Posts tagged “building”

Out and About: Steve in Lisbon (2 of 2)

More observations from last week’s trip to Lisbon. See part 1 here

Street art.

Body-enhancing undergarments.


Eat box? Yum!

Y’arr! Pirate Bar! That’s some great neon. Perfect place for Drink Like A Pirate Day.

Scented dolls? They look pretty intense. Perhaps they inch forward menacingly as you pass by their window.

The design museum was redoing its facade with sticky notes. We watched their progress over several days.

This is the take-a-number device for a retail queue. Far more advanced than the familiar North American paper ticket dispenser. And also unrecognizable if you don’t read Portuguese and don’t know to look for this.

Detail of a building exterior. Tiled buildings are ubiquitous, with many different beautiful tile designs of various vintages.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Before I die I want to… [Creative Review] – [Flat-out inspiring and deeply moving public art in New Orleans. One brilliant comment after the article observes that the installation proves that: "…design work is incomplete without an audience."] "I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what's important to us as residents and as human beings," says Chang.
  • [from julienorvaisas] New Version of Madden 12 Called a ‘Teaching Tool’ on Concussion [] – [Video games largely exist to allow people to immerse in fantasy, unbounded by physical constraints and free to indulge in acts not possible – or advisable – in real life. Madden NFL takes a different tack.] Player animations, now sophisticated enough to depict Peyton Manning’s throwing motion and Randy Moss’s gait, will not display helmet-to-helmet tackles, hits to the heads of defenseless players or dangerous headfirst tackling, said Phil Frazier, the executive producer of Madden 12. John Madden, the coach for whom the game is named and who is involved in its development, said that the impetus for the changes was twofold: to further hone the game’s realism, and to teach youngsters to play football more safely. “Concussions are such a big thing, it has to be a big thing in the video game. It starts young kids — they start in video games. I think the osmosis is if you get a concussion, that’s a serious thing and you shouldn’t play. Or leading with the head that you want to eliminate."
  • [from julienorvaisas] Crimes against design: Airport carpets [ICON MAGAZINE] – [Apparently I'm not the only one noticing and often lamenting commercial carpet patterns inflicted upon us in airports, convention centers, and movie theaters. I marvel at the number of deliberate choices that must have led to these tragic outcomes and how many dark souls are complicit.] Those travellers who turn their eyes away from the skies and look down at the ground of their immediate present will be richly rewarded. For unbeknownst to many, beneath each traveller's feet is a knotted kaleidoscope of shapes and colours, a flat-weaved cornucopia of scintillating signs and sigils, a polypropylene sea awash with dark and hidden beauty. I speak, of course, of the airport carpet. As the world's largest interior visual design medium, airport carpets have spread a multi-faceted but uniform aesthetic to the furthest reaches of the globe In their geometric precision, sensitivity to colour, and ability to absorb and hide stains. The link between carpeting and flight stretches back millennia.
  • [from steve_portigal] The Lighter Side of Plutonium; Energy Group Mascots Include Little Mr. Pluto [WSJ] – [Interesting that in the land of cute the nuclear mascot was seen as going too far even before the disaster] But perhaps the most controversial of all promotional characters is Pluto-kun, or Little Mr. Pluto, who represents the friendly side of one of the most toxic substances known to man, plutonium. The brainchild of a now defunct government research organization, the apple-cheeked animated Little Mr. Pluto debuted in the mid-1990s wearing a green helmet with a pair of antennae and the chemical symbol for plutonium, PU. Promising to “never be scary or dangerous,” Little Mr. Pluto extolled the benefits of plutonium, which Japanese nuclear authorities have viewed as a fuel of the future for fast breeder reactor technology. But an animated video used in educational materials included a widely criticized scene showing Little Mr. PU shaking hands with a boy who safely downs a plutonium-tainted beverage to make the debatable point the substance would pass through a body without doing harm.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Start-Ups Follow Twitter, and Become Neighbors [] – [The supposed demand to be co-located in the same office building as Twitter, hoping for some f2f meatspace benefits from proximity to a virtual powerhouse] And so he snagged an office at 795 Folsom, Twitter’s headquarters in the SoMa neighborhood. There, he has been stalking executives on — where else? — Twitter, to see who is to visit Twitter’s offices. When he finds out, he pounces and “hijacks the meeting,” he said, by asking them to swing by his company, Klout. By doing that, he has met Robert Scoble, the influential technology blogger, and Steve Rubel, director of insights for the digital division of Edelman, the big public relations firm, and has spotted Kanye West in the lobby on his way to Twitter. Through elevator and lobby run-ins, he has also forged a close enough relationship with Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, that Mr. Costolo is helping Klout raise venture capital. “Now I have his cellphone, and I text him,” Mr. Fernandez said.
