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Are.na / Arrangement Collage
[also here:
https://github.com/dark-industries/dark-zine/blob/master/lukas_collage.md ]

[See also:
https://www.are.na/lukas-w/arrangement-collage ]

[via:
https://urcad.es/writing/new-american-outline/ ]

"In 2015, Frank Chimero wrote on the “Grain” of the Web, focusing on a web-native media that doesn’t try to fight the inherently rectangle-based HTML Document Object Model (DOM)—also shared with XML and XHTML. This remains true: any site that does not look rectilinear is usually just fooling you; strip the CSS and it’s just a pile of blocks. Perhaps tilted and stretched, or with the corners shaved off, but just a pile of blocks.

As McLuhan would have anticipated, this blocky model has substantial effects toward what web-native media looks like. Chimero documents this well. I’d like to add a psychological component, though, in that as an online culture, we’ve grown accustomed to block-based interfaces. We joke at Web 2.0’s desire to round over corners and balk at clunky Flash plugins; nonlinear, non-blocky interfaces are either salient or sore thumbs.

Native internet users consume media through HTML interfaces at an astounding pace; simple rectangles frame a continuous deluge of multimedia updates. In an age of both physical and digital abundance in the Western world, creation of new media from scratch requires ample justification. Acts of synthesis, archiving, compression, and remix are valuable tools for leveraging information otherwise lost to the unsorted heap. These verbs are ways to construct something new from pre-existing media objects, or at least finding some narrative or meaning within them.

A curator, classically, acts as composer and manager of (typically static) objects so as to convey narrative to a willing audience. The internet audience, however, expects more autonomy in the dynamic content they see. Self-selected content is simply a necessary tactic for navigating nearly limitless information. An explosion of digital “curation” caters to the desire, whether by user directly, tuned algorithms, or third-party human. This manifests when you select topics of interest on Quora and construct a twitter feed of only exactly the people you want. Going to a curated museum is now a relinquishing of control compared to typical digital art consumption, which comes mashed-up through various media platforms.

Even with stream moderation, the modern media viewer is accustomed to lack of coherence between adjacent content blocks. In your tumblr dashboard, a peer-reviewed journal article can sit immediately above an anonymously submitted shitpost. We don’t blink. In an arrangement of DOM blocks, each bit of media similarly carries its own context, history, and qualia. I posit we can effectively navigate our feeds not because we can rapidly jump between the context captured by each DOM block, but rather because we interpolate narrative and construct cohesion. Adjacency implies connection and synthesis, or, in the words of John Berger:
[An image reproduction] becomes itself the reference point for other images. The meaning of an image is changed according to what one sees immediately beside it or what comes immediately after it. (Ways Of Seeing)

Marius Watz, in a response on the New Aesthetic, writes on tumblr image culture: “Its art is juxtaposition: If we put this next to that and this other thing, surely a new understanding will emerge.” To be fair, there are uncountably many combinations that may be devoid of meaning—all I mean to point out is that a diptych is a third object, beyond the original two, with the possibility of value. Some find artistic practice in the form of a relentless stream of rectangles. People go nuts over releases of image dumps from Moodmail and JJJJound, and the Lost Image Desk is making professional practice of it.

(A scan of contemporary sculpture demonstrates that selection and arrangement of objects—often found or folk objects—is an ongoing trend. The viewer is trusted with finding meaning in the arrangement, selection, formal qualities, cultural context, and more in a relational tradition.)

HTML is perfectly built for image adjacency—a blank and infinite canvas, empowered by right-click “Copy Image Address.” Our expansive tumblrs and pinterest boards act as collected and performed narratives, collages of found digital media.
[Traditional] collages, […] were probably laid out carefully, aided by facsimiles, white-out, and tape, existed alongside the book, rather than being subsumed or created through the process of publishing and distribution, as is often the case with internet ‘collage’. Computers conceal distance; their collage move consists of juxtaposing elements that might be stored hundreds or thousands of miles apart, giving an illusion of spatial continuity. (Seth Price, Teen Image)

Traditional art collage used the intrigue and power in composing elements pulled from diverse sources. Meaning constructed by selection, editing, and combination. The HTML collage, however, is copy-pasted. What is the HTML-native collage?

I call it the “Arrangement Collage”—rectangular, transcontextual compositions of, ostensibly, found media. The arrangement collage does less work for the viewer than traditional collage: elements are kept fully intact rather than trimmed for blended. The composition often mitigates interaction between elements and instead celebrates raw adjacency.
When the historical avant-garde used valorized cultural objects such as the Mona Lisa or a violin, it profaned, overpowered, and destroyed them before going on to aestheticize them. In contrast, contemporary art uses mass-cultural things virtually intact. (Boris Groys, On The New)

The arrangement collage, while easy to construct in print, is truly native to the web, in which all objects are, by default, level rectangles, context-switching is the norm, and media to compose with is bountiful.

Our feeds, plentiful in the digital landscape, help populate the arrangement collage. Tumblr, ostensibly a micro-blogging site, is largely used for image collection; FFFFound is legendary for its contextless stream of collected imagery (and as birthing the name for JJJJound, when Justin Saunders couldn’t get an account); and Buzzfeed publishes “articles” that are frankly just stacks of image macros. A proliferation of mindless image consumption concerns Bob Gill.
There’s nothing original. ‘The Culture’ is the great mass of images and ideas which bombard us every day, and therefore shape the way we think visually. Only by recognising The Culture’s presence and its power, can designers move away from the clichés it promotes.

Irrefutably, the images we consume affect how we think, and what we can imagine. Gill’s words should be considered, and the internet-native should stay aware of “the clichés” promoted. Gill encourages “first-hand” research, but this points at a cultural gap—there is no line between reality and the internet; “first-hand” research takes place on the social web. In-person discussion and close examination of physical objects can be romanticized, but it should not detract from the fact that meaningful discussion and critical consumption can happen in a digital landscape as well.

Of deeper concern is the stripping of value from imagery in overabundance. Edition MK’s 2010 DDDDoomed (the name, I assume, another reference to FFFFound) gets at the kernel of this problem: Image Aggregators (“IAs”—such as JJJJound and other blogs), which typically present images contextless alongside hundreds of others, can strip imagery of its power. IAs do work that is weaker, semiotically, than traditional collage, and less organized than archiving (which is often a process of attaching or generating metadata, whereas IAs frequently remove it). Images that find political power within a context are reduced to purely aesthetic objects in the stream. If you are a tumblr fiend, this very likely rings true: the multitude of streams filled with gorgeous scenery, motivational quotes, and supermodel women quickly reduce this imagery to banality and objectification.
We [distance ourselves] from our critical faculties as we slide into models of passive spectatorship that reinforce our passivity by promoting a one-way mode of cultural consumption. […] Continuous over-stimulation leads to desensitisation. (Peter Buwert, “Defamiliarization, Brecht and Criticality in Graphic Design” in Modes of Criticism 2: Critique of Method)

The arrangement collage might serve as a tool in this battle against desensitization. In Buwert’s essay, referenced above, he describes how Brecht’s famous defamiliarization of the theater encouraged “a condition of active critical spectatorship within the audience.” DDDDoomed is lamenting the supposed death of this critical spectator, replaced with the numb and passive viewer. Buwert is less concerned with context/lessness than Edition MK, and instead focuses on familiarity.

There are valiant efforts towards an inclusion of context and metadata with online imagery, but it is not built into the structure of the internet. Flickr and twitter use image covers to dissuade copy-pasting (circumnavigable by screen-shotting) and Mediachain attempts to inextricably tie media to metadata using blockchain methods. As of writing, however, the JPG is not going anywhere, and the ease of downloading and re-uploading an image far surpasses digging to find its source. Entropy is not on our side, and Google’s reverse image search will never be quite fast or comprehensive enough to keep up.

Walter Benjamin might lament the loss of contextual sensitivity, as it comes intertwined with a loss of “aura.” The authenticity that drives Benjamin’s aura is dependent on the idea of an original—which, in internet ecosystems, simply isn’t a relevant concept, as the original and reproduction can be… [more]
lukaswinklerprins  2016  frankchimero  arrangementcollage  web  online  feeds  juxtaposition  canon  curation  collections  tumblr  html  webdev  form  imagery  images  webnative  decomposition  composition  peterbuwert  aggregation  ffffound  justinsaunders  bobgill  sethprice  moodmail  lostimagedesk  waysofseeing  johnberger  dom  xml  xhtml  marshallmcluhan 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Nicole Fenton | Words as Material
"These are some of the questions that have come up for me along the way:

What does writing contribute to the design process?
How can designers use words to articulate what they’re making?
How can we, as humans, benefit from clear language?
How can writing make products easier to adopt and understand?
How can I broaden the definition of “writing” for designers?"



"I believe that writing is part of every design. If you can clearly define what you’re making and articulate its value, the steps to bring it out into the world will go much faster. It’s easy to put pixels together when you’ve already made decisions. And since we work across systems and borders, there’s no better way to articulate design than with writing."



"Language makes it possible for us to navigate places and relationships; to express needs and requirements; to name and categorize things; and to understand our place in the universe."



"Without words, we wouldn’t be able to plan or effect change.

As a technology, writing has many merits. It complements verbal and visual communication. It’s sturdy and can stay put. It’s cheap. It’s easy to change or reproduce. And it moves faster than ships or airplanes. Writing makes it possible to propel knowledge and intent forward through time.

Historically, writing has served us as a force of stability. It gave us a way to record history, exchange information, and establish legal systems. We wrote to preserve knowledge, transmit ideas, and pass on traditions. And of course, we still do those things, even with hypertext. We still treat writing as a product of the editorial process."
nicolefenton  writing  2015  design  words  language  howwewrite  whywewrite  learning  communication  annegalloway  mattjones  frankchimero  abbycovert  clarity  annelamott  thichnhathanh  collaboration  jean-paulsartre  sartre 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The House That Fish Built — Medium
"Around the time Sloan published Fish, I had been wanting to move my explanatory storytelling studio towards a new visual medium. Newsbound had produced several video explainers earlier that year — on wonky subjects like the filibuster and the federal budget process. They had attracted healthy traffic, but our user testing had revealed a pacing problem. Everyone loved the accessible illustrations and animations, but more-informed viewers often complained that our narrator (yours truly) spoke too slowly. Newcomers to the subject matter felt the opposite — that it was too much information too fast.

I’d already entertained the idea of a self-paced, slideshow-esque format, but worried that requiring the user to continuously click or tap their way through a narrative might be too tedious. Then I found myself standing in line for a sandwich at Pal’s, happily tapping my way through Fish.

I was bewitched by this medium — and emboldened.

In the days that followed, I created a prototype in Keynote (a chronological explanation of the Trayvon Martin story). Using their iOS app, I could simulate the “tap-essay” experience on an iPhone. Over the next few weeks, we tested that prototype with a series of users. They took vastly different amounts of time to complete the explainer, but stuck with it nonetheless. Most of them complimented the format, telling us that they had “lost themselves” in the story and expressing surprise when we showed them a text-only print-out of the 1,500 words they had just consumed in bite-sized pieces. (“I would never read something that long!”)

