Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Archer Fish Water Pistol - Weird Nature - BBC wildlife


Nature is amazing!

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Ants create a lifeboat in the Amazon jungle - BBC wildlife



Wow, nature never cease to amaze me. Anyway came across this site (Ask Nature) today, which promotes learning and taking hints from nature. The believe is that we will be able to design more effecient and better products if we can do that. Pretty interesting resources can be found there, simply key in what you like to find out about how nature will do certain thing and the results will be shown. Have a look at it! I'm sure you will find a lot of interesting knowledge there.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JetLev



Wow this looks pretty fun. You can see that the water is sent to the pack by an accompanying device which probably house the battery and most of the components needed for this to function. This is a very good idea as it allows freedom of movement while freeing up unnecessary weight to be carried. You get an endless supply of water because of this and not need to worry about running out of water halfway in mid air. The pipe also can act as a safety feature to prevent rider from flying too high and ending up injuring themselves. Lastly if it really runs out of battery, you will at most be landing on water (as compared to a jet pack on land). Personally i think this is a really good product base on the context it's suppose to be used in.

My only concern is the amount of disturbance it will create to the eco system, but well one can always argue that a jet ski does as much damage as well.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

圬木不可雕也

出处《论语·公冶长》 

宰予昼寝。子曰:“朽木不可雕也,粪土之墙不可污也。”  

释义:这个成语也称“朽木粪土,比喻人已经败坏到不可救药的地步。  

故事:孔子的弟子宰予,言辞美好,说起话来娓娓动听。起初,孔子很喜欢这个弟子,以为他一定很有出息。可是不久,宰子暴露出懒 惰的毛病。 一天,孔子给弟子讲课,发现宰予没有来听课,就派弟子去找。 一会儿,去找的弟子回来报告说,宰予在房里睡大觉。 孔子听了伤感他说: “腐烂的木头不能雕刻,粪土一样的墙壁不能粉刷。最初我听到别人的话,就相信他的行为一定与他说的一样;现在我听别人的话后,要考察一下他的行为。就从宰予起,我改变了态度。” 

This is basically a famous proverb by Confucius. Upon getting disappointed by one of his favorite  student, he made the comment of ," Rotten logs aren't suitable for craving, walls that are like waste matter can't be painted". In short it's use to describe cases of hopelessness. As a continuation of my views on Alain de Botton's TED talk, personally i think if someone (who is not doing very well) do not blame themselves for their fault, if someone thinks he/she is born to behave a certain way and only chose to listen to the good things people comment about, then they are as good as hopeless.

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What makes a good designer?

I remember attending this talk by Dick Powell and one of the audience asked the usual question like what do you think makes a good designer. He paused for a while and hesitantly replied, "A good designer is one who can draw very well". A person's answer often tells you a lot about himself/herself, in this case i can know for sure Dick Powell is definitely someone who can draw damn well. However i'm very disappointed with that answer as he probably should just go get any comic artist out there to be designer and surprised that he actually doesn't already have an answer to this question.


Personally i think he's partly right to make that statement because a person who can draw well is usually someone who has observed the things around him/her to an certain extent. This together with their visualizing skills allow them to represent their ideas in their drawings. When you are drawing, you are really picking out features, hint, semantics and etc to communicate an idea of what you are trying to represent. Depending on your style of drawing, you almost certain to practice a form of minimizing (keeping the essence while taking away the unnecessary). Thus you are more sensitive to curves and lines etc. Some people call this intuition, and because they do not really know why they feel certain way, they also call it an art. But really, i think it is something that can be and should be understood.

To me what makes a good designer will be someone who's observant to things around them. He/she understands why people react a certain way, how trends are started, why a certain lines doesn't complement another. They can turn a sub conscious decision into a conscious effort.

Lastly to design a good product, I really think a designer needs a good rational mind and critical thinking skills. This is because when faced with factors coming from technology, environment, psychology, manufacturing etc you are almost certain to have many clashes of ideas. This is when you have to weigh what is necessary and what's not and trade them off in a well thought out manner. This is a key point that differentiate a good designer from an comic/art artist. While an artist maybe able to create beautiful object, they may not be able to be realistic enough to do something that's manufacturable and functional. They may be too drawn into their own world to realize people in the real world doesn't behave the way they imagine them to be.

The Ideal designer will probably have all these skills, however i'm sure most of you have seen sketches of famous designers (1,2) that are oh no so inspiring, but still their final products are works of "arts". So i will put good observation and critical thinking skills as the most important point a designer should set out to attain.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success


I like what this guy talked about here. Something which I have always believe in is how the people have been influence (by movies, advertisement, news) to believe in what they want. The TED talk by Dan Ariely has shown how our decisions are easily influenced by our options. There are people who want to do well in every single thing in order to be happy. These people often end up to be really miserable.
However I know there's a paradox in this belief as well because the whole human race may stop progressing if this level of competition is gone. If everyone just accept failure as something not due to himself/herself then we may find ourselves living in a totally different (maybe worst?) world. The key i think is to be able to make a mark and say yes this is enough, not in the barely enough sense but to be comfortable enough.

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EF-535SP-1AV

EF-535SP-1AV, originally uploaded by linyou.

A watch i got for myself. Casio is making some pretty nice watch that's pretty affordable. This is the choice of watch of Sebastian Vettel from RedBull's F1 team. The watch is designed with a hint of old school style in it but given more youth and energy with it's angular treatment of it's band and cross hatch of it's dial. In fact you can notice they did not have 3 full rings you normally see from Chronograph watches, the designers actually tried to introduce the semantics of a car speedometer in here. The carbon fiber (a material often found in F1 car) face completes the look.

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Golan Levin makes art that looks back at you


Wow this guy does pretty interesting stuff.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

EFE-500D-1AV

EFE-500D-1AV, originally uploaded by linyou.

A watch that we bought for my friend's birthday. This watch comes with lotsa functions like international time, alarm, and Anti-Reflective Sapphire glass. This cost about 2 times the price of EF-535SP-1AV.

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About This Blog

This blog is about looking at design from a logical point of view. Good designs are often good because of the thinking behind it and not because of pure luck. The colour, forms etc can all be and should be rationalised. This belief doesn't mean that any and everyone can design by simply following a formula. It is still an art to decide on the solution that best fit all requirements.


I will be posting on some everyday stuff that's more light hearted and fun. Reviews will be done on products that I’ve gotten my hands on!

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