Robert L. Peters

28 February 2009

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[Apologies to anyone who tried to access this website over the weekend—my host Media Temple has been battling to end 48 hours(!) of  interrupted service… quite unusual, as we’ve found them to be quite reliable over the past years.]


27 February 2009

Sit, and grow mushrooms…

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Göteborg, Sweden

Now that’s what I call multi-tasking… a clever idea for use in the outdoors and biodegradable to boot—when wet, wood imbued with spores will naturally begin to sprout mushrooms (think shiitake, yum!) The ‘Mushrooms Ate My Furniture’ outdoor bench is by design student Shinwei Rhoda Yen, via inhabitat.


26 February 2009

The Credit Crisis (short and simple)

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Pasadena, California

A beautifully crafted animated narrative by Jonathan Jarvis that explains the complex situation of “the credit crisis” for the “unfamiliar and uninitiated”—a project undertaken as part of his thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design. Watch it here.

(Thanks again to Gregor for the link).


Good Design in ten commandments.

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Frankfurt, Germany

I’ve posted on this before (here) but “commandments” are worth reiterating, right? It seems that the more tools and resources we designers have at our fingertips, the more we are tempted to stray from core principles—and as my astute programmer friend Gregor Brandt points out, these design guidelines apply equally well to software development. Vitsoe lays out and illustrates Dieter Rams’ well-stated criteria for Good Design here.

“Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him—“an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?

As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important criteria for what he considered was good design. Subsequently they have become known as the ‘Ten commandments.’

Here they are:

• Good design is innovative.

• Good design makes a product useful.

• Good design is aesthetic.

• Good design helps us to understand a product.

• Good design is unobtrusive.

• Good design is honest.

• Good design is durable.

• Good design is consequent to the last detail.

• Good design is concerned with the environment.

• Good design is as little design as possible.


24 February 2009

The Good Life…

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Berkeley, California

“Small is beautiful” is expressed well in The Good Life, the latest piece (a three minute parable on YouTube) from the passionately creative folks at Free Range Studios (creators of The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff) working in concert with social values business leader Mark Albion.

“Nearly everyone agrees that this economic crisis was set off by a simple human foible—greed. From the bankers to the borrowers, people just couldn’t seem to get enough of what they thought would bring them The Good Life.”


Graffiti,

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Winnipeg, Canada

…in the alley behind our office—a sporadic truism.


23 February 2009

Vignelli,

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New York, New York

Love him (if you’re a Modernist) or loathe him (if you bridle against dogma), but there’s likely more than a little that you could learn from him. Check out the inimitable Massimo Vignelli’s The Vignelli Canon here. It’s “a useful instrument for a better understanding of typography in Graphic Design,” a “little book that reveals guidelines set by ourselves for ourselves” that in a nutshell outlines why Massimo and his wife/partner Leila love design.


22 February 2009

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21 February 2009

Valentines from Marian…

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Bowen Island, British Columbia

This may sound wierd, but I feel honoured to be one of the 150 people on Marian BantjesValentines list. And so it was once again a delight this past week to receive a mysteriously engaging missive from the lovely lady, in handwritten script on glassine paper this time…  Eye magazine described the Valentine letter they received here; my friend Adrian has blogged about his here; and the prolific Marian fills in the full back-story here. (Take a look at the personalized hand-drawn Valentines this crazy gal drew up in 2007. Maid Marian—gotta love her).


20 February 2009

Urban patina,

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Winnipeg, Canada

Working in the core of this city’s Exchange District for over three decades, it’s easy to take for granted the wonderful “texture” and “acquired patina” of this 20-block area (designated as a National Historic Site in 1997). I have yet to find anyone who’s documented the aging glory of the architectural jewels that comprise our downtown community (and the idiosyncratic signs that adorn their facades) than Bryan Scott… kudos to you! (I’ve mentioned Bryan’s oeuvre before, here, thanks to my colleague Adrian Shum).

All photographs were taken within a few blocks of Circle; all images from Love & Hate Winnipeg © Bryan Scott.


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