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Private Libraries That Inspire
April 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Katy McLaughlin.

Difficult to build and maintain, these elaborate spaces contain the passions and obsessions of their owners. Libraries That Inspire -- These spectacular rooms house the owners’ collections of books, antiques, art and ephemera representing their unique, life-long passions and interests.

Forget the Dewey Decimal System: Entrepreneur and inventor Jay Walker’s 25,000 books, manuscripts, artifacts and objects are organized in his personal 3,600-square-foot library “randomly, by color and height,” he said. When he walks into his library, part of his Ridgefield, Conn., home, the room automatically “wakes up,” glowing with theatrical lighting, music and LED-lit glass panels lining various walkways. He finds items to peruse by a system of memory, chance, and inspiration, he said.

The Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination is a dramatic example of the rarest of residential amenities: A vast, personal, custom-built repository of intellectual stimuli. In the age of the e-reader, it is a status symbol on par with wearing a Patek Philippe watch when the cellphone already tells the time. For wealthy homeowners, personal libraries provide both a quiet refuge from the world and a playground for their minds—as well as a solution to the challenge of warehousing books from which they cannot bear to part......To create enough shelf space and to counteract the visual heaviness of walls lined with books, private libraries may aim for two or more open stories......The private library is a classic example of a highly personal amenity that is expensive for the builder of a dream home to create and hard to recoup upon resale. .......the library has stimulated new ideas that have translated into an array of inventions and helped him make many new friends.

For some private library owners, especially those who aspire to world-class book collections, the serious expenditure isn’t in the physical structure, but in the contents. “It is not uncommon for collectors at this level to be spending in excess of $1 million a year” on books ......
antiques  antiquities  art  bespoke  books  collectibles  collectors  curation  design  high_net_worth  ideas  inspiration  insurance  Katy_McLaughlin  life_long_learning  personal_libraries  physical_place  owners  passions  shelf_space  status_symbols  uniqueness 
27 days ago by jerryking
Skeuomorphs: our little digital helpers
February 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Lucy Watson.

Skeuomorphs are design elements that mimic older, precursor objects. They crop up everywhere, but especially in software interfaces: consider the shutter-release sound of a digital camera or the original yellow legal pad of an iPhone Notes app, or the Windows MP3 player that looked like an amp and speakers. Interactive icons that are shaded to look like 3D buttons, floating above your home screen, are a minimalist species of skeuomorph......On the iPhone, skeuomorphs acted as a guide for users unfamiliar with touchscreens: the bulbous shading of an icon meant it could be pressed, a representation of a leather-bound Filofax was where phone numbers were kept, and so on. These visual elements act as little markers of a shift in our development: they were designed to make the devices that they populated look as if they had one foot in the pre-digital era (i.e. analog). Which is almost a lifetime ago.....Yet for all Apple’s efforts to fetishise the immaculately virtual, the smartphone is still a physical object that demands some haptic interaction — even if it’s just a swipe.....In order to create a more watertight device, the home button had been replaced by a dimple. It cannot be depressed as a button would, but a vibrating motor within the phone called a “taptic engine” recreates the physical feedback a button would provide. It’s another type of skeuomorph: an electronic interface given the familiar feel of a mechanical component
skeuomorphs  design  GUI  icons  iPhone  millennials  software  analogies  haptics  senses  prompts  cues  digital_cameras 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | The Joy of Standards -
Feb. 16, 2019 | The New York Times | By Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel. Dr. Russell and Dr. Vinsel study technology..

Our modern existence depends on things we can take for granted. Cars run on gas from any gas station, the plugs for electrical devices fit into any socket, and smartphones connect to anything equipped with Bluetooth. All of these conveniences depend on technical standards, the silent and often forgotten foundations of technological societies.

The objects that surround us were designed to comply with standards.........The number of technical standards that go into some products is astonishing, and the complexity of the methods used to create these standards is perhaps even more remarkable. A 2010 study found that a laptop computer incorporates 251 standards. Companies such as I.B.M. and Microsoft created some of these standards — but only 20 percent of them. The other 80 percent of the laptop’s standards were developed by private or nongovernmental organizations that facilitate collaboration and cooperation among technical experts......These facts should prompt some reflection about the exercise of power in a technological society: Amid concerns about the excesses of market power and government regulation, nobody seems to worry much about the private groups of experts who created 80 percent of the laptop’s standards. Standards created this way, known as the “voluntary consensus” process, are ubiquitous........The basic irony of standards is the simple fact that there is no standard way to create a standard, nor is there even a standard definition of “standard.” There are, however, longstanding ways that industries and nations coordinate standardization efforts. In the United States, the system of voluntary consensus standards is coordinated by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.......The standards-development organizations accredited by ANSI follow a bottom-up process. It begins when someone proposes a draft standard, which then goes through a period of public comment. A panel of stakeholders and interested parties then seeks to resolve points of friction. Eventually this process, which often takes years, results in a final published standard.
design  standards 
february 2019 by jerryking
Log Cabins? No, These Wooden Buildings Are High-Rises
Jan. 1, 2019 | The New York Times | By C. J. Hughes.

"But proponents scored a huge win last month when the International Code Council, an influential advisory group in Washington, concluded that some wooden buildings could climb as high as 18 stories, more than twice the current permissible height, without compromising safety."....."In addition to their green benefits, he said, wood buildings perform well in earthquakes because of their lighter weight and flexibility.".....Proponents of wood must still overcome a longstanding bias. In the 1800s, fires were a scourge, prompting restrictions on wood. But steel is not infallible and can buckle in extreme heat, ....“But we’ve gotten comfortable using steel and concrete products, so the question’s been, ‘Why would we change?’” ....Still, wood is not what it used to be. The decline in old-growth forests means developers can no longer count on huge single trunks to support floors. Instead, they rely on mass timber, an engineered product made of layers of spruce or fir pressed together in a way that is similar to plywood but with a more elegant look......Wood remains expensive, but the assembly-line aspect of mass-timber production, in which factories make large panels, then assemble them on-site, saves time and labor costs......
construction  timber  wood_products  design  lumber  building_codes  skyscrapers 
january 2019 by jerryking
How to build a better future: high-tech Jenga at the Soane Museum
December 21, 2018 | Financial Times | Simon Ings.

