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I saw these striking images of the Haiti disaster on the Boston.com site. I think this collection of photographs captures the depth of the devastation better than any I have seen.
Powerful, horrifying and some beautiful…

See all 40 images here.

AP Photo/Andres Leighton

AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images

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via: Webcartoons

One year later.

I started this blog after being laid off one year ago. I did it to satisfy an urge to find the unusual and the unique, and share with anyone who might find me here. While my posts aren’t as frequent as they were when I started, I still love to post.

Thanks to all that visit me here…numbers of visitors have risen steadily…incentive to keep it going!

I am not a science person…that is not a surprise I am sure. But, I have to admit that being a student in such a diverse program has sparked a certain curiousity about many things that may come under this topic.

Slime Mold for one. I didn’t know anything about it before last Fridays’ Understanding Systems class. Apparently, Slime Mold is a very intelligent organism despite lacking a brain. I won’t try to describe the scientific and biological traits of the slime mold, read about it here. So, where am I going with this? Scientists recently conducted a study using slime mold to illustrate the amazing capabilities of this ‘creature’.  They re-created the patterns of cities around Tokyo, and charged slime mold to figure out the most efficient way to get around the city. They designed the subway system, and amazingly, the results were almost identical to that of the complicated system designed by a team of engineers over a significant period of time. It took slime mold 26 hours by the way to achieve the same results. Study coauthor Mark Fricker of the University of Oxford, “In contrast, the slime mold has no central brain or indeed any awareness of the overall problem it is trying to solve, but manages to produce a structure with similar properties to the real rail network.” Read More

“When presented with oat flakes arranged in the pattern of Japanese cities around Tokyo, brainless, single-celled slime molds construct networks of nutrient-channeling tubes that are strikingly similar to the layout of the Japanese rail system, researchers from Japan and England report Jan. 22 in Science. A new model based on the simple rules of the slime mold’s behavior may lead to the design of more efficient, adaptable networks, the team contends.”

This new model based on the behaviour of slime mold, may very well “lead to the design of more efficient, adaptable networks, the team contends.”

Amazing.

Science News
Wired

Images: Science/AAAS

It really has never occurred to me…even as a Designer, that the common, everyday traffic sign could and should be re-designed. This is something that the inventor Gary Lauder thought would be a good idea. He unveiled a traffic sign that instructs drivers to “take turns” at an intersection. The TED blog explains:

Half a stop and half a yield, the sign gives each driver a clear indication of how to behave. Below the red “Take Turns” shield is a small sign reading, “If Cars Are Waiting, Please Stop and Alternate.” And if there are no cars waiting, just blow on through. (No more stopping at red lights at 4am, on a country road, when there’s no one around for miles.)

It seems so much more civilized than ‘merge’…or ‘stop’…kinder even. And haven’t we been told since childhood to take turns?  We really don’t hear it so much as adults, but maybe we should.

Read more: http://www.good.is/post/a-new-traffic-sign-take-turns/#ixzz0fcZ2IUzz

I love these photographs by Matt Stuart. He sees the obvious in the subtle, through everyday encounters and observations.

Here are a few of my favourites, but be sure to check out his site for more.

Matt Stuart

Matt Stuart

Matt Stuart

Matt Stuart

I graduated from Design school way back in 1990. That’s a long time ago…fast forward 20 years, and I am back. This time studying for my Masters of Design, in an attempt to one day be in a career in a field that didn’t really exist when I was in University and College those many years ago. And wow,  have things changed….students have changed, technology has changed [we now have technology!], and courses have changed.

This video demonstrates the way in which most Universities have not progressed with these changes…I like to think that OCAD is not one of those schools. Design and Art school needs to progress with the times. Our classes are small, our teachers know our names…and we don’t sit in theatres with 100’s of nameless faces. A really interesting look at what education often looks like outside of our school.

thanks Hugo!

@jjthinkinbig tweets