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A Smuggling Operation: John Berger’s Theory of Art - Los Angeles Review of Books
"EARLY IN HIS CAREER, John Berger’s weekly art criticism for the New Statesman provoked outraged letters and public condemnation. Once, the British Council issued a formal apology to Henry Moore because Berger had suggested his latest work showed a decline. Nor was the hostility limited to such comic passive-aggression. Berger’s politics were deemed so objectionable that his publisher was compelled to withdraw his first novel, A Painter of Our Time (1958), from circulation.

At 90, Berger is harvesting a sudden flowering of praise. It is well deserved. For more than half a century, he has been our greatest art critic — as well as a superior novelist, a poet, and the star and screenwriter of one of the best art documentaries ever made, Ways of Seeing. Most of the writers currently rushing to canonize him, however, avoid dwelling on the heart of Berger’s point of view — his Marxism. No doubt avoiding this disfavored topic makes eulogy easier, but it reminds me of something Berger wrote about Frederick Antal: “the importance of his Marxism tends to be underestimated. In a curious way this is probably done out of respect for him: as though to say ‘He was brilliant despite that — so let’s charitably forget it.’ Yet, in fact, to do this is to deny all that Antal was.” To make such a denial about Berger should no longer be possible after the publication of Landscapes: John Berger on Art.

Landscapes and its companion volume, Portraits: John Berger on Artists (Verso, 2015), are the best summation to date of Berger’s career as a critic. Both volumes were edited by Tom Overton. In Portraits, Overton made selections from decades of essays on the whole historical gamut of art, from the prehistoric cave paintings of Lascaux to the work of 33-year-old Randa Mdah, and organized them chronologically into a history and appraisal of the art of painting. To read it was to be reminded of Berger’s unique virtues: the clarity of his writing, the historical and technical erudition of his insight, and above all his unique focus on each artist’s way of looking. What Landscapes in turn makes clear, through its assemblage of more programmatic pieces — book reviews, manifestos, autobiography — is that Berger is a rigorous thinker with a theory of art. That theory evolved considerably between the 1950s and the 2010s. Yet two threads hold it together with the tenacity of spider silk: a critique of the political economy of art and a sophisticated account of its human value, each rooted in a committed but elastic Marxism.

A Marxist art criticism of any real subtlety has to be elastic, because it must deal with a problem Marx himself diagnosed but failed to solve. Berger puts it like this:
A question which Marx posed but could not answer: If art in the last analysis is a superstructure of an economic base, why does its power to move us endure long after the base has been transformed? Why, asked Marx, do we still look towards Greek art as an ideal? He began to answer the question […] and then broke off the manuscript and was far too occupied ever to return to the question.

Berger takes up the thread where Marx broke off. He is not, of course, the first Marxist to address the question of art, and he is familiar with most of those who tried before him, sorting through and furthering their legacy.

The most famous of Berger’s influences, Walter Benjamin, wrote the essay “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” from which came most of the ideas in Berger’s documentary, Ways of Seeing. But Landscapes reveals that his most important influence as a practicing art critic was Max Raphael.

Raphael, an undeservedly obscure theorist, located the value of art in the activity of the artist. According to him, an artist performs two operations. On the one hand, the artist turns raw material into artistic material by shaping it to represent an idea or an object; this is true both of Michelangelo shaping a block of marble into David and of Jackson Pollock embodying the rhythms of jazz in drip paintings. On the other, the artist turns his perception into something external and objective, a representation. The work of art is the result of these two transformations, of raw stuff and of subjective perception into an art object. For Raphael, the point of art is these two transformations: they are the artist’s way of “undoing the world of things” and constructing “the world of values.”

So Raphael’s answer to Marx’s problem — why is art enduringly moving even though it merely reflects its social context? — is to say that art doesn’t merely reflect its social context. It does reflect it, because the artist’s material, style, the things they want to represent, even the way they see, are historically conditioned; but it doesn’t merely reflect it, because the transformed material speaks of something deeper and more voluntary. It speaks of humanity’s ability to make its own world, to become the subject and not merely the victim of history. “The function of the work of art,” Berger sums up Raphael, “is to lead us from the work to the process of creation which it contains.”

Anyone familiar with Berger’s own writing will sit up with a shock of recognition. Here is a theory of art directly correlated to his practice of criticism. Berger takes art out of the sanitizing temples where we store it and drops it firmly back onto the easel, in a messy studio, where a sweaty artist bites her lip and stores her way of looking in an object. Over and over again, he asks us to imagine the artist at work. Many have attributed this to his own training as a painter, which might have inspired his fascination with technique, as I, an amateur pianist, am fascinated by the technique of my favorite recording artists. But I think his admiring discussion of Raphael suggests a much deeper reason. If Berger believes that the most important meaning of art is what it shows us of our ability to create the world we want, it turns out that his criticism is connected to his Marxism much more fundamentally than through the borrowing of a few insights from Walter Benjamin.

