Mind and metal benders, compliments of Chris Labrooy. View more via jalopnik.
Don Koberg: The Universal Traveler
Early thoughts and primers on the creative process and design thinking.
William Lidwell: Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design
A good reminder of 100 things to check when designing. (****)
Christopher Alexander: The Timeless Way of Building
Revisiting the themes put forward in this first of three books in a series by Christopher Alexander.
NEIL POSTMAN: Technopoly : The Surrender of Culture to Technology
A classic gut check for those enamored with the technology pervading our lives. (****)
Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice : Why More Is Less
Trying to choose wisely.
The "Able" font made a debut some time ago but I wanted to send out props to the very talented Matt Desmond for creating it. Able has been updated to pro status with many more glyphs and a companion Bold weight. Available at fontspring, myfonts.com, and Font Bros. To view more of the nice work by Minnetonka, MN based typeface designer Matthew Aaron Desmond, visit his studio site MADType
Architectural inspirations are on the rise at the bivouac due to SimCity becoming available for the Mac on August 29th, 2013 and a fresh Lego Architecture Studio arriving at the bivouac. Shoreline City (pictured below) is on the rise too. Lego's Architecture Studio kit, while expensive, is as good as anything they have offered in terms of getting one thinking about patterns, the scale of buildings, the inter-relationships of forms, volumes, linear elements and everything else that goes in to making our cities the best they can be. My fingers are sore, but in a good way.
Killspencer has a beautiful line of iPhone veils as well as a fine line of bags on offer. Take a look at what goes in to many of their handcrafted items...apparently made right in downtown Los Angeles in the short film below. Here's to modern craftsmanship.
Night missions in your future plans? Consider adding a HALO belt to your loadout. The company is also working with Rickshaw on a new messenger bag to stow your kit in if you like. Here's to a nice balance of tech and simplicity for a good cause. Let's all see and be seen out there.
This "Hyper-Matrix" work from the media artist group Jonpasang made the rounds a whlie ago but seeing it again, as well as the "making of" video gives me new found respect for those out there who are taking experiences like this squarely to new levels of execution and excitement.
The Cadillac ELR design has been getting a lot of attention at the bivouac lately. In addition to the striking design and progressive technologies both inside and out, various small details stand out in a good way as well. Cadillac logo placement within both headlamp and tail light elements is well executed. Each adds an elegant and refreshingly understated, yet dynamic signature touch. That's a tough middle ground to hit. Here's hoping such attention to detail lights the way to forward to continued impressive designs coming out of the Cadillac studio in 2013 and beyond.
With the release of the production version of the Cadillac ELR at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past week, General Motors proved yet again that energy behind the resurgence of the American automotive industry remains high. Any time a vehicle manufacturer comes out with such a stunning concept car, as they did in 2009 with their Converj concept, and manages to stay so faithful to the original concept vision, that company certainly deserves high praise. Audi came close to this sort of effort when they introduced the production version of the TT in terms of staying true to a concept. However, with respect to the ELR, this may be one of those rare occasions where the actual shipping car looks better than the concept embodiment.
Can you spot the concept vehicle?
GM also deserves credit for moving into the luxury Extended Range Electric Vehicle luxury niche before other large-scale luxury vehicle manufacturers. They are also introducing some new driving affordances unique to this type of vehicle, such as steering wheel-mounted paddles that allow drivers to induce regenerative braking on demand. While we will have to wait and see how the ELR actually performs, on paper things look promising. And if you are a fan of Cadillac's "Art and Science" aesthetics, on the show room floor they are looking great.
Sometimes I find myself noting something as interesting but it takes a while to really appreciate it to its fullest. That was the case with the New York Times Budget Puzzle which came out last November.
While in an information visualization brainstorm today, this came back to me as a great example of how to empower users to relate to a very abstract concept...our federal budget deficit. Its minimalistic approach and small details like representing 1 billion dollars with small blue squares that tally up in real time depending upon decisions users make is a nice touch.
As featured on TopSpeed, BMW revealed the new Concept C at the EICMA Show in Milan. The Concept C is BMW’s vision of the big scooter with the C in the name standing for "commuter." It is aimed a alleviating some of the crowding on urban streets associated with shorter daily errand running and shorter commuting routes. This concept is BMW’s response to that increasing traffic situation. They say the Concept C represents "the prospect of an innovative, sporty big scooter for the future premium segment." The concept is enhanced by several innovations to the scooter market, including video camera rear-view monitors.