The Newsbound team continued to refine the reading experience and started building our own web-based technology to power it. Around the same time, Sloan wrote an essay for Contents reminiscing about Hypercard stacks and predicting their triumphant return:
“We will start to make stacks in earnest again. We will develop a new grammar for this old format. We will talk about rhythm and reveals and tweetable cards. We will know how many cards an average person can tap through in one sitting. We will know when to use stacks…and when to just scroll on. Twenty-five years later, we will prove the hypertext researchers wrong: cards are pretty cool after all.”

When we published our first embeddable, public-facing explainer in this format (on the history of political conventions), we called it a “stack.” Internally, we started referring to our software as “Stacker.”

Newsbound has since published over 75 stacks — some of them original works, some client projects. Our embeddable player has appeared on the websites of The New York Times, The Washington Post, BoingBoing, The Atlantic, Upworthy, as well as in Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter.

Over this period, we’ve gathered granular analytics (all those clicks and taps are trackable, after all) and observed remarkable engagement rates. For instance, out of the 50,000 people who started reading this Gates Foundation stack on the history of international family planning, 65 percent finished it, spending 4–5 minutes on average. Over 80 percent completed this OZY stack on Iceland’s marriage norms. The minimum wage explainer we produced in tandem with KQED has been launched nearly one million times.

This year, we released Stacker as a platform to a beta group of writers and designers. They are now creating their own stacks and, every week, we are onboarding more people from the waiting list (which has grown to over 400)."
hypercard  slidedecks  stacks  journalism  design  2015  robinsloan  frankchimero  joshkalven  format  webdev  webdesign 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Web’s Grain by Frank Chimero
"We’re building edgeless environments of divergency. Things are added in chaos, then if successful, they expanded further and further out until they collapse and rearrange. This is probably why responsive design feels so relevant, maddening, and divisive: its patterns mimic the larger patterns of technology itself.

What we build is defined and controlled by its unresolvable conflicts. In responsive design, it’s the text and image conundrum I showed earlier. In other, more grand arenas, there is capital versus labor, or collective control versus anarchic individualism. In technology, I believe it comes down to the power dynamics of convenience. To create convenience—particularly the automated convenience technology trades in—someone else must make our choices for us.

In other words: the less you have to do, the less say you have.

Up to a point, swapping autonomy for ease is a pretty good trade: who wants run the math on their accounting books or call the restaurant to place a delivery order? But if taken too far, convenience becomes a Trojan Horse. We secede too much control and become dependent on something we can no longer steer. Platforms that promised to bring convenience to a process or intimacy to a relationship now wedge themselves into the transaction as new middlemen. Then, we’re left to trust in the benevolence of those who have the power to mold our dependencies. Citing a lot of the concerns I mentioned earlier, those people are less responsible and compassionate than we had hoped. In pursuit of convenience, we have opened the door to unscrupulous influence.

You could say that our current technological arrangement has spread out too far, and it is starting to look and feel wrong. Fortunately, we can treat this over-expansion just like everything else I’ve mentioned. We can draw a line, and create a point of reassembly for what we’ve made. We can think about how to shift, move, and resize the pieces so that they fall back in line with our intentions. This power is compounded for those of us who make this technology.

But this is not a technological response. It is an explicit act of will—an individual’s choice to change their behaviors about what to use, where to work, what to adopt, what to pay attention to. It is simple mindfulness, that thing which needy technology makes so hard to practice. And it starts with a question: what is technology’s role in your life? And what, really, do you want from it?

As for me? I won’t ask for peace, quiet, ease, magic or any other token that technology can’t provide—I’ve abandoned those empty promises. My wish is simple: I desire a technology of grace, one that lives well within its role.

How will we know that we’re there? I suppose we’ll look at what we’ve built, notice how the edges have dropped away, and actually be pleased it looks like it could go on forever."
frankchimero  davidhockney  joinery  web  webdev  internet  responsive  responsivedesign  design  technology  grace  clarity  simplicity  complexity  dependencies  edges  purpose  adaptability  divergency  thisandthat  convenience  autonomy  control  influence  responsivewebdesign  webdesign 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Metafoundry 15: Scribbled Leatherjackets
[Update 23 Jan 2015: a new version of this is now at The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/ ]

"HOMO FABBER: Every once in a while, I am asked what I ‘make’. When I attended the Brighton Maker Faire in September, a box for the answer was under my name on my ID badge. It was part of the XOXO Festival application for 2013; when I saw the question, I closed the browser tab, and only applied later (and eventually attended) because of the enthusiastic encouragement of friends. I’m always uncomfortable identifying myself as a maker. I'm uncomfortable with any culture that encourages you take on an entire identity, rather than to express a facet of your own identity (‘maker’, rather than ‘someone who makes things’). But I have much deeper concerns.

Walk through a museum. Look around a city. Almost all the artifacts that we value as a society were made by or at the the order of men. But behind every one is an invisible infrastructure of labour—primarily caregiving, in its various aspects—that is mostly performed by women. As a teenager, I read Ayn Rand on how any work that needed to be done day after day was meaningless, and that only creating new things was a worthwhile endeavour. My response to this was to stop making my bed every day, to the distress of my mother. (While I admit the possibility of a misinterpretation, as I haven’t read Rand’s writing since I was so young my mother oversaw my housekeeping, I have no plans to revisit it anytime soon.) The cultural primacy of making, especially in tech culture—that it is intrinsically superior to not-making, to repair, analysis, and especially caregiving—is informed by the gendered history of who made things, and in particular, who made things that were shared with the world, not merely for hearth and home.

Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling things), and from what Ursula Franklin describes as prescriptive technologies to ones that are more holistic, it mostly reinscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not.

In light of this history, it’s unsurprising that coding has been folded into ‘making’. Consider the instant gratification of seeing ‘hello, world’ on the screen; it’s nearly the easiest possible way to ‘make’ things, and certainly one where failure has a very low cost. Code is 'making' because we've figured out how to package it up into discrete units and sell it, and because it is widely perceived to be done by men. But you can also think about coding as eliciting a specific, desired set of behaviours from computing devices. It’s the Searle’s 'Chinese room' take on the deeper, richer, messier, less reproducible, immeasurably more difficult version of this that we do with people—change their cognition, abilities, and behaviours. We call the latter 'education', and it’s mostly done by underpaid, undervalued women.

When new products are made, we hear about exciting technological innovation, which are widely seen as worth paying (more) for. In contrast, policy and public discourse around caregiving—besides education, healthcare comes immediately to mind—are rarely about paying more to do better, and are instead mostly about figuring out ways to lower the cost. Consider the economics term ‘Baumol's cost disease’: it suggests that it is somehow pathological that the time and energy taken by a string quartet to prepare for a performance--and therefore the cost--has not fallen in the same way as goods, as if somehow people and what they do should get less valuable with time (to be fair, given the trajectory of wages in the US over the last few years in real terms, that seems to be exactly what is happening).

It's not, of course, that there's anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). It's that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it's nearly always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.

I am not a maker. In a framing and value system that is about creating artifacts, specifically ones you can sell, I am a less valuable human. As an educator, the work I do is, at least superficially, the same year after year. That's because all of the actual change is at the interface between me, my students, and the learning experiences I design for them. People have happily informed me that I am a maker because I use phrases like 'design learning experiences', which is mistaking what I do for what I’m actually trying to elicit and support. The appropriate metaphor for education, as Ursula Franklin has pointed out, is a garden, not the production line.

My graduate work in materials engineering was all about analysing and characterizing biological tissues, mostly looking at disease states and interventions and how they altered the mechanical properties of bone, including addressing a public health question for my doctoral research. My current education research is mostly about understanding the experiences of undergraduate engineering students so we can do a better job of helping them learn. I think of my brilliant and skilled colleagues in the social sciences, like Nancy Baym at Microsoft Research, who does interview after interview followed by months of qualitative analysis to understand groups of people better. None of these activities are about ‘making’.

I educate. I analyse. I characterize. I critique. Almost everything I do these days is about communicating with others. To characterize what I do as 'making' is either to mistake the methods—the editorials, the workshops, the courses, even the materials science zine I made—for the purpose. Or, worse, to describe what I do as 'making' other people, diminishing their own agency and role in sensemaking, as if their learning is something I impose on them.

In a recent newsletter, Dan Hon wrote, "But even when there's this shift to Makers (and with all due deference to Getting Excited and Making Things), even when "making things" includes intangibles now like shipped-code, there's still this stigma that feels like it attaches to those-who-don't-make. Well, bullshit. I make stuff." I understand this response, but I'm not going to call myself a maker. Instead, I call bullshit on the stigma, and the culture and values behind it that reward making above everything else. Instead of calling myself a maker, I'm proud to stand with the caregivers, the educators, those that analyse and characterize and critique, everyone who fixes things and all the other people who do valuable work with and for others, that doesn't result in something you can put in a box and sell."

[My response on Twitter:

Storified version: https://storify.com/rogre/on-the-invisible-infrastructure-of-often-intangibl

and as a backup to that (but that doesn't fit the container of what Pinboard will show you)…

“Great way to start my day: @debcha on invisible infrastructure of (often intangible) labor, *not* making, & teaching.”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536601349756956672

“[pause to let you read and to give you a chance to sign up for @debcha’s Metafoundry newsletter http://tinyletter.com/metafoundry ]”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536601733791633408

““behind every…[maker] is an invisible infrastructure of labour—primarily caregiving, in…various aspects—…mostly performed by women” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536602125107605505

“See also Maciej Cegłowski on Thoreau. https://static.pinboard.in/xoxo_talk_thoreau.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eky5uKILXtM”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536602602431995904

““Thoreau had all these people, mostly women, who silently enabled the life he thought he was heroically living for himself.” —M. Cegłowski”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536602794786963458

“And this reminder from @anotherny [Frank Chimero] that we should acknowledge and provide that support: “Make donuts too.”” http://frankchimero.com/blog/the-inferno-of-independence/
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536603172244967424

“small collection of readings (best bottom up) on emotional labor, almost always underpaid, mostly performed by women https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/t:emotionallabor”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536603895087128576

““The appropriate metaphor for education, as Ursula Franklin has pointed out, is a garden, not the production line.” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536604452065513472

““to describe what I do as 'making' other people, diminish[es] their own agency & role in sensemaking” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536604828705648640

“That @debcha line gets at why Taylor Mali’s every-popular “What Teachers Make” has never sat well with me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536605134185177088

““I call bullshit on the stigma, and the culture and values behind it that reward making above everything else.” —@debcha”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536605502805798912

“This all brings me back to Margaret Edson’s 2008 Commencement Address at Smith College. http://www.smith.edu/events/commencement_speech2008.php + https://vimeo.com/1085942”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536606045200588803

“Edson’s talk is about classroom teaching. I am forever grateful to @CaseyG for pointing me there (two years ago on Tuesday).”
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/536606488144248833

““Bringing nothing, producing nothing, expecting nothing, withholding … [more]
debchachra  2014  making  makers  makermovement  teaching  howweteach  emotionallabor  labor  danhon  scubadiving  support  ursulafranklin  coding  behavior  gender  cv  margaretedson  caseygollan  care  caretaking  smithcollege  sensemaking  agency  learning  howwelearn  notmaking  unproduct  frankchimero  maciejceglowski  metafoundry  independence  interdependence  canon  teachers  stigma  gratitude  thorough  infrastructure  individualism  invisibility  critique  criticism  fixing  mending  analysis  service  intangibles  caregiving  homemaking  maciejcegłowski 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The end of Big Twitter - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"This is exactly right. I have found that my greatest frustrations with Twitter come not from people who are being nasty — though there are far too many of them — but from people who just misunderstand. They reply questioningly or challengingly to a tweet without reading any of the preceding or succeeding tweets that would give it context, or without reading the post that it links to. They take jokes seriously — Oh Lord do they take jokes seriously. And far too often they don’t take the time to formulate their responses with care and so write tweets that I can’t make sense of at all. And I don’t want to have to deal with all this. I just want to sit here on the porch and have a nice chat with my friends and neighbors.

