave numerous measurements into a tapestry of graphs, maps and statistics that reflect the year’s activities. He is the co-founder of Daytum.com, and currently a member of the product design team at Facebook. His work has been profiled in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Good Magazine and has been recognized as one of the 50 most influential designers in America by Fast Company.

I find social metrics a really interesting aspect of the future. Take your smartphone; when you’re not using the device it just sits in your pocket. But think about all the information it could be recording: your location, time and day, speed, temperature, height, who you’re with, who’s contacting you, the event you’re going to… Now imagine a future where all devices are connected to the internet and talking to each other. Add to that list, your heart rate, what you’re eating and drinking, what you’re watching, what you’re wearing, your purchases, your photos, sleep patterns… literally everything! The idea of so much recorded information will scare a lot of people, but to me it’s exciting. Shoes that tell you when you need to buy new ones, a shirt that lets you know when more exercise would be a good idea, a fridge that suggests more water and less pizza…

Felton tracked the crazy amount of data using a custom iPhone app, which you can download and use yourselves, either by searching ‘daytum’ in the app store or at daytum.com – learn more about it from this slightly awkward web chat here. I have been using the app myself for the past month with the aim of using the data for a new infographic cv design.

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Think You Know Today’s Major Brands? Put Yourself To The Test.

April 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Brandseen is a simple website that tests your knowledge of the world’s major brands by removing the colour and asking you to replace it with the aid of a colour wheel. Your score is based on how close your response matches the original brand. Try it out at http://brandseenapp.com

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Editors note: I was quite proud of my 69%…

460 Million Connected Internet Devices

March 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

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These images are the work of ‘Carna Botnet’ – the pseudonym of an anonymous hacker, who has mapped the millions of internet connected devices around the world. The full report has been released to the public for further research here. The images section in particular contains beautiful and high-resolution graphics and animations of the data. I’d try to explain how these maps were created but it’s way over my head, so instead here’s the abstract from the report:

”While playing around with the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) we discovered an amazing number of open embedded devices on the Internet. Many of them are based on Linux and allow login to standard BusyBox with empty or default credentials. We used these devices to build a distributed port scanner to scan all IPv4 addresses. These scans include service probes for the most common ports, ICMP ping, reverse DNS and SYN scans. We analyzed some of the data to get an estimation of the IP address usage.”

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This animated GIF above shows the geolocated devices that responded during a 24 hour period: click the image to see the animation. What you can see are the millions of devices that are turned off and the further millions that are left on.

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A Smouldering New Lighting Concept From Audi

January 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Audi_lukeandjules-1As data visualisation permeates more of our everyday lives and ‘The Internet of Things’ steps ever closer, Audi has looked at new concepts for lighting on their cars.

The most exciting of which I think is called ‘the swarm’. An LED display creates thousands of individual lights that flow across the back of the car, which can be used to inform other drivers about any number of things. The rear lights shine laser beams to the ground, which can be used to ‘read’ the ground and cut through low-visability conditions such as fog. Audi also explores OLED technology, which could be used as an exterior coating for their cars. This would transform the entire exterior surface into one big infographic and turn future Audio vehicles into real sci-fi creations.

Check out these concept images and especially ‘the swarm’ in the video below!

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A Clever Blend of Traditional and Modern Architecture

January 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

MVRDV_lukeandjules-1How did architectural firm MVRDV build a modern glass structure at the very heart of a traditional dutch town and get away with it? They enlisted a photographer and designers to screen-print images of a traditional Dutch farmhouse onto each glass panel. This design has taken over 33 years to gain approval from the local residents of Schijndel after six previously rejected attempts at building on the town’s common.

I love the idea of modern and traditional mixing together but I have never seen it done in this way; it reminds me of a simple CAD model before rendering… Photographer Frank van der Salm was commissioned to capture the farmhouse images from several local examples and then these images were assembled by MVRDV into sleek structure standing today.

See more information from MVRDV’s really rather annoying website here.

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