Tag Archives: design

loltastic T-shirt designs

HAPPY FRIDAY: These T-shirt designs are awesome

Enough said.

Awesome T-shirt Designs

Elephants Never Forgive T-shirt Design

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Beauty is as beauty sells

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TED TALK: Richard Seymour on product beauty

“BEAUTY is in the eye of the beholder”, they say. To someone more cynical about love: beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. To the advertiser and product designer, beauty is in the limbic system of the beholder.

Beauty is intrinsically tied in with advertising and new technology. I was intrigued to recently discover that the marketing of motor vehicles is not so much about shapes but reflective surfaces. The recent motor show illustrated this well, with each car shimmering more than the next in the strategically placed lighting. This has the effect of making stationary objects come to life.

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Future Smart Homes

FUTURE HOMES: When applying tech intelligently, the options are endless

WHEN people consider their future dream home many may think of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, double-story house with a great view — somewhere in the mountains. I think of a house under the sea — one that has a huge window­ looking out into the ocean and one that is fully connected to the outside world … and which cleans itself.

future housingThe home of the future is likely to be far more than just a residence, but an element of lifestyle that will encourage and facilitate learning, inspiration and communication. Furthermore, the surrounding environment would be conducive to creativity and innovation. These are some of the ideas of social and industrial engineer Jacque Fresco.

Future Smart Homes: Architecture

The architecture of future homes will evolve on an entirely different basis from today’s houses. The structural elements­ would be flexible and coherently­ arranged to best serve individual preferences.

According to the Venus Project website: “These prefabricated, modular homes, embodying a high degree of flexibility inconceivable in times past, could be built any place one might imagine­, amid forests, atop mountains, or on remote islands.”

Houses would be prefabricated using a new type of pre-stressed, reinforced concrete with a flexible ceramic external coating that would be relatively maintenance free, fireproof, and impervious to bad weather. The construction of their thin shells can be mass-produced in a matter of hours. Furthermore, with this type of construction, there would be minimal damage to homes from natural disasters.

Future Smart Homes: Lighting and heat

future homeThe interior of smart homes would have no source of light in the form of lamps and hanging fixtures. Instead, all the walls would evenly illuminate — either­ the entire inner surface or particular areas. One would also be able to specify the colour and intensity of the illumination.

Thermopanes would be used to tint out bright sunlight by variable patterns of shading. All these features could be selected by the occupants to supply more than enough of the energy required to operate the entire household.

The buildings would be designed as self-contained residences with their own thermal generators and heat concentrators. Photovoltaic arrays would be built into the skin of the building and into the windows themselves.

Future Smart Homes: Bathrooms and water

A considerable amount of water can be saved by designing bathroom installations into one system. A shower, sink and toilet moulded into one system would be the simplest type of bathroom that would only use one sixtieth the amount of the water used in today’s more common bathrooms. Waste water from the shower and sink would automatically fill the toilet; so instead of telling people to save water, there would be a system built in.

Future Smart Homes

future housesCleanliness and hygiene will become major features of future homes. By building in several sensory devices, homes would be able to detect fire, toxic materials — anything that may threaten the life of a human being. With these nervous systems built in, future homes would be smart homes.

When you leave the building the entire building is clean. With a slight increase in air pressure in the building, no dust would be able to come in from outside. If there are any contaminants in the air it would increase the electrostatic charge, which removes contaminants.

Future Smart Homes: Self-erecting Structures

For apartment buildings and other large structures, Fresco has devised a cybernated construction system. The idea is that computer-controlled robots would handle 90% of the movement and placement of prefabricated components. Special advanced materials are to be developed, eliminating waste and minimising the need for manual labour. Guided by satellite, and using a sophisticated form of artificial intelligence, the buildings will actually construct themselves — a technique Fresco has named “self-erecting structures”.

Evolving homes of the future

One of the most interesting aspects of tomorrow’s civilisation is that people’s homes will change as the people living within them change. As people’s needs and dimensions of knowledge grow, so will the environment in which they live.

“There’s no such thing as a fixed home that a person lives in all their lives … they will choose to live in whatever architectural shape would meet their needs,” says Fresco.

So think again when you consider your dream home and the type of environment you would like to live in. When such ideas finally take off the options could be endless.

  • Smart Homes is the fifth part of a series of articles related to The Venus Project, Jacque Fresco and the film Future by Design. The previous four parts are available under Quite Interesting -> Resource Based Economy.
  1. Part 1: The power of the planet
  2. Part 2: A world without money
  3. Part 3: Incentive to work in a moneyless society
  4. Part 4: Future by Design
  5. Part 6: Automated governance?