For Berger, art criticism is a revolutionary practice. It prepares the ground for a new society. In Landscapes, Overton includes a translation by Berger and Anya Rostock of a poem by Bertolt Brecht. It includes this passage:
Yet how to begin? How to show
The living together of men
That it may be understood
And become a world that can be mastered?
How to reveal not only yourselves and others
Floundering in the net
But also make clear how the net of fate
Is knotted and cast,
Cast and knotted by men?
[…] only he who knows that the fate of man is man
Can see his fellow men keenly with accuracy.

How to begin? Berger answers: In art. There we find proof and prophecy of a different world. In another essay, he writes:
We can no longer “use” most paintings today as they were intended to be used: for religious worship, for celebrating the wealth of the wealthy, for immediate political enlightenment, for proving the romantic sublime, and so on. Nevertheless, painting is especially well suited to developing the very faculty of understanding which has rendered its earlier uses obsolete: that is to say, to developing our historical and evolutionary self-consciousness.

This is the promise, the positive function of art. By looking at it, we are, in effect, looking through an artist’s eyes, entering into a concretized instance of their gaze. We are looking at a looking. And from within an artist’s looking, we learn about the capacities of our kind and the possibilities of our future: “A classical Greek sculpture increases our awareness of our own potential physical dignity; a Rembrandt of our potential moral courage; a Matisse of our potential sensual awareness.”

At the same time, Berger is of the opinion that the modern history of art is a history of failure. He won’t compromise on this point, and it is undoubtedly the reason for the stiff resistance that he has often met.

In modern times, Berger believes, the art world has hosted a titanic battle between two conceptions of art. One conception declares that art is valuable because it bodies forth the vision of an artist; it is a good in itself just to the degree that it succeeds at this task. This is Berger’s conception, and it is large enough to embrace all the varying and contradictory proclamations and provocations of the successive factions of modern art. The other conception declares that art is valuable because it is expensive — that, fundamentally, art is property:
Since 1848 every artist unready to be a mere paid entertainer has tried to resist the bourgeoisation of his finished work, the transformation of the spiritual value of his work into property value. This regardless of his political opinions as such. […] What Constructivism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and so on, all shared was their opposition to art-as-property and art-as-a-cultural-alibi-for-existing-society. We know the extremes to which they went […] and we see that their resistance was […] ineffective.

In other words, artists, like all other workers, are victims of a capitalism that alienates them from the fruit of their labor. Berger has nothing but scorn for the commercialization of art: “If you could fuck works of art as well as buy them,” he writes, dealers “would be pimps: but, if that were the case, one might assume a kind of love; as it is they dream of money and honour.” Everything about the modern art world is constructed on the assumption that art is precious in proportion to its price. Even among those who profess a genuine love of art, that passion is often tainted by its ideological function:
A love of art has been a useful concept to the European ruling classes for over a century and a half. The love was said to be their own. With it they could claim kinship with the civilisations of … [more]
johnberger  2017  robertminto  marxism  art  artists  artcriticism  criticism  henrymoore  politics  waysofseeing  frederickantal  tomoverton  economics  walterbenjamin  raphael  jacksonpollock  michelangelo  elitism  anyarostock  bertoltbrecht  process  craftsmanship  arthistory  resistance  constuctivism  dadaism  surrealism  property  society  culture  ownership  beauty  aesthetics  museums  artappreciation  creativity  creation  praxis  canon  objects  mystique  products  action  achievement  making  wealth  ideology  consumerism  consumption 
january 2017 by robertogreco
5 Things About Ubiquitous Computing That Make Me Nervous | Design Culture Lab
"[I]t is difficult to develop a critical perspective whilst in school that includes the possibility of *not* designing something, simply because we force them to make things."

"[O]ur imaginations are not as strong when we come to the task of redesigning design itself."

"to understand … *process* as a form of social, cultural, political, ethical, etc. *agency*"

***

"1. Technological determinism & defeatism

Or, the cultural belief that technological development and progress is inevitable, and we have to adapt.

2. Technological solutionism

Or, the cultural belief that technology is the best solution to life’s problems.

3. Quantification imperatives

Or, the cultural belief that everything can and should be measured, and that everyday life would be better if all our decisions were based on these data.

4. Connection & sharing imperatives

Or, the cultural belief that everyday life would be better if more information was transmissible and accessible to people.

5. Convenience & efficiency imperatives

Or, the cultural belief that people would be better off if there were more technologies to make daily life more convenient, and common tasks more efficient."

"Like many students facing a critique of their practice, they struggled to understand how they could proceed. Some still focussed on how to provide the right solutions to the right problems (I asked who should get to decide what is right); others wanted to know how they could predict the likelihood of something bad happening (I pointed back to #3); and a few wanted ethical guidelines (I wondered if this fell under #2, or if I needed to add a #6, Prescriptive imperatives). Taking a more pedagogical perspective, a couple of students recognised that it is difficult to develop a critical perspective whilst in school that includes the possibility of not designing something, simply because we force them to make things."

