Earlier this month, a new exhibition titled 'Talk to Me' curated by Paola Antonelli opened at MoMA in New York. And we are super excited to have two of our projects: the 5th Dimensional Camera and Lukalive in the show! 'Talk to Me' curated by Paola Antonelli opens at MoMA in New York. And we are super excited to have two of our projects: the 5th Dimensional Camera and Lukalive in the show!
From the MoMA site: "Talk to Me is an exhibition on the communication between people and objects, and how designers write the initial script that enables the two parties to communicate effectively and elegantly.
The exhibition hinges on an important development in the culture of design (and in culture at large), a shift from the centrality of function to that of meaning. From this perspective, all objects contain information that goes well beyond their immediate use or appearance. In some cases, objects exist to provide us with access to complex systems and networks, behaving as gateways and interpreters. Whether openly and actively, or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us, and designers help us develop and improvise the dialogue." Both projects will be exhibited in the esteemed company of friends and colleagues such as Hiromi Ozaki, Dunne&Raby, James King, Revital Cohen, Berg, Tinker, Poke, Chris O'Shea, Natalie Jeremijenko, Usman Haque, Sascha Pohflepp, Chris Woebken, Julian Bleecker, all the way to Google, Apple and Nintendo. If you are in New York anytime till 7th November, do check it out, and send us pictures!
This month was nearly lost in the fine mist of London rain and summer exhaustion. Luckily, some well-judged holiday time pulled us back from the brink of madness. Anab and Jon found some time to escape to the Lancashire seaside and the Lake District.
(company co-directors not pictured)
Carolina fled to the relative safety and zero-internet freedom of the Austrian Alps (for hiking and project work).
And Justin braved the depths of West London in a mission to Kew Gardens, to check out various carnivorous plants and the Victorian precursors of Biosphere 2.
On the other side of the Atlantic, 'Talk to Me' opened at MoMA. All the projects in the exhibition can be followed through their QR codes and hashtags. Lukalive is #ttmluka:
The 5th Dimensional Camera is #ttmcamera:
As the show opened to the press and public, we got some great coverage, from a cameo in Jason Polan's sketches from the installation, through to photos and write-ups on CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal and Core77.
Elsewhere, we watched Geoffrey B. West's seminar for the Long Now, in which he lays out his thoughts on the lifespans of organisations, cities, and organisms, which resonated strongly with some work we have been brainstorming & prototyping in the past few weeks – a series of workshops around Design Prospecting and DIY Urbanism, which we will be rolling out in collaboration with organisations in London, New York, Mumbai, and elsewhere. We enjoyed Karl Schroeder's musings on 'Wicked Problems', this post on Robot Domesticity from BLDGBLOG, and Adam Rothestein and Scott Smith's respective pieces on drones and UAVs.
Outside the catch-up on brain fodder, we have been stuck in a strange whirlwind of rapid product development, number-crunching, graph-making, and pitch-writing, for a project that has seen us up at all hours. Anab and Jon, flanked by long-term collaborators Tim Brooke and Mark Selby, have learnt more about startup funding, mobile gaming, and augmented reality that they ever thought possible. The future is exciting, and we continue building, making and prototyping.
As the month drew to close, Justin celebrated his birthday with friends and the rest of the studio, in St. James's Park, serenaded by a brass band of well-attired retirees.
June was a month of scheming, planning, writing, making and building. We continue to do the whole 'blood, sweat and tears' bit, working with clients to rugby-tackle complex problems and forge beautiful things from sheer force-of-willpower. All while keeping the balance sheet happy, and the accountant off our back (we love you, really). Though tricky at the best of times, its super-rewarding to be in the process of developing a 'new kind of design practice', something we need to write about more. In the meantime, a quick glimpse of what happened in June. We hit the ground running at International Science Day, hopping across the North Sea to Turku, Finland, for a programme grounded in its role as European Capital of Culture 2011. I presented on the thinking and design process behind the 5th Dimensional Camera, marshalling Indian gods and monsters in support of her unique take on the (constested) 'many-worlds' interpretation. It was a great day, with some brilliant speakers (and the Finnish press agree).
Our optogenetics project 'Song of the Machine' was featured on the Fast Company Design blog, in a great piece by John Pavlus.
Having been working with Motiroti on the digital platform for WhatCounts, it was cool to see the exhibition kick-off with a brace of speeches and performances at the Rag Factory off Brick Lane.
In the studio, Carolina struggled to keep us 'up' and enthusiastic enough to impart some basic Spanish. Upside-down question marks a'plenty. Me gustas!
And there was cake. June was also the month of final-year degree shows. As a studio we visited the AA end-of-year show, trekking across a rain-sodden London to catch up with the students whose work we'd previously seen as guest critics for Unknown Fields. Later in the month, we rocked up to the RCA Show, and dragged our 'Quantum Internet' researcher to Central Saint Martins's graduating show, blinding him with graphic design, and leaving us hopeful and inspired. From the AA's Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu, GravityONE to the Solar Sinter Project by RCA's Markus Kayser:Also loved the awesome Urban Stargazing, Energy Pilots and Sea Chair projects.
We also had some friends to visit -- shoving chai at the likes of Nicolas Nova, Noah Raford, Chris Haughton and Rory Hyde! Lovely. For now, we'll leave you with Rory's presentation on potential futures for design practice, a sharp analaysis and the subject of much discussion and head-scratching within the studio.
July! How are you doing?