Suspended from four wires, this digitally controlled cable robot is building something out of hand-size wooden blocks. It’s a slow beast. Hours must pass before its construction becomes recognisable: a dome, of the sort that John Soane produced for the Bank of England and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Polibot does not look like a game changer. But according to Arthur Mamou-Mani, whose architectural practice built it, Polibot’s children are going to change the world.......in the early 2000s, computer-generated design was a fairly dry topic. Patrik Schumacher, principal of Zaha Hadid Architects, dubbed it “parametricism”, reflecting the way programmes evolve forms according to a set of parameters........Through experiments in robotics, Mamou-Mani’s practice is out to develop new ways of building that will make architecture, engineering and construction merge into single field. The point is not what Polibot is, but what it could become. It’s not just a pick-and-place machine. It’s the early prototype of a universal builder.....There have been many experiments in the large-scale 3D printing of buildings. But the kinds of industrial robot arms that are usually employed for this work are far too cumbersome and delicate to wheel on to a building site....Gigantic robot arms will never spew out skyscrapers at a single sweep, Mamou-Mani says, for the simple reason that it would make construction less, not more efficient....construction is mostly about bringing big chunks of stuff together,” he says. “Currently, concrete is still the material of choice for the construction industry, but we’re slowly switching to timber, and this will be a massive revolution, because once you start working with timber, you’re no longer casting anything on site. You’re thinking entirely in terms of prefabrication and assembly.”Mamou-Mani dreams of building simple towers from elements (“prefabricated properly, by robotic arms, like cars”) assembled on site by gigantic Polibots....Mamou-Mani explains his vision of buildings that can expand and contract, depending on the economy....Why do we think that permanence is necessary?” Elsewhere in the show, the wall text proclaims that “the best cities are the ones that don’t leave ruins”....All great advances in industrial culture are prefigured by model-making.


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3-D  architecture  concrete  construction  design  models  model-making  museums  robotics  timber  howto 
december 2018 by jerryking
Tornado-Ravaged Hospital Took Storm-Smart Approach During Rebuild - Risk & Compliance Journal.
Aug 30, 2017 | WSJ | By Ben DiPietro.

...................“Preparation for what these events can be–and belief they can actually happen–is important so you make sure you are preparing for them,” ....trying to undertake whatever is your organizational mission in the midst of a tornado or other devastating event is much harder, given the high emotions and stress that manifests itself at such moments.

“Understand the possibilities and pre-planning will make that go a lot better,”

===============================
As Hurricane Harvey has shown, extreme weather events can devastate a region’s infrastructure. Hospital operator Mercy had its own experience of this in 2011 when a tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., killing 161 people and destroying its hospital.

Hospital operator Mercy took the lessons it learned from that tornado experience and incorporated them into the design of the new hospital–and also changed the way it plans and prepares for disasters. The new facility reflects a careful risk assessment, as Mercy took into account not only the physical risk of tornadoes but the risks to power supplies and medical supplies.

“We always prepare, always have drills for emergencies, but you never quite can prepare for losing an entire campus,” ....“Now we are preparing for that…it definitely changed the way we look at emergency management.”

** Protecting What Matters Most **
Mercy took the lessons it learned from that devastating weather event and applied them when it was time to build its latest hospital, which was constructed in a way to better withstand tornadoes while providing more secure systems infrastructure and adding backup systems to ensure operations continued unimpeded, ......Even the way medical supplies were stored was changed; instead of storing supplies in the basement, where they were inaccessible in the immediate aftermath of the tornado, they now are kept on each floor so staff don’t need to go hunting around for things they need during an emergency.....“The first priority is to save lives, the second is to minimize damage to the facility,”

** Focus on the Worst **
many companies worry about low-severity, high-frequency events–those things that happen a lot. They instead need to focus more on high-severity events that can cause a company to impair its resilience. “....identify and work on a worst-case scenario and make sure it is understood and the company is financially prepared for it,”

work with its key vendors and suppliers to know what each will do in the face of a disaster or unexpected disruption. “...large companies [should] know their key vendors prior to any major incidents,” ...“Vendors become partners at that time and you need to know people will do what you need them to do.”

A company needs to assess what is most important to its operations, map who their vendors are in those areas and engage them in various loss scenarios .... It should review its insurance policy language against possible weather events, identify any gaps and either revise policies to fill those holes or to at least make sure executives understand what the risks are of leaving those gaps unattended.
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See also :
What to Do Before Disaster Strikes - WSJ.com ☑
September 27, 2005 | WSJ | By GEORGE ANDERS.
start by cataloging what could go wrong. GM, for example, has created "vulnerability maps" that identify more than 100 hazards, ranging from wind damage to embezzlement. Such maps make it easier for managers to focus on areas of greatest risk or gravest peril.
disasters  disaster_preparedness  Hurricane_Harvey  extreme_weather_events  hospitals  tornadoes  design  rebuilding  preparation  emergencies  lessons_learned  worst-case  natural_calamities  anticipating  insurance  vulnerabilities  large_companies  redundancies  business-continuity  thinking_tragically  high-risk  risk-management  isolation  compounded  network_risk  black_swan  beforemath  frequency_and_severity  resilience  improbables  George_Anders  hazards 
september 2017 by jerryking
The Design Revolution in Consumer Tech - WSJ
By Steve Vassallo
Aug. 6, 2017

