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September 30, 2008

Fall Color

September 29, 2008

Dr. Strangelove's War Room

A video interview with Ken Adam, the production designer who created the War Room set for Dr. Strangelove.

[via Super Colossal]

September 28, 2008

TRASH_AUDIO: Workspace and Environment: The Great Mundane

The Great Mundane Trash Audio Interview from push the button on Vimeo.


Droid: Android's Font

Elizabeth Woyke at Forbes discusses Droid, the font developed by Ascender for Google's phone OS.

The sweet spot--and the final look for Droid--fell somewhere in the middle. Matteson's first design was "bouncy": a look in line with the Google logo's angled lowercase "e." Google passed on the design because it was "a little too mannered," Matteson says. "There was a fine line between wanting the font to have character but not cause too much commotion."

Another proposal erred on the side of "techno" with squared-off edges reminiscent of early computer typefaces. That too was rejected, along with several others, in favor of a more neutral design that Matteson describes as "upright with open forms, but not so neutral as a design like, say, Helvetica."

As Gizmodo points out, it's nice that the font provides some coherence to the Android's design, because the rest of the OS suffers from a jarring inconsistency it describes as a "scrambled UI" and "a mash-up between the Nintendo DS and a '90s Windows desktop manager."

[via ]

September 26, 2008



Dedicated readers (hi, dad!) will have, by now, noticed that I haven't posted anything for several days. This is due to a root canal I had Thursday morning. My dentist (healthy, clean-living guy that he is--there are issues of Adventure Cycling in his waiting room) told me, post-drilling, "When the anesthetic wears off, take whatever you take when you have a headache."

I now realize he meant, "Take whatever you take when someone has hit you in the head with an aluminum baseball bat," which is normally a high-grade narcotic that my medical caregiver prescribes to me.

So, not much posting until the tiny men in my skull stop kicking my front lobes.

[That is not, btw, my skull. It's a creative-commons licensed image by nullalux. I should have asked for my x-rays, since my dentist's office is weirdly mac-savvy and networked, with my x-rays being sent instantly to MacBooks in the exam rooms. Maybe this is normal.]

September 21, 2008

Redesigning usa.gov

Andy Rutledge redesigns usa.gov using the assumption that Obama will win the presidential election. Much hilarity ensues.

Do not fear these changes! Like other similar socialist leaders before him--Marx, Lenin, De Leon, Debs, Trotsky, Chavez, and others--Obama seeks to destroy only the most successful among us. You, as a member of the honorable and patriotic middle-class, will only benefit from these changes so that all Americans can enter the middle-class and all equally receive entitlement from our benevolent Socialist government.

But this is a design exercise! Don't be confused by the politically-charged statements you've read thus far. This sort of language appears in this article only by necessity, so that you, the designer, can fully grasp the scope and context in which we'll be working in this redux exercise. As designers, we need the whole picture in order to do our best work. And since media coverage of this year's election works to obscure the whole picture, it is important that for purposes of our exercise here we look beyond what the network media outlets report.

For example,

Note how past cliches of patriotism are now replaced with far more compelling images. Nothing can inspire as the resplendent likeness of our charismatic leader and the epitome of Socialist solidarity: a single red star. The tagline for the site is also appropriately changed. Yes, a powerful and contextually appropriate beginning to this page.


[via Andy Rutledge : Design View]

September 19, 2008


In my unrestrained optimism that I know how to use a soldering iron, I'm now working on a Thingamakit, which the company describes as a "noise monster." From what I can tell based on the audio samples on the web, the Thingamakit emulates a piece of expensive audio equipment that's been dropped several times. To me, this seemed interesting.

It turns out I should restrain my optimism. I'm currently in the middle of unsoldering most of the leads and testing the connections.

September 18, 2008

Evacuated of Meaning

Lebbeus Woods posts DEAD WORDS, a short list of terms that have lost useful meaning for architecture.


In the present time of appropriation in art, as well as the mass-merchandizing of brand name products, including those of famous architects, the idea of originality is not only of minimal interest, but, being a form of the radical [see above], rather dangerous. Of far greater interest is the recycling of ideas, products, and modes. Appropriation acquired legitimacy in the post-Modernism of the 70s and 80s, when the recycling of historical styles—including Modernism—was in vogue. Today, it continues in the guise of architectural populism and social realism, where low art, such as squatter architecture, is elevated to high, and presented as avant-garde.


September 13, 2008

RIP, David Foster Wallace


David Foster Wallace, the novelist, essayist and humorist best known for his 1996 tome "Infinite Jest," was found dead last night at his home in Claremont, according to the Claremont Police Department. He was 46.

(From the LA Times story.)

September 06, 2008

Heavy-Duty Sampling

Johannes Kreidler's "Product Placement" (above) a 33-second remix that uses 70,200 samples to create a glitch-heavy masterpiece. (I'm not sure what the criteria are for "masterpiece" in this genre, but Kreidler's clip makes Girl Talk seem like lazy muzak.) Create Digital Music has some background as well as a video of the phone call he made in his attempts to clear copyright for the samples for his work (the licensing agency requires an individual request form to be completed for each sample).

September 05, 2008

English is Hard

In a video interview with type company House Industries, Ed Rondthaler explains why English is hard to spell (with flipcharts).