"A few students even accused me of being defeatist and anti-technology in my critique, but I responded that I never said that ubicomp shouldn’t be designed, and neither did I say that we couldn’t create technologies in more critical, or interrogative ways. A serious problem, I think, is that our imaginations are not as strong when we come to the task of redesigning design itself. Design still suffers, for example, from having contradictory interests in sustainability and planned obsolescence, and still responds to the perils of mass production through the design of small-run luxury goods. In these, and other cases, one problem is simply substituted for another–and the solutionist imperative encourages us to respond by designing and producing more and more in turn.

In my class this term we’re using Anne Balsamo’s Designing Culture as a starting point for identifying when, where and how designers make decisions. For all our focus on teaching students to design digital and physical products, I don’t think we’re doing a good enough job of getting them to understand their process as a form of social, cultural, political, ethical, etc. agency. There is still, I think, too much emphasis on design process as some sort of mythical, mystical, essentially ineffable, act of creation.

This problem, I think, is further compounded in more critical approaches, where design effectively begins and ends with the creative act."



"By articulating “things that make me nervous” instead of talking about “things that are bad,” I had hoped to help students realise that critique is also not a final act. I wanted them to keep moving, to keep acting–but with greater awareness, responsibility and accountability. Critique shouldn’t stop us from acting or, in my opinion, tell us how to act. Critical awareness should help us situate ourselves, make active decisions to do some things and not others, and accept the consequences of these actions for ourselves and others."

***

[See also:

"And indeed true “interrogative” works, in my estimation, are best when they suspend questions indefinitely. They press and hold two or more opposing functions or symbolic/expressive gestures together at once, without resolve."

"resisting the seduction of “solutions” in design where “problems” become invisible"

http://hastac.org/forums/disability-moving-beyond-access-academy

and

"Sometimes *not* building is the right answer, but it is not one that architects are trained to recommend."

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.06/koolhaas_pr.html ]
annegalloway  criticalthinking  design  making  thinking  ubicomp  awareness  adesign  evgenymorozov  solutionism  technologicalsolutionism  2013  defeatism  determinism  quantification  measurement  data  everydaylife  efficiency  productivity  ethics  pedagogy  howwethink  howweteach  crticism  designcriticism  annebalsamo  decisionmaking  criticaldesign  remkoolhaas  sarahendren  inquiry  questions  questioning  systemsthinking  agency  cv  tcsnmy  products  technology  convenience  sharing  connections  culture  capitalism  teaching  learning  imagination  designeducation  education  unschooling  deschooling  canon  shrequest1 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Derek Powazek - I’m Not The Product, But I Play One On The Internet
"We can and should support the companies we love with our money. Companies can and should have balanced streams of income so that they’re not solely dependent on just one. We all should consider the business models of the companies we trust with our data.

But we should not assume that, just because we pay a company they’ll treat us better, or that if we’re not paying that the company is allowed to treat us like shit. Reality is just more complicated than that. What matters is how companies demonstrate their respect for their customers. We should hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect.

And we should all stop saying, “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” because it doesn’t really mean anything, it excuses the behavior of bad companies, and it makes you sound kind of like a stoner looking at their hand for the first time."
pinboard  maciejceglowski  facebook  products  businessmodels  internet  web  derekpowazek  instagram  business  2012  maciejcegłowski 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Maker’s Row - Factory Sourcing Made Easy
"Our mission is to make the manufacturing process simple to understand and easy to access. From large corporations to first time designers, we are providing unparalleled access to industry-specific factories and suppliers across the United States.

Our first industry target is apparel and accessories."
accessories  apparel  glvo  via:zakgreene  suppliers  resources  production  products  manufacturing  from delicious
december 2012 by robertogreco
Kickstarter: Crowdfunding Platform Or Reality Show? | Fast Company
"…Pen Type-A, a slick stainless-steel enclosure for Japanese gel ink pens that I first saw on Kickstarter but pre-ordered shortly after their campaign raised more than 100 times its goal in August of last year… Yet the Pen Type-A is more than a $100 metal pen that never gets used, it's a memento of the excitement I felt after first seeing the product.

When faced with the reality of these products, disappointment is inevitable--not just because they're too little too late (if at all) but for even weirder reasons. We don't really want the stuff. We're paying for the sensation of a hypothetical idea, not the experience of a realized product. For the pleasure of desiring it. For the experience of watching it succeed beyond expectations or to fail dramatically. Kickstarter is just another form of entertainment. It's QVC for the Net set. And just like QVC, the products are usually less appealing than the excitement of learning about them for the first time and getting in early on the sale."
sponsorshipasentertainment  sponshorship  consumptionsasentertainment  entertainment  sourishong-porretta  micropatronage  crowdsourcing  ouya  cw&t;  products  qvc  experience  buyer'sremorse  consumerism  excitement  2012  ianbogost  kickstarter 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Miiu.org: The Resilient Community Wiki
"MiiU is a collection of all the objects, products, and places that make personal, family, and community resilience possible."

[A John Robb production, I think.]
community  johnrobb  resilience  collapse  resilientcommunity  objects  products  reference  howto  diy  collapsonomics  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Edwin Himself is Edwin Negado » MUJI’s Kenya Hara speaks on “Emptiness” at Wieden+Kennedy Portland
“Earth and Human Being. There is nothing, yet everything”.