Walt Mossberg...began his first column for the Journal, in 1991, with the now-famous line, “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn’t your fault.” In his final column, Mr. Mossberg bookends the quarter-century of products, personalities and progress he’s chronicled with this assessment of where we are now: “Personal technology is usually pretty easy to use, and, if it’s not, it’s not your fault.” In a generation, consumer tech went from unreliable and confusing to so intuitive that children are creating immersive three-dimensional worlds on devices with barely any instruction. Mr. Mossberg doesn’t put a name to this remarkable shift, but as someone who witnessed it firsthand, I will: design. By design, I don’t mean a spiffy logo or a pretty website. Design now also refers to a methodology and a mind-set that place the experience of the end user above all. This form of design isn’t concerned chiefly with how good something looks, but, rather, how well it works for ordinary consumers. In the [early] ’90s....“engineers weren’t designing products for normal people.” ......Engineers tend to focus on sheer technical limits: what can be done. But designers are preoccupied with what should be done. In other words, whether they’re building things that solve actual problems or fulfill real wants....Over the past two decades, advances in computing power have met typical users’ speed and reliability needs, and the means to launch products have grown better and more affordable. As a result, design is now the differentiator—and the driving force behind billion-dollar companies....Apple's products (e.g. iPod, iPhone), weren’t technical breakthroughs.....They were design breakthroughs—instances of creative need-finding and human-attuned problem solving. And they raised consumer expectations for technology, ushering in a new era of innovation....Google has invested heavily to reinvent itself as a design-centric business. Incumbents like Samsung , General Electric and IBM have spent hundreds of millions to build in-house design studios with thousands of designers. ...Slack and Airbnb—like Pinterest, Instagram and Kickstarter—are recent successes founded by designers, people who are devoted to the practice of building impeccably considerate technology. Design is the key to building the next great wave of companies. To compete seriously on design, startups must make it central to their strategy from the beginning......we’re entering the age of “ambient computing,” when personal technology will become invisible and omnipresent. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, the Internet of Things, and other nascent tech will fade into the background of our lives. Technology will no longer come in the form of gadgets. Instead, as Mr. Mossberg predicts, “it’ll be about actual experiences, with much less emphasis on the way those experiences get made.”....The 21st century will be the century of the designer founder, when core value for businesses is created by entrepreneurs who have a deeper, more intuitive sense for the human condition.
Walter_Mossberg  retirement  design  design_thinking  technology  IDEO  '90s  UX  Apple  ambient_computing  customer_expectations  uncharted_problems  pervasive_computing  the_human_condition  augmented_reality  core_values  unarticulated_desires 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Fashion Outlaw Dapper Dan
JUNE 3, 2017 | The New York Times | By BARRY MICHAEL COOPER.

Twenty-five years after luxury labels sued his Harlem
boutique out of existence, Gucci looks to him for inspiration......Things have come full circle. Litigation by luxury brands ran Dapper Dan’s Boutique out of business in the ’90s, and now here comes a major fashion house trying to grab the attention of a generation steeped in hip-hop by finding inspiration in a onetime fashion outlaw...... last week after Gucci unveiled a jacket that looked very much like one he designed nearly three decades ago for the Olympic sprinter Diane Dixon.

The fur-lined piece with balloon sleeves created by Mr. Day in the 1980s made use of the Louis Vuitton logo without the brand’s permission. The new Gucci jacket, designed by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, remakes the Dapper Dan jacket, but with the interlocking double-G Gucci logo in place of the Louis Vuitton markings......Gucci [now] acknowledges its debt to the designer......In addition to Gucci’s recent salutation, the Museum of Modern Art plans to include Mr. Day’s work in its fall show “Items.” In an email, MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design, Paola Antonelli, called Mr. Day a “trailblazer” who “showed even the guardians of the original brands the power of creative appropriation, the new life that an authentically ‘illicit’ use could inject into a stale logo, as well as the commercial potential of a stodgy monogram’s walk on the hip-hop side.”.....“What Dap did was take what those major fashion labels were doing and made them better,” said the rapper Darold Ferguson, Jr., who goes by the stage name ASAP Ferg and whose father, Darold Sr., worked at the boutique in the ’80s. “He taught them how to use their designs in a much more effective way. Dap curated hip-hop culture.”

Steve Stoute, the chief executive of the marketing firm Translation, said: “I think what Dap did, he actually taught an entire generation how to engage with luxury brands. Luxury brands, at that point, were not for us. They didn’t even have sizing for black people. So every time I walk into Louis Vuitton to buy a pair of sneakers, or buy a pair of pants in my size, I know they’re only doing it because of Dapper Dan.”....experiences with poverty growing up [crummy shoes] gave him an understanding of how clothes reflect social status.... the need to dress to impress is part of a generational mind-set for many black men who grew up in Harlem......Clothes designing sounds fascinating, but it’s hard work. Folks don’t realize that there are limitations in the body form. We’re humans: We have arms, legs, chest. The exciting part of designing clothes is that you can be really creative within the context of those limitations.”.......Samira Nasr, the fashion director for Elle magazine, likened Mr. Day’s work to that of the innovative hip-hop D.J.s of the era, such as Jason Mizell, a client of Mr. Day’s. Mr. Mizell, who died in 2002, created beats for Run-DMC under the name Jam Master Jay. “Sampling was taking existing music and slicing it to recreate new sounds for original lyrics,” Ms. Nasr wrote in an email. “Dap was sampling in a way. He was taking existing fabrications and breathing new life and beauty into them.”
litigation  luxury  brands  clothing_labels  Gucci  Harlem  stylish  mens'_clothing  African-Americans  New_York_City  sampling  streetwise  '80s  '90s  inspiration  hip_hop  fashion  outlaws  design  retailers  knockoffs  copycats  creative_appropriation  underground_economy  crack_cocaine 
june 2017 by jerryking
Flood. Rinse. Repeat: The costly cycle that must end
May 07, 2017 | The Globe and Mail |GLENN MCGILLIVRAY, managing director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Once again, homes located alongside a Canadian river have flooded, affected homeowners are shocked, the local government is wringing its hands, the respective provincial government is ramping up to provide taxpayer-funded disaster assistance and the feds are deploying the Armed Forces.

In Canada, it is the plot of the movie Groundhog Day, or the definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.....First, a homeowner locates next to the river, oftentimes because of the view (meaning a personal choice is being made). Many of these homes are of high value.

Then the snow melts, the ice jams or the rain falls and the flood comes. Often, as is the case now, the rain is characterized by the media as being incredible, far outside the norm. Then a scientific or engineering analysis later shows that what happened was not very exceptional.

These events are not caused by the rain, they are caused by poor land-use decisions, among other public-policy foibles. This is what is meant when some say there are no such things as natural catastrophes, only man-made disasters.

