I love the English translation from their site detailing their new theatre company:

Two young Taiwanese poets decided to launch The Theater company of Lee Qing Zhao the Private in January 2006, while Liu traveled alone in Tokyo and Yuguo in Cambodia. In the name of Lee Qing Zhao(1084-?), a great female poet in classical Chinese literature history, they persuaded a grotesque manner which in sum, in the name of Lee Qing Zhao are “all achieved”, “her one as wholeness” and nothing left but water and more,
It is a far predicted combination for such artistic team, which grounded in poet’s sensitivity, in designer’s sentimentality, in performer’s delicacy; images, attitudes, tastes they aimed to pushed to the extreme. Issues are bored, manners are mean while they steal time and attention. In the name of Lee Qing Zhao, they frisson on the core weakness of the Chinese classics graveyard.
It is far beyond a theater company, but a revolution of nymphomaniac, melancholian. It marks, “Awake Failure! Awake Despair! Present the world your own privacy, with delightful graceful pretentious confidence, even that you are quite aware, aware of doom. Excited for me, ejaculate it, widows, trollops, idiots please feel no sorrow for me.

Lee Qing Zhao

Nyein Chan Su’s Energy of Lightness Installation

Nyein Chan Su was born in 1973 in Rangoon and studied at the State School of Fine Arts from 1994. He has participated in several shows inside Burma as well as in Japan (1999), Hong Kong (1999) and Singapore (2000).
He describes “Energy of Lightness” as:

A heavy, solid, spiny and dangerous object hangs over the fragile balloons below. When the rope is released, the object will fall and crush the balloons. Or, perhaps the balloons will disperse and escape the impact of the spiny object.

Gallery Link

Software Updates and Such

I’m spending about a day in total updating and installing software on my Macs. It’s a tedious task and one which no longer has the excitement that it used to. It’s certainly different from years ago when I waited excitedly over the next release of Netscape. The latest interface hacks for System 7 were pretty fun too. I don’t think I have installed anything fun in ages – except perhaps for Quinn which allows you to play Tetris over a Rendezvous network.
Yesterday afternoon included a visit from my favourite Mac consultant to get me up to speed on Adobe InDesign and print publishing workflow in general. My head is so into using screen interfaces I forgot that people still love publishing on paper. The people who read these publications must be quite rich as the prices of magazines in Taiwan are out of this world. At least the foreign ones, but then who wants to read the drivel they publish locally.

Installing PHP and MySQL on Mac OSX

This afternoon I am finally getting around to creating a development environment on my Powerbook – as luck would have it, some kind people have actually created regular OS X installer packages, all you need to do is double click the package and follow the on screen instructions.
First is the PHP5 package by Marc Liyanage which comes with a number of additional libraries. Otherwise their is MAMP. It’s basically Apache, PHP, MySQL & phpmyadmin rolled into a single install for OS X. MAMP does not modify any of the “normal” OS X (which includes Apache and PHP by default).

R.I.P. The Broadsheet

“In an age where information is gulped down and digested more rapidly via multimedia channels, the traditional printed publication must evolve to avoid extinction. So, what next? We will see more and more A4, and possibly A5 titles akin to the Hamburger Morgenpost as this trend is taken up on an international stage. Indeed the trend for Lilliputian publications is already prevalent in the women’s magazine sector where the likes of Glamour and Cosmopolitan have all produced ‘handbag’ sized glossies. …”
Culture of Mobility – design – trends R.I.P. the broadsheet

Interview with Kim Jin

Kim Jin is the chief of LG Electronics’ mobile phone design lab.
“”Designers must see many things, and must experience many things to raise their sense appreciation. It doesn’t need much money. You just have to do the town-watching […] I urge young designers to go out to the chic streets of Hongdae or Chongdam-dong. Each time they go, they can see differences in the shops and in the people even from a month before. Designers need to catch such subtle differences.
Modernity, simplicity and minimalism were popular trends before. But these days, you may notice more irregular, and more natural shapes of designs on the street, for example, in buildings. That is the way we are heading. In the end, we are going to have more emotional designs.”
The Korea Times : LG’s Top Phone Designer Says Tactile Is Future

Words Matter. Talk About People: Not Customers, Not Consumers, Not Users

“Words matter. Psychologists depersonalize the people they study by calling them “subjects.” We depersonalize the people we study by calling them “users.” Both terms are derogatory. They take us away from our primary mission: to help people. Power to the people, I say, to repurpose an old phrase. People. Human Beings. That’s what our discipline is really about.
If we are designing for people, why not call them that: people, a person, or perhaps humans. But no, we distance ourselves from the people for whom we design by giving them descriptive and somewhat degrading names, such as customer, consumer, or user. Customer – you know, someone who pays the bills. Consumer – one who consumes. User, or even worse, end user – the person who pushes the buttons, clicks the mouse, and keeps getting confused.
Artisan? Customer? Consumer? User? Wrangler? Biot? Each of these words is a way to degrade the people for whom we design, a way of labeling them as objects instead of personifying them as real living, breathing people.”
Read Don Norman’s Article

The Ringtone only Teens Can Hear

When I originally mentioned the Teen Buzz ringtone, I did so as I thought it was a creative way of circumventing adult authority by using the very tool used against them. A company called Compound Security Systems had developed what they call a “Mosquito ultrasonic teenage deterrent”, designed to drive kids away from malls, stores and other places where teens congregate and annoy paying customers. Well this idea has become very viral, the general news media has picked up on it, people are sharing the file via p2p, and even Compound Security Systems is selling thee own version. In a sign of my advancing age I downloaded a copy and couldn’t hear a thing.
Here is a copy of the Teen Buzz ringtone in mp3 format.