But wait. I’m not on the porch anymore. I’m in the middle of Broadway.

So I’m doing what, it seems to me, many people are doing: I’m getting out of the street. I’ll keep my public account for public uses: it’ll be a place where I can link to posts like this one, or announce any event that’s of general interest. But what I’ve come to call Big Twitter is simply not a place for conversation any more.

I don’t like this change. I made friends — real friends — on Twitter when it was a place for conversation. I reconnected with people I had lost touch with. Whole new realms of knowledge were opened to me. I don’t want to foreclose on the possibility of further discovery, but the signal-to-noise ration is so bad now that I don’t think I could pick out the constructive and interesting voices from all the mean-spiritedness and incomprehension; and so few smart people now dare to use Twitter in the old open way.

Big Twitter was great — for a while. But now it’s over, and it’s time to move on. I’m just hoping that some smart people out there are learning from what went wrong and developing social networks that can strengthen the signal and silence the noise."

[More here: http://text-patterns.thenewatlantis.com/2014/09/more-on-twitter.html

"1) I had forgotten, but this piece by Robinson Meyer and Adrienne LaFrance got at many of the issues I talk about, and did it some months ago.

2) I keep hearing from people that they like Big Twitter just fine. Awesome! Then they should keep using it. (This is a genre of response that has always puzzled me. You see it when people say that they’re having trouble with a piece of software or a web service, and others reply “It’s working great for me!” How is that relevant, exactly? If I tell you I broke my arm are you going to tell me that your arm is just fine?) As I said, I want to spend more time in my living room and less time on the street. If you prefer being in the street, that’s definitely what you should do.

3) Some folks are worried that they won’t know what’s going on in the world — or in some particular corner of it — if they leave Twitter. But consider this: if it’s knowledge you want, then one of the best services Twitter provides to you is linkage: links that take you to places on the open web where ideas are developed at some length. So instead of relying on Twitter to mediate that, why not use an RSS reader and subscribe to a bunch of worthwhile sites? Cut out the middleman, I say. Plus, by using RSS you liberate yourself to some degree from dependence on proprietary services and get back to the open web. As Brent Simmons recently commented,
My blog’s older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It’s seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it’ll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.

The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.


And when I say “use RSS” I mean “use it in its original, open form”: technically speaking, Twitter is little more than proprietary RSS.

4) The past few months have been for me a season of cutting back and cutting down. In addition to my general-if-not-absolute absence from Big Twitter, I stopped reading the New York Times, and have reworked my RSS feeds to feature less news-of-the-moment and more stuff that could have longer-term value. I’ve been reading more books and longer articles. This has all been good.

5) Finally, one interesting (to me) bit of self-reporting: I have missed Big Twitter at certain moments, and most of them have occurred when I’ve thought of something to say that I think is funny. I want to tweet my witticism and then sit back and wait for retweets and faves. That’s pathetic, of course; but good for me to know."]
alanjacobs  twitter  2014  convresation  frankchimero  marcoarment  news  rss  understanding  misunderstanding  bigtwitter  provatetwitter  robinsonmeyer 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Designing in the Borderlands by Frank Chimero
"We spend a lot of time making arguments over how to choose sides on these splits. But after a lot of reflection, I’ve decided that I’m not particularly interested in choosing sides.

I want to be the line, and I want to mess with that line, because that line is a total fabrication. Why fall on the side of print or digital if what’s usually needed is both? Isn’t that a more interesting design problem? Why make books with only text or images if they get better with both? The questions go on and on.

Luckily, these distinctions were drawn by us, which means that we can redraw them. We can move the line, toe it, and breach it with a transgressive practice that tries to turn opposition into symbiosis. But you can only cross the line and confuse the distinction if you commit to the middle space.

These borderlands are the best place for a designer like me, and maybe like you, because the borderlands are where things connect. If you’re in the borderlands, your different tongues, your scattered thoughts, your lack of identification with a group, and all the things that used to be thought of as drawbacks in a specialist enclave become the hardened armor of a shrewd generalist in the borderlands."



"I learned a lot through the design process of The Shape of Design. First, that there are opportunities to produce projects that elegantly incorporate multiple mediums. One only needs to look for them. And second, that these design problems become easier to handle if one considers the system as a whole, instead of attempting to chop it up into separate pieces and attack it as smaller bits. Division reduces them in the same way that Massage, Electric Information Age Book, or The Shape of Design would be made small if the individual parts were isolated. The individual bits would be have differently, and the designer would miss the most important thing: these projects are important and big because they are multiple, and to temporarily make them not so is to misunderstand and misconstruct them. For these sorts of projects, my mantra has become:

Everything all at once.
Everything all together.



I had two goals today.

First, I wanted to articulate the biggest opportunity I see in design today: designer as translator, designer as integrator, designer as a merchant of ideas. We’ve built up so much knowledge that is tucked away in books and websites, and often all that’s needed to get that knowledge the attention it deserves is a gentle massage of tone and a switch of format. We can introduce physical materials to the web to reap the benefits of the network, but we can also translate the web’s content to the physical realm to stabilize it so it can be held and appreciated.

The second goal was to cast an additional mold for a designer, and to provide an explanation about why a person would want to go make weird little books and sit and write essays instead of working at an ad agency or startup for six figures. It’s worth documenting the different ways one can go about pursuing a design practice. There are many stories and paths, and I hope all of this is a reminder that the lines we draw to create the contours of our expectations can be disrupted. And that this disruption can, somehow, be soothing to those of us who identify as something different than the standard.

I’d like to finish by revisiting that Calvino quote:
Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification.

I hope you get the opportunity to do this at some point in your career, and that my conclusions will help those of you who identify as generalists. If you do not, perhaps I have convinced you that our conception of work is more flexible than we typically believe. The field is wide open; that is why it’s called a field."
generalists  frankchimero  creativity  design  borders  seams  interstitial  cv  trickster  departmentalization  interdisciplinary  dualism  transdisciplinary  print  digital  books  ebooks  bookfuturism  marshallmcluhan  quentinfiore  buckminsterfuller  multimedia  jeffreyschnapp  adammichaels  allsorts  italocalvino  translation 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero – This One’s for Me
"I’d say, the ability to let yourself off the hook becomes increasingly important as we live more of our lives in public, networked, and together, because small mistakes can quickly escalate. Like it or not, you are performing an uncanny valley version of yourself, because you’re being observed. Acting unnatural is only natural when you’ve got eyes on you."



"So what should you expect from yourself? Not much and everything, I guess. But what do I know? I haven’t solved any of life’s deep mysteries; I’m just a dumb 30-year-old monkey in pants, so I only know how to help myself feel good about my day to day. Most of the time when I give advice, I’m unconsciously doing a poor imitation of my mom, which is fitting, because she was probably the wisest person I’ve ever met. She’d say: be kind to yourself and others, and smile if you’re able. Take care of the people you love, and try to make yourself known and understood. Dial it down, work with your hands, keep it quiet, and share what you know.

Did you know that was the original slogan for the World Wide Web? Before we had disruption, innovation, changing the world, and giant piles of money, we had “share what you know.” Isn’t that nice? What a humble and auspicious beginning. All we have now is built upon that spirit, and I myself would like to get back to it.

***

I’ll wrap it up by sharing. My favorite Jimmy Stewart movie is Harvey. He plays Elwood P. Dowd, a man whose best friend is an imaginary six-foot tall rabbit. Yeah…

The movie has all sorts of quotable lines, but my favorite comes about halfway through, when Stewart does an imitation of his mother, and gives his philosophy on life to a man in the back alley of a bar. He says:
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.

Here’s to thirty years of pleasantness."
frankchimero  love  pleasantness  www  web  internet  howwelive  expectations  work  howwework  fulfillment  relationships  presentationofself 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Future of UI and the Dream of the ‘90s — UX/UI human interfaces — Medium
"In other words, we’re expected to translate our emotions through emotionless interfaces."



"While application interfaces probably don’t need to make use of immersive soundtracks, the addition of sound effects can add to a user’s experience (provided they have the option to opt-out.) Apps like Clear and Duolingo added cheery and triumphant sound effects to their completion actions. These sounds are a recognition of the user’s success and reinforces the visual mark of a, typically green, success state."



"What can we learn from the masters of animation and how can we apply that to our work in UI? Replicating what we see in everyday life reminds us of our personal experiences. In Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas’ book, The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, they outline 12 basic principles to creating more realistic animations.

While not the key point of an interface, we can apply these principles on a micro-level. Excellent examples of delightful animation can be seen in Tweetbot, Apple Maps and Vine."



"While seemingly a very obvious way to communicate—copy and how we deal with inputs is often overlooked. In our rush to replace popular actions with iconography, designers often forget that sometimes copy can be just as powerful.

We can make use of copy to speak to users conversationally, eliminate the chore of form input or provide discoverable and fun easter eggs. All three ways give the illusion of a person behind the product or device."
ux  helentran  ui  interface  2014  design  minorityreport  animation  emotions  sound  frankchimero  journey  clear  duolingo  vine  tweetbot  pixar  maps  mapping  copy  content  writing  gestures 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero × Blog × Concerning the Sandpit Outside My Studio Window
"Sometimes in the excitement of making new things, it becomes easy to lose sight of how it will mature. How will it look in six months? What will happen to it as the world around it changes? Does it have any true reason for existing? Often, doing nothing is better than the wrong thing."
slow  frankchimero  thinking  2014  time  slowdesign  lessismore  notdoing  treadsoftly  unconsumption 
january 2014 by robertogreco
on reading and flux - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"He then goes on to define high, medium, and low flux, and to describe some situations in which one or the other might be called for.

All this has me thinking about the degree of flux appropriate to different reading experiences. This seems to me highly variable according to genre and purpose. For instance, the New Republic’s iPad app is designed to offer higher flux than other magazine apps I’ve seen, which are minimally interactive: here you have poems that you can use your finger to slide into view, taps that activate deeper levels of content, and so on. Sometimes it’s too much, and at other times it takes too long to figure out how a given story works — they vary more than they ought to — but in general I like it. A good deal of thought has gone into the design, and moe often than not the interactions are appropriate to the particular story and help me to engage more fully with it.

But I would never want to read Anna Karenina this way. The kind of concentration demanded by a long, complex, serious novel cannot bear much, if any, flux. And unnecessary flux can readily be avoided by reading it in a codex — hooray for that! But if people do gradually shift more and more towards reading on some kind of screen or another, and screens become increasingly capable of variable degrees of flux (as e-ink screens currently are not), then we readers will be ever more dependent on designers who possess a deep sensitivity to context and purpose — pixel-based designers who are widely, as a matter of basic professional competence, as flexible and nuanced in their design languages as the best print-based designers are today. Or, at the very least, they’ll need to build in the possibility of opting out of their fluxier interfaces. As someone who’s headed for a more screen-based reading future, I’m a little naevous about all this."
flux  plasticity  alanjacobs  2013  frankchimero  text  reading  howweread  context  purpose 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero × Blog × Suggestions for Speakers
• Import ideas. Search for examples that are outside the purview of everyone in the audience. Novelty wins, so start somewhere unexpected and figure out a way to navigate toward your topic. For example, last week I gave a talk at Build about screens, but started with the composition of aspirin pills. In your search, look for common verbs with different nouns. In the case of technology and aspirin, both are getting smaller, yet have limits to their minimum size because of what we can grasp. Of course, novel examples require hunting. Good thing that process is fun.