Future by Design

FUTURE DESIGN: Applying technology intelligently for a better future

IMAGINE living in a house that is permanently dust free, driving a car that automatically repairs itself, traveling at two thousand miles an hour in absolute comfort, and having the chances of getting ill significantly reduced by living in a city that self regulates it’s air and water by design. These idealistic-sounding goals are more possible than you might imagine.

Future by Design is quite honestly the most inspiring documentary I have ever seen that illustrates just how possible and practical such things are. There is, however, a bittersweet quality to the film: on the one hand it shows how technologically advanced and capable we are – illustrating how the world could be today rather than tomorrow or in the future. On the other hand, it describes how behind we are politically and how future progress is painfully halted due to certain systems set in place.

Thomas Edison had to actually make an electric light bulb before anyone took him seriously and backed him up. The same scenario can be said of Jacque Fresco – the man behind Future by Design. Fresco has been a social and industrial engineer and inventor all his life. Now in his 90s, he still invents and implements his ideas for a new, re-designed society – focusing his attention on The Venus Project – a small 25 acre ‘futuristic’ society located in Venus, Central Florida.

Developed since the late 1970s, The Venus Project is a living model of how hi-tech and nature can co-exist. The small society consists of a scattering of dome shaped homes co-existing in a lush, natural environment. You cannot see one house when you’re in another and the entire project represents how sustainable communities could be created worldwide.

“The Venus Project has a vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know to achieve a sustainable world civilization, says Fresco. It calls for a scientific redesign of our culture in which war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed as not only avoidable, but unacceptable. Anything less will result in a disastrous continuation of the problems inherent in today’s world.”

Jacque Fresco

Jacque Fresco

And it isn’t necessary for one to have studied science or design in order to understand Fresco and his working concepts. I found my jaw on the floor as he presented designs (in all fields) that simply made so much practical sense.

Even more appealing was the social philosophy behind each idea – that being to improve the standard of living for all people while simultaneously saving the planet. As an engineer, Fresco’s ideas are not part of his own view of how the world should be, but rather how the world could be today and what it takes to start progressing towards it.

Some Future by Design concepts:

  • A dome-shaped home requires the least amount of material to build and offers the maximum protection against the elements due to its shape.
  • By increasing the air pressure slightly inside the home, dust will not be able to enter it. Cleanliness will be a major factor in the future home environment.
  • There is a type of memory alloy that reshapes itself when heated. Cars made from this material will straighten out any dents when heated (assuming that accidents will even happen in the future).
  • Sensors installed in the front of vehicles can detect how far away other objects are and keep a constant distance between them.
  • Travelling underwater is likely to become the future of sea travel as it is far more economical than travelling on the surface of the ocean where one is confronted by wind and waves.
  • A long, thin boat that breaks the surface tension of the water by rapidly releasing air bubbles at the front while simultaneously drawing water towards the rear (propelling it forward) will be able to travel very economically at remarkable speeds.
  • Having computers and machines continuously regulate the air and water supplies of cities and eliminating contaminants will significantly reduce viruses and disease.

The real appeal of Future by Design is the idea of creating harmony between people and nature. The Earth is far more abundant that what we are made to believe and there are even ways of making the planet more abundant by improving nature and applying design technology intelligently.

It is a sad reality that we live in an age where more time and technology is devoted to destroying humanity rather than advancing it; where global equality is greater than it has ever been; where more resources are invested in making a bigger, better bomb rather than providing clean drinking water where it’s needed.

“Social designs must be based on the carrying capacity of the Earth’s resources, and not on the philosophy, desires, aesthetics, or advantages of particular people” – Jacque Fresco

The standard of living proposed by Fresco and films such as Future by Design is by no means perfect; it is just significantly better. After all, the blunt truth is that no one knows what the future might bring, only that we can do a lot better with regards to the intelligent management of the Earth’s resources for the benefit of all the world’s people and protection of the environment.

What can be accurately predicted is that the future of communication lies in 3D imaging, and I would therefore urge everyone to give Future by Design a watch. It should appeal to anyone who has an interest in technology, ecology, people, design and society, and the possible future of our civilization.

Related Articles: A Resource-Based Economy

  1. Part 1: The power of the planet
  2. Part 2: A world without money
  3. Part 3: Incentive to work in a moneyless society
  4. Part 5: Smart Homes
  5. Part 6: Automated governance?

