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  • Design: The art of intention

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design

    I've been reading some of the thoughts about social backlash against design, and it occurs to me that "design" as it's sometimes expressed, has more to do with expression of the designer's inner dialogue or concepts or process, than a common visual or conceptual vernacular.

    For design to be accepted, it must speak in a common language and a common symbology that has meaning for more folks than the designer alone. It is tremendously tempting for leading-edge designers to forge a new path with concepts that push the envelope. But ultimately, the design will be "consumed" by folks who are more pedestrian in nature and don't give a fig about envelopes or pushing or whatnot.

    There is a necessary tension that must exist, of course, for life to emerge, but in the end, there's less to be gained from speaking fluent Flemish to an Inuit, than both parties speaking less-than-perfect lingua franca.

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  • RISD launches HI-RES

    Environment, Communication Design


    RISD has just announced the release of HI-RES, a publication featuring student work that calls attention to key social and environmental issues.

    “High-res” is a term used to describe an image that has been brought into greater clarity — higher resolution. How can we bring the future into HI RES? The works featured here demonstrate the enormous potential artists and designers have to radically re-envision the world around us. First presented as an exhibition and publication in spring 2007, HI RES highlights RISD student work that focuses on the opportunities and imperatives in our changing world. These are the images, objects, structures and experiences that will move the world towards a better, more sustainable future.

    Via Core77.

  • Green web design

    Communication, Communication Design


    Why web design is inherently sustainable

    If capitalism is to survive, and sustain itself, then the death of the high street is essential. We must re-think our romantic ideals about outings to the shops, and become brutally honest about how best we can optimise the energy efficiency of our consumption. Can we continue constructing vast shopping centres and retail parks, or must any environmentally conscious retail outlet now employ a website as its primary sales assistant?

    Read full article...

  • Progressive documentary

    Communication, Audio/Visual Design



    The content and structure of the documentary is of foremost importance. There should be strong and definitive rationale, content and conclusion; much like an essay. The documentary should have aims that are systematically tackled during the body of the film, by the end the aims should have been solved or revised, and a conclusion drawn. The documentary can be seen as a factual visual essay.


    All information used must be from a knowledgeable source on the subject, and where possible backed up by facts and figures. The extensive use of credible facts and figures is heavily encouraged.

    Read full article...

  • Political art inside the gallery

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design


    Your motives

    Tackling social and political issues through the gallery environment is unarguably the most hypocritical of all art practices. The very notion of deciding to make a political artwork is inherently insincere and disingenuous, immediately calling into question your intent and aims. If you are so concerned, as you should be, with the social or political issue you are tackling; if you are passionate and therefore want to provoke as much possibility of change as possible, targeting such an audience as a gallery produces, predominantly a white middle class elite, is the epitome of pretentious. Why target such a narrow audience? The bigger the audience, the more you can inspire; the more likely change is to occur.

    Read full article...

  • A virtual democracy

    Communication, Communication Design


    Digital psychogeography

    Architecture is emerging from the rubble of the pre-revolutionary internet. Days when the one way communication of static sites mirrored the reality of a faceless world dominated by corporations.

    Web 2.0 has brought democracy to the global village and created an entirely connected mental environment. One in which users are allowed to navigate, discover and interact in our virtual habitat - a vast interconnected playground charged with potential freedom and an emphasis on user power, all but lost in today's image saturated culture.

    It's now not only the rich that can create and distribute the image, but anyone with access to a computer. Politics, culture, and education no longer have a price tag, and censorship is no longer an option.

    The cultivation of the internet, our most democratic stage, is contributing to the increasing liberation of the user's mental environment.

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  • The future of the Global Justice Movement

    Community, Communication Design


    Common cause

    The resistance is growing - and for the first time truly unified. A unity found in justice, dignity and empowerment of the masses. With new technologies bypassing barriers of space, time and economy, a wave of global struggles have found common cause in the global village. From the U.K. to the U.S. to Palestine to Mexico to India to Venezuela to Zambia, mass movements are engaging against the repression enforced by the monetary demands of elite institutions. People irrespective of national identity and economic status are united in fighting inequality, corruption, media distortion, unethical corporations, environmental devastation, neo-liberal economics, native repression, cultural destruction and the root causes of poverty, war and ill health.

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  • The battle for our streets

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design


    A taste of dissent

    Current TV & Indymedia's citizen journalism. Banksy's urban-insurgency. Adbusters Magazine. Culture jamming & subvertisments' reorientation of corporate advertising. The blackspot sneaker factory. Mark Thomas' comedy slash activism. Two million people marching through London and engaging in sit down protests on major junctions. The Yes Men's coup of international news programming. Two million free Rough Guide to a Better World books. James Cauty's Blackoff Post-Terrorist Xmas Gift Shop. WorldChanging and Treehugger's online lifestyle guides.

    Read full article...

  • The Essential 100... to 100% Design London 2007

    Environment, Environmental Design


    The Essential Guide to 100% Design flew through my letterbox this morning, and after a good hour and twenty A4 pages of notes later, I reached the final page. Wow! If that is only the Essential Guide, it is going to be a very long day (or three), covering the now 5-sector event.

    Taking place at London’s Earls Court on 20-23 September comes 100% Design, 100% Detail, 100% Light, 100% Materials and new this year 100% Futures. With Tom Dixon as the new Creative Director and involvement from Greenpeace, 100% Design 2007 is unsurprisingly focused toward Sustainability, and sure to withhold inspiration for everyone. Although I do not intend to profile all 100 of the must-sees this year, I would like to point out 10, which I know I am looking forward to seeing!

    For further exhibitor listings and information visit the 100% Design website.


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