• Write, then jump to Keynote as quickly as possible. Keep in mind lectures are visual, too. My process is usually writing, then into keynote, back into writing, and then another pass at Keynote. Also, consider using blank slides for your most critical points. The absense of visuals will force your audience to look at you, giving the point extra importance.

•A nice typeface on a dark background is good enough. Spend your time on the ideas and practicing the talk.



• Go in loops. It’s nice to come back to a thread that you dropped. Use recurring themes in your examples. Develop a thought to a question, say “I’m going to leave that question hanging for a bit,” then start somewhere else, and eventually link the new place to the the hanging question’s answer. I’m sure you can think of a bunch of other ways to do this. Leaving loops open creates anticipation. Resolving them creates closure. Both are necessary for a good talk.

• Have padding. Listening is hard work, especially if you’re at a conference and listening for 5 or 6 hours in a row. Help your audience along by keeping in a little bit of fluffiness, and changing beats every 10 minutes or so. For instance, last talk, I wanted to show that screens had no problem showing a lot of different kinds of imagery. Rather than saying that one simple sentence, I stretched it out for a couple minutes by showing a bunch of different images of horses. Now, this is definitely ridiculous, but it had a purpose—the example lets your brain rest for a minute and allows the previous points to sink in. It’s negative space. I like to think of this fluffiness as if they were establishing shots or B-reel in television. Every once in a while, your brain needs a break."
frankchimero  presentations  advice  speaking  keynote  publicspeaking  2013  design 
november 2013 by robertogreco
What Screens Want by Frank Chimero
"We need to work as a community to develop a language of transformation so we can talk to one another. And we probably need to steal these words from places like animation, theater, puppetry, dance, and choreography.

Words matter. They are abstractions, too—an interface to thought and understanding by communication. The words we use mold our perception of our work and the world around us. They become a frame, just like the interfaces we design."



"When I realized that, a little light went off in my head: a map’s biases do service to one need, but distort everything else. Meaning, they misinform and confuse those with different needs.

That’s how I feel about the web these days. We have a map, but it’s not for me. So I am distanced. It feels like things are distorted. I am consistently confused.

See, we have our own abstractions on the web, and they are bigger than the user interfaces of the websites and apps we build. They are the abstractions we use to define the web. The commercial web. The things that have sprung up in the last decade, but gained considerable speed in the past five years.

It’s the business structures and funding models we use to create digital businesses. It’s the pressure to scale, simply because it’s easy to copy bits. It’s the relationships between the people who make the stuff, and the people who use that stuff, and the consistent abandonment of users by entrepreneurs.

It’s the churning and the burning, flipping companies, nickel and diming users with in-app purchases, data lock-in, and designing with dark patterns so that users accidentally do actions against their own self-interest.

Listen: I’m at the end of a 4-month sabbatical, and I worry about this stuff, because the further I get from everything, the more it begins to look toxic. These pernicious elements are the primary map we have of the web right now.

We used to have a map of a frontier that could be anything. The web isn’t young anymore, though. It’s settled. It’s been prospected and picked through. Increasingly, it feels like we decided to pave the wilderness, turn it into a suburb, and build a mall. And I hate this map of the web, because it only describes a fraction of what it is and what’s possible. We’ve taken an opportunity for connection and distorted it to commodify attention. That’s one of the sleaziest things you can do.

So what is the answer? I found this quote by Ted Nelson, the man who invented hypertext. He’s one of the original rebel technologists, so he has a lot of things to say about our current situation. Nelson:
The world is not yet finished, but everyone is behaving as if everything was known. This is not true. In fact, the computer world as we know it is based upon one tradition that has been waddling along for the last fifty years, growing in size and ungainliness, and is essentially defining the way we do everything. My view is that today’s computer world is based on techie misunderstandings of human thought and human life. And the imposition of inappropriate structures throughout the computer is the imposition of inappropriate structures on the things we want to do in the human world.



We can produce a vision of the web that isn’t based on:

consolidation
privatization
power
hierarchies
surveillance

We can make a new map. Or maybe reclaim a map we misplaced a long time ago. One built on:

extensibility
openness
communication
community
wildness

We can use the efficiency and power of interfaces to help people do what they already wish more quickly or enjoyably, and we can build up business structures so that it’s okay for people to put down technology and get on with their life once their job is done. We can rearrange how we think about the tools we build, so that someone putting down your tool doesn’t disprove its utility, but validates its usefulness.



Let me leave you with this: the point of my writing was to ask what screens want. I think that’s a great question, but it is a secondary concern. What screens want needs to match up with what we want.

People believe there’s an essence to the computer, that there’s something true and real and a correct way to do things. But—there is no right way. We get to choose how to aim the technology we build. At least for now, because increasingly, technology feels like something that happens to you instead of something you use. We need to figure out how to stop that, for all of our sakes, before we’re locked in, on rails, and headed toward who knows what.

One of the reasons that I’m so fascinated by screens is because their story is our story. First there was darkness, and then there was light. And then we figured out how to make that light dance. Both stories are about transformations, about change. Screens have flux, and so do we."
frankchimero  2013  screens  flux  build2013  plasticity  jamesburke  plastic  skeoumorphs  containers  materials  change  transitions  perception  flatdesign  windowsphonemetro  ios7  software  replacement  shape  affordances  grain  design  paper  print  eadwardmuybridge  movement  motion  animation  customization  responsivewebdesign  responsiveness  variability  mutability  mutations  ux  interactiondesign  interfaces  language  ethanmarcotte  maps  mapping  representation  cartography  embodiedmeaning  respresentation  tednelson  computersareforpeople  softwareisforpeople  unfinished  responsivedesign 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero × Blog × Waste Need Not Waste
"Both the drums and Caro’s writing style are examples of people using redundancy and inefficiency to overcome ambiguity. Sometimes puffy writing is more efficient communication, because it’s the best way to get a complex idea through. I’m learning to appreciate that the clear thing isn’t always the simple thing, and that’s worth repeating."
frankchimero  2013  writing  clarity  robertcaro  jamesgleick  howwewrite  repetition  communication  complexity 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Atriums and Frame-Crashing – Allen Tan is…writing
"It turns out that there’s a rich well of writing already about context collapse – see Michael Wesch and Danah Boyd, among others – describing the paralysis that comes from writing (etc) online. You don’t know how to act because you don’t know who’s watching. This isn’t new, as Wesch compares it to talking to a video camera.

I think frame-crashing is the Jekyll to context collapse’s Hyde. While the latter is the current feeling of the disorientation, frame-crashing is an active act. You frame-crash when mockingly retweeting 15-year-olds who thought Cher died when seeing #nowthatchersdead. Journalists frame-crash when they quote cluelessly rascist people in stories about people of color. This isn’t a judgment about whether it’s fair (it varies), the point is that it’s done to someone."
allentan  danahboyd  michaelwesch  2013  contextcollapse  frame-crashing  marcfisher  tomscheinfeldt  mandybrett  bonniestewart  marksample  frankchimero  robinsloan  workinginpublic  ninastössinger  anandgiridharadas  audience  writing  feedback  vulnerability  iteration  online  journalism  sharing  purpose  audiences 
may 2013 by robertogreco
It's Nice That : Bookshelf this week comes out of Brooklyn and the library of The Believer's online editor, Max Fenton
"Max Fenton is stalwart of and evangelist for all sorts of reading and writing experiences, both on and off screen (particularly A Book Apart and Reading.am). He is also the online editor of The Believer magazine – a literary vehicle for very long essays and book reviews, a length absolutely justified by the overwhelming goodness of the content.

With this is mind, his shortlist of literary cornerstones was never going to be a simple compilation – especially if you peruse his ongoing bibliography – but that said, it’s a great quintuplet of poetry and alternative titles from known authors, contemporary writers with a tech and design bent and a few honorary bedside book mentions…"
maxfenton  booklists  books  toread  walterbenjamin  nickharkaway  2012  frankchimero  johnberger  jackgilbert  rebeccasolnit  sheilaheti  wendywalker  henrywessells  christopheralexander  adamlevin  desmondmorris  lists 
july 2012 by robertogreco
A search engine for unknown future queries · rogre · Storify
Bookmarking myself:

"Among many other topics, we discussed collections, loose tools (like Pinboard and Sagashitemiyo (something related to that, I think), or a simple tin box like the one that is featured in Amélie), pristineness (for lack of a better term), and clutter.

Dieter Rams' house came up (we only liked his workshop*), as did Scandinavian design, the desks of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Mark Twain (with a semblance of a system with what appears to be a mess), and Path (as mentioned here and by Frank Chimero).

Eventually, we made the connection to a scene in Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter, in which Ray's office is discussed. She essentially uses it as storage. No one else dares enter because it is overflowing with stuff. But, then, whenever something seems to be missing from a project that the office is working on, Ray mentions that she has just the right thing, disappears into her office, and returns with exactly the perfect object."
georgedyson  scandinavia  cv  onlinetoolkit  tools  play  containers  tinboxes  sagashitemiyo  amélie  frankchimero  path  alberteinstein  marktwain  stevejobs  dieterrams  googlereader  duckduckgo  learning  teaching  2837university  2011  2012  pinboard  del.icio.us  bookmarks  bookmarking  search  audiencesofone  stephendavis  allentan  eames  rayeames  storify  comments 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Week 2 - Weekly Dispatch
"a blog post by Tag Savage [http://sexpigeon.org/post/16729718345/path-puts-a-silly-amount-of-trust-in-its-avatars ] about Path’s user interface choices in their app. Central tennent: if a place is too pristine and planned, it can’t be colonized. Tag’s words:

"Path is pretty in the same designy way as our modern museums. […] These museums are very exciting when they open. You show up and marvel along with all of the other fans of architecture. Maybe you return for one of those nights where they stay open late and there is a band and drinking. “A great space,” you think. […] The art doesn’t get talked about so much at these museums."

Path is a monument to Path. It is no place to scribble in. I wish it longevity so that it might find shabbiness.

A tricky balance, to be sure, but one that must be navigated if a product is dependant on user’s content. Part of the product must be left undone to provide the opening for the user to contribute."
pristineness  usefulness  architecture  ownership  space  place  museums  over-planning  planning  tagsavage  frankchimero  wabi-sabi  comfort  approachability  shabbiness  2012  colonization  path 
february 2012 by robertogreco
via Frank : I was asked to speak at the AIGA National...
"Truth is, this phase, this time when you’re on the cusp of finishing one life and starting a new one, is usually laced with fear, but the bleary-eyed moment of wonder that happens when you step out of the dark cave has the potential to be one of the most thrilling things that has ever happened to you."

"We gain the opportunity to talk about other things in a very sympathetic way. Type and kerning are great. Paper is wonderful. Clients pretty much make this job possible. But what are we saying, and what is it for, and where is it going? What do we want to get out of this, and what do we want to do with it? Those are the sorts of questions you only arrive at from the seat of a plane."