Finally, the province steps in with disaster assistance then seeks reimbursement from the federal government through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. In any case, whether provincial or federal, taxpayers are left holding the bag.....So what is the root of the problem? Though complex problems have complex causes and complex solutions, one of the causes is that the party making the initial decision to allow construction (usually the local government) is not the party left holding the bag when the flood comes.

Just as homeowners have skin in the game through insurance deductibles and other measures, local governments need a financial disincentive to act in a risky manner. At present, municipalities face far more upside risk than downside risk when it comes to approving building in high-risk hazard zones. When the bailout comes from elsewhere, there is no incentive to make the right decision – the lure of an increased tax base and the desire not to anger local voters is all too great.

Reducing natural disaster losses in Canada means breaking the cycle – taking a link out of the chain of events that leads to losses.

Local governments eager for growth and the tax revenue that goes with it need to hold some significant portion of the downside risk in order to give them pause for thought.
floods  catastrophes  natural_calamities  design  hazards  insurance  public_policy  disasters  relief_recovery_reconstruction  sustainability  municipalities  skin_in_the_game  disincentives  Albert_Einstein  complex_problems  land_uses  moral_hazards  man-made 
may 2017 by jerryking
Does innovation have to mean jobs? - Western Alumni
 Fall 2011
Does innovation have to mean jobs?

by Paul Wells, BA'89
innovation  Apple  Colleges_&_Universities  design  Paul_Wells 
april 2017 by jerryking
Fintech Fictions, Fallacies, and Fantasies
July 20, 2015 | Subscribe to The Financial Brand for Free

A Snarketing post by Ron Shevlin

There’s No Debate

Towards the end of the Great Debate (referenced at the beginning of this post), I suggested that the question at hand–Who would rule banking: fintech or banks?–was the wrong question to ask. There is no one or the other. Banks need fintech, fintech needs banks. And banks become fintech, as fintech become banks.

In many ways, fintech is a–or the–path to reinvention for many banks. This is why a Capital One acquires design firms, or a BBVA acquires a Simple. It’s not simply to acquire the technology, and certainly not to “usurp the threat of FinTech by co-opting it.” It’s to inject new thinking and new capabilities into the company.
fin-tech  myths  fantasies  financial_services  banks  symbiosis  large_companies  new_thinking  start_ups  capabilities  Fortune_500  brands  Capital_One  design  Simple  BBVA 
march 2017 by jerryking
Edward Tufte: Courses
"Edward Tufte's one-day course on "Presenting Data and Information" is the best value-for-money that you can spend if you are involved in any way in presentation of information to users. When I receive this new schedule of these courses each year I get to thinking whom do I know whose career might change for the better if they take this course. I've taken it twice (the content is always up to date with the latest examples of both good and bad information design). Every attendee gets copies of Tufte's four major works on visual display of information. Tufte offers a group discount so your company can send a whole department or product team. And there's a steep discount for full-time students, faculty members, and postdocs.
training  design  classes  Edward_Tufte  presentations  data  infographics  visualization 
january 2017 by jerryking
Growing a Different Apple - The New York Times
January 2, 2017 | NYT | By Vindu Goel

Founded in 2014 by three former senior managers from Apple’s iPod and iPhone groups, Pearl has tried to replicate what its leaders view as the best parts of Apple’s culture, like its fanatical dedication to quality and beautiful design. But the founders also consciously rejected some of the less appealing aspects of life at Apple, like its legendary secrecy and top-down management style.

The start-up, which makes high-tech accessories for cars, holds weekly meetings with its entire staff. Managers brief them on coming products, company finances, technical problems, even the presentations made to the board....Pearl’s siren song was appealing: Make the roads safer by giving tens of millions of older autos the same high-tech safety features that the newest models have.....Like Apple, though, Pearl is playing the long game. Engineers are already testing self-parking technology and other driver-assistance features for future products. So far, the company has raised $50 million from prominent venture capital firms, including Accel, Shasta Ventures and Venrock, but Mr. Gardner said it would need to raise more money in 2017.
Apple  alumni  design  detail_oriented  organizational_culture  accessories  automotive_industry  automobile  safety  Pearl  new_products  long-term 
january 2017 by jerryking
Tyler Brûlé on his aversion to social media and success with Monocle - The Globe and Mail
SIMON HOUPT
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 02, 2016

Monocle magazine – “a briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design” – is the London-based centrepiece of a growing brand, which now includes radio programming, travel guides, a string of retail boutiques, and cafés in London and Tokyo; he also owns Winkreative, a creative marketing agency that does work for clients such as Porter Airlines....Monocle is said to be profitable. What can other media learn from its success?[Answer] I think it pays to be conservative, from a business perspective. We’ve been fortunate that we don’t have the deepest pockets in the world, and so we’ve had to be very careful. But I think that’s kind of good for us, and we’re very happy that we haven’t done a tablet edition and we haven’t chucked tons of money where there is no revenue. And that’s the key thing: We haven’t felt the pressure to be on social media and to do all the things that everyone else does.
Simon_Houpt  Tyler_Brûlé  Monocle  magazines  design  journalism  niches  elitism  social_media 
december 2016 by jerryking
City of holes
23 April/24 April 2016 | Financial Times | by Edwin Heathcote
architecture  construction  London  cities  design 
april 2016 by jerryking
A superpark hides in Toronto’s Don Valley, waiting to be discovered - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

historian Jennifer L. Bonnell wrote in her 2014 book Reclaiming the Don.

A few small moves would get it in motion. Proponents envision new bike lanes on Bayview Avenue that would make it less terrifying to go there on two wheels. An old rail trestle would become a pedestrian bridge. New bridges, stairs and paths would welcome people from Cabbagetown and from Regent Park, from Corktown and the emerging neighbourhoods in and around the Port Lands.

