Greyworld’s Monument to the Unknown Artist

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Greyworld have unveiled their project, Monument to the Unknown Artist. Andrew Shoben showed me the maquette of it in Geryworld’s studio early last year and I was really wondering how and if they were actually going to make it.

You really need to take a look at the video on their site to see it in action, but basically it looks like a statue but is, in fact, a robot that can mimic your stance. It’s installed by the Tate Modern, so if you’re in town go and strike a pose.

UPDATE: There is an accompanying microsite for the project with many more images and info.

[tags]art, interactive, greyworld, installation[/tags]

Fireside chat with Brendan Dawes

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I promised to put online the chat I had with magneticNorth’s Creative Director, Brendan Dawes, from when we were at Flash On the Beach 07.

I’ve been a bit tardy with it because I’ve been really busy, but finally you can enjoy our ramblings. You can listen to the Fireside Chat with Brendan Dawes in the player below or download it directly here.

[audio:http://www.polaine.com/playpen/wp-content/audio/brendandawesapolainechat.mp3]

The book of Brendan’s that we mentioned, Analogue In, Digital Out is highly recommended.

Plumen – low energy, high style

My mate Nik Roope has been busily working up another smart idea to brighten up the lack of imagination in the marketplace again. This time it’s the Plumen Project.

Based on the same principles as the Hulger range and the Hulgerisation project, the simple, but smart, idea is to make low-energy bulbs that actually look cool. Not only is it a playful way to re-think an existing product, but it’s also a really great idea to entice people to switch.

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The prototype (pictured) is looking pretty snazzy already, but go check out the site for some of the other ideas waiting in the wings.

[tags]sustainability, hulger, nikroope, plumen, design, play[/tags]

Poke’s Never-Ending Web Page for Orange

I meant to post this last week but was travelling and forgot. Take a look at the never-ending web page that Poke designed for the Orange Unlimited campaign “Good Things Should Never End”. Iain also posted some secrets about the site – goodies are hidden therein.

Lovely, silly animations by Rex and some smart little interactive toys too. Infuriatingly it really does seem to never end too – I keep trying to chase my scrollbar to the bottom but the fun just keeps coming.

Apart from it being a fantastic, playful time-waster it’s also perfectly aligned with the message. Nice.

[tags]animation, marketing, illustration, Poke, play, interactivity[/tags]

Flash On the Beach Coda

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I just returned from a fantastic time speaking at Flash on the Beach ’07. I’ve been to quite a few conferences over the years and this was by far the best I’ve ever been part of. John Davey really looked after everyone well and got together a brilliant line-up of speakers. My thanks to him and all the speakers for a great time.

I’m going to be writing a round-up piece for Creative Review, but briefly some of the highlights for me were Robert Hodgin’s incredible work using Processing, Brendan Dawes on how to break things and also Hillman Curtis and Neville Brody who both spoke much more about creative approaches than the tools.

For my part I gave a talk called Playful Revolutions, which took a look back over a whole load of work – a lot of it from the Antirom days (which was fun) – and looking at the importance of play in the creative and interactive process. It seemed to be a running theme in a lot of the talks actually. Flash has become a powerful and complex tool, but the danger with it is that it puts off people wanting to noodle about with it. I think it’s essential to break down those barriers so that more experimental work gets made because interactivity is still very young and there’s a lot left to discover.

The revolution in the title was also about how I’m seeing a lot of experiments and ideas that we played around with 14 years or ago or so coming round again. I think since flash has been able to manipulate bitmaps so much better coders and designers have broken free of the vector finally. In some respects its re-inventing the wheel, but it was clear that there is a whole younger generation of Flash people that don’t even remember tellTarget let alone Director and bitmaps – so it’s good to see this exploration. Either way, it just goes to show how much the tools influence the output.

I recorded almost all of the talks with my nice new Zoom H4 so the quality is pretty good. I also did a fireside chat with Brendan Dawes for a podcast.

I’ll put all those up as podcasts/downloads over the coming few days/weeks. UPDATE: I’ve been a bit slack on this because I’ve been so busy, but egotistically I’ve uploaded my presentation if you would like to hear it. You can download the MP3 of Playful Revolutions here or listen to it in the player below.

[tags]FOTB07, presentation, speaking, conference, flash, processing[/tags]

Purchasing Pleasure

I recently bought the very useful MarsEdit external blog editor from Red Sweater. I’d tried an earlier version and wasn’t so enamoured, but my blogging output and needs have increased and I’ve found the features of the latest version and process really great.

But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about the purchasing experience.

In the online world almost the only customer experience is the website, the purchasing process and support when things go wrong. And we’re a fickle lot – there’s always another option just a click away. I recently bought Undercover for my laptops and whilst Orbicule themselves are excellent in terms of contact and support, the purchasing process through Kagi was awful. So boringly so that I’m not going to write about it. But in a really great service design experience the whole process counts, which is why buying MarsEdit made me smile.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “Purchasing Pleasure”