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."
I have never made a telly or a remote control of any kind. I have no idea of the kind of challenges those people face. But it seems odd to me that an extra button labelled OFF is needed on a remote control for a telly when the other ON/OFF button is such a well established convention and seems to work so well.
We went to the Matisse exhibition at the Tate the other day. It's good, not as good as the press seem to think it is. I wouldn't say "Nothing can prepare you for the joyous brilliance". It's worth a visit though.
A friend I went with remarked that while the pictures were nice, you can see them all in Ikea. Which is sort of true.
Also, taking pictures. Come on museums, come on.
"We start from the presumption that our people are talented and want to contribute. We accept that, without meaning to, our company is stifling that talent in myriad unseen ways. Finally, we try to identify those impediments and fix them."
I've just started reading Creativity Inc. It's already brilliant.
On Saturday I toured the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Sometimes called the Neon Boneyard or Graveyard it's a collection of old signs, not all neon, from the casinos and hotels of Las Vegas. Some have been fully restored, some still work and some are just lying around.
A volunteer guide gave us an hour long tour which explained the history of the signs and with it a fascinating history of Las Vegas. The museum is well worth a visit even if you're not a designer. I went with 5 non-designers and they all enjoyed it. But if you're a type geek it's pretty close to heaven. You're allowed to take as many pictures as you like for personal use. I've put all mine on Flickr.
All the signs in Vegas are now LED of course. Essentially massive TVs playing massive banner ads. A bit like the animated screens on the tube but much, much bigger. I always think neon will make a comeback and someone will make a casino covered in neon. But I doubt it.
Anyway. Enjoy the pics and visit if you're ever near.
I went to see Thomas Heatherwick talk at the Design Museum the other night. It's been a busy week for talks.
Heatherwick is, of course, a genius. Lovely bloke, very down to earth humble way of presenting.
He even had a picture of the Tellytubbes outside of the Seed Pavillion.
One small concern. At the end there was lots of future work which was a bit Starchitect. I hope he doesn't turn into one of those. I always loved his ability to take pretty mundane things and design them as wonderful, interesting, beautifully functional, clever objects. I hope he doesn't end up all wavy line buildings in Dubai. He's better than that.
Clay Shirky came into the office yesterday.
One of the many interesting points he made was people moan about there being information overload these days, which is nonsense, ever since Gutenberg it's been impossible to keep up with all the "information".
What's changed is that your filters don't work as well as they used to. The filters you use to choose which books you read don't work for the internet, twitter, 24 hours news etc etc.
I love this.
If we distill that as - there isn't too much information, you just need better filters - you can then swap information for almost anything and it still works.
There isn't too much TV, you just need better filters.
There isn't too much email, you just need better filters.
There aren't too many meetings, you just need better filters.
Interesting thought to apply to work. What filters do you need to be able to get stuff done? How do you create better filters? How can you make filters that others would find useful.
Systems. Filters. Good.
I went to a Q&A thing with Jeremy Deller. The theme was loosely - what is modern art? It was fairly sedate until someone asked - what is the role of the gallery in modern art?
Deller replied, "They're dry, well lit and secure."
So so good. More soon.
For many reasons. Original tweet here.