A few weeks ago we held an event called Play With Design at the V&A Museum of Childhood as part of the London Design Festival. Bit more on the background here. A small event all about design and computer games. The point of the event was to show kids that if you like drawing and you like computer games, you could be a games designer.
In the main hall you could see sketches of famous games and draw your own character and downstairs you could make your own computer game using Scratch Jr. We had 40 kids doing workshops and the stack up character cups got higher than the kids. I'm not sure of visitor numbers, but it was busy all day. MakieLab even brought along a 3D printer.
It was fun. Hopefully we'll do it again next year.
Last year I joined the advisory board of the London Design Festival. It's a pretty big deal, with over 300 events in one week. Started in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell it's spawned similar festivals all over the world..
But I was concerned that it was a bit to "chairs and lamps". That's a bit harsh, there are many bits to the festival and there's an good weekend of graphics at the V&A including Paula Scher, Disobedient Objects and Posters of Protest and Revolution.
Anyway. I decided to try something different and see if that worked. So on Saturday 20th September there is a small event at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green called Play With Design. It's about design and games. And it's aimed at kids that like drawing and like playing games.
You'll be able to draw a character on a coffee cup like Rexbox does and see very early sketches of famous games characters like Moshi Monsters and Monument Valley.
MakieLab will be there and hopefully we'll have a 3D printer working away on the day and there will be dolls!
I'm extremely grateful to all the support and help from Jo Roach, Rhian Harris - Exec Director of the Museum of Childhood, Sophia George, Jo Twist and Elaine Wyatt who actually organising the event.
It would be great to see you and we could do with some help. You won't miss us, we'll be right next to the cafe.
If you can draw - please come along and help draw on the cups. The more people that do that the better.
If you are an actual games designer and you have early sketches please drop me a line. I'd like to get hold of some more so we can print them big and exhibit them in the museum. The more we get and the more sketchy they are - the better! Email me ben.terrett at gmail.
More details here. Please retweet etc.
This is a City of London bollard in Swanage, Dorset which is not in London. I noticed it on a walk early one morning. Here are some more.
The internet has more info, "Many architecturally interesting buildings and monuments were scavenged as a result of the company's construction work on prestigious projects in London, and re-erected by Burt in Swanage and Durlston… More prosaically, many of Swanage's cast iron bollards were originally made for London boroughs, and still carry their names."
And a bit more here, "One of the reasons why George Burt and his Uncle brought so many artefacts from London to Swanage had to do with the sailing ketches they used to trasnport stone from Swanage to London during the 19th century.
It was unsafe for these ships to return to Swanage unladen as they were liable to capsize without sufficient ballast. Masonry, bollards and street furniture, discarded in the rapid redevelopment of Victorian London, proved the ideal cargo for the return journey to Swanage.
Over the years, numerous bollards and many other items were transported to Swanage, so many in fact that the area became known as "Little London by the Sea."
Little London by the Sea. I have been to Swanage loads and never heard anyone call it that. But I wonder if any other coastal towns get called that? I bet they do. Posher places, probably.
Anyway. Even more info here. If by chance you are read this blog because you're interested in the local history of small Dorset towns.
A few days ago Mike wrote a post about the prison visit booking system we're working on with MoJ Digital. He visited HMP Rochester, "This visit opened my eyes to just how hard people will work to cope with inadequate and unsuitable IT systems."
Leisa wrote a blog post yesterday about Joy and the huge notebook she has made to enable her to use the computer system she needs to do her job. Leisa writes "She told me that each time they upgrade the system it seems to get harder, not easier, to use."
And last night Cyd tweeted this.
As we say in design principle number 4 "With great power comes great responsibility — very often people have no choice but to use our services. If we don’t work hard to make them simple and usable we’re abusing that power, and wasting people’s time."
This is true for more things than government. Making things easy to use isn't easy. But it's worth it.
Remember One Second Everyday? You take one second of video everyday and it stitches them together to make a little video. I started doing it a year ago today. I haven't done it everyday but I have managed 252 days out of 365. Not bad.
Here's a year of One Second Everyday.
I posted each month seperatley to Flickr, you can see those here.
I'm glad it's over to be honest. The app is a bit crashey and seems to take up loads of memory on my phone. It's interesting to watch a year but I wish someone else had videoed my life. Inevitably the most memorable bits of the day aren't videoed. It works well when you're doing A Thing, like going to a football match, but it's not that great for everyday life.
Anyway. Looks cool as a screen grab of the UI.
You have probably seen but in case you haven't, Newspaper Club have launched a new thing. PaperLater lets you save the good bits of the web to print — so you can enjoy them away from a screen. It’s similar to ‘read it later’ services like Instapaper, Pocket or Readability, but delivered to your home in a beautiful newspaper.
It's a public beta and UK only at the moment, but go take a look.
I didn't know what to expect but it was pretty amazing. Beautiful in parts. You can really see how it would have been used as a 'shopping arcade'.
Worth a visit if you get the chance.
I hate all those The Future Is Rubbish people because they are wrong, but after the tour I went back upstairs and saw this.
I actually think the extensions to the East London line and the nearby Jubilee Line are a huge success design + engineering wise.
More pics on Yahoo!Photos!
Massimo Vignelli is very ill and would like people to send him letters. Michael Bierut, whose other job was at Vignelli Associates, says,
"Luca said that Massimo would be thrilled to get notes of good wishes from people whom he's touched or influenced - whether personally or remotely - over the years. Luca has visions of huge mail bags full of letters. I know that one of Massimo's biggest fantasies has been to attend his own funeral. This will be the next best thing. Pass the word."
Creative Review has the full story here.
You should write to Massimo. I just have.
130 East 67 Street
New York, New York 10021
"After Google, I find myself impatient with the way the world works. Why is it so hard to schedule a recording on my DVR? Why aren't all the signal lights synched to keep traffic flowing at optimum speed? Why, if I punch in my account number when I call customer service, do I have to give it to them again when I get a live person? These are all solvable problems. Smart people, motivated to make things better, can do almost anything. I feel lucky to have seen first hand just how true that is."
Douglas Edwards Google's first "brand manager," and employee No. 59.
As has been said before, "it's not complicated, it's just hard".
Related, Tony Fadel on what Nest Labs may tackle next, "Right now I can tell you 10 things, minimally, that can get changed in the house. They are all great markets with large incumbents who haven’t innovated in years."