Lunch in the Philippines

Poor shot of what was a nice lunch yesterday in Taipei – it felt like being in the Philippines as the community was out enjoying their one day off of the week. All the food was quite good though the almost black coloured dish was a bit more of a challenge. It taste good but it’s amazing how colour can really change your perception of a thing. Perhaps if a bright orange food colouring was added there wouldn’t have been the natural hesitation by all at the table to dig in and give it a try.

Read more

The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide

Something to enjoy with Catriona. “Focusing on building actual models with real bricks, The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide comes with complete instructions to build several cool models but also encourages you to use your imagination to create your own fantastic creations.” Catriona and I love building things with Lego’s, things she promptly destroys soon afterward only to begin the process anew. We might find some inspiration from this book. It’s a good example of being creative within constraints too!
The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide by Allan Bedford.

The Non-Nude One

This is one of a series of “nudes” that were submitted for inclusion in a local magazine I am helping to bring to launch. While it won’t be used I do like the change in perspective this sketch provides.

Interview with the designer of Lumix SLR camera

“Ever since the LC5, my aim has been to design a camera that, to put it simply, ‘looks like a camera.’ For example, if you hand someone a pencil and paper and ask them to draw a picture of a camera, most people will probably draw a camera with a square body and a round lens. This is exactly what we adopted as our ideal. More than anything else our goal was to create a design that would reflect the image that an ordinary person has when he thinks of a camera, what you might call an archetypical camera.”
Interview Link.
Found via 37 signals.

Hello Mr. Back

One sign of the onslaught of middle age is the surprise realization that you have a back and it causes you pain. I didn’t know this before. It seems that this back needs constant care and attention. It needs to be stretched and exercised. The back doesn’t like sitting in a sub-par chair all day in contorted positions looking at a computer screen. We learn these lessons the hard way as I eye the bag of pain medications which I don’t want to take but since I am still at my keyboard I know I will ultimately succumb to.
Another sign of the onslaught of middle age (I still have time to go) is that despite the fact that I eat very little my belly keeps growing and growing. But I have been noticing that for months now.

Andy Rutledge on Redesign Competitions

The results of redesign competitions support the idea that design is nothing more than decoration or eye-candy. How could it indicate otherwise? Design is a process that begins with research and discovery. Every aspect of the client’s needs, aims and desires, along with the brand’s needs, context and purpose; in addition to the current and desired target audience’s expectations, needs, desires, culture, etc…. MUST be weighed, measured and considered thoroughly before any design solution can present itself.

Making things pretty is design in most people’s eyes. Those kind of projects are a bore no matter if they are paid or unpaid but unfortunately in Taiwan the strategic nature of design for the screen is often unheard of.
[via Daring Fireball.]

Interface and Society Conference

Deadline call for works: 1st of July 2006 – see call
Public Private Interface workshop: 10th to 13th of June.
Mobile troops workshop: 13th to 16th of September
Conference: 10th and 11th of November 2006
Exhibition opening and performance: 10th of November.
In our everyday life we constantly have to cope more or less successfully
with interfaces. We use the mobile phone, the mp3 player, and our laptop,
in order to gain access to the digital part of our life. In recent years
this situation has lead to the creation of new interdisciplinary subjects
like “Interaction Design” or “Physical Computing”.
We live between two worlds, our physical environment and the digital
space. Technology and its digital space are our second nature and the
interfaces are our points of access to this technosphere.
Since artists started working with technology they have been developing
interfaces and modes of interaction. The interface itself became an
artistic thematic.
The project INTERFACE and SOCIETY investigates how artists deal with
the transformation of our everyday life through technical interfaces.
With the rapid technological development a thoroughly critique of the
interface towards society is necessary.
The role of the artist is thereby crucial. S/he has the freedom to
deal with technologies and interfaces beyond functionality and usability.
The project INTERFACE and SOCIETY is looking at this development
with a special focus on the artistic contribution.
INTERFACE and SOCIETY is an umbrella for a range of activities
throughout 2006 at Ateleir Nord in Oslo.

666 – Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom: let anyone with the understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred and sixty-six.

Revelation 13:16-18
Prayer vigil targets Devil’s Day.
On June 6 2006 (6/6/6), the evangelical Ambassadors Ministries from Holland held a 24 hour prayer vigil to ward off ‘evil spirits.’ The prayer marathon began in Jerusalem.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is a fear found in the Western Christian world, which originates in the belief that the Biblical verse, Revelation 13:18, indicates that the number 666 is linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ. Outside the Christian faith, the phobia has been further popularized as a leitmotif in various horror films.
Courtesy Wikipedia.

The Origin of the Wire Coat Hanger

From Design Boom (lack of sentences theirs):

the invention of the wire coat hanger is attributed to
albert j parkhouse in 1903.
albert worked for a company in jackson named
timberlake & sons.
john b. timberlake had managed to collect several dozen
enterprising inventor-type employees such as albert,
who made wire novelties, lampshades, and other ubiquitous
devices for their customer clients.

Read the rest.