Category filter: Heroes

UX and the Association Between Color and Function

This morning I came across this post by Giorgio Biscaro on Klat and was very taken with the simple way he talks about the details of color on the Dieter Rams design for the Braun T1000 as they pertain to function. Without using any buzzwords or tech talk Biscaro points out the subtle use of color in this device that really elevates the usability and the users understanding of it’s functions.

“I personally like the use of colours when they help identify a specific function, or when they underline a specific performance, or behaviour.”

I think this does a great job to encapsulate the understanding and practices of design that went into the T1000. This radio and the other sound products released by Braun during this period went on to define standards of design and precedents for the interface designs of technology, which spanned far beyond stereos and household electronics. These days you hear a lot of talk that Jonathan Ive of Apple has taken many design cues from Dieter Rams and his work for Braun, and my response to that is, how can you blame him?

(via klat »)

Naoto Fukasawa for Artek

Another perfect design from Naoto Fukasawa. This modular shelving system was designed for Artek in 2009 to be debuted at milan design week in 2010 as the finish company was celebrating their 75th birthday. The system was developed based on the modular L-system designed by Alvar Aalto.

“I have always associated (alvar) aalto’s furniture designs, which highlight the graciousness of plain wood, with square building blocks. the basis for this design lies in the image of a plain wood cube with slightly rounded edges. the sections where the shelves and support brace meet affords the design a gentle feel, the kind of feeling that can likewise be attributed to a stack of building blocks with rounded edges. the intersection of the x-shaped brace is fashioned from cast aluminium and has an unadorned, rough feel to it.” – Naoto Fukasawa

(via designboom »)

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Plus Minus Zero Watch

Naoto Fukasawa has always been one of my favorite industrial designers. His designs are so refined that they exist in a perfect balance of simplicity and serenity, always with a high regard to function. So when I saw this watch designed by Fukasawa for Plus Minus Zero I immedietely had to post it. This watch hints at alot of my favorite parts of old military watches and specificaly old Timex watches, but side steps the predictable designs they often employ for the faces and bodies of their timepieces.

(via Minimalissimo »)

Milton on Milton

A nice simple interview with Milton Glaser talking about the concepts behind a few of the many pieces he has designed for SVA over the past fifty years. It’s really empowering to hear someone so great speak about how sometimes in his finished work the concept is lost or doesn’t communicate the way it was intended. This is nicely humbling idea that I think we, as designers, can all relate to.

(via Container List »)

The Heads of State (New Site!)

The super talented design duo The Heads of State, comprised of Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers have launched a new portfolio site and store. It showcases a much larger portion of their work including some rad new stuff I haven’t seen. Also their store has some great pickups. I had the good fortune to see these gents give a talk at MAD here in New York this past year and they some of the funniest most humble guys designing today.

Frank Chimero Talk, “Cut My Teeth. Wash My Hands.” (video)

I was lucky enough to have attended this amazingly inspiring and fun talk by the great Frank Chimero and presented by the equally amazing Liz Danzico and the MFA IxD, SVA program, which runs this amazing series of events called The Fall Lecture Series. I wanted to post this because of how informative and fun the talk was for me, and if you want to here some of my thoughts check out my previous post here.

Milton Glaser: Typography Archive

Just perused Container List for the first time in a little while and came across these wonderful type specimens and illustrative hand drawn type by Milton Glaser. All these pieces are amazing and drawn one hundred percent by hand, pre computer of course.

(via Container List »)

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Massimo Vignelli: A Short Documentary

Whether you are like me, and feel that Massimo Vignelli has inspired and informed your view point and approach to design, or not this is a great little documentary. One great statement Vignelli makes, which I have never come across before, is that geometric shapes can last for centuries over ephemeral design, which is much more temporary.


I had been saving this post for a rainy day so to speak, or at least a day where nothing else jumped out at me to post. This video is simply amazing and doesn’t need much an introduction. I hope most of you reading this have seen it, but whether you have or have not it’s worth watching.

The desk is the physical platform we as creatives use to dive off into projects, new ideas, and create change. So as the tools of design adapt, and the problems change that we as designers face does the desk adapt or go the way of the polar ice caps?

Tony Wagner: 7 Skills Students Need for Their Future

There were so many great speakers and amazing people doing such amazing and productive things for their fields and humanity at The Feast. The one that really stood out about them all was Tony Wagner.

First he set himself apart from the hip young crowd and proceeding speakers by opting out of putting us through another monotonous powerpoint presentation. Then he went on the shred the entire education system not just in America, but everywhere. Talking about how we are still teaching using curriculum that predates even our most outdated technology.