“Emptiness holds the possibility of being filled”.

“To create is not just to create an object or a phenomenon. Coming up with a question is also creation. In fact, a question that has huge receptive capacity doesn’t even need a definitive answer. Questioning is emptiness”.
kenyahara  muji  emptiness  questioning  questions  learning  process  products  product  glvo  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  simplicity  possibility  wk  wieden+kennedy  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
This is Uncommon
"Uncommon makes the most well-designed, highest quality customizable products available. Our proprietary 3D TATT™ (Thermo-Active Transdermal Technology™) process ensures durable, long-lasting, high resolution imagery on every product we imprint. We then package your art with care and ship it quickly and safely to your door."
iphone  ipod  accessories  gifts  uncommon  shopping  products  printing  illustration  diy  design  custom  art  fabrication  webdesign  via:russelldavies  webdev  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
The life of products – Blog – BERG
"Products are not nouns but verbs. A product designed as a noun will sit passively in a home, an office, or pocket. It will likely have a focus on aesthetics, and a list of functions clearly bulleted in the manual… but that’s it.

Products can be verbs instead, things which are happening, that we live alongside. We cross paths with our products when we first spy them across a crowded shop floor, or unbox them, or show a friend how to do something with them. We inhabit our world of activities and social groups together… a product designed with this in mind can look very different."

[Related: http://berglondon.com/blog/2010/09/03/patina/ ]
products  use  actions  experience  engagement  berg  berglondon  meaning  apple  interaction  2006  design  mattwebb  beausage  patina  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Unique Gift Ideas, Creative Gift Ideas, Product and Video Reviews - Daily Grommet
"At the heart of it, we're a bunch of regular folks with a passion for finding Grommets; wonderful products--with interesting stories--that people would love to know about. We're independent—no one pays us to select a product. In fact, the best thing is, lots of people help us by sharing their own favorite discoveries. We're enabling Citizen Commerce™. Our “team” is anyone who believes that we can make a difference by celebrating the useful, innovative, and beautifully crafted Grommets we collectively discover." [See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/business/08proto.html]
dailygrommet  diy  invention  marketplace  gifts  crowdsourcing  shopping  business  entrepreneurship  ecommerce  design  products  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Project H Design: A Non-Profit Organization Supporting Life-Improving Humanitarian Product Design
"Project H Design connects the power of design to the people who need it most, and the places where it can make a real and lasting difference.

We are a team of designers and builders engaging locally to improve the quality of life for the socially overlooked. Our five-tenet design process (There is no design without (critical) action; We design WITH, not FOR; We document, share and measure; We start locally and scale globally, We design systems, not stuff) results in simple and effective design solutions for those without access to creative capital.

Our long-term initiatives focus on improving environments, products, and experiences for K-12 education institutions in the US through systems- level design thinking and deep community engagements."
humanitarian  education  design  architecture  social  community  environment  sustainability  africa  products  activism  green  charity  product  collaboration  innovation  nonprofit  agency  development  projecth  projecthdesign  emilypilloton  designthinking  good  socialdesign  nonprofits 
january 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - Shawn Achor, Part 1: The Science of Happiness and Potential
"Shawn Achor from Harvard University speaks on "Positive Pscyhology: The Science of Happiness and Potential." Shawn Achor describes the approach of positive psychology, the research behind how people can change, and the dramatic effects of positive psychology upon productivity, health, relationships, creativity, and success rates. He is the CEO of Aspirant, LLC, a positive psychology consulting firm in Cambridge, MA (www.shawnachor.com)."
happiness  products  work  psychology  shawnachor  potential 
september 2009 by robertogreco
BERG - "The new name for Schulze & Webb"
"BERG is a design consultancy, working hands-on with companies to research and develop their technologies and strategy, primarily by finding opportunities in networks and physical things." [introduction here: http://berglondon.com/blog/2009/08/19/this-is-berg/]
mattwebb  jackschulze  design  uk  invention  berg  berglondon  development  products  schulzeandwebb 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Products are Worthless
"Social Media and Utilities introduce a much healthier and useful form of marketing, focusing on understanding how and why products and companies are valuable – and then further establishing and building on their situational value, rather than trying to squeeze some artificial attention out of a dead horse."
userexperience  education  design  psychology  innovation  context  brands  marketing  products  services  servicedesign  socialinnovation 
july 2009 by robertogreco
More ideas , less stuff | Lets get creative | The Guardian
"We're in the midst of a period where people are questioning business models. It's in these downturned times that new innovative businesses and ideas spring up. Recessions are a good time to "prototype". Decisions get made quicker. New ideas don't get bogged down in process. People take risks. Recessions have happened before, of course, but this time we have a whole generation of people who are used to making new stuff happen fast on the web. Have an idea, go home, bash out the code and launch to the world. We are living in a world where people are used to prototyping quickly and cheaply."
benterrett  mattjones  russelldavies  unproduct  brucesterling  tcsnmy  reallyinterestinggroup  economics  future  innovation  consumerism  thinking  ideas  making  make  activism  creativity  design  business  newspapers  products  prototyping 
february 2009 by robertogreco
russell davies: from product to project
"So I've been thinking about how I can continue to projectise this product. And how this bag can have a 10-year + story. So I'm trying to add spimeiness to it and to use internet stuff as a memory aid for this thing. So, I've created a unique URL for it at thinglink, in the spirit of the skuwiki idea. And I've built a tumblblog for it at HMDbag.tumblr.com. That tumblr extracts things from flickr and delicious that I've tagged appropriately, so it's sort of self-generating. I imagine telling the story of the life of the bag that way, keeping it as a project not a product.

