“Designing Devices is a series of articles on how and why to create devices, written by me, Dan Saffer, principal designer at Kicker Studio. This is a place for essays that I hope to eventually collect into a book in 2011. Like drafts, the articles will be constantly evolving, hopefully with your feedback.” Something to keep an eye on.
Saw this designer toy at an exhibition on the dynamics between Dutch and Indonesian art. Quite lovely.
“A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy our country’s way of life; it’s only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage.” Schneier is one of the few people I know who consistently has sensible things to say about privacy and security issues. He rightly points out that often, the the most effective physical response to a terrorist attempt that is invisible, making it politically undesirable. A Catch-22.
This talk by Timo Arnall, mainly about his work with RFID is mind-blowing, particularly towards the end where he starts to show permutations of tag and reader form and field shapes. This stuff is useful and inspiring for designers as well as users of what is essentially an invisible technology.
This is the last list I’ll be posting on stuff from 2009, I promise. After this it’s all about looking forward. I’ve been tracking my reading on aNobii for some time. Here’s a list of the books I’ve found particularly worthwhile, ordered chronologically. My three absolute favorites are marked in bold.
- Faith in Fakes, Umberto Eco
- Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
- Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
- Black Dogs, Ian McEwan
- Out of Control, Kevin Kelly
- Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
- Game Design Workshop (2nd edition), Tracy Fullerton
- The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
- Fight Club, Chuck Paluhniuk
- A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
- The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch
- Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
- Underworld, Don DeLillo
- Rum Punch, Elmore Leonard
- Digital Ground, Malcolm McCullough
- The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
Common themes: cities, complexity, society & the individual, inner & outer space, design.
I’ve been quite picky with what I read last year and will probably continue to do so this year. Many of these have heaps of dog ears and margin notes and its a wonderful feeling to have them sitting in my studio bookshelf, ready to be picked up and used when required.
Could have benefited from some editing (quantity, not quality seems to have been the main aim, here) but still, some interesting thoughts on where mobile tech might be headed in the near future.
One of the craziest toys I’ve seen in some time.
Glad to see Miegakure in here, as well as A Slow Year and Today I Die.
“…a growing selection of useful classes created for mostly computational design projects”. Might come in handy the next time I play around with Processing.
Last year was thankfully much lower on travel than previous ones. We’re almost a week into 2010, I know, but I still thought it would be worth posting these.1
- Saint Augustine
- Kuala Lumpur
One or more nights were spent in each place. All of these were lovely in their own way, but KL’s my favorite of the bunch. Best city for food anywhere on the planet. In case you’re interested, I keep track of these on Dopplr.
I’m taking up the challenge Matt Webb posted in his last weeknote of the year 2009 and will be posting weeknotes of my own here for the foreseeable future. You can expect stuff about design work I do at Hubbub, teaching at the Utrecht School of the Arts and perhaps bits about This happened and other side endeavors.
So this is week 132 of my freelance career. I started on July 1st 2007, which coincided with a move to Copenhagen (I’ve moved back to Utrecht since).
Most of this week is taken up by a workshop — titled Move It — I’m running together with Evert Hoogendoorn and Marinka Copier at the Utrecht School of the Arts. All first year students of the games and interaction courses are participating, around 130 in all. That’s a crazy number, it’s really taxing, but also a lot of fun. Lots of good vibes when we’re all in the same room. The assignment we’ve given them is to design a new sports experience. It should take place in the centre of Utrecht, and they should not only design the play of the sport, but also the experience of the audience, the referee, bookmaker, etc. We kicked off on monday,1 today was open Q&A, tomorrow will be a mid-way review and on friday they’ll present the final game in the form of a three-minute video. There’ll be 24 videos in total, all posted to this Vimeo group. I’m really looking forward to the end results.
Other than that I’m hoping to get started properly with a consulting project I’ve codenamed Tako.2 It’s about exploring opportunities for playful additions to the programs of some of Utrecht’s major cultural events. The project’s commissioned by the city of Utrecht. I’ll talk more about it once the work is underway.
What else… This being the new year, there’s plenty of receptions. Today I attended one at the Utrecht School of the Arts. Tomorrow I’ll be at the monthly lunch organised by the Dutch Game Garden3 which’ll probably involve some new year shenanigans.
I was also doing the obligatory financial admin that comes with the start of a new month, a new quarter and a new year (thank god there’s nothing special related to this being a new decade). Invoicing, that sort of thing.
Also, I sent out a message to some of my old friends in Copenhagen, since I’m planning a six-week stay there in spring. I’m hoping to do some work there. Have heard back from a few already, so that’s encouraging.
There’s also more than the usual amount of meetings to talk about potential new projects. All quite interesting and exciting, who knows what’ll come of those.
So that’s the first weeknote out of the way. It’s interesting how doing this increases my awareness of all the stuff that’s going on. It’s hard not to feel a little overwhelmed. I hope it’s of some interest to you though.
“Could this be an interesting approach to open up museums and learn from our current and future audiences? Could a game be a museum? Could a museum be a game?”
I think the simple answer to all these questions is yes. But I’ve always been more interested in the how of things. So I’m lead to wonder…