For more info check out the following:

Doodling with website design

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Free website design tools and resources

MANY people maintain the belief that nothing is free in today’s world. While this may be true in the physical world, there is plenty of free stuff on the web (if you know where to look). This is particularly true with regard to creating and developing your very own website.

web wrenchSeveral web developers simply coin it by creating sites for individuals who don’t know any better. Granted there are several brilliant website designers who deserve to be paid well for their expertise. However, there are others who will charge a hand and a foot to create something that you could quite easily create yourself for free.

Blogging is the most free form of beginning a journey in website design and development. One is able to choose a ready-made design from a large library of templates, publish posts to your heart’s content and make use of a variety of free-to-use tools. Taking things to the next level, however, is a different story and often involves having to spend something.

There are several website builders that label themselves as “free” yet there is always a catch. Basically the beginning stages are free, but the hidden agenda becomes apparent once you become excited about website building and want to take things a little further.

Nevertheless, I have come across two website-building sites that I would like to share with anyone interested in self-taught web design. After all, teaching oneself a new skill, whatever that may be, should always result in the warm and fuzzy feelings of self-satisfaction.

Doodlekit - free, online website builder

Doodlekit - free, online website builder

DOODLEKIT
Doodlekit is a fully hosted free website builder and content management system that claims to be the quickest and most advanced website tool available. That is a mighty claim which is surely shared with several other website builders.

However, I would agree that Doodlekit is at least easy to use. First-timers may not be able to design a website “within minutes” yet can at least doodle with designing for as long as they please without any charge.

What’s also great is that the site doesn’t require the installation of any software – all aspects of it are done online via the Doodlekit website.

There are some great-looking examples of what some users have created using Doodlekit, such as www.ama-dojo.com

350pages

350 pages - the quick & easy website builder

350 PAGES
350 pages markets itself as the “quick and easy website builder” that is “fun and flexible”. They’re also convinced that us ‘ordinary’ folk can produce a professional-looking website in minutes, if not “seconds!”.

The site does have some great features though, despite being a little over-appealing (a typical tactic used to rope one in). It is a bit more professional than Doodlekit in the sense that it allows one to fully customise each heading, button bar, logo, divider, image and photo gallery, and even goes as far as allowing the customisation of fonts, styles and colours. Such stylistic changes are often deep in the realm of professional web design.

“If you want to build a web page, but are perhaps clueless when it comes to web design, you might benefit from paying a visit to 350 pages” – 350 pages user

What’s also great about both these design tools/websites above is they don’t require you to do any coding whatsoever. Specifically with 350 pages, layout is as simple as dragging and dropping content using your mouse.

It may be a sad reality for web developers who slogged away for years learning HTML, but a warm welcome to those who don’t know an “<a href>” from an “<align-left>” code.

A particularly pleasant feature of 350 pages is that it offers a library of video tutorials to get you started. The only catch (as the title suggests) is that you can only design up to 350 pages for free before having to pay anything.

Yet this isn’t really a catch, because if you get as far as 350 pages you should have built up enough confidence and web design skills to take things into your own hands. I wish you many hours of happy doodling.

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AOL refashions itself as a one-stop portal

AOL.com (the web portal of America Online), was a powerful player in the early days of the Internet, but has lost ground since then due to stiff competition. However, it is currently refashioning itself as a popular one-stop portal.

The web portal rolled out a redesigned homepage yesterday which it hopes will become a central station of sorts for Internet travelers by letting people coordinate social networks, email accounts and more without switching from site to site.

The move comes a month after AOL.com, the number four gateway to the web after Google, MSN and Yahoo, revamped its homepage to allow users to preview outside email accounts without having to navigate away from the homepage.

With “My Networks” users can now log onto their Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, AIM or Twitter accounts directly from the homepage and send a status update to all of them simultaneously. Bill Wilson, executive vice president of AOL Programming, said in a statement:

“AOL.com is the first traditional big portal to offer access to popular social networking sites all in one place. Now consumers can connect with their numerous networks and information sources all from AOL.com”

The new RSS feed browser allows users to receive news from other websites and display it in scrollable window at the bottom of the page. Entering the name of a US city or zip code provides a feed of local news and weather.

Another feature labeled “Themes” gives users the possibility of personalizing the homepage by choosing a color or backdrop of their own design. The functionality of the new site is allowing users to create their own personalised one-stop portals.

Look out Google!