Braun’s 90th

January 31, 2011 § 3 Comments

I never understood why people made such a big deal about anniversaries of things using only round numbers. Why isn’t the 91st anniversary as important as the 90th?

In any event, it seems Braun agrees. Tomorrow is the 90th anniversary and being typically German they’re doing roughly nothing to advertise it. They put together a rather neat slideshow, though, over at the website.

It’s crazy to think that all of this has happened in such a short period of time. I would argue that industrial design as we know it is entirely defined by this short era, these handfuls of men. And, as I tend to rant, it’s already in something of a decline. Ah well, we just have to take over and make it better. I always did like a challenge…

Happy Braunday, everyone.

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Cold War Modern

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ken Adam.

My hero.

I think, more than any other type of drawing, I like architectural sketches the best. These are the ones that draw me in and speak to me. The use of space and lighting and the ideas conveyed for what the space is used for is wrapped up in this neat little box of usually only a few simple shades and colours.

I believe this is why I have hundreds of screenshots from the game Mirror’s Edge. I simply can’t stop running around taking pictures of spaces without people filling them. But I think that’s what’s so cool about concept art and what defines how ‘good’ it is. Sure, most people can draw a building, lots can draw one well. But it’s the art of implying what the space or object is used for in a flat, non moving image that appeals to me. If I can look at something and tell you how to use it or why it’s created or even it’s top speed based solely on looks, you’ve done something right. In a world of largely incomprehensible, androgynous design (see: every third item on Yanko Design) it’s a shame how unintuitive things are.

And of course there are exceptions to the “should be able at to tell what it’s for” rule when it comes to more monolithic items (for example Dieter Rams’ speakers) but this is when minimalism is there in an unobtrusive way. There are, of course, different kinds of minimalism. The kind that makes something useless because you’re completely unsure how to use it and then the extremely difficult stripping of something back until it’s perfectly usable and nothing superfluous remains. That’s the goal. Intuitive design.

Back to architecture.

Ken is famous for his work on the early Bond movies and the brilliant Dr. Strangelove’s war room set:

These are things iconic to the era, this grand view of the future. I love the old popular science that predicted technologies that are completely ridiculous to us now. They were so excited for the future. They were excited the war was over and these abilities emerged. We had the futurists and the utopianists and the visions for this better, peaceful future.

We’ve become so jaded.

So, I salute you, Ken Adam. You had an actual imagination. Something I can only hope to culture and grow into someday.

Also, he and Dieter Rams are exactly what I want to be like when I’m old. They’re so elegant and intelligent. Ken’s video here.

Cantilever Houses

January 30, 2011 § 3 Comments

It’s no secret that I love cantilever houses.

Interestingly enough, this one is kind of like where I’m living now (long and thin) except off the ground.

I like that.

I’d put an office on the very end so I can sit and work and look over everything. Oh, and mine would be on the edge of a cliff over sharp rocks and ocean. None of this gentle slope nonsense; if you’re going to cantilever it has to be over certain death for maximum dramatic effect.

Or at least really high. With a balcony. Railing optional.

In order:

Tanglewood House by Schwartz / Silver

Unnamed by Roberto Ragazzi (Who has one of the few acceptable flash intros to the website; it’s beautiful)

Unnamed by JCB

Photos = way more than 1000 words

January 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

This has to be the best photo I’ve seen in a long while.

It just says so much, you know?

Clever. I like that. I like clever things.

By Marina Abramovic, 1980.

Origami Chair by FORMUSWITHLOVE

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Absolutely brilliant use of form.

I’m going to have to take a similar approach with the cardboard chair challenge coming up in a few weeks here…

Paper Airplane 87

January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

A short animation I made. It isn’t anything, really, but I hope to make it longer / make some sort of sense eventually.

Watch it now.

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