Life in Taiwan 10

Taiwan Culture
Terrie Brown has wonderully positive outlook on life in Taiwan and shares it through her web site. She lists some of the fun things her and her husband have learned since they have been in Taipei. Some of my favourites:
#7. If you hear a truck coming down the street playing music, don’t run out expecting ice cream…it’s the garbage truck…one of our friends said you know you’ve lived in taiwan too long when you hear the music and no longer think of ice cream”
#14. Summer in Taiwan…even you can experience it…go into your bathroom and turn on the hot water in the shower full blast with the door closed…keep all your clothes on so that they can get damp and stick to you. Now, turn on your hairdryer and blow it in your face. Next, run in place really fast until you’ve broken a good sweat. There, now you can feel like you’ve taken a quick trip to Taipei in the summer.
#15. Winter in Taiwan…go sit outside on the sidewalk when the temperature is just about 40 degrees or a little lower. But you must be wearing slightly damp clothes…remember, it is humid here and rains a lot. Now, sleep there. That is what it is like…we have no heaters in our houses! And we have cement walls and tile floors. Of course, if you bundle up, it is quite comfortable. We also added two space heaters to our house to make it bearable.
link: Culture in Taiwan As We See It

Information Design For A Better World?

An interesting question and response:
“As the ‘Information Revolution’ gathers momentum*, information designers are increasingly being cast as the ‘midwives’ who can deliver the ‘humanized’ products of a systems culture. On the one hand, we develop the instruments that coax our neighbours to part with the information needed to feed the machine. On the other hand, we dress up its output to look as if it were addressed to individuals and to suggest authorship by some concerned and caring person. And, of course, some of us also sweeten the somewhat bitter pill of automatization with thoughtful, if not cute, interfaces.”
“How then does this square with the perception we have of ourselves, that we (alone of graphic designers, and in marked contrast to the ‘stylists’) are somehow making the world a better place? Even in my memory, designers have repeatedly been the instruments for dramatic social changes for the worse. In the sixties and seventies, it was architects and town planners who devastated our urban areas with concrete monstrosities – machines a l’habiter – that have now broken down and are uninhabitable. In the eighties, retail designers ensured that whatever romantic locations our towns and cities were twinned with – they were inevitably ‘cloned with Milton Keynes’. Will it be information designers who are responsible for the millenial mess-up – delivering Baudrillard’s prediction of a time when signs would be used to hide the absence of reality?”
Found while researching artcles on Information Design Ethics – a possible but dropped research topic. I’ll share what I found at a later time.
Link: Information Design For A Better World?

Cabinets of Curiosity

Having started but put on hold the design of my new soho workspace this seems like a timely article. I’m not sure whether I am a collector or a minimalist. I like my workspace to be sparten and clean but this aim conflicts with my real tendency to srround myself with mountains of artifacts and paper. The fact that I never throw anything out contributes to this conflict.
From the article: “Each workspace reproduces its designer’s world in miniature, through both the items it contains and the way they are organized. Objects often relate to each other in an intuitive way rather than following any strict principles of reason: Kalman displays a pair of Comme des Gar

The Proof is in the Process

“Having a creative job has its ups and downs. When you’re able to patiently nurture your creativity with mood lighting and inspirational trinkets, taking all the time you need to carefully refine your ideas before presenting them to your client, you should consider yourself very lucky. But when it’s 3 a.m. and you need to finish a set of comps before the start of business in six hours and the only ideas you’re having are colorful excuses to explain your total lack of creative thought, the frustration can bring you to your knees. These are the times when having a concise, clear creative process will save you, allowing hard work, experience and intelligence to get you through the job.”
Link: The Proof is in the Process and the Creative Process a slide I created for a presentation on creativity.