I was loaned a copy of Apartamento last week - it's an interesting read; it juxtaposes people's fascinating living spaces alongside in-depth interviews about significant parts of their lives. It's all done with a kind of art/fashion/new-bourgeoisie lens and on lovely uncoated paper stock.
I got the distinct impression that it wasn't written for me, but I enjoyed reading it none the less.
Up front are a few short essays - this one seemed to resonate a bit:
This looks interesting for the end of the month - a group of illustrators and designers responding to nature in the context of the London environment. And it's a beautiful poster.
There's more information about the show and the contributors over on their website.
I'm not posting here as much as I would like to.
Over the past 4 and a half years, so much of what I've explored here has developed afterwards into a useable perspective; I'd hate to loose the outlet for that. But a lot of what I'm thinking about these days could conflict with the confidentiality of the projects I'm working on, so it's hard to know what to write about from week to week.
I'm going to have a go at posting at least something for the first half of next year, and then see where we get to.
I haven't really formulated my thoughts on the subject properly yet, except to say that there might be something about the interface often being an extention of the product/activity being an extention of the brand being an extention of the user's aspirations? Not sure.
Anyway. Until I have something, here's a beautiful picture of some Braun/Rams style hi-fi equipment:
Via Wit & Delight
I think it might all be Rams equipment actually, that's a Vitsoe shelf isn't it.
I spotted some new map symbols on a Victoria Line train this week - I'm not sure if they're new or have I just not noticed them before. Can you see them?
There's a new symbol for, essentially, 'a little bit accessible'.
It's a blue wheelchair on a white circle, instead of the more traditional white on blue.
The blue ones that we're used to are few and far between on the Underground, as they mean completely step-free access from train to street, which obvisouly makes them 'wheelchair accessible'. The new white circles mean 'step free access from platform to street'.
I'm assuming this is to do with the Paralympic Games coming to town, but I hope it's something that we keep afterwards. It seems completely sensible to recognise that not everyone with an 'access need' requires fully step-free access, but maybe they'd appreciate the extra advice on which of the other stations would be most appropriate for them.
I've always been a bit uncomfortable with the wheelchair symbol as a generic disabled access indicator, but up to now at least it has usually meant 'suitable for wheelchairs'. If we're going to use one symbol to denote all kinds of access arrangements, do we need to consider changing to a more appropriate symbol, or some sort of gradient?
In digital accessibility the AA/AAA system seems to work reasonably well, but too often I think we still revert to thinking that 'accessible' sites are just the ones that work for blind people. That's kind of like the 'step free from train to street' of the internet; blindness.
I'm not suggesting we shouldn't be putting virtual ramps into all of our projects, but what about everyone who just wants a little bit of help?
Some fascinating browsing to be done in the Remember Old Cardiff Facebook page
I think the group has only been going for a few weeks, and already it has had over 7,000 likes and streams of comments on each picture. It's actually quite fascinating reading how the page owner has kept up with the demand and level of engagement, following her various posts of despair as people insist on contributing to the page in an overwhelming fashion. It's a cautionary tale for any local history groups looking to expand their reach in this way (perhaps this could work for Brixton Society?).
The stories that people are sharing alongside each photo are fascinating, and really bring to life what can sometimes feel like dated, irrelevant pictures of unfamiliar people and places.
But the pictures here also tell their own story, of a Cardiff that has constantly brushed away its history to make space for the next big thing. You could say it was a city that constantly re-invents itself. You could call it progress. You could call it keeping up with the joneses, you could call it vandalism, you could call it short-sightedness.
There's quite a cool little gift box you can buy which contains 100 postcards with different Penguin book covers on. Much like Phil Baines's book, which I love, it seems to have captured the imagination of the design / literature crowd, who find a sort of quaint excitement amongst the dog eared edges, the vintage colour palletes and the modern designs spanning nearly 80 years.
My good friend Jess had an amazing idea to capture some of this excitement, with The Penguin Postcard Project. The idea is quite simple; you sign up, she'll send you a randomly selected postcard. You then obtain and review the book, writing your review on the back of the postcard, and send it back to Jess. Her blog showcases the reviews as they come in, from all over the world.
Still pushing on, Aspire to Enquire is my space to write about the inspiring ideas and artefacts I find from time to time.
What is inspiring to me? I like ideas that can bring people together for common good, I like to see things communicated with beauty, and I thrive on finding innovative ways to spread messages.