In 2015, Google released an experimental software plugin for its Chrome browser called Tone. The small tool is remarkable in its peculiar approach for overcoming the obstacles posed by the incompatabilities of modern communication devices, operating systems and network protocols. The browser plugin makes it possible to exchange online content with others in a shared physical space (like a class or meeting room) through sound. It allows to broadcast the URL of any web content as a uniquely encoded sound snippet over the speaker of one’s computer. Any other machine within ear-shot, running Chrome with the plugin activated and listening, is thereby promted to open the respective web link. The reliablility of the transmission depends on the volume of the speaker and the distance of the listening machines, but also on ambient sounds or the orientation of computers relative to each other. It’s even said to work over phone and video calls. As its developers note in a blog post: “Tone behaves like speech in interesting ways”. Although the generated sound itself is cryptic, the auditory mode of sending data affords a somewhat comprehensible and approachable form of interaction. You can instantly hear how loud your message is sent, you might have to send it again, a bit louder this time, to reach everyone in the room, move your machine closer towards the listeners, or interrupt conversations to allow for a successful transmission.
The notion of ‘failure’ hold a key role in design. Across industry and education, failures are praised, even celebrated, as crucial shortcuts to better design solutions, as epitomized in David Kelley of IDEO’s famous ‘fail faster to succeed sooner’. While failures in design practice thus are gospel, they are supposedly close to non-existent in design research. Here we find no celebration, and very limited articulation.
The final countdown, an incessant voice on your head, the tic tac on your watch, your heart beating so fast, your breathing accelerated. It’s not a panic attack, your deadline is knocking on your door.
Classic advertising has been and still is conceived by hierarchy of effects models (Barry 1987). Well-known is “AIDA”, an acronym that stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. Ideally a possible customer would undergo these hierarchical stages ending with the action of buying. The first, attention, is seen as a cognitive stage i.e. mental processing is taking place here (cf. Barry 1987: 271–273). To capture attention several “tactics” are proposed: color, motion, uniqueness, loudness – measures designers are experts for (cf. Campbell, Mattison Thompson, Grimm & Robson 2017: 415). But where and how are these attention-getting tactics applied? Continue reading “Jan-Henning Raff: Advertising and Obstruction”
”And an oulipotic AUTOR, what is that? He is „a rat who constructs itself a labyrinth from which it would like to find the way out.“ A labyrinth of what? Of words, sounds, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books, libraries, prose, poetry and everything in this way … How can you learn more? By reading.“✽
In the search for an idea, the designer repeatedly encounters the problem of setting limits on the thematic and creative possibilities, defining rules that give direction to his approach. But what has the image of the rat looking for the exit in the labyrinth to do with strategies in the design process? The comparison with the rat in the labyrinth, as we will see, raises another question: which search strategies open up unseen possibilities of thought, imagination and action in design?
Inspired by groups that work with self-imposed systems of constraints, such as Oulipo and more specifically Ougrapo (Ouvroir du design graphique potentiel or Workshop of potential graphic design), we decided to create a collection of postal stamps under specific restrictions.
When I started working on animated sequences and 3D modeling (mid 90’s), the rendering process took usually the same amount of time as the creation work, a sequence of 120 frames was equivalent to half a day of render.
Apart from the possible meanings of the term render and its mystical links, its inevitable presence as a distressing blind wait in the middle of the workflow ordered my way of working, adding an uncomfortable and mysterious piece in the workflow, even in 100% analog projects , which do not require rendering I add some part that replaces what the render process does.
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Being born within the formalization of the image in times of analog technologies and palpable materialities, forged me in a precise way of thinking and doing.
Times change, practices too.
My own need to update my creative and professional practices threw me into this new form of thinking and construction: programming and code.
From the ancient era, sexual hormones have always been an obstacle – a huge one. Due to sexual hormones, we want/need to have intercourse. This action generates offspring that we have to take care of. Because of this, sometimes we cannot sleep, other times we do not have enough time, money or attention to focus in other (creative) actions.
At the same time, these biochemical entities that impregnate our bodies seduce us to think and create further, to the infinite. They motivate us to love, construct, intercourse, re-create, run, hide, invent, innovate, intimidate.
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Given my role as director, screenwriter and film and television producer, I am constantly dealing with budgetary issues in every project I undertake. This situation seems a priori, an obstacle to be overcome. However, I guess that we should rethink the concept and understand it as a limitation that empowers us, as a frame that frames us and forces us to increase our creativity, and can be highly beneficial to the work we are producing.