But what would be really nice would be if it could tell its own story more. Generate its own data. I could attach an RFID tag, but I'm not quite sure what would ever read it. I guess ideally it would have it's own GPS logging stick sewn in. Or something. The good thing though, about a 10-year + project is that you don't have to have it all sorted at the begining."
brucesterling  design  sustainability  russelldavies  manufacturing  howies  bags  rfid  spimes  brands  products  stories  gps  physical  things  unproduct  beausage  plannedobsolescence  plannedlongevity  glvo  wabi-sabi 
january 2009 by robertogreco
notebookism
"Notebookism will showcase our stories and the methods to our madness, product reviews, mods (a.k.a. hacks) - the kind of links you've gotten used to in my other blogs. If it’s notebook-related, let's hear about it."
notebooks  blogs  writing  notetaking  shopping  studentsupplieslist  journals  drawing  products 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Blog Entry "You Are Weird" from IA? EH.
"The real issue is that this is just another symptom of a big problem we have in our industry, but especially here in the valley. We tend to believe that our customers and users are much more like ourselves than they really are."
business  process  teaching  learning  ux  design  products  via:blackbeltjones 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Patagonia - The Footprint Chronicles
"Tracking the Environmental and Social Impact of Patagonia Clothing and Apparel"
apparel  patagonia  products  sustainability  environment  clothing  footprint  green  fashion  transparency  visualization  maps  mapping  carbon 
april 2008 by robertogreco
From Pixels to Plastic, Matt Webb - O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2007
"As the internet sensibility hits the stuff in our homes, our product world is undergoing a massive transformation. But once there, what will we build?" see slides and notes at: http://schulzeandwebb.com/2007/plastic/
mattwebb  etech  technology  presentations  design  web  internet  social  software  interaction  products  physical  objects  networking  fabrication  socialsoftware  interactiondesign  wow  hardware  usability  future  manufacturing  diy  make 
april 2008 by robertogreco
ENESS - interactive design, public installations, 3D software development from Melbourne, Australia
kevlar handkerchief, 5 1/4 inch floppy disk tiles, pingpong paddle stand, one hour circle-drawing clock, zen robot that creates perfect spirals in the sand
unproduct  nonproduct  design  glvo  products  interaction 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Salon.com Life | The parent trap...author Pamela Paul takes on $800 strollers, Gymboree and the bamboozle that is Baby Einstein.
"Question before you make any purchase whether what you're doing is to assuage your angst, guilt and fear, and if it's actually going to make a material difference for your child."
parenting  consumption  fear  consumerism  consumer  safety  children  products  toys  learning  books  marketing  television 
march 2008 by robertogreco
studiomama
"based in London, owned by designer Nina Tolstrup. She trained as a designer at prestigious Les Ateliers school of industrial design in Paris, has BA in Marketing from Business School in Copenhagen. Nina Tolstrup is designing products for companies while
furniture  design  craft  industrial  products  architecture  art  artist  glvo  projects  diy  artists 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Fight looms over consumer database - Los Angeles Times
"Industry groups are vigorously fighting a proposal for an Internet site where complaints about products, such as toys, could be posted."
influence  consumer  database  products  toys  freedom 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Planned obsolescence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"process of a product becoming obsolete and/or non-functional after a certain period or amount of use, approximately, as planned or designed by the manufacturer"
capitalism  unproduct  sociology  via:blackbeltjones  green  media  liberalism  manipulation  psychology  business  politics  culture  design  society  marketing  obsolescence  sustainability  products 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Better Than Free
"Eight Generatives Better Than Free: Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, Findability"
kevinkelly  free  economics  innovation  copyright  copying  technology  strategy  abundance  marketing  media  future  digital  value  trust  business  glvo  attention  web  findability  authenticity  evolution  accessibility  interface  design  products  publishing  personalization  information  culture  pricing  capitalism  ip 
february 2008 by robertogreco
"Trash to Treasure" competition for kids
"challenge kids of all ages to take everyday discarded or recycled material and re-engineer it into functional products. The product can move things or people (Mobility), protect the environment (Environmental), or be something kids can play with inside o
competition  design  recycling  sustainability  products  kids  play 
january 2008 by robertogreco
PopMatters | Columns | Rob Horning | Marginal Utility | The Design Imperative
"We are consigned to communicating through design, but it’s an impoverished language that can only say one thing: “That’s cool.” Design ceases to serve our needs, and the superficial qualities of useful things end up cannibalizing their functionality. The palpability of the design interferes, distracts from the activity an item is supposed to be helping you do. The activity becomes subordinate to the tools. You become the tool."
design  critique  criticism  function  form  utility  popular  aesthetics  retail  target  consumerism  consumer  society  competition  popularity  symbolism  industrial  products  customization  hipsters  marketing  image  personality  handmade  books  possessions  materialism  objects  fashion  style  commerce  variety  hipsterism 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The problem with perfect
"I think it's more helpful to focus on texture, on interpersonal interaction, on interesting. Interesting is attainable, and interesting is remarkable. Interesting is fresh every day and interesting leads to word of mouth."