  • [from steve_portigal] User-centered Innovation in Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability class [SF Chronicle] – [The article mostly focuses on a specific innovative design – a low-cost incubator-type-solution for Nepal; but the most quotable bits were towards the end, where they discuss the operating framework of this class.] About to start its eighth year in January, the class has completed about 60 projects for 15 partner organizations in 10 countries. It brings together students from different academic backgrounds…They all have one goal in common: to design products for the poor and to treat them as customers rather than handing them our leftovers and castoffs. "We are trying to figure out what they want and need," said Jim Patell, the Stanford professor who leads the class. "It is not our job to tell them what they want."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Chicago's Sears Tower is now Willis Tower – Willis Tower was to be introduced to Chicago by Mayor Richard M. Daley and others on Thursday during a public renaming ceremony hosted by Willis Group Holdings. The London-based insurance brokerage secured the naming rights as part an agreement to lease 140,000 square feet of space on multiple floors of the building, and has said it plans to bring hundreds of jobs to the city. The 110-story skyscraper has been known as Sears Tower since it opened in 1973. Its original tenant, Sears Roebuck and Co., moved out in 1992 but its sign stayed. The company's naming rights had expired in 2003, but it continued to be called the Sears Tower. A real estate investment group, American Landmark Properties of Skokie, now owns the 1,450-foot-tall building.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Is Alain Robert, the "French Spiderman" who ascends skyscrapers, authentic? – The author contacts Christian Beckwith, founder of Alpinist magazine: "'The technical difficulty of what he does is not extraordinary,' he said-but acknowledged an element of sacrilege in his 'shtick." He said, 'The climbers who garner the most respect in the sort of hard-core climbing community are the people who go out an are climbing for the love of it, and they pull off the bitchingest thing anybody's ever done, and they never say a word to anybody.'
    Other prominent climbers asserted that Robert was a member of the community in good standing. 'Climbers tend to say, 'Oh, this is just bogus, it's like a stunt,' and what it is of course, is pretty badass," Ivan Greene said. Alex Honnold: 'I don't have anything particularly inspiring to say about Alain Robert. Except that he's totally badass.' Matt Samet: 'One word: badass.'"

Son of designer-y jargon


A bricoleur is a person who creates things from scratch, is creative and resourceful: a person who collects information and things and then puts them together in a way that they were not originally designed to do.

This can apply to actual stuff, but also to ideas or concepts. I certainly resonate with this approach to synthesis. Thanks to Stacy Surla for this one!


Saw this in a building today. To gain entry, you had to walk up to a machine – a video camera on a podium with a small screen – and state your name and who you were there to see. It wasn’t quite like some Star-Wars-esque door or anything; the machine stood in the middle of a open area, with straps-on-posts to guide you to the right place. Further, there was a security attendant/hostess who stood sat many feet behind the podium at her own desk and sort of offered guidance/instructions on how to proceed. I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures of it, unfortunately. The machine was covered with signage made out of the same red plastic with white letters – there were several signs visible to address various interactions and warnings. Very kludgey, and since no one checked ID or called up to the floor you were planning to visit, it didn’t feel very secure, even if they had me on tape.

BTW – I guess there’s something new called Blogger Images whereby you can upload images to a Blogger blog. I only found out about it because there was some problem with it and the Blogger Status feed I subscribe to had info. I actually couldn’t’ find any sort of announcement about it. Thanks for nothing, Blogger.


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