Wired has a long piece on the design intricacies that went into the latest Microsoft entry
“So Panay’s team set a different goal: to reinvent the laptop. They spent two years designing, prototyping, and fine-tuning—all to get to the Surface Book that goes on sale today. It’s the product of everything Microsoft has learned from making the first Surface machines, and from watching Apple eat its lunch. It’s a story right out of Cupertino, really: A small group of creatives sits in a room together, passionately slaving over every tiny detail of a product until it’s perfect. To go after Apple, Microsoft learned from Apple—and then found a few places to take right turns toward the future it imagines. It cost Panay much more than one night’s sleep.”
Pixar is as much a research firm as it is an animation studio, and a new exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City does an expert job at showing us how. For Pixar: The Design of Story, the movie studio supplied Cooper Hewitt with 650 renderings, mockups, illustrations, and storyboards of its characters and landscapes, along with background. Taken together, these artifacts illuminate the painstaking level of research that goes into the creation of every character, right down to the folds in an old man’s jacket sleeve, or the texture of the curls in a heroine’s hair.
Most prosthetic manufacturers build their products with a certain amount of blandness so their artificial limbs won’t stand out. So much effort is put into making them appear natural that some artificial limbs are so real realistic that they are indistinguishable from a real limb when viewing them at a distance. While most manufacturers take this realistic approach, UK limb maker Open Bionics is going to the opposite extreme, creating brightly colored, kid-friendly prosthetic hands that are branded after popular superheroes and movie characters.
Space Bins on an Alaska Airlines 737-900ER will hold as many as 174 standard carry-on bags, a 48 percent increase compared to current bins that hold up to 117 bags. Space Bins are deep enough to store nonstandard items, such as a guitar.
When open, the bin’s bottom edge hangs about 2 inches lower, which means people don’t have to lift their bags as high to load them. The deeper bins allow more bags to be stowed, and let customers load bags with less struggle.
That should cut boarding times, improve on-time performance and require less intervention from flight attendants.
Now, Google has updated the logo with a sans-serif typeface (think Helvetica) that’s actually Google’s own creation. Called Product Sans, we got a first peek of it in the company’s Alphabet logo, and at a glance, it undoubtedly looks more modern than the old alternative. But sans-serif typefaces are popular on these days for another reason than some attempt at dot com cool: their streamlined glyphs shrink down to tiny sizes with more legibility than the more ornamental serif lettering. And so Google has created a logo that can read as well on a 2.5-inch Android Wear watch face as it does your 50-inch TV playing Chromecast.
Of course, in some contexts, even the smallest version of six whole letters is too much to fit. So Google also introduced an abridged "G" logo, itself rendered in the four colors of the full Google logo, for the tightest of spots.
The greater update, however, is that Google’s logo is no longer a static wordmark. Like many brands, they’ve shifted from a paper-first, static logo to a dynamic, animated figure that’s only possible on screens. When Google is called to action, the letters of "Google" transform into a series of four dots that morph and orbit with life.
In 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Six years later, the government moved from the Almaty to Astana (formerly known as Aqmola). There, with the help of architects like Norman Foster, they built a futuristic city on the remains of old buildings from the Soviet era.
There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design to the way people work.
This new approach is in large part a response to the increasing complexity of modern technology and modern business. That complexity takes many forms. Sometimes software is at the center of a product and needs to be integrated with hardware (itself a complex task) and made intuitive and simple from the user’s point of view (another difficult challenge). Sometimes the problem being tackled is itself multi-faceted: Think about how much tougher it is to reinvent a health care delivery system than to design a shoe. And sometimes the business environment is so volatile that a company must experiment with multiple paths in order to survive.
My wife and I went to a Auguste Rodin exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal this past weekend. They had a marvelous collection of 300 of his iconic works in plaster, marble and bronze including the Prodigal Son, Eve and The Thinker.
The experience was enhanced by a mobile site accessed by the museum’s free wifi, with plenty of information on each of the sections of the exhibit and a chronology of his body of work.
I found it very thoughtful that they had a “Touching Rodin” section for the visually impaired. This had resin replicas meant to be touched and brochures in Braille. The room also had projections and a soundscape simulating Rodin’s studio designed by the SAT (Société des arts technologiques). You can only imagine how the tactile experience will improve with haptic gloves and other wearable technologies.
Finally, there was a stunning interpretation of various stages of unwrapping a Rodin sculpture by artist Adad Hannah. It is a nice representation of the protective wrapping and the masking tape that modern curators use to ship exhibits like this around the world – many in this case from the Musee Rodin in Paris.
The Infinity Tower in Seoul, S. Korea will appear invisible using an LED facade system
“Cameras will be placed at three different heights on six different sides of the building to capture real-time images of the surroundings; three other sections, each filled with 500 rows of LED screens, will project the individual digital images.
Through digital processing, images will be scaled, rotated and merged to create a seamless panoramic image that appears on the LED rows to create the illusion of invisibility.
In essence, whatever is going on behind the building will be projected onto the front of the building.”