HAPPY FRIDAY: These T-shirt designs are awesome
“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.
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.
The 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Cleanliness 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.
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”.
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.
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.
Several 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 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
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.