Cadillac's Urban Luxury Concept which debuted this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show is just the kind of product that will continue to fuel General Motor's emergence from bankruptcy. For those that took part in a fairly strong IPO this week, this is another encouraging sign of solid design thinking taking place at GM these days. With room for four, estimated fuel economy ratings of 56 mpg city/65 mpg highway, and a number of innovative features in store beyond the scissor-style doors, the bivouac says bring this to market ASAP! This is "Art and Science" that's great for both the senses and the planet. See more photos via World Car Fans.
From Luke Wroblewski on A List Apart and thanks to Arjun for passing this one along. Wanted to get this on the Bivouac in the Interface Hall of Fame as an outstanding example of reducing percieved complexity and how, through great design, we can help pull users through transactions that can otherwise seem overwhelming.
By stripping away the form elements as each section of the form is completed, Apple helps reinforce a sense that users are making progress through the check out process. Along the way, should users leave a required field of information blank, a yellow prompting box appears right next to the field letting them know it is needed to continue. Stratification of information in clear zones serve as landscape "mile markers", letting users intuitively sense where they are in terms of completing their task.
While perhaps not entirely ideal in that BioLite still draws on buring wood as a source of fuel, it is nonetheless a revolutionary stove that makes cooking on wood as clean, safe and easy as modern fuels while generating electricity to provide illumination and cell phone connectivity to those that are off-grid.
Like other carefully designed stoves using fans to blow air into the fire, BioLite dramatically improves combustion. However, other stoves require small amounts of electricity to power their fans. BioLite stoves solve this problem by converting a fraction of the fire’s thermal energy into electricity to power our combustion improvement system. Excess electricity is made available to users for charging small electronic devices such as Cell phones and LED lights. A bright idea indeed.
Perhaps leveraging lessons gained from the C1 program years ago, BMW is exploring a new variant of a vehicle that mixes the best from the automotive and motorcycle design...something a company like BMW is ideally positioned to do. Let's hope they keep leaning into this concept...so to speak...and move beyond research and development for this new vehicle segment.
BMW looks set to resurrect the C1 vehicle genre with a revised variant that could be electrically powered. While once perhaps ahead of its time, this may well mark the return of a intriguing vehicle form factor give the renewed focus on sustainable transportation solutions, rising fuel prices and urban crowding. We may all finally have the pleasure of seeing one C1 near us soon.
The skyscraper "Erosion" designed by Herzog & de Meuron would certainly make a striking addition to the New York skyline. The Swiss architects have designed a building that supports individualized floor layouts for occupants, offering more external space for some depending upon tastes and desires. As is pointed out in a recent post on Eikongraphia, one of the more notable features is a floor-to-ceiling height of four meters. The modernist aesthetic, panoramic cityscapes and open plans would be welcome by many urban dwellers. But in these tough economic times, could such a design really see the light of day or will this vision be worn away by the force of current economic winds?
For more discussion of this proposed design, head over to Eikongraphia.
Although somewhat puzzling initially, Echochrome offers Escher-like environments that players navigate by "filling" broken pathways as they change their perspective view on the scene. This title offers a refreshing angle on brain-enhancing gaming.
GINA (which stands for Geometry and Function in Infinite Adaptation) may be a bit of an acronym stretch but then again stretching is quite appropriate for a concept vehicle with a flexible skin. Take a closer look at how the GINA Visionary Concept Vehicle is set to reshape automobile design thinking.
With the Smart fortwo becoming available in the United States, perhaps more sustainable attitudes towards transport will shift into a higher gear. Who knows, maybe we will see a new generation of innovative modes of moving designs like BMW's C1 coming into the marketplace . It won't be easy to overcome significant challenges, as evidenced by the Smart fortwo vs. Hummer H2 size comparison image below. However, with new advances in active and passive safety coming to the market each year, perhaps we can find smarter alternative modes of movement before gasoline hits the $5.00 mark.
This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "working on the factory floor." And what a floor it is!
Take a closer look at the Dresden facility via: http://forums.vwvortex.com