perfection  experience  experiencedesign  design  products  services  texture  interaction  business  glvo 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Swap Meet 2.0: Selling Handmade Goods Online
"in the past couple of years, new online marketplace startups targeted specifically at the needs of independent artists and crafts people have emerged. Below we'll take a brief look at three such startups as well as eBay."
handmade  marketing  glvo  business  online  shopping  products  ecommerce  design  art  etsy  crafts  ebay 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Swap Meet 2.0 Part Deux: More Places to Buy & Sell Handmade Goods
"This is a small, but growing niche and today we'll take a look at three more startups that provide ecommerce and community services to independent artists and crafts people."
handmade  marketing  glvo  business  online  shopping  products  ecommerce  design  art  etsy 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Digicult Interview
"We see an opportunity in a design and research practice that operates between traditional long-term academic research studies and short-term commercial product development."
design  julianbleecker  nearfuturelaboratory  future  technology  research  academia  products  development  location-based  mobile  phones  videogames  games  play  interactive  interaction  imagination  culture  gamechanging  gaming  engineering  prototyping  firstlife  messaging 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - Play = communication = fun = creativity = design = events = blah
"sometimes I wonder what the hell we're all playing at. Is all this waffle about "communication" and "play" just what post-industrial societies do when they've lost all productive sense of purpose? Where, in all this, is the relationship between design an
art  children  creativity  design  engineering  ethics  innovation  science  work  play  gamechanging  glvo  momus  industry  postindustrialism  us  sweden  japan  recycling  sustainability  environment  production  products  sweatshops  manufacturing  culture  consumerism  conferences 
november 2007 by robertogreco
© ROGER ARQUER
see mouse traps, wedding rings, school desk
industrial  design  designer  product  products  portfolio  furniture 
october 2007 by robertogreco
7 Steps in the Lifecycle of a Green Product
"Despite claims to the contrary, products with zero environmental impact do not yet exist. But these new approaches to green design point to a day when that might just be possible."
products  design  sustainability  green  environment  cradletograve  innovation 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Cool Tool: TitleZ * RankForest
"While you can just check the Amazon page to see what a product's ranking is, what you really want is something that constantly tracks an item and compiles the data into graphs, charts, and spreadsheets."
books  trends  tracking  zeitgeist  amazon  sales  products  consumption  graphs  charts  ideas 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The Pirate's Dilemma
"companies and organizations are now struggling with a new dilemma in increasing numbers. As piracy continues to change the way we all use information, how should we respond? Do we fight pirates, or do we learn from them? Should piracy be treated as a pro
culture  economics  future  piracy  ip  innovation  creativity  books  products  design 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - The disappearance -- and reappearance -- of the ordinary
"Super normal design means design which, instead of trying to stand out by making a statement or being "stimulating", blends into the background, becoming unobtrusive but indispensable. (It's no surprise that Fukasawa has worked for Muji, whose "no brand
everyday  products  trends  design  simplicity  supernormal  industry 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Ponoko
"Ponoko is the world's first personal manufacturing platform. It's the online space for a community of creators and consumers to use a global network of digital manufacturing hardware to co-create, make and trade individualized product ideas on demand."
design  manufacturing  ponoko  networking  objects  business  internet  personal  printing  shopping  spimes  technology  platform  industry  glvo  fabrication  crowdsourcing  customization  construction  crafts  creation  entrepreneurship  engineering  diy  services  inventions  make  invention  personalization  socialnetworking  prototype  products  global 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Livelygrey
"This weblog is an attempt to transmit some of 20+ years of professional color experience."
color  design  blogs  education  art  photography  photoshop  theory  maps  mapping  infographics  information  graphics  products 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Experience Stack (Schulze & Webb)
"a way of thinking about the different levels at which experience design operates. Experience design can be thought of as comprising branding, service design, product design, interaction design and human factors. This presentation highlights products demo
branding  design  mattwebb  experience  ux  products 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser » Blog Archive » The Experience Stack revisited
"The experience stack is a way of thinking about the different levels at which experience design operates. Experience design can be thought of as… * branding; * service design; * product design; * interaction design; * human factors."
ux  branding  design  experience  interaction  products  process  services  presentations  schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon 
september 2007 by robertogreco
AfriGadget
"Gadgets for Africa: Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity"
blogs  africa  gadgets  activism  craft  make  hardware  hacks  recycling  products  practical  technology  engineering  energy  environment  equipment  problemsolving  ingenuity 
july 2007 by robertogreco
News.PDA Live! - Samsung’s Braille phone wins gold at IDEA 2006 - PDA Live.com
