Archive for September, 2007

1931 instructions to drivers

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Click image for larger version.

An extract from the 1931 Highway Code shows how a rotating whip could be used to indicate which way the car was turning. Picture: Hughes Walker Solicitors, via The BBC

Business skills on design courses – isn’t that a little bit the wrong way round?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Non-Designers Taught Design: “

I found out my friend studying chemistry, computer science, and physics is ‘taught’ to design websites and letterheads…

Fortunately she says she still doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing with anything design-related, so there’s still jobs for us out there. But seriously, computer science students should not be tested on their design skills. That’s just mean.

(Via the Graphic Student.)

A good point, and not an uncommon problem.

And yet some think design courses should be “offering key business training and long-term work experience … business models, financial forecasting, marketing or employing staff. Witnessing a business in action, becoming familiar with key IT systems or even sitting in on the interview process”.

It makes me wonder if it doesn’t make more sense to increase design awareness in other types of courses rather than try to dilute design courses? The example cited above is right – why should students in other subjects be assessed on their design ability? But equally, why don’t more subjects include design awareness (note, not design ability)?

Should a jewellery student really be taught how to interview staff? Or should a student hoping to work in HR be taught how to deal with people in the creative industries?
Should a graphics student be taught how to do their own accounts? Or should accountancy students be taught how to work with designers?
Should a product design student be taught how to apply for patents? Or should law students be taught about the design process?

Business skills on design courses or design awareness on business courses? At the moment I think the ‘skills debate’ is focussing too much on the former and not enough on the latter.

China slaps curbs on talent shows

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

According to the BBC: “China orders strict curbs on Pop Idol-style TV shows.”

Sometimes Communism seems like a much more enlightened system of government…

What if YouTube were like real life?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Very funny video wondering what life would be like if it followed YouTube comments protocol

The global village and the McCann case

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Mark Lawson on the US media and the McCann case:

“Marshall McLuhan, prophet of the modern media age, would be thrilled. The McCann case has shown that we truly are a global village.”

(Via The Guardian.)

Mother dies on the same date she was born, engaged and married

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

The Scotsman – Scotland – Dundee – Mother dies on the same date she was born, engaged and married:

“A woman who got engaged and married on her birthday has died on the same date.

Moira Brodie was born on 16 September, 1938. She got engaged on 16 September, 1959, married husband Peter exactly two years later and died on 16 September, 2007.”

As one of the commenters on this article points out, there’s nothing supernatural about it. You have a one in 365 chance of dying on your birthday, all things being equal, while the engagement and wedding are deliberate acts, so take those out of the equation and it’s no longer quite so spooky and instead just a ‘nice’ (if sad) story.

It’s funny ‘cos it’s true

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

I can never really remember the true reason I got out of industry and went in to education. So many reasons, most of them realised after the event.

This cartoon reminds me of one very good reason.


This happened to me so often…

1000 Words of Advice for Design Teachers

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Treat the undergrads like they’re grown-ups (which they are); show them crazy respect, and ask their opinions all the time.

More good advice (and a bit I question) at Core 77.

A Brief Message

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

An interesting-looking (in all senses of the word) new design criticism blog: A Brief Message:

What do people really want from design writing? More importantly, what can people do without?

Our mission for A Brief Message is a simple one : we want to give you design criticism in short form. We want you to do without. And we’re betting that brevity paired with smart editorial — and the occasional felicitous illustration — will go a long way.

By the time you finish reading each Message, you’ll hardly have finished a cup of coffee or taken the after-lunch stretch. Before you know it, it will be over. Just like that. And just like that you’ll know more. You’ll have more opinions. More context. More inspiration.

Worth subscribing to the RSS feed, I think.

If only they’d change the headline – it’s “200 words or fewer“, not “less”…

Kohl Vinh, in the comments below, tells me:

We actually debated that. While grammatically it’s right to say “fewer,” we decided that it’s colloquially more acceptable — or familiar, anyway — to say “less.” And we were definitely going for less formal. 🙂

Subversive Diana Poster

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007
Subversive Diana banner

Spotted at the Diana 10th anniversary gathering, Kensington Palace 31 August 2007