Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Future Well

I stumbled across The Future Well while over at psfk. This is a team that centers its attention on health and global well being, in simpler terms--happiness. Using human centered design practices, they seem to focus on collaborative efforts to uncover the needs around lifestyle and preventative practices which affect our mental, physical and social/spiritual well being. Consumer based innovator comes together with preventative medicine-focused physician to build teams that design meaningful products, services and health related moments.

Could be something there....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sugared Puppy Dog Tails: Gender and Design

This is a new article in Interactions by Elizabeth Churchill which focuses on questions of gender, identity, and empowerment provoked by design and technology.

In the article, Elizabeth holds the opinion that "designers should think about gender at a level of sophistication beyond color and shape. We should be reflective and conscious of the assumptions of use and user that are being built into our products. We should know how we are reifying and/or reinforcing behavioral norms or challenging them. And just as we recognize white space in graphic design is not an absence of content, we need to be conscious of who is not present in the cast of designed-for characters."

I believe she's bringing into light important questions about how design influences the ways we come to identify the world. And that design has the power to persuade us into believing there are "appropriate" ways of defining and interacting with it based on our gender. It does this by communicating through appearance, (re)actions, gestures, and embodied experiences and exists across the design gamut--communications, interactions, objects, and environments. In her view, "such representations lead to “incidental learning” about who we can be and what is possible/appropriate for us to do, and in this way, these characters embody messages about gender-appropriate behaviors."

Read all about it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

UX Techniques: Card Sorting

Here's a comprehensive article about card sorting, which is an extremely useful tool for getting to the heart of matters around product interactions. This was written by Donna Spencer and Todd Warfel.

ROA: Inside/Out

I found this work,"Inside/Out" by ROA at unurth. ROA is an installation artist who depicts large scale creatures in their natural, urban habitat. He seems to be willing a conversation about what happens when the feral is pushed up alongside the built, mechanical environment. Below is additional work being being held at Factory Fresh Gallery in Brooklyn.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Louis Pons, Gleaning, and Agnes Varda

I want to make sure not to forget Louis Pons, a French artist who gleans from his everyday surroundings. He seems to have an eye for collecting every day cast offs and collaging them into these beautiful patterns of movement, activity, and some sort of storytelling. I love that his work isn’t haughty or layered in subtext. I love its straightforward, basic, and thoughtful expression.

From an interview with Louis Pons in “The Gleaners and I” by Agnes Martin:
Objects are my dictionary…useless things. People see it as clusters of junk. I see it as clusters of possibility. Each object is a line. It gives direction, picked up here and things there, indeed gleaned. I make a sentence of things whose shapes at first are very simple and seem the same but whose variations are infinite.