Kyouei Design is small firm based out of Shizouka City, Japan which is about 2 ours West of Tokyo. They have a big body of products that they’ve created and distribute, a lot of you will remember this Umbrella Pot that waters a small plant at the base through runoff from the umbrella. But I’m really enjoying this weird liquid collection they have going on.
First is the Liquid Lamp which looks like a lampshade that has started to melt from the inside, creating a small puddle of red metal at the base. I wonder if that extra splotch comes along with it? Then there’s the liquid bookmark which looks like your bookmark is melting inside your book. Each of these silicon bookmarks are handmade, so no two are alike. Is drippy the new black?
British Illustrator Emma Kelly has released a brand new print today and I’m kind of drooling over it. It’s of a a vintage Olivetti Valentine typewriter which was designed Sottsass with Perry A. King back in 1969 to be “anti-machine machine”. I think her interpretation of this classic is spot on and I love how her illustration feels kind of loose and hand drawn but also very technical and realistic. I think what I’m really loving is that red halftone pattern she used that fill in the work but also kind of fade outside of the lines.
To grab yourself one, or maybe for a loved one on Valentine’s Day, be sure to visit Emma’s site by clicking here.
The folks over at UX Magazine have posted up Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for the iPad and it’s a quick but interesting read. I thought some of their guidelines could really be used in design in general and specifically, web design.
Enhance Interactivity (Don’t Just Add Features)
The best iPad applications give people innovative ways to interact with content while they perform a clearly defined, finite task. Resist the temptation to fill the large screen with features that are not directly related to the main task. In particular, you should not view the large iPad screen as an invitation to bring back all the functionality you pruned from your iPhone application.
I think this goes for design in general. To sum this up it’s saying don’t add a bunch of useless crap to what you’re doing. You could be painting or designing a blog it doesn’t matter, the ability to edit yourself as an extremely valuable skill that allows you to see your own missteps.
Flatten Your Information Hierarchy
Although you don’t want to pack too much information into one screen, you also want to prevent people from feeling that they must visit many different screens to find what they want. In general, focus the main screen on the primary content and provide additional information or tools in an auxiliary view, such as a popover.
This one is mainly for web designers but could also relate to those who do environmental graphics. A lot of people seem to have this idea that you can put everything you need to know about a site on a front page, just cramming it full of shit. Instead though you should really focus on what’s important and display that prominently and allow that secondary or tertiary information to float to other pages. This ties back in perfectly to the first point as well, that being able to edit the unimportant parts out is critical.
This last one is my favorite:
Enable Collaboration and Connectedness
Think of ways people might want to use your application with others. Expand your thinking to include both the physical sharing of a single device and the virtual sharing of data.
I think this is a great point just in general, no matter what creative endeavor you pursue. The idea that whatever you’re making is for other people is something that greatly interests me. When I started Kitsune Noir I made it for myself, which in some respects is still true. But I’m also quite aware of the large number of people who visit and expect something from me as well. It’s why I started the Desktop Wallpaper Project and and Mixtapes & Mixcasts. It was a way for me to give back to you and to share my ideas.
After almost four years Joanna Newsome is finally releasing a new album called Have One On Me which is coming out on February 23rd. Supposedly the record is going to be three discs long, which is kind of insane, but I’m all for it. It also may be part of the reason it took her 4 years to release something new. As far as I know the album hasn’t leaked yet, which is kind of unbelievable, but there’s a new song you can listen to called Good Intentions Paving Company.
The song reminds of somewhere between Joni Mitchell circa Blue and Regina Spektor. It seems like she’s shed her weirdo folk sound for something a little more in tune with Vetiver. It’s definitely still her traditional style of making songs epic-ly long, but it’s really a gem of a song. Put this on the list of albums to possibly freak out about.
Also, the tiny strip is by Geoff McFetridge and was posted on the Drag City site as a teaser. It would be sweet if he illustrated the album like he did for Whitest Boy Alive and Zwan.
I know I post a lot of minimal architecture, but it’d probably be more accurate to say that I would personally enjoy a space that is a mix of things. I like some things to be simple and others to have character and vibrance, I think that makes for an interesting combination. This house in Colina, Chile is a great example of that idea.
The house feels both contemporary and traditional at the same time, with slabs of concrete mixed in with brick work and wood panelling, while polished marble floors bridge this divide somewhere in between. It also has a pretty traditional, pitched roof shape but then you have the concreted jutting out of doorways and framing entire portion of the house, giving it a monument-eque feeling.
Overall I think it’s an absolutely beautiful place, somewhere you could raise a family and enjoy your mid-century modern furniture.