"There is a part of me that will always design for the joy of making it, but I now understand that the point of it all is not for me to enjoy myself, but for the ones using whatever I make to have some sort of wonder when doing so."
frankchimero  change  life  design  cv  2011  purpose  glvo  making  empathy  work  howwework  conferences  aigapivot  aiga 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog: Everything you ever needed to know about design, answered in five minutes by Charles Eames.
"Everything you ever needed to know about design, answered in five minutes by Charles Eames.

The video was produced for the exhibition “Qu’est ce que le design?” (or What is Design?) at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais de Louvre in 1969. A full transcript of the interview can be found here, and the video is available as part of The Films of Charles & Ray Eames DVD set."
design  art  eames  charleseames  definition  frankchimero  action  creation  designethic  constraints 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog - The Man Who Carried The World
"I suppose the important question we should ask is what is the weight of following someone? Are there ways to make better judgements about how to handle these things rather than being willy-nilly with our attention? The benchmark I’ve been using lately is to equate psychic weight with physical weight…

Excess and access breed new problems, and we’re just now coming to grips with how we only have a fraction of the attention we believe we have. I’d suggest that the same is true about caring. We can only care about so many things at the same time, and once one realizes this, they begin to take the psychic load of others more seriously. It’s a precious commodity that deserves judicious rationing. And if you don’t believe me, it’s probably been a while since you’ve moved someone else’s sleeper sofa."
twitter  relationships  care  caring  empathy  frankchimero  2011 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog [On reading]
"I suppose what I’m saying is that the best art we make acts as a lens through which we see the world. It helps us make sense of things, feel empathized with. Reading, specifically, gives us words to describe the things we feel through the more able minds and hands of those that we read. We use art to understand things, and as a shorthand for experience, to create a space, describe it’s edges, and give it a face. Experiencing art is how we comprehend things and make ourselves aware to what was before only small and invisible. I suppose not reading is a bit like cutting off your thumbs: you’ll never be able to grasp anything."
reading  meaning  meaningmaking  art  understanding  peoplesmarterthanus  sensemaking  description  mobydick  lonesomedove  frankchimero  2011  moby-dick 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog - Sorting a Mass
"Right now, chronological ordering is the default way to arrange content online, & I wonder how that blanket presumption affects curation on the web. Does it make sense, because people check in frequently, or is it odd, like sorting a stack of photographs alphabetically by who is in them? There are indeed instances where sorting by time is the correct path, but it will be exciting over the next few months and years to see what happens to the web as we recognize the instances where the newest thing is not necessarily the most important thing. (And, as always, the additional problem on top of this: can this sorting process be automated?)

But can you curate on the web? Most curation comes to a point through narrative, and is narrative possible on the web? Stories require a certain amount of linearity, and we all know how the web disrupts that. Maybe it is the same problem that video games have, where interactivity subverts storytelling…"

[This article is now here: http://frankchimero.com/writing/2011/sorting-a-mass/ ]
web  curation  collecting  curating  sorting  frankchimero  storytelling  scrolling  2011  collections  bookmarks  bookmarking  flickr  interactivity  location  alphabet  hierarchy  categorization  time  chronology  chronoogical  pagination 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog - The Storm and The Line
"…“changer les idées”… to do something different to clear one’s head.…to take a break, to have a rest, but most importantly…an interruption of routine…“to change one’s ideas.” Sometimes…inflicted on us…other times we may choose to do it for ourselves. If the world can be reinvented, we should reassess our presumptions and ideas, especially when we find ourselves in situations that shake us to the core…

…everything we do, everything we make, is not about the beginning or the end of things. We may draw a line, but we are in the thick of life. We make for these middle parts. Every time we sit down to write, draw, design, paint, dance, we do so because we believe there will be a tomorrow. Every movement and each creation says, “The world is not done yet.” To make is to be optimistic. We get to make tomorrow for ourselves and one another, and we are lucky, because we are allowed to be engaged with the world and one another in this way…"
design  culture  writing  language  life  nicholsonbaker  creativity  creating  making  doing  glvo  optimism  change  meaning  meaningmaking  happiness  sadness  emotions  frankchimero  routine  disruption  disruptive  disruptors  action 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero’s Blog - The Storm and The Line
"…“changer les idées”… to do something different to clear one’s head.…to take a break, to have a rest, but most importantly…an interruption of routine…“to change one’s ideas.” Sometimes…inflicted on us…other times we may choose to do it for ourselves. If the world can be reinvented, we should reassess our presumptions and ideas, especially when we find ourselves in situations that shake us to the core…

…everything we do, everything we make, is not about the beginning or the end of things. We may draw a line, but we are in the thick of life. We make for these middle parts. Every time we sit down to write, draw, design, paint, dance, we do so because we believe there will be a tomorrow. Every movement and each creation says, “The world is not done yet.” To make is to be optimistic. We get to make tomorrow for ourselves and one another, and we are lucky, because we are allowed to be engaged with the world and one another in this way…"
design  culture  writing  language  life  nicholsonbaker  creativity  creating  making  doing  glvo  optimism  change  meaning  meaningmaking  happiness  sadness  emotions  frankchimero  routine  disruption  disruptive  disruptors  action 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Squishy Not Slick - Squishy Not Slick
"Squishy Teaching =

Spontaneous - Unique - Particular - Tailored - Entangled - Mixed together - Woven - Patched - Organic - Rebel Forces - Poetic - Ambiguous - Emotional - Non-linear - Non-sequenced - Inquisitive - Inextricably-linked - Constructivist - Experiential - Holistic - Democratizing - Authentic - Collaborative - Adaptive - Complicated - Contextual - Relational

Slick Teaching =

Mass produced - Psychologically manipulative - Planned years in advance - Manufactured - Imperial - Hegemonic - Afraid - Spreadsheeted - Shallow - Narcotizing - Cauterizing - Anti-intellectual - Uncritical - Uncreative - Emotionless - Scripted - Juking the stats - Dropout factories - Assembly-lined"
lukeneff  teaching  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  squishy  slick  frankchimero  pedagogy  holisticapproach  holistic  constructivism  democratic  ambiguity  audiencesofone  individualization  emotions  empathy  authenticity  spontaneity  collaboration  collaborative  adaptability  adaptive  context  contextual  relationships  meaning  sensemaking  meaningmaking  meaningfulness  dialogue  discussion  dialog 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Sharing and Giving, Collections and Gifts
"This is what good gifts feel like. We are educated to the nature of them so that we may appreciate them more fully. This is the point of sharing something…For us to properly value it, we must understand the quality of it & have a story to understand why it is so precious. Something travels from me to you, & in the process, we both gain.

…odd when we talk about writing: our modes are at extreme ends of spectrum in size of audience. We typically discuss writing for ourselves vs publishing for many, but don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about what it is like to write for 1 person. We may write for 1 individual frequently thru things like email, but it is not often considered, & hardly ever celebrated. My friend Rob Giampietro said “there’s something about writing for 1 other person, the epistle, the letter, the thought that’s offered to someone specifically—it’s very special indeed.” He said this in an email…makes the point self-referential in the best possible way."
sharing  gifts  collections  storytelling  frankchimero  robgiampietro  audience  audiencesofone  explaining  description  sensemaking  meaning  social  cv  oneonone  2011 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Reading Readiness—A Little Bit on A Lot
"…the student seeks out the master & their tutelage. More than tips, tricks, & practices, the understanding is that the thing of enduring value that is being transmitted is knowledge & wisdom, which opens a way to method. The student arrives & the master questions their abilities. Often, the student gets turned away. The purpose of the master turning away the student or questioning their intentions is to underline the importance of readiness."

"The lesson of the master is that if one isn’t ready to face a large task (say, a wall of text), they should not even try. “Go away,” the master usually says. Come back later, when you have more presence and mindfulness, Frank. Readiness may be in 20 minutes, later in the week, in a few months, possibly never."

"We should allow ourselves to leave behind the things we are not ready for; we may come back to it later. Instead, we should read hard on the things to which we are ready. It is then that we may be better students."
teaching  learning  justinintimelearning  writing  wisdom  reading  attention  blogs  blogging  readiness  life  knowledge  apprenticeships  unschooling  deschooling  timing  education  students  tcsnmy  lcproject  meaning  sensemaking  audiencesofone  frankchimero 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The Setup: Frank Chimero
"I’d like a more flexible, faster all-in-one inbox for my digital detritus. For some reason, DevonThink, Yojimbo, & Evernote aren’t cutting it for me. Tumblr is close, but not quite it. I’d like something that successfully handles images in tandem w/ text, because that’s how my brain works. I have this dream of having a management interface very similar to a hybrid of LittleSnapper & Yojimbo, & then a “serendipity engine” application for iPad. It’d be a bit like Flipboard where things are served up at random from your collection for browsing. That’s the flaw of all of these things, in my mind: they encourage you to get things in, but aren’t optimized for revisiting it in a way that lacks linearity or classification. If you’re looking to make constellations of content, I think the way your collection is presented back to you matters. I guess what I’m asking for is a digital rendition of the commonplace book, & serious rethinking of what advantages digital could provide…"
frankchimero  hardware  software  thesetup  tools  howwework  commonplacebooks  dropbox  devonthink  yojimbo  evernote  macbookair  photoshop  illustrator  muji  notebooks  tumblr  serendipity  discovery  iphone  kindle  lumixgf1  appletv  netflix  texteditor  gmail  instapaper  simplenote  rdio  itunes  reeder  2011  usesthis 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Designer’s Poison
"1. lack of definition for design…ironic that group of communicators can’t summon definition for their practice…2. public’s general understanding of design as noun…many clients believe value of designer is things that they make…designer, meanwhile, believes that core of their value comes from process, strategy…3. Not considering design a liberal art, & entrenching ourselves in opinion that this is craft for few, rather than skill for many…4. miseducation of a designer…Schools would be wise to focus activity around objectives rather than tasks…5. Asking the wrong questions.…How, the other on Why…6. Designers wanting a seat at table, but frequently not inviting clients…7. The self-serving nature of design…8. Villainizing criticism…9. Undervaluing philosophy…The core question of Aristotilian philosophy and ethics is “What is the good life?” How is such a desirous question not brought up more frequently…10. Our cognitive bias towards uniqueness of our challenges."
frankchimero  cv  advice  design  communication  why  how  craft  tasks  objectives  business  clients  criticism  philosophy  happiness  well-being  meaning  values  clarity  ethics  bias  cognitivebias  definitions  2011  thisishuge  practice  holisticapproach  authority  dicussion  aiga  work  glvo  twitter 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - On #winning
"And with this fixation on winning, declaring the win state for things gets to be really interesting. There’s no “winning” in hardly any of this, because to win a buzzer needs to sound, competition must end. There isn’t an end, but how would one win at the future? At technology? And so on? I’m a lot less interested in considering winning in the context of exploiting and victimizing other people, but rather situations and systems where “winning” results in something good, per Mr. Obama’s intent, I presume. On a personal level, what if winning is bigger and more important than just merely getting what you want?

Perhaps one wins at the internet by handling the most amount of information with the least amount of prejudice. Maybe “winning” at education is the student learning things without being at the whims of the institution, turning learning into an inquiry of the mind—chasing questions rather than collecting other people’s answers."
2011  winning  competition  learning  education  frankchimero  inquiry  questions  questioning  rttt  winningthefuture  racetonowhere 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Classroom Rules
"This, plus a schedule, forms the totality of my syllabus this term.

