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.
This recent IIHS crash test footage is scary stuff and good to keep in mind the next time find yourself following a semi truck. Why not back off just a bit? Oh yeah, and while you are at it, write the makers of Manac/Trailmobile and thank them for desiging and producing proper trailer underride crash components.
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.
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.
Whether a fan of George Luca's Star Wars saga or not, one can only take in the image of this extra large Star Wars collection with awe. It is it laid out in a creative fashion, strangely evoking the impression of some sort of modern Bayeux Tapestry. And someone also laid out an impressive figure for the collection as it recently sold for over $11,000. That's an impressive amount for an equally impressive collection. Looking it over, it appears to be made up of the latest round of action figures, not the originals that launched in 1977. The tooling and detail on this latest generation of figures is superior the original series to be sure, but I am so thankful to have had some of the originals to lift the horizons of my imagination through countless hours of creative play. I can't help but think that those hours spent re-enacting Luca's masterpiece also taught me a thing or two about filming and storytelling. Thanks again for that and so much more George!
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.
There have been some amazing things happening lately in the world of LED lighting for vehicles. More efficient and robust than traditional lighting solutions, they seem to adorn every new car model these days. Given their dynamic and robust qualities and the ability to light up even the darkest corners of the Serengeti, it seems appropriate to see them now on the 2013 R1200GS. The units look fantastic both in day and night running configurations providing an even more aggressive and determined look for the GS. Now that enlightenment at its best.
BMW has long been breaking performance barriers with each successive model in their M range and the new 1 Series M is no exception. In this nicely choreographed video they take things to a new level which would no doubt make Tanner proud.
For those that could swear that their car had to have been built late on a Friday afternoon or clearly bought a pure lemon, try building an 8070 in a weekend. The latest super car from Lego Group's Technic division includes a free floating differential, a visible 8 cylinder engine with working pistons tied in to the transmission, double wishbone suspension components and various power goodies.
Putting one of these together sans a bunch of spare parts lying around once the job is done is a nice accomplishment. It's also a great empathy exercise to help us realize, even if on a much smaller scale, some of what a day is like for those putting together the things that move us every day. A special thanks goes out to you, the builders of the world.
As evidenced by many new carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts on display at BMW Group's Innovation Day 2011 event, car manufacturers are going to great lengths to reduce the weight of their vehicles. Diet programs include innovative techniques for removing the core of wheels which are traditionally solid metal and replacing them with new, lighter, high-strength materials as seen in BMW's Naturecore wheels. For BMW, no doubt much of what was on display will find its way into their new BMW i Division of vehicles. Fore more visit World Car Fans.
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.
Catch a rare glimpse of what goes into making something like the new K1660GT motorcycle through this unique on-the-line video from BMW Motorrad's Berlin production plant. An impressive balance of assembly technology and good, old-fashioned hand building to be sure.
The Hitchcock Mobile Storyboard Composer by Cinemek is a great example of a wave of new content creation tools (versus content consumption only apps) that we hope to continue to see being released for the iPhone and iPad. The application allows for those visualizing storyboards to use photos and markup icons as an alternative to sketching.
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.
In a classic example of building on the ideas of others, Scott Wilson has come up with an elegant solution that transforms Apple's iPod Nano into a multitouch watch. You can help fund his project via Kickstarter.
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.
A recent study indicates that people love cars with angry faces. This finding has long been recognized by automotive designers. In fact, shaping the faces of vehicles to make a statement has been an important aspect of the design process for many car companies over the years. With the release of the K1600GT and K1600GTL, BMW is migrating some of the most recognizable "facial" elements from its automobile division to its motorcycle group.
Here's hoping that this new face of motorrad propegates throughout BMW's motorcycle lineup. Not only is it distinctive and instantly associated with the power the brand has had on offer for decades, but it also brings welcomed innovation to the motorcycle industry in the form of the world's first adaptive headlamp for motorycles. Critics might feel this new look is a bit too agressive but when you are moving down a dark and rainy pacific coast highway, one is hard pressed to think of a better way to ward of any potential threats lurking in the darkness.
Shown above is the new facia of the K1600GTL. Illuminating even in full daylight from a design perspective.
It's on the way...and ready for the touring motorcycle of the future. Anxious to see what they wrap around what seems to be an impressive bit of engineering.
Looks like progress continues on BMW's Megacity electric vehicle which is likely to launch under a yet to be named sub-brand some time in 2013. For more details and photos revealing some new manufacturing techniques being explored, including extruded aluminum subframe components and extensive usage of carbon fiber, visit worldcarfans.
For motorcyclists, the image below might set the mind wondering about just what is it that you are riding. Looking somewhat like those circulatory diagrams outlining how blood flows through the body, the image highlights the lightweight integral anti-lock braking system (integrated ABS) and automatic stability control (ASC) system which BMW has continued to refine for its motorcycles.
Although as BMW states, no system can mitigate all road condition risks, it is inspiring to see a company care so much about safety and to see how beautiful (and intelligent) the systems are from an engineering perspective...even if they really are not intended to be seen.
To learn more, see webbikeworld's overview of BMW's Integral ABS and ASC systems. Very informative.