"The “Touch Messenger” enables the visually impaired users to send and receive Braille text messages. The 3 x 4 button on the phone is used as two Braille keypads and text messages can be checked through the Braille display screen in the lower part."
mobile  phones  design  culture  blind  usability  technology  products 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Enzo Mari / 25/25 - Celebrating 25 Years of Design : Product + Furniture Designer (1932-) - Design/Designer Information
"One of the most thoughtful and intellectually provocative Italian designers of the late 20th century, ENZO MARI (1932-) has proved as influential to younger generations of designers as to his peers as a writer, teacher, artist and designer of products, f
enzomari  design  toys  products  games  furniture  puzzles  italy  visual  teaching  learning 
july 2007 by robertogreco
PingMag - The Tokyo-based magazine about “Design and Making Things” » Archive » Artecnica: Enchantingly Handmade Recycled Design
"Designers Artecnica from sunny California took the first step by abandoning toxic materials and changed its production to recycled goods, producing high-class designs from Hella Jongerius, the Campana brothers or Tord Boontje - handmade in developing cou
design  recycling  products  sustainability  pingmag 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Subtraction: Designed Deterioation
"An object should be designed not just for sale, but also for day to day wear and tear. With use, this iPhone should get more attractive, should become like a trusted and inseparable friend."
beausage  design  use  productdesign  products  iphone  ipod  industrial  apple  age  ux  beauty  wear  plannedobsolescence  obsolescence  sustainability  architecture  capitalism  consumerism  reuse  hardware  wabi-sabi 
july 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - Patagonia Shoes: Do-It-Yourself Footwear (Moccasins)
"With a focus on sustainable production and the elimination of waste, Patagonia Do-It-Yourself (DIY) footwear is made with surplus leather from Patagonia's footwear-manufacturing process. Patagonia DIY is a distinctive, eco-friendly, and easy-to-assemble
design  patagonia  diy  make  products  productdesign  experience  sustainability  green  shoes 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Feature Presentation: Financial Page: The New Yorker
"This spiral of complexity, often called “feature creep,” costs consumers time, but it also costs businesses money."
simplicity  technology  usability  gadgets  electronics  experience  ux  design  consumer  complexity  apple  business  choice  development  economics  engineering  functionality  marketing  production  products  psychology  software  user 
june 2007 by robertogreco
A fast rate of return | csmonitor.com
"With half of today's gadgets brought back to stores in perfect working order, manufacturers are aiming to simplify."
simplicity  technology  usability  gadgets  electronics  experience  ux  design  consumer  complexity  apple  business  choice  development  economics  engineering  functionality  marketing  production  products  psychology  software  user 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Products Are People Too (Schulze & Webb)
"Design can be easier when we acknowledge that products share our homes and malls, and have wants and lives of their own. In short: Products are people too. Matt traces a path through social software, adaptive design and engaging technology, and puts forw
design  product  mattwebb  ux  products  presentations  reboot9  adaptive 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Core77 - Experience is the Product: Why designers will never succeed in product design by simply doing product design
"Transcendent product design is a matter of philosophy and approach...product development has gone wrong is that people stop...when the solutions are most convoluted...you have to go beyond; you have to think about the experience people are having."
business  design  marketing  technology  ux  experience  user  strategy  gamechanging  branding  advertising  flickr  apple  target  systems  methodology  innovation  management  engagement  process  interactiondesign  interaction  products  designthinking  experiencedesign  usability  kodak 
june 2007 by robertogreco
:::: THE WORK ::::
"Human Beans create provocative concepts. We make fictional products by hacking commercial culture and we design new services by working with real people"
design  concepts  products  culture  collaborative  collaboration  people  video  cooking  interactive  interaction  glvo  advertising  technology 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Summize - Summarized product reviews
"Over 6 million user reviews on 1 million products — visualized, summarized, simplified, fructified."
aggregator  amazon  books  cameras  color  visualization  visual  tools  readwriteweb  infographics  information  shopping  services  product  products  gadgets  gifts  graphics  graphs  hardware  consumerism  comparison  research  reviews 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Martin Guixe: Ten Years of Food Design
""I have considered that I will buy perhaps two chairs in my lifetime," said Guixe, "but I buy food three times a day." With those words he then turned his attention to designing, you guessed it, food."
food  design  products  information  graphics  infographics 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Zen and the Art of Selling Minimalism
"Muji, Japan's unbranded Ikea-cum-Target, is planning its first outlet in America"
design  japan  muji  homes  products  household 
march 2007 by robertogreco
From Pixels to Plastic (Schulze & Webb)
"Matt Webb takes the lessons of the Web, social software, and interaction design, and spins up new products—new social stuff—for our connected and creative lives."
presentations  design  web  internet  social  software  interaction  mattwebb  products  technology  physical  objects  networking  fabrication  socialsoftware  interactiondesign  wow  hardware  usability  future  manufacturing  diy  make 
march 2007 by robertogreco
The Sound of Interaction Design (Schulze & Webb)
