Archive for August, 2008

Happy as a pig in sh*t

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I spotted this poor chap today in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh. The worst thing about it was the fact that the pig seems to be smiling.

I find its slow disintegration from the back rather worrying too.

Looks bloody tasty, though…

"You have to scream"

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Here’s a clip from my recent trip to Brighton and a short ride on a fast machine.

I should explain that just before the thing got going, I felt my harness come undone. So I spent the whole half hour (in actual fact it was probably less than a minute) clinging on for dear life. So when my friend, Qin, says “you have to scream” I am in fact holding my breath in anticipation of being flung out to sea. Rest assured, you’d have heard me scream then…

HSBC. The World’s Dumbest Bank?

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Spotted this ad in Dundee today. A few points spring to mind. Firstly, it’s a crap ad (sumo wrestlers do budge – it’s the whole point of the sport. In fact they don’t half get a wriggle on sometimes…)

But most importantly, given the strapline “The world’s local bank” it should perhaps be pointed out to whoever at HSBC signed off on this space being hired that, erm, there is no HSBC branch in Dundee.

In fact, the ‘local’ branch is a half hour drive away in Perth. Might as well be in Japan – which is the only thing that might help this ad make some sort of sense.

Rimer Cardillo

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I met Rimer Caardillo when I was in New Paltz, New York in April visiting State University New York. I was really impressed with his work and his approach to print-making which was reflected in his students’ approach.

Rimer has an exhibition coming up shortly in Andes, NY so if you’re in the area you should pop along. Check out his web site here.

Chace-Randall Gallery

Contemporary Fine Art

49 Main St, Andes, NY 13731


August 15 – October 5, 2008

Reception: Saturday, August 16, 5-7pm

John Oliver analyses Fox News

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

I loved this when it was broadcast on The Daily Show. Take a look – as well as being extraordinarily funny, it’s also pretty good analysis of an appalling “news” network.

Part 1

Part 2

What design is versus what design was

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Aaron at Product Behaviour contributes to an age-old discussion:

What is ‘design,’ anyway? Is it the ability to draw stuff? Is it the ability to cobble together a mechanism? Those may be part of it, but they miss the real point. Design is how you decide what to draw, and what to cobble together.


The project teams are made up of smart people with widely varying backgrounds. They’re capable of analyzing the situation in the field, coming up with solutions, building and testing prototypes. What they need help with, in the end, is making decisions: filtering the requirements; rating the criteria for a ‘good’ solution; knowing when to stay within the paradigm of current solutions to a problem and when to develop completely new technology.

Those are the things ‘professional’ designers really do. The technical skills are important, sure, but it’s decision-making that separates an OK solution to a problem from a great solution.

(Via Product Behavior.)

This ties in to previous posts here, and to the thinking at the New Views 2 conference. Design, at university certainly, shouldn’t be focused solely on ‘skills’ as traditionally perceived (life drawing, typography, pattern cutting etc) but on ‘higher skills’ (strategy, decision making, analysis), and the design industry should be employing graduates in roles that use those higher skills.

Unfortunately, look at any issue of Design Week or Creative Review, or look at the D&AD student awards, and you see higher skills almost completely ignored in favour of technique and aesthetics. And this drives what design courses try to achieve, meaning that what design is, as defined above, gets shoved out in favour of what design was.

"It’s a shame that the design industry looks to other places to do the groundwork and expect the finished article to turn up on the doorstep"

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Great comment over atThe Serif where they’re debating comments I made on internships in design companies:

“I graduated in 2006, and am currently working as a team secretary in an office, because I needed to pay my bills and survive basically. There’s two points I’d like to make. […]

I started working at this office as a temp. (Paid well, I might add) I got taken on as an admin assisstant full time and within a couple of months I was being trained to become a team secretary. It’s a shame that the design industry looks to other places to do the groundwork and expect the finished article to turn up on the doorstep (the majority anyway). The main point here is that, yes, taking on a graduate is a gamble for companies, but that is no excuse not to pay someone while you make your minds up. 3 month contracts will do. Then there’s an option at the end, the person gets paid in the meantime.”