Wagner’s real home-run is his concept that hinges on the “7 Skills Students Need for Their Future”, which to me is a critically different way to think about education. Now everything is based on learning skill, which were developed over the last thousand years, but really we should be equipping students with the skills to ensure that humanity can inhabit this planet for another thousand years.

Frank Chimero Talk, “Cut My Teeth. Wash My Hands.”

I had the pleasure to hear Frank Chimero talk last week at the SVA IxD department Fall Lecture Series, and he totally exploded my head. The way Frank is able to look at things makes him so much more than just a designer or educator. His thoughts on life and work in general and the way he applies the philosophies he develops is applicable and inspiring in just about every context.

The first slide I posted is a uniquely fresh approach towards a career path and I really signify with the honesty of it. So often I encounter people who inflate what they are doing or talk about their rigid step by step plan of how they are going to become successful. I find myself baffled and pushed over to Frank’s camp on this one. You can’t plan your life things just happen, but what you can do is tell your self specific things that are important to you along the way and work your ass off to makes those happen while everything else just does its thing.

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Peter Baker Redesign

The sea of photographers on that have a portfolio on the web today seems endless, but floating along on a magnificent ocean liner is Peter Baker. I follow his flickr stream like a cult member and I am rarely disappointed when he uploads something new. The flood gates opened last week when Peter launched a rad new portfolio site that highlights the square format that I have begun to know him for. Another detail that really struck me is that the redesign has been implemented seamlessly across his blog and the new portfolio site. Beauty in the small details!

Fall Lecture Series: Frank Chimero, “Cut My Teeth. Wash My Hands.”

Today my work is slightly blurred and unfocused by my anticipation for the Frank Chimero talk that is part of the Fall Lecture Series put on by the SVA IxD department. I have always loved Chimero’s work and valued his opinion and voice on design and process. His blog is often a sounding board for his views on design, life and sometimes even happiness. Stay tuned for a short report from tonight’s talk.

Paul Rand Retrospective

As soon as I read the title of this video excitement and joy rushed through my body, and that feeling persisted through the entire four minutes of the video. Paul Rand has been highly inspirational to me and so many other designers of our moment. One of the best design thinking books I have read “Paul Rand: Conversations with Students” gave me a better understanding of how influential he was beyond his work. This short retrospective video not only displays a lot of his work, but also integrates some of his more profound design theories and practices.

(via Kitsune Noir »)

It is back to school time!

Came across this awesome poster and lecture series called the Show and Tell Lecture Series at the Portland State University GD Dept. Frank Chimero did a truly bang up job on the poster, which is definitely what initially caught my eye.

The line up of both virtual and live appearances they have lined up is stocked with an overwhelming amount of skill and chutzpah! How come nothing this cool ever happened at my school? Some of the speakers are greats like Jessica Hische, Nick Felton, Mark Weaver, and many more. I really hope that they record the talks or at the least offer transcripts.

(via OKBB »)

Ten Things I Have Learned

These are the main talking points from a talk given to the AIGA by Milton Glaser in November of 2001. There is a ton of useful information about life, design and life as a designer. Read the whole article here.

(via swissmiss »)

Herman Miller’s Susan Lyons on The Full Spectrum

I am really into ‘The Full Spectrum’ series so far. All the videos are extremely well produced and put together. They also seem to cover an awesome array of the creative and design world to talk about their work and how it interacts and is affected by color. The legend of Herman Miller needs little introduction, but as I clatter away on this keyboard from me trusty Aeron Chair I am reminded of the core values and level of excellence HM has and continues to stand for. I really love how Susan Lyons brings up the exploration of color and it’s connection to iterative design. Creating color palettes feels a little forced or a shot in the dark from time to time, but as Lyon’s explanation of the link between iterative design and the exploration and selection of the perfect color based on this trial and error system.

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

The Design Museum retrospective of the work of Dieter Rams haunts me as one of those life altering moments I feel like I missed. All the pieces of Rams’ work in the Moma are satisfying, but to have been able to see 244 objects from a career that lasted well over six decades would have been enlightening.

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Basquiat : The Radiant Child

I can’t even verbalize the amount of happiness I am feeling. Like a large portion of my generation I feel as though much of my creative inspiration is derived from the work of Jean-Michel. I will be at this movie opening day, and I will own it the moment it come out on dvd.

(via Surfstation »)

Quipsologies Redesign

I have always loved the design of Armin Vit and the multitude of web-based design publications he has co-founded. So yesterday when I caught some buzz that there had been a substantial redesign to his design feed style blog called Quipsologies I got really excited. This morning I got my first look at the redesign and I am happy to say it improves the user experience of the page 200%.