"This presentation is on how a new generation wants social, creative, networked products, and how design can help not by identifying tasks to be productively performed, but experiences to be deepened and made fun."
design  experience  future  interactive  presentations  products  usability  research  media  interaction 
february 2007 by robertogreco
MPR: Life by Design
"The word 'design' used to be relegated to the conversations of academics and engineers, but now it pops up in housekeeping magazines and department store aisles. Although most of us don't learn about it in school, design -- both good and bad -- has a tre
radio  culture  design  architecture  cities  consumer  products  popular 
february 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - Kodak - Winds of Change
"This is a commercial that was produced for internal use. But it has become so popular, especially with employees, that Kodak has released it for external viewing. It demonstrates that Kodak not only understands it's changing business but also has a sense
photography  digital  products  humor  advertising  future  history  marketing  gadgets  cameras 
january 2007 by robertogreco
WOOD - Stain Teacup
"Stain is a set of a teacups designed to improve through use. This project examines the assumption that use is damaging to a product (For example, scratches on an iPod)."
beausage  housewears  ceramics  use  age  wear  stain  design  products  wabi-sabi 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Cool Hunting: Stain Teacups
"This product challenges the assumption that use (i.e. scratches, discoloration, wear and tear) is damaging or bad. Designed to improve through use, the inside of the cup is treated so that it is more susceptible to the staining that results from tea drinking. The more the cup is used, the more the pattern is revealed and, over time, the intensity of the pattern will increase the speed depends on the owner's personal tea drinking habit."
beausage  housewears  ceramics  use  age  wear  stain  design  products  wabi-sabi 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Welcome to Scrybe
"Scrybe™ is a groundbreaking online organizer that caters to today´s lifestyle in a cohesive and intuitive way."
calendar  business  web  internet  online  planning  visualization  productivity  work  products  software  tools  usability 
november 2006 by robertogreco
DigitAll Magazine - The Wizard of Ahs
"For most designers, there is no higher purpose than making the latest products ever more desirable. Ross Lovegrove has another ambition: to recreate design as a chance to explore how we live. Deyan Sudjic learns how the Wizard of ahs turns technology int
design  products  technology 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Creating Passionate Users: How to make something amazing, right now
"This blog and many others have talked about constraint-driven creativity a lot, but I wanted to emphasize again that it's not just about inspiring (or forcing) creativity, it's also about getting something done. How many of us keep planning to get around to writing that book... once we've got some free time? How many projects stay on the back burner forever because we just can't seem to make it happen?"
creativity  innovation  productivity  constraints  work  film  videogames  programming  coding  products  kathysierra 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser » Blog Archive » My printer, my social letterbox
"It’s the desktop printer meets social software meets the fax machine, but in everyday life rather than the office. The printer is no longer a printer, it’s my social letterbox."
printing  products  social  technology  web  internet  online  networks  comments  schulzeandwebb  berg  berglondon 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Wize. People Know.
"When it comes to shopping, we believe that everyone is smarter than any one. That's why we are constantly gathering user reviews, expert reviews, and buzz from all over the web."
aggregator  shopping  search  reviews  information  products  ratings  reference  reputation  gadgets  hardware  research  consumer  tips  money  capitalism 
october 2006 by robertogreco
front - [navigate to "projects", then to "animals"]
"Design by animals. Wallpaper, hooks, lamps and other everyday objects designed by rats, dogs, snakes and beetles. We asked animals to help us. "Sure we'll help you out", they answered. "Make something nice", we told them. And so they did."
art  furniture  design  sweden  portfolio  products  animals  nature 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Philips Simplicity event - GadgetCentre Features
"Philips showed off its latest free-thinking ideas for its annual 'concepts' show at the ExCel Centre in London's docklands this week."
innovation  homes  interiors  materials  interaction  future  products  research  simplicity  technology  ubicomp  light  gadgets 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Mobile Opportunity: Good luck naming your phones, Nokia
"But there are several huge problems with using real words as product names."
design  marketing  technology  names  words  language  superstition  numbers  products  naming 
september 2006 by robertogreco
FlipClips : Turn Your Digital Video Clips into Paper FlipClips!
"Preserve special moments with much more than just a photo! Turn your digital video clips into paper flipclips ™to carry with you, send and share!"
services  publishing  animation  books  howto  photography  motion  fun  products 
august 2006 by robertogreco
Bloat is a function of time, people, and money - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)
"Why does most software get bloated? Time, people and money.' Replace *software* with almost anything else (like curriculum) and the answers still hold true.
design  people  work  education  schools  curriculum  money  time  products 
may 2006 by robertogreco
Techies ponder how to cut through info overload | CNET News.com
"In today's gadget-jammed, sensory-overloaded culture, drawing and keeping a consumer's attention is more important than ever to businesses."
psychology  visualization  consumption  internet  etiquette  society  information  productivity  behavior  products 
march 2006 by robertogreco
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