But in the longer term, the plan would mean combining two rail corridors, both controlled by Metrolinx, reconfiguring the DVP ramp to Bloor-Bayview and removing a city works yard that now sits in the middle of the valley. But governments are budgeting at least $1-billion for roads, water, parks and rail improvements in this zone, including the electrification of GO’s train lines and the Gardiner Expressway rebuild. The river is unruly, prone to powerful floods; a thoughtful, coherent landscape would mitigate the risks for infrastructure and serve the environment of the valley.
Toronto  history  parks  ravines  Don_River  Evergreen  floodplains  DVP  regeneration  Brickworks  railways  design  sustainability  landscapes  floods  Cabbagetown  Regent_Park  Corktown  Port_Lands  books  neighbourhoods  green  undervalued  small_moves 
april 2016 by jerryking
Design for disasters
November 14/5, 2015 | FT | Nicola Davison
Architects, he thinks, have as great a responsibility to people in disaster-prone regions as other professionals. It is not earthquakes themselves that kill ...
architecture  design  earthquakes  natural_calamities 
november 2015 by jerryking
LET'S REINVENT THE BOOKSHOP | More Intelligent Life
Rosanna de Lisle asks four firms of architects and designers to create the bookshop of their dreams

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2014
architecture  design  e-commerce  retailers  creativity  reinvention  bricks-and-mortar  booksellers  bookshops 
august 2015 by jerryking
Learning to Engineer a Better Brisket - The New York Times
JULY 18, 2015 | NYT | By CLAIRE MARTIN .

They began by analyzing smokers on the market, focusing on Big Green Egg, a popular one with a ceramic cooking chamber. They evaluated the extra-large version, which costs $1,200. “We went through the patent of the Big Green Egg and just completely dissected it,” Mr. Parker said. “Where’s the opportunity here? Where’s the weakness here?”

They built computer models of Big Green Egg, of the brisket and, eventually, of their own smoker. They ran hundreds of computer simulations, and they learned that maintaining a precise, steady cooking temperature is crucial to evenly breaking down the meat’s collagen, tenderizing it. Several students spent their spring break taking a crash course in ceramics at the Harvard Ceramic Studio to build two prototypes of the smoker.

During the smoking sessions, the students attached sensors to the cooking surfaces and collected smoke particles and airflow data. They also inserted thermal imaging devices and probes into the brisket. “It was a heavily instrumented piece of meat,” Mr. Parker said. “It looked like it was in an intensive care unit.”

The final design was a 300-pound ceramic smoker with an hourglass shape that was inspired by power plant cooling towers. An internal computer controls fans that blow oxygen into the fire; it calculates whether the fire needs more or less oxygen and communicates the smoker’s temperature to a smartphone app. Refueling most other smokers requires opening the top and inserting more charcoal and wood chips, which destabilizes the temperature.

A chute on the side of the Harvard smoker lets the chef add more fuel without disrupting its internal temperature. Sensors gauge fuel levels, the temperature of the cooking surface and the weight of the food being smoked, and transmit that information to the app.
Harvard  students  Colleges_&_Universities  patents  competitive_intelligence  entrepreneurship  design  problem_solving  BBQ  engineering  Stanford  cured_and_smoked  beef  sensors 
july 2015 by jerryking
Umbra struggles with copycats worldwide - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN SMITH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2015

Umbra sends cease-and-desist orders to manufacturers and vendors around the world who are copying or selling copies of its' designs for household products such as garbage cans, storage devices, kitchen utensils, picture frames and chairs....Protecting intellectual property has always been a concern for companies such as Toronto-based Umbra, but the problem has grown exponentially since manufacturers began making goods overseas to take advantage of lower labour costs. ... By the mid-1990s, half of its production was being done in contract factories in Asia, and some of these factories were copying its leading-edge designs and selling the products on their own.... Umbra's first line of defence is making sure products are made as efficiently as possible and offered at a competitive price. Another way Umbra seeks to remove temptation is to manufacture goods for private labels so that copiers don’t get that business. It has also designed products specifically to serve the discount market, such as the Umbra Loft line sold by Target.
Umbra  design  copycats  households  fast_followers  household_products  patents  intellectual_property  China  retailers  e-commerce  private_labels 
june 2015 by jerryking
Apple’s Jony Ive is tired of having to design everything - FT.com
May 29, 2015 4:50 pm
Apple’s Jony Ive is tired of having to design everything
John Gapper
design  Apple  Jonathan_Ive  Steve_Jobs 
june 2015 by jerryking
Five things the TD Centre can teach us about how to build Toronto - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

The TD towers were a radical departure both in scale and in style. The tallest of the original two soared to 56 floors, dominating the skyline like nothing before or since. Rising from its six-acre site at King and Bay, it was everything the old buildings around it were not. While they featured arched windows and gargoyles, Greek columns and bronze roofs, the design of the TD Centre was all austerity and simplicity.

It is just this sort of future that the creators of the TD Centre had in mind when they hired one of the era’s most renowned architects to build them something outstanding. The architect was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), the Chicago-based German émigré who liked to say that “less is more.” He referred to his works as “skin-and-bones” architecture, and his unadorned steel-and-glass boxes were meant to reflect the spirit of a modern technological era.

It took ambition and foresight to pull off something as bold as the TD Centre. It meant thinking about what the city would become instead of just coping with what it was. Those qualities sometimes seem lacking in today’s Toronto. There are still things we can learn from those dark towers.

First, don’t be afraid of tall buildings.
Second, investing in quality pays.
Third, maintain what you have.
Fourth, pay attention to details.
Finally, always think about the future. Toronto, and Canada, were in a risk-taking frame of mind when the first tower took shape. Expo 67, the wildly successful world’s fair, was under way in Montreal. The striking new Toronto City Hall by Finnish architect Viljo Revell had opened two years earlier.
'60s  ambitions  architecture  boldness  foresight  history  lessons_learned  Marcus_Gee  skyscrapers  Bay_Street  TD_Bank  Toronto  design  forward_looking  PATH  detail_oriented  minimalism  quality  Expo_67  risk-taking  mindsets  pay_attention 
may 2015 by jerryking
Hidden landmarks: Why Toronto is at the forefront of the landscape architecture movement - The Globe and Mail
May. 01 2015 | The Globe and Mail | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

The history of Toronto's University Avenue: The landscape designer André Parmentier planted the avenue in 1829; it was reshaped in the 1920s in the Beaux-Arts style; and in the 1960s, the current landscape was designed by the British-born architect Howard Dunington-Grubb to cap the newly built subway. It includes perennials, statues and vent stacks.