1. Give it your best. Work hard. Be respectful. Show up on time. Be physically & mentally present. Anything less than your best is a waste of your time, mine, & that of your classmates.

2. Show the work every day. Tight feedback loops allow for an iterative process…

3. Question everything, propose answers. Everything is an investigation. There are no nevers…

4. Momentum matters. Creativity is equal parts momentum, insight, and craft. We will move fast to build stamina. Art is long, life is short.

5. Don’t wait for permission. Go off and try it.

6. Every classroom is a lab. Investigate. Experiment. Report back to your peers.

7. Assignments are incomplete until one is competent…

8. Grades are a false metric…

9. Getting better. The point of all education is to get better…

10. Rules are stupid. Be smart. Be respectful. Work hard. Reflect often. Strive for insight. Work to get better."
design  learning  teaching  rules  frankchimero  sistercorita  iteration  work  doing  respect  education  grades  grading  momentum  persistence  improvement  classideas  cv  syllabus  hardwork  questioning  criticalthinking  glvo  permission  insight  2011  tcsnmy  lcproject  coritakent  syllabi 
march 2011 by robertogreco
“Cure for the Common Font” — A Web Designer’s Introduction to Typeface Selection | Typography Commentary | Typographica
"Now that web designers suddenly face the challenge (and delight) of choosing fonts from an ever-growing selection, we thought it’s a good time to recommend some basic principles for making wise type choices.<br />
The slides from each of our four quick presentations are below, as well as audio generously provided by SXSW. If you’re short on time and feel like you know the fundamentals, skip ahead to the second half of the session — I think the Q&A is as useful as our prepared stuff."
frankchimero  tiffanywardle  jasonsantamaria  typeface  design  graphicdesign  typography  fonts  howto  noobs  stephencoles  typographica 
march 2011 by robertogreco
A noteworthy feed « Snarkmarket
"I would like to take a moment to recommend an eclectic tumblr called Noteworthy and Not. I would then like to take another moment to note that its author is my mom.

Over the last few years, my parents have both jumped into the bright bubbling conversation of the internet with both feet—reading lots and lots of stuff, across a whole spectrum of subjects, and increasingly sharing a bit of what they find. My dad is more of a Google Reader sharer, so I won’t out him here. But my mom has been posting to a tumblr for a while now, and you know, wow—it’s really good!

This fun, meditative little video was a recent find. I like the short, stirring comment on this post. This is a trip. Here’s homage to A Journey Round My Skull… and of course, Fuckyeahfrankchimero.

Highly recommended." [As is the comments thread on this post too.]
bettyannsloan  robinsloan  handmeups  handmedowns  generations  snarkmarket  commenting  timcarmody  tumblr  mattthompson  frankchimero  steppingout  snarkmarketcommentertoblogger 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Shape of Design, a new book by Frank Chimero
"It’s a field guide for makers, a book for the people who believe that the world is not yet done. It’s a handbook for the emerging skillset: improvisation, storytelling, embracing paradox, honoring craft, and delighting audiences.<br />
<br />
More than anything, it’s a book of suggestions to how we can make things that help us to live better."
theshapeofdesign  books  frankchimero  design  improvisation  storytelling  paradox  craft  delight  kickstarter 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Velocity
"It is tempting to think there are no beginnings, no rebirths. Every new day we have to live with yesterday. That doesn’t mean we can’t change. Change is slower than we think. It sneaks up on us. We can’t shed our skin like snakes, we replace our cells, one-by-one. We cross-fade into becoming new people. One day you wake up & look in the mirror and say “Who is this person?”…

But when we travel, we move more rapidly than the rest of the world. We change faster, revise who we are quicker. I think when we travel our cells replace themselves with more rapidity. We may not be able to shed our skin, but through the sheer velocity of movement, we slough off our old selves.

But that furniture is still in the same spot when we return home. Mostly, it seems that things will be as they were before. And yet, not. Things are different now. I know it. They WILL be different. And better. This time through, I’ll be better. At least that is how it feels…"
frankchimero  change  perspective  travel  newzealand  airports  human  slow  velocity  urgency  improvement  self-improvement  clarity  accidents  serendipity  time 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Shape of Design by Frank Chimero — Kickstarter
"The Shape of Design isn't going to be a text book. The project will be focused on Why instead of How. We have enough How; it's time for a thoughtful analysis of our practice and its characteristics so we can better practice our craft. After reading the book, I want you to look at what you do in a whole new light. Design is more than working for clients.

But really, this book aims to look at the mindset and worldview that designing develops in order to answer one big, important question: How can we make things that help all of us live better?"
frankchimero  books  kickstarter  design  why 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Setup
"A person only flails around in regards to their rig when they don’t have a clear idea of what constitutes their work. Suitability and fit is paramount, and one is never going to find what they’re looking for if they don’t know what they need. So, I looked at my work, I watched how I used my computer for a day, and found out all I do is draw vector shapes, surf the web, listen to music, and bash words out in plain text. That’s hardly the type of activity that requires computational brute force, though I understand there are some of you out there that require just that. Not me though. Nope.

And these computers? As much as I love fiddle-faddling with the damn things, I mostly just want to forget I have one and get on with saying stuff and making things. I realized that I valued freedom more than power, flexibility more than blazing speed. I want the choice of being able to be mobile, and to carry around my whole setup with me at all times without much inconvenience."
frankchimero  setup  mac  osx  macbookair  ipad  iphone  applications  work  workflow  workspace  mobilestudio  software  cv  freedom  mobility  neo-nomads  nomadism  nomads  computers  computing  fit  howwework  thesetup  2011  workspaces  ios  usesthis 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Your Shit, My Stuff, Goldilocks, and Making the Bed You Sleep In
"There’s no name for this way of thinking, but if I had to steal a term, I’d use Merlin Mann’s Appropriatism. It’s not minimalism, it’s not maximalist, it’s just-right-ism. Goldilocks was on to something. The idea sits somewhere in the middle, exactly at the crux of whatever works the best with the least amount. The core precept of all of it is this:

“Add things until it starts sucking, take things away until it stops getting better.”

We’re looking for that sweet spot, the thing that fits just right, plus or minus zero. With that said, this isn’t a zen, simple living blog post. By being an apostle for nothingness, we lose touch with reality. Philosophy is worthless if it is not practical. My intent is to be helpful and useful, not dogmatic. Your mileage may vary, if only because of differing needs."
frankchimero  merlinmann  appropriatism  minimalism  steadfast  hot-swap  access  optimization  freedom  personalization  needs  needsassessment  fit  beauty  utility 
january 2011 by robertogreco
All hail the humble component « Snarkmarket
Frank Chimero: "I like the term steadfast for these components [durable], and calling the more ephemeral technologies “hot-swap” because you swap them out without shutting down the system."
steadfast  hot-swap  robinsloan  frankchimero  shopping  plannedobsolescence  longevity  plannedlongevity  durability  ephemeralization  electronics  clothing  media  snarkmarket 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Master of metaphor > Robin Sloan
"Aris­to­tle via Frank Chimero:

"The great­est thing by far is to be a mas­ter of metaphor. It is the one thing that can­not be learned from oth­ers; it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an eye for resemblance."

Noth­ing reveals like a good metaphor. And I think—just mak­ing this up, here—that maybe metaphor­i­cal think­ing and empa­thy might live in the same part of the brain. I won­der: if you’re autis­tic, do you have a tough time with metaphors—understanding and/​or craft­ing them?"
metaphor  empathy  robinsloan  frankchimero  aristotle  resemblance  understanding  learning  genius  autism 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Film History 101 (via Netflix Watch Instantly) « Snarkmarket
"Robin is absolutely right: I like lists, I remember everything I’ve ever seen or read, and I’ve been making course syllabi for over a decade, so I’m often finding myself saying “If you really want to understand [topic], these are the [number of objects] you need to check out.” Half the fun is the constraint of it, especially since we all now know (or should know) that constraints = creativity."

[See also Matt Penniman's "Sci-fi Film History 101" list: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6492 ]
film  netflix  history  cinema  movies  timcarmody  snarkmarket  teaching  curation  curating  constraints  lists  creativity  forbeginners  thecanon  pairing  sharing  expertise  experience  education  learning  online  2010  frankchimero  surveycourses  surveys  web  internet  perspective  organization  succinct  focus  design  the101  robinsloan  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  reference  pacing  goldcoins  surveycasts 
december 2010 by robertogreco
The 101 « Snarkmarket
"Some of the teachers I remember most from college are the ones who would say something like: “Listen. There are only two movies you need to understand to understand [whole giant big cinematic movement X]. Those two movies are [A] and [B]. And we’re gonna watch ‘em.” (I feel like this is something Tim is extremely good at, actually.) It’s a step above curation, right? Context matters here; so does sequence. So we’re talking about some sort of super-sharp, web-powered, media-rich syllabus. I always liked syllabi, actually. They seem to make such an alluring promise, you know? Something like:

Go through this with me, and you will be a novice no more."
curation  curating  robinsloan  frankchimero  lists  organization  experience  expertise  teaching  learning  online  web  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  forbeginners  reference  2010  pacing  goldcoins  surveys  surveycourses  the101  education  internet  perspective  succinct  focus  design  history  constraints  creativity  thecanon  pairing  sharing  surveycasts 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Two Best Things on the Web 2010
"My top two choices, however, stood tall as perhaps the best stock I’ve had the pleasure of reading on the web, both in terms of their scope, but more interestingly about how they treated their content and audience. There’s a pattern here that I enjoy. I’d like to introduce you to them, and hopefully in the process make a bit of a point about the direction I want the web to take in the next year."

"I suppose I’m hungry for curated educational materials online. These are more than lists of books to read: they’re organized, edited, and have a clear point of view about the content they are presenting, and subvert the typical scatter-shot approach of half the web (like Wikipedia), or the hyper-linear, storyless other half that obsesses over lists. And that’s the frustrating thing about trying to teach yourself things online: you’re new, so you don’t know what’s important, but everything is spread so thin and all over the place, so it’s difficult to make meaningful connections."
education  learning  online  lists  2010  frankchimero  surveycourses  surveys  teaching  forbeginners  web  internet  curating  curation  perspective  organization  succinct  focus  design  history  constraints  creativity  thecanon  pairing  sharing  expertise  experience  the101  robinsloan  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  reference  pacing  goldcoins  surveycasts 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Proust, Busyness, Speed
"Concise accounts are not without their pleasures, but there is a special joy to mulling over a thought, occurrence, or idea for a long while, no matter how small. According to Alain de Botton in his How Proust Can Change Your Life:

"The lesson? To hang on to the performance. To read the newspaper as though it were only the tip of a tragic or comic novel, and to use thirty pages to describe falling to sleep when need be.

And if there is no time, at least to resist the approach [of many], …which Proust defined as “the self satisfaction felt by busy men, however idiotic their business, at not having time to do what you are doing.”"

Which makes me think. Busyness is not speed, but they are certainly brothers, because the faster we go, the busier we get. And according to Proust, these are not the defaults of the world or a quality indicative of it. The truth is that we opt into speed. And it’s worth spending time on that idea.