What is clear to Mr. Birnbaum – a century and a half of design ideas – is invisible to most of us, part of the scenery. That is the plight of landscape architecture, and this is what Mr. Birnbaum’s group is hoping to change: to make familiar the idea of a “cultural landscape” as something to be seen, valued and protected by the general public. As he puts it, “We’re making visible the often-invisible hand of the landscape architect.”

What exactly is a “cultural landscape”? It can be a street or a waterfront, designed or inherited. But most often it means a designed outdoor space, the work of landscape architects who deal with urban and ecological lenses, as well as vegetation and the formal design of plazas, streets and other outdoor spaces...Waterfront Toronto: In remaking 800 hectares of the industrial waterfront, that agency has brought together some of the best landscape architects in the world to remake the topography and to set a high standard for the urban fabric it is building....Parks matter! Parks generate real-estate value and, more importantly, a sense of place. As Mr. Birnbaum points out, the waterfront parks “were built first, communicating what the quality of life will be along the waterfront. We think it sets an enviable standard, and that’s why we will be bringing people from all over the globe to see the landscapes and to discuss these issues.”
Toronto  landmarks  landscapes  architecture  design  parks  waterfronts  Waterfront_Toronto  history  public_spaces  quality_of_life 
may 2015 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria: ‘We are meant to be engaged with the big questions’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015

Q: How is your defence of a liberal-arts education more than nostalgia for a bygone era of higher learning, now out of sync with today’s hyper-competitive, skills-based economies?

...what’s happening in advanced manufacturing. In almost every industry, basic production is getting commoditized. It’s becoming routine and simple, and most everything we consume, to put it bluntly, can be made by a machine or a factory worker. You can manufacture a $30 sneaker anywhere in the world but, to sell it for $300, there has to be a story around it, there has to be beautiful design, there has to be interesting marketing; you have to understand social media....because product[s]stand out only if you understand how human beings use technology....Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook is more about psychology and sociology, two liberal arts, than technology...a liberal education provides you with a rounded education in every sense of the word. It teaches you how to write, which I think is the most important aspect, because you learn how to think. It teaches you how to learn. These are soft skills but they’re not lesser skills.
liberal_arts  humanities  Fareed_Zakaria  Rudyard_Griffiths  social_media  Mark_Zuckerberg  education  civics  psychology  sociology  soft_skills  thinking  design  product_design  Daniel_Pink  UX 
april 2015 by jerryking
The Laneway Project: How one small idea could bring new life to Toronto’s back alleys - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

The Laneway Project. Its organizers, a trio of Toronto planners and urban designers, are working with city officials and community groups to find ways to green, beautify and enliven Toronto’s back lanes, turning them into places where people want to spend time instead of simply pass through.
ideas  civics  design  public_spaces  neighbourhoods  Toronto  green  beautification  urban  Marcus_Gee 
march 2015 by jerryking
Hidden language of the streets - FT.com
March 6, 2015 | FT| Edwin Heathcote.

Each city has its own visual and filmic shorthand for its streetscape (should read "cityscape"). There are the monuments — the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Empire State Building and so on, but at street level there are markers of urban identity as potent as the great monuments and which, in fact, have a far more meaningful impact on everyday life, as the fragments that form the backdrop against which we live our public lives.
...Street furniture and the in-between architecture that populates the pavements defines the experience of walking through the city. ...Streets and their furniture are designed for an ideal public but they can also be vehicles of control....The question is, what kind of meaning does our contemporary streetscape communicate? Throughout the history of public space, urban markers have been used to convey a sense of place, of centre, connection and of context. ....Then there is a rich layer of what we might call in-between architecture, the market stalls, newsstands, food carts and hot-dog stands, caramelised-nut vendors and seafood stalls. To a large extent these are among the elements that make up the experience of the city yet they are rarely regarded as architecture. Instead they represent an ad-hoc series of developments that have evolved to an optimum efficiency....This layer expresses the story of the desires, the fears, the entrepreneurialism and the attitude to privacy of a city. But the most intriguing thing is that it is simultaneously an expression of the top-down and the bottom-up city.
cities  design  identity  architecture  public_spaces  furniture  cityscapes  iconic  top-down  bottom-up  street_furniture  streetscapes  overlay_networks  streets  landmarks  shorthand 
march 2015 by jerryking
Next-generation wood pushes to greater heights - The Globe and Mail
JENNIFER LEWINGTON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 26 2015
design  lumber  innovation  wood_products 
january 2015 by jerryking
Redefining ‘made in China’: How one firm is forging a new path for manufacturers - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 30 2014 | G&M | NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE.

CFmoto has obsessed about quality, devoting nearly a fifth of its 1,350-person work force to research and development, and buying dozens of robotic CNC machines to sculpt its own key components. It has built dealer networks around the world – and sales, too. Eighty per cent of its revenues now come from exports

“We have a different way of thinking from others,” Mr. Lai said. “We want to create fun for our customers.”....China is already the world’s motorcycle factory. Last year, nearly 23 million were built by hundreds of Chinese companies – some sprawling state-owned enterprises, some barely larger than a backyard shed....But that business model is beginning to tatter, as South American and Eastern European consumers gain the wealth to buy cars, and competition steps in. ...“Now they’re looking another way at it – and mainly because of the threat from the Indian industry in their established markets.”....The Chinese situation is, of course, different: Where Japanese and Korean companies built their skill inside markets largely protected from foreign competition, China today is wide open to imported brands, which have been hugely successful. Cars bearing a mainland mark now account for only 23 per cent of sales.....But western markets have remained largely impenetrable: after years of splashy introductions at the Detroit Motor Show that date back to 2006, Chinese brands are no closer to making their big North American entrance....China’s experience with motorcycles, however, shows the distance it has to go. In their bid to increase quality, companies have outfitted their products with foreign-made suspensions, brakes and fuel systems....“demand for design is shifting” to Asia....He faults an inability among many Chinese firms to create their own identity, which can translate into a uniqueness that customers can latch onto.
China  manufacturers  motorcycles  design  value_chains  branding  brands  quality  automotive_industry  copycats  dealerships  distribution_channels 
december 2014 by jerryking
Powerful Thoughts From Paul Graham — Ross Hudgens
21. Empathy is probably the single most important difference between a good hacker and a great one. Some hackers are quite smart, but practically solipsists when it comes to empathy. It’s hard for such people to design great software, because they can’t see things from the user’s point of view.