Maybe even for 40 pages."
speed  frankchimero  proust  alaindebotton  slow  slowness  time  being  hereandnow  busyness  marcelproust 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — A Love of Words
"People who love ideas must have a love of words. They will take a vivid interest in the clothes that words wear." —Beatrice Warde
ideas  words  beatricewarde  frankchimero  writing  communication  expression  sharing 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Design must be free, because it is a liberal art for all, while at the same time it is the craft and trade of a few.
"If design is visual communication, it should be treated as such: as a means for people to transmit what they think, what they feel, and as a way to amplify their message, whatever that may be. Teaching people about design in no way nullifies the value of designers, much in the same way that teaching someone to write does not dismiss the value of the work of Shakespeare, an essayist at the New Yorker, or a copywriter. Learning to write teaches us to organize thought and how to communicate with one another. I believe design can do the same when taught at a mass scale. [quote here] I guess what I’m saying is that an understanding by the masses doesn’t negate the value of the specialists. Or, more simply: if we think it’s important, let’s teach everyone."
education  design  democracy  communication  typography  frankchimero  liberalarts  newliberalarts  understanding  thinking  appreciation  designappreciation 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - A Little Bit About Enthusiasm and Hype
"If you want to make things people are enthusiastic about, you must start with a message or content people can be excited about. Sincerely. Enthusiasm isn’t some sort of icing you can smear on top of anything. Do that, and it’s hype. Hype at its best is embraced and then quickly forgotten. At its worst, it’s loathed.

One has to start with good stuff, whether that be a great message, a great product, or a great idea. Designing largely is professional piggy-backing on other people’s content (and sometimes inventing your own.) Garbage in, garbage out. Start with good stuff."
advertising  frankchimero  design  philosophy  tcsnmy  content  substance  enthusiasm  message  value  longevity  memory 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - How to Have an Idea [The sequence quoted here is like the difference between standardized testing and formative assessment.]
A computer's brain: "You bough socks on Amazon! You'll *love* these sock monkey dolls! (erm, no, I won't …)" [You scored in the top ten percent of kids in the nth grade nationally. You must be smart!]<br />
<br />
Human brain: "You bought socks! This reminds me of this one time that my friend Mitch and I… (illogical, but hopefully meaningful)" [You helped out a classmate. And you mentioned how their predicament reminded you of something you struggled with over the summer, something that was completely unrelated except for the emotional reaction that it got out of you. Watching and helping your classmate gave you a better understanding of yourself and motivated you to share how you have changed. You are a thoughtful and caring person.]<br />
<br />
"Our brains are not computers. Effectiveness is measured by the quality of the illogical connections, not logical ones."
creativity  howto  invention  mindmapping  frankchimero  brain  human  computing  ideas  thinking  tcslj  topost  to  share 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Happiness is not crafted. Happiness emerges.
"Our relation to happiness often betrays an unconscious desire for disillusionment. The wanting of it & having of it can seem like 2 quite different things. & this is what makes wishing so interesting; because wishing is always too knowing. When we wish we are too convinced of our pleasures, too certain that we know what we want. The belief that we can arrange our happiness—as though happiness were akin to justice, which we can work towards—may be to misrecognise the very thing that concerns us." [Adam Phillips: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/sep/04/adam-phillips-the-happiness-myth]<br />
<br />
"To try to define or explain or even sometimes pursue happiness feels to be a quagmire. Happiness is not a new problem & there wasn’t much I could add to the conversation…There is no need for redundancy.<br />
<br />
…best rumination on happiness…Maira Kalman’s blog And The Pursuit of Happiness. No where is there a mention of “this is how you achieve it.” The perspective is always “this is what I saw.”"
frankchimero  adamphillips  happiness  wanting  mairakalman  observation  noticing 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Kanye West, media cyborg « Snarkmarket
"At some point in your life, you meet a critical mass of smart, fun, interesting people, and a depressing realization hits: There are too many. You’ll never meet all the people that you ought to meet. You’ll never have all the conversations that you ought to have. There’s simply not enough time."

"Media lets you clone pieces of yourself and send them out into the world to have conversations on your behalf. Even while you’re sleeping, your media —your books, your blog posts, your tweets—is on the march. It’s out there trying to making connections. Mostly it’s failing, but that’s okay: these days, copies are cheap. We’re all Jamie Madrox now."

[Pair of tweets from me in response: (1) .@robinsloan's "clone[d] pieces of yourself" + classroom of middle schoolers = @fchimero's "past me just punked present me" = my every day AND (2) Context for previous tweet: "clone[d] pieces of yourself" http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6262 & "past me just punked present me" http://bit.ly/9afv3q ]

[URLs for my tweets quoted above: http://twitter.com/rogre/status/24637354857 AND http://twitter.com/rogre/status/24637637721 ]
snarkmarket  robinsloan  kanyewest  cyborgs  media  timeshifting  atemporality  mediaextensions  tools  mediaprostheses  conversation  mediaextandability  mediacyborgs  timmaly  cv  teaching  scale  frustration  slow  toolittletime  time  frankchimero  tcsnmy  celebrity 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Back Side of Your Gullet Is Decadent and Depraved, Part 4 [The beatiful ending to a great series, so well worth the wait. This is a must read.]
"Half of balance is just believing you have it…A man needs a playground, otherwise he’ll wither away…The good classes feel like they teach you the opposite of what they promised…You forget what it’s like to be light, nimble, & open, & those qualities are important for someone on a quest, even if they leave you vulnerable…Every kind of work must disfigure you in some way…Does criticism come from the opposite place that teaches you how to enjoy life?…both of them were stretching the truth a little bit, just so they could tell the truth about how they felt to one another. There was a beauty to that: lying to be wholly honest…Isn’t it good to be a little dissatisfied? Who would ever do anything if they believed everything was already good enough?…if you shine a light bright enough, maybe the world wouldn’t stop being a mess, but at least maybe you could be lucky enough see a small, glittering, beautiful little piece of it."
frankchimero  nourishment  meaning  balance  life  wisdom  design  criticism  desire  relationships  happines  memories  truth  tcsnmy  dissection  belief  play  well-being  friendship  hope  beauty  youth  age  work  topost  toshare 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - There is a Horse in the Apple Store
"When does the magic of a situation fade? When do we get acclimated to the exceptional? Is this how we get by? Would anything get done if we were constantly gobsmacked? Is this how we survive, how we stay sane? We define a pattern, no matter how exceptional, and acclimate ourselves to it?"
zombieculture  spoiledbywonders  apple  ponies  frankchimero  awareness  noticing  2010  aponyintheapplestore  tinypony  tinyponies  lookup  lookaround  humor  applestore  learning  curiosity  children  toshare  topost 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Robert Krulwich on Wondering
"Noticing is tough, yet rewarding work, & it begs to be documented. We’ve more tools than ever to do so. I’ve done some documenting of my own. I walk everywhere with a phone camera in my pocket, & I suspect you do too, so documenting visuals is easy. I can type on my phone, so I can capture text or overheard conversations. I can record video if necessary. And then? I can dump it to a Twitter account or a Tumblr blog to catalog everything. And then, if it is good? Maybe if the noticing started to arrange into larger patterns or there got to be a lot of documentation, I could maybe even print up a book of all the things I had noticed. …

As a person constantly in a position to produce words or designs or ideas, or whatever it may be, it feels good to give myself permission to kick back and inquisitively absorb things as they come. Part of noticing isn’t seeking, it’s highly reliant on serendipity and unexpected relevancy."
frankchimero  noticing  photography  sound  recording  audio  robertkrulwich  serendipity  patterns  patternrecognition 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Genius Bar | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"There's a horse in the Apple store.
And no one is looking at it. But me."
frankchimero  noticing  obliviousness  horses  applestore  geniusbar 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Cooking, Magic, Jamming Your Own Stuff Through the Machine & Changing Everything
[Frank: Thanks. That Grant Achatz piece came along while digging around online after seeing "A Day at El Bulli" [Phaidon] at the bookstore—some old-fashioned serendipity there. Don't miss this (bookmarked a year ago): http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6105.html &, for the record, on Sunday, my kids were remarking about my actual sense of smell.]

"I’m not sure I know specifically what magic is, but maybe it is encountering a good impossibility. We don’t run into many Willy Wonkas or Walt Disneys in our lives: someone who has a completely different viewpoint than our own, & somehow, through sheer talent or brute force, builds a temple to that point of view."… "I think the future belongs to designers who can create their own content; to designers who have a point of view about the world. To folks who can make people respond to what they make and build an audience and then let them support that point of view." … "At this point in my life, I believe the future of design is the polymath."
frankchmero  magic  design  ferranadrià  elbulli  vision  meaning  purpose  ego  serendipity  frankchimero  polymaths  generalists  future  cv  glvo  experience  surprise  delight  creativity  imagination  personality  audience 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Anonymous asked: What advice would you give to a graphic design student? [This is not just for graphic design students.]
"Look people in the eyes when you are talking or listening to them. The best teachers are the ones who treat their classrooms like a workplace, & the worst are ones who treat their classroom like a classroom as we’ve come to expect it… Libraries are a good place. The books are free there, & it smells great… beat them by being more thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is free & burns on time & empathy… The best communicators are gift-givers… Don’t become dependent on having other people pull it out of you while you’re in school. If you do, you’re hosed once you graduate. Keep two books on your nightstand at all times: one fiction, one non-fiction… Buy lightly used. Patina is a pretty word & beautiful concept… Learn to write, & not school-style writing… Most important things happen at a table. Food, friends, discussion, ideas, work, peace talks & war plans. It is okay to romanticize things a little bit every now & then: it gives you hope… Everyone is just making it up as they go along."

[Book list: http://blog.frankchimero.com/post/993864785/you-put-together-the-remarkable-text-playlist-along ]
advice  design  education  frankchimero  empathy  thoughtfulness  patina  beausage  teaching  learning  interestingness  libraries  books  work  life  careers  glvo  tcsnmy  writing  craft  whatmatters  meaning  mindfulness  hope  truth  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  gifts  self-directed  self-education  relationships  discipline  graphics  graphicdesign  tools  wisdom  toshare  topost 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Back Side of Your Gullet is Decadent and Depraved, Part 3
"I’ve been around a long time, & most of the work has always been bad. Half of it is always below average: that’s how math works. Don’t think things are special now. They’re just different. The thing with the past is that you forget about all the bad stuff. It fades, disappears, because it’s not memorable. It’s just mundane, forgettable garbage.”

"That’s what it’s like to care about something. That’s what it’s like to love, & you can’t be cool & love something at the same time, whether it’s a girl or a place or a message or an idea. You love it because you see the infinite potential in it. And that’s what it takes to make something really wonderful. You need to gush & love."

"Craft is love manifest."

"Research wasn’t research, it was flailing for something good, something meaningful, something nourishing; a quest for substance with no logical end. It was getting stuck in a revolving door & thinking that you were going some where because you had taken so many steps."
frankchimero  love  craft  glvo  iteration  dedication  profound  forgetting  memory  good  bad  experience  emotion  tcsnmy  creativity  creation  nourishment  research  cv  spinningwheels  substance  meaning  misdirection  distraction  attention 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Back Side of Your Gullet is Decadent and Depraved, Part 2
"What was nourishing creative work? “Maybe it does what nourishing food does,” I thought. “It fills a void. Fills us up. Maybe makes us stop wanting for just a little, brilliant moment.”

Yes, that…

Let’s see, nourishing creative work: To Kill a Mockingbird. Citizen Kane. Shakespeare. You know, stuff that speaks to our essential human nature, the canonical creative output of human-kind…

"Committing to making nourishing things might be resigning myself to a life of stuffiness, corduroy blazers, NPR pledge drives, & raw food diets. Surely there must be some nourishing things out there that are fun, right? I redrew my list as a graph…

The top right was the place. It was the challenge. Fun, but not vapid. That’s where I wanted my work to live at all costs: fun & nourishing. I closed my eyes & imagined biting into a ripe peach, large enough to share, but delicious enough to not want to.

“This is what success tastes like…”"
creativity  graphs  frankchimero  nourishment  culture  fun  unfun  notnourishing  soul  fulfillment  enjoyment  bliss  glvo  maps  mapping  quality  purpose 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Back Side of Your Gullet Is Decadent and Depraved, Part 1
"This all happened, more or less. Something happened here and something happened there, and as life tends to do, it slowly changes you. Time erodes us, but it’s adds to us too. Take a particle, leave a particle. It shapes us and we change. And then we look back and sort all of that into a story to make sense of why we are the way we are. This is a story about a few things that have happened to me—"
storytelling  frankchimero  visualculture  nutrition  nourishment  culture  consumption 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Utility Ambiguity [Frank describes the iPad, iPhone, and Twitter in way that suggests these tools were built knowing that, as William Gibson said, "the street will find its own uses for things"]
"It’s why Twitter is so different from Facebook. The value proposition of Facebook is clear: stay in contact with friends and share with them. But what do you use Twitter for? No one knows, because there’s no right way to use it. It’s why it fascinates some, and beguiles others. Twitter can’t even craft a clear value proposition on their homepage to say what the site is for. If you are someone who needs convincing, that’s frustrating, because everyone is talking about Twitter. If you are observant, it’s a sign that something big is happening. It’s not a hammer with one specific use. It’s not even a swiss army knife that can do many different things. It’s more akin to two pieces of stone, from which you can make your own tool: arrowhead or hand axe."
twitter  ipad  iphone  facebook  tools  human  ingenuity  frankchimero  socialmedia  media  technology  design  apple  consumer  gaming  innovation  html  utility  ux  makeyourowntool  ambiguity  multipurpose  defineityourself  whatcanyoudowiththis  onlinetoolkit  moldability 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Your blog sucks. And your work. And probably mine too.
"we “visual” people need to get off of our asses & write. Sounds painful, but I’m not talking about standardized-test/public-school, 5-paragraph-format, “This-leads-me-to-conclude” writing. I’m talking about real writing that communicates. Intended outcomes are labeled, process is documented, & you say why something was made into being. Tell me why.

I want more writing like Liz Danzico’s or Jason Santa Maria’s. I want thoughtful documentation of what it’s like to make stuff. Marco Arment, developer of Tumblr & Instapaper, does that exceedingly well. He lets us into the process, explains decisions & keeps us posted on his thoughts about his work & the things corollary to his development concerns. So, based on that, I ask you this: are we trying to keep design a mysterious black box? Because if that’s what you want, you’re doing a damn good job of it…

To do meaningful curation, it requires knowledge in multiple areas…Great designers are prone to have a wide base of knowledge."
frankchimero  writing  classideas  communication  process  criticism  curation  blogs  blogging  design  glvo  generalists  knowledge  bandwagons  enthusiasm  marcoarment  lizdanzico  jasonsantamaria  realwriting  tcsnmy  toshare  topost  thewhy  thinking  sharing  value  curating 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero ["Continuing this week’s preview of pieces for my show on Friday at Land here in Portland."]
"I’m a huge proponent of playing, and for me, the logical overlap between the idea of playing, and my love of form and basic color is the wooden blocks I had as a kid. (Kids still play with these instead of Nintendo DSs, right?)...

I think a large part of the obligation of art is to not express how things are, but to rather express how things feel. The beauty of play is that it is completely submersive: you can’t play and do something else at the same time. It monopolizes your attention, in a very good way. (And that sounds beautiful, as I write this blog post, check Twitter, respond to emails, and have a chat with a friend.) With play, you focus on nonsense to see the potential of what’s around you. And doesn’t being completely submersed in the infinite potential of every single little bit sound like a beautiful way to live?"
frankchimero  play  art  emotions  feelings  creativity  children  woodeblocks  toys  attention 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Lazy Hammer [Too much to quote here. Read the whole thing. Don't miss Franks memory from childhood that opens and closes the essay.]
"maybe we should be risky. Many designers waste an opportunity to make new, meaningful things by instead letting someone else pretend for them and making work that is overly referential. Instead of that, designers can use their skills to collaborate with others to create new things. We can pick up that dinosaur toy and play with it a bit instead of the He-Man toy.

Rather than spin our wheels because we’re left without content, we should partner with others who have a message but not the savvy to properly communicate it. It’s combustion through collaboration…

Designers are excellent producers. We do well to steer and hone other people’s creative impulses, we can fine-polish ideas, and craft successful ways to communicate and tell stories. So, I’d say the next time you’ve got the impulse to make something but don’t have a message or story of your own, consider collaboration."
interestingness  content  frankchimero  collaboration  creativity  storytelling  childhood  toys  play  memory  meaning  imagination  tcsnmy  classideas  writing  clients  personalwork  craft  meta-content  fanart  culture  risk  risktaking  advice  design  message  thewhy  dangermouse  grayalbum  music  brianburton  thinking  source  sourcematerial  invention  crosspollination  crossmedia  sharing  anthropology  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  graphics  communication 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Archiving The Anthologist
Just one of the great selections: "At some point you have to set aside snobbery and what you think is culture and recognize that any random episode of Friends is probably better, more uplifting for the human spirit, than ninety-nine percent of the poetry or drama or fiction or history ever published. Think of that. Of course yes, Tolstoy and of course yes Keats and blah blah and yes indeed of course yes. But we’re living in an age that has a tremendous richness of invention. And some of the most inventive people get no recognition at all. They get tons of money but no recognition as artists. Which is probably much healthier for them and better for their art."
writing  ideas  elitism  art  culture  frankchimero  nicholsonbaker  theanthologist  life  wisdom  poetry  work  glvo  recognition  starting  howwework 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero
"I love you, Google Voice.
I’ve been getting obsessed with translation, automation, and summarization. Computers are smart and dumb, and that is what’s fantastic about them. So smart, so cold, so unskilled at so many of the things that the human brain handles effortlessly. It’s wonderful to watch technology grow as it tries to improve and be even more useful by doing the tasks that are essentially computation’s perceived Achilles’ heel."
googlevoice  frankchimero  botpoetry  bothumor  human  brain  translation  automation  summarization  computers  computing  humanskills  humansarestillunmatched 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Text Playlist
"I do a bit of that myself, but I keep what I perceive to be a more valuable, important morgue file: one made of the best writing on the web I come across. I take this list and revisit and reread it every 4 to 8 weeks. You could almost consider it a playlist of text: it’s very select (I artificially limit it to 10-15 articles), I typically read them all in one sitting, and the order and pacing is very purposeful. Most revolve around what it’s like to be making things in 2010, and a lot of the people that I respect the most have pieces in it. It’s almost a pep talk in text form. I visit it when I’m down, when I’m lazy, when I’m feeling the inertia take over."
frankchimero  textplaylist  via:lukeneff  mustread  toread  writing  lists  motivation  meditation  inspiration  creativity  blogs  blogging  art  sistercorita  vonnegut  merlinmann  mairakalman  robinsloan  thewire  lizdanzico  jonathanharris  rands  kurtvonnegut  coritakent 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - "In many ways the work of a critic is easy."
"Consider for a moment that this touching little rumination by Anton Ego, feared food critic in Ratatouille, about the critic’s relationship to the artist. It is from an animated film. A cartoon, if you will.

Animated movies can tackle deep, complex issues, but to tackle something so abstract as the pathos and jubilation of a critic, and offer up that meditation as a way to give closure to a plot arch is something I think can only be done by the most skillful of hands (no matter the medium: animation or otherwise). Pixar is celebrated at large for the quality of its films, but very rarely appreciated in this capacity. And, Brad Bird’s ability to offer depth through the integration of abstract issues gives his films, whether The Incredibles, Ratatouille, or The Iron Giant, a sense of profundity that is sorely lacking in many mass-market American films these days, even those non-animated movies made for us “grown-ups.”"
frankchimero  pixar  criticism  abstraction  ratatouille  film  filmmaking  bradbird 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Holiday
"I always come back...either because I love this thing, or because it’s the only thing I know how to do, only thing I’ve ever done. I haven’t decided yet. Maybe this is like any kind of young-love relationship: euphoric highs & cratering lows. Maybe normalization comes w/ experience & age, or finding right kind of cocktail. Maybe it is getting correct mix that’s just right for you: a bit of client work, dash of self-indulgent creative activity, hint of collaboration, healthy bit of self-loathing, & maybe tiny bit of off-time. Or maybe all this turmoil just comes from being a fussy, navel-gazing, difficult creative person...

All I know is that I’m weary once more, & I’ll need some time to convince myself that I love this gig again...So far, my tumultuous, revolving-door relationship w/ design has taught me this: only way I know how to fall in love again is to shut everything off & spend some time alone w/ design, trying to re-experience what made me love it in the first place."

[My response here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/780341678/a-note-for-frank-chimero ]
process  sympathy  design  clients  hope  work  learning  sabbaticals  yearoff  cv  teaching  frankchimero  comments 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Public Tools and Your Private Stash
"Posting Gavin’s work without proper credit and link is a problem for him because he missed out on having a giant influx of new eyes on his work from an honest mistake. As a creative person, I love it when other people share my work and copy it to their respective places on this web. It’s at testament to how they enjoy it and it’s a sign of connection. Someone wanted to save that thing that I made, and that is incredible. But, it does me no good if it is displayed publicly without credit. With this in mind, I have a few small proposals:

* Keep it public, but give credit. [explained] ... [OR] * Keep it private... [explained]
So, please give credit. It’s the only currency for the folks who publish their work online freely."
credit  sharing  online  morguefiles  frankchimero  etiquette  netiquette  tcsnmy  howto  tumblr  flickr 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Blog: Frank Chimero (It’s hard to hold it all in your head. All the...)
"I forgot who said this, but someone once told me that we come to other people’s creative work out of a secret desire and hope that someone understands us better than we understand ourselves. We come to Austen and Kubrick and Basquiat and Aretha under the hopes that they have the same acute feelings, but more able hands and voices that can some how capture that fleeting emotion and crystalize it. We quote, because someone said it better than we can. But, some days I want it all to stop. I can’t keep up." ... "A year with no poems. A week with no news. A day without kerranging. I don’t long for focus. I long for negative space. Pause. Full rest. Declaring a space that is to remain empty, with the presumption that because a portion is left vacant, it makes the whole better. Pause. The world will keep charging and accelerating. But, as my friend Drew said, “There is no catching up.” And because of that, I raise my white flag, and crack another dusty spine."

[Wayback link: http://web.archive.org/web/20100604035146/http://blog.frankchimero.com/post/654094925/its-hard-to-hold-it-all-in-your-head-all-the ]
frankchimero  polymaths  infooverload  time  pause  balance  rest  nicholsonbaker  theanthologist  books 
june 2010 by robertogreco
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