25. In a field like physics, if we disagree with past generations it’s because we’re right and they’re wrong. But this becomes rapidly less true as you move away from the certainty of the hard sciences. By the time you get to social questions, many changes are just fashion.

34. Whatever the reason, there seems a clear correlation between intelligence and willingness to consider shocking ideas. This isn’t just because smart people actively work to find holes in conventional thinking. Conventions also have less hold over them to start with. You can see that in the way they dress.

43. E.B. White was amused to learn from a farmer friend that many electrified fences don’t have any current running through them. The cows apparently learn to stay away from them, and after that you don’t need the current. | If you’re a hacker who has thought of one day starting a startup, there are probably two things keeping you from doing it. One is that you don’t know anything about business. The other is that you’re afraid of competition. Neither of these fences have any current in them.

50. But since for most of the world’s history the main route to wealth was to steal it, we tend to be suspicious of rich people.

59. “A lot of the (people applying to be graduate students at MIT) seem smart,” he said. “What I can’t tell is whether they have any kind of taste.” Taste. You don’t hear that word much now. And yet we still need the underlying concept, whatever we call it. What my friend meant was that he wanted students who were not just good technicians, but who could use their technical knowledge to design beautiful things.

64. Good design resembles nature. It’s not so much that resembling nature is intrinsically good as that nature has had a long time to work on the problem. So it’s a good sign when your answer resembles nature’s.

70. You’re most likely to get good design if the intended users include the designer himself. When you design something for a group that doesn’t include you, it tends to be for people you consider less sophisticated than you, not more sophisticated. And looking down on the user, however benevolently, always seems to corrupt the designer. [Good design therefore requires personal risk? having skin in the game?]

76. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.” – C.S. Lewis
biomimicry  business  inspiration  productivity  quotes  start_ups  Paul_Graham  Y_Combinator  via:hotchkiss  empathy  design  UX  hackers  personal_risk  PhDs  aesthetics  dangerous_ideas  smart_people  the_single_most_important 
november 2014 by jerryking
The Data Companies Wish They Had About Customers - WSJ
March 23, 2014 | WSJ | by Max Taves.

We asked companies what data they wish they had—and how they would use it. Here's what they said....
(A) Dining----Graze.com has a huge appetite for data. Every hour, the mail-order snack business digests 15,000 user ratings about its foods, which it uses to better understand what its customers like or dislike and to predict what else they might like to try...more data could help him understand customers' tastes even better. Among the information he wants most is data about customers' dietary habits, such as what they buy at grocery stores, as well as better information about what they look at on Graze's own site. And because the dietary needs of children change rapidly, he'd like to know if his customers have children and, if so, their ages.
(B) Energy-----Energy consumption is among its customers' main concerns, says CEO William Lynch. For instance, the company offers a product giving homeowners the real-time ability to see things like how many kilowatts it takes to heat the hot tub in Jan. Because of privacy concerns, Savant doesn't collect homeowners' energy data. But if the company knew more about customers' energy use, it could help create customized plans to conserve energy. "We could make recommendations on how to set up your thermostat to save a lot of money,
(C) Banking-----the Bank of the West would like "predictive life-event data" about its customers—like graduation, vacation or retirement plans—to create products more relevant to their financial needs...At this point, collecting that breadth of data is a logistical and regulatory challenge, requiring very different sources both inside and outside the bank.
(D) Appliances-----Whirlpool Corp.has a vast reach in American households—but wants to know more about its customers and how they actually use its products. Real-time use data could not only help shape the future designs of Whirlpool products, but also help the company predict when they're likely to fail.
(E) Healthcare----Explorys creates software for health-care companies to store, access and make sense of their data. It holds a huge trove of clinical, financial and operational information—but would like access to data about patients at home, such as their current blood-sugar and oxygen levels, weight, heart rates and respiratory health. Having access to that information could help providers predict things like hospitalizations, missed appointments and readmissions and proactively reach out to patients,
(F) Healthcare----By analyzing patient data, Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, N.C., can predict readmission rates with 80% accuracy,
(G) Law----law firms that specialize in defense work are typically reactive, however some are working towards becoming more proactive, coveting an ability to predict lawsuits—and prevent them.How? By analyzing reams of contracts and looking for common traits and language that often lead to problems.
(H) Defense---BAE Systems PLC invests heavily in protecting itself from cyberattacks. But it says better data from its suppliers could help improve its defenses...if its suppliers get cyberattacked, its own h/w and s/w could be compromised. But "those suppliers are smaller businesses with lesser investments in their security," ...A lack of trust among suppliers, even those that aren't direct competitors, means only a small percentage of them disclose the data showing the cyberattacks on their systems. Sharing that data, he says, would strengthen the security of every product BAE makes. [BAE is expressing recognition of its vulnerability to network risk].
data  data_driven  massive_data_sets  Graze  banking  cyber_security  BAE  law_firms  Whirlpool  genomics  social_data  appliances  sense-making  predictive_analytics  dark_data  insights  customer_insights  real-time  design  failure  cyberattacks  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  network_risk  shifting_tastes  self-protection  distrust  supply_chains 
november 2014 by jerryking
Small Data: Why Tinder-like apps are the way of the future — Medium
+++++++++++++++++++++++
The card-based UI updates the classic way in which we’ve always interacted with physical cards. When you think about it, cards are nothing more than bite-size presentations of concrete information. They’re the natural evolution of the newsfeed, which is useful for reading stories but not for making decisions.
++++++++++++++++++++++++
Cards are kind of natural choice for mobile screens because of their size and shape. But lay your cards on the table or put them on a board and they will also help you in revealing connections, understanding the topic and making decisions.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

every single interaction with card-swiping apps can affect the outcome.

We can call it small data. Imagine if every time you made a yes or no decision on Tinder, the app learned what kind of profiles you tended to like, and it showed you profiles based on this information in the future.

“With swipes on Tinder, the act of navigating through content is merged with inputting an action on that content,” says Rad. That means that every time a user browses profiles, it generates personal behavioral data.
bite-sized  Tinder  small_data  ux  design  decision_making  information_overload  behavioural_data  metadata  gestures  Snapchat  personal_data 
march 2014 by jerryking
A Makeover for Maps - NYTimes.com
January 6, 2014| NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Eric Rodenbeck is rethinking how data is presented.

“It doesn’t work if it’s not moving,” said Mr. Rodenbeck, the head of Stamen Design, a San Francisco studio that Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all used for help in turning fast-paced digital information into easily understood images. “It doesn’t work if you can’t touch it.”....Nowadays, devices and people are unceasingly uploading all kinds of information about the economy, locations, weather and even what sweater makes them happy. With this flood of data, some believe traditional ways of displaying information do not work well anymore. So there is a demand for Mr. Rodenbeck’s sort of creative thinking about the humble pie chart....charts of fast-changing data reports can provide a clearer idea of the information gathered. The animated changes may be shapes on a map growing and shrinking, colors of bar charts changing or positions of lines rising or fading.
infographics  design  data  visualization  animation  mapping  charts  ClearStory  GE  Communicating_&_Connecting 
january 2014 by jerryking
What Tech Hasn’t Learned From Urban Planning - NYTimes.com
By ALLISON ARIEFF
Published: December 13, 2013

“Community space” implies something that is open to, well, the community. Subverting of naming conventions to suggest public access and transparency, while providing neither, is troubling and increasingly pervasive. But this turning inward, despite the incessant drumbeat of “community,” is quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception.... In “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” Jane Jacobs wrote, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” We’re losing that here. The further the tech sector gets from the reality of the problems it’s engaging with, the smaller piece of the problem they’ll end up actually fixing.

The tech sector’s embrace of urbanist lingua franca and its enthusiasm to engage with urban problems is awesome, and much welcomed. But these folks need to become better urbanists.
design  urban_planning  San_Francisco  technology  community  Jane_Jacobs 
december 2013 by jerryking
DESIGN: Brand design--the antidote to category camouflage
Jan 9, 2009 | Marketing Week | Andy Black.

As budgets are cut and tough questions are asked, design can make a difference by getting a brand noticed, standing out from the competition and engaging ...
branding  brands  design  commodities  advertising  hard_questions 
december 2013 by jerryking
New Technology, Computing Power Give Car Designers a Big Boost - WSJ.com
Oct. 20, 2013 | WSJ | By Mike Ramsey.

Advances in computer-aided engineering and big investments in computing power have given manufacturers new tools to create designs and the ability to test their ideas in a fraction of the time and at far less cost than they could before.

The result: Many more design ideas are being conceived and tested than ever before, and the best are being adopted quickly, helping manufacturers improve the fuel efficiency and the performance of cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
design  automotive_industry 
november 2013 by jerryking
Next iPhone design will be bigger, with curves: report -
Nov. 11 2013 | The Globe and Mail via Reuters

Apple Inc. is developing new iPhone designs including bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing a unnamed person familiar with the plans.

With screens of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, the two new models would be Apple’s largest iPhones, the person told Bloomberg.
Apple  design  iPhone 
november 2013 by jerryking
Architect David Adjaye's World View - WSJ.com
By Ian Volner
Nov. 6, 2013 | WSJ |

Profile of David Adjaye:
The promise of those first projects attracted major institutional commissions—including the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in 2005, and Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art two years later—but it was the 2008 economic crisis that obliged Adjaye to look still further afield and set up satellite offices in Germany and the U.S. "The catalyst for us was the downturn," says Adjaye. "We had to undergo a total restructuring. Basically we had to go big or go home."
architecture  Africa  innovation  design  Ghanaian  Nobel_Prizes  museums  art  cosmopolitan  contemporary_art  David_Adjaye 
november 2013 by jerryking
Why we’re better off living in hyperdense cities built around mass transit
Oct. 11 2013 | G&M | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

Vishaan Chakrabarti is getting into a cab. This is a bit surprising because the architect and academic is a constant transit rider, like most of his neighbours in Manhattan.

“I’m a guy who’s usually in the subway, unless I have a few calls to make,” he admits good-naturedly as a fire truck screams past him. He thinks we should ride the subway, too – his new book, A Country of Cities, argues that “hyperdense” cities built around mass transit, make us more prosperous and happier, too.
cities  design  densification  transit  books  urban_intensification  urban_planning 
october 2013 by jerryking
Drake expectations: How Jeff Stober is going big with design
Sep. 28 2013 | The Globe and Mail| ALEX BOZIKOVIC

Drake One Fifty shows the scope of Mr. Stober’s ambition, for his businesses and for the unusual design sensibility that sets them apart. This is a restaurant, but it is also a brand extension: “Drake without beds,” as Mr. Stober puts it. Will it work on Bay Street?...Mr. Stober’s credos, and it has turned this former IT-industry entrepreneur into a hospitality impresario and, he is hoping, a Toronto ambassador of design.

At some point, the Drake style became a brand and the heart of a business. The enterprise includes Drake One Fifty, the hotel, three retail stores, and as of April another hotel, Drake Devonshire, in Prince Edward County, designed by Mr. Tong’s office. All carry a blend of materials and products that evoke urban thrift-shop Canadiana with hints of Europe and a big dash of Brooklyn.

After that comes an expansion of the original Drake Hotel that will add about 20 rooms and new event space, and then, Mr. Stober hopes, a hotel-restaurant-cultural venue, taking over an entire building in “a fabulous American city.” (Mr. Stober has a second home in Manhattan.)
design  entrepreneur  hoteliers  restauranteurs  Bay_Street  brands  retailers  boutique_hotels 
october 2013 by jerryking
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