Tag: Symbolic-Overdrive

tikker
Design-for-debate

Death Watch Marks the Time of Your Life

Feeling overwhelmed by our Society of Simulation?  Do you need something that reminds you to make the most of your time? The answer is yes to both those questions, according to Swedish inventor Fredrik Colting. He designed Tikker, the wrist watch that, in addition to normal time, counts down your life. It shows the amount of time you are estimated to have left in years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds, just so you can make every instant count. The date of death is based on a series of personal and medical questions.

As Colting explains: “The occurrence of death is no surprise to anyone, but in our modern society we rarely talk about it. I think that if we were more aware of our own expiration I’m sure we’d make better choices while we are alive”.
How would this peculiar object change your life?

Designed-by-Evolution

Buckle up for Black Sky Thinking

So you might have heard about the Technological Singularity, but did you ever wonder what happens after the fact? Black Sky thinking is a term that is being developed to shape an approach for dealing with unfamiliar territories – both real and conceptual.

Black Sky thinking seeks to understand more about our situation without prejudging or even needing to know the future. It travels into the unknown, not as a reckless gesture but as a creative act, so that we may envision the world we wish to inhabit. This does not mean that anything goes, but rather, signals a fresh exploration of things we thought we knew, so that we can look and imagine afresh.

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goblin_world_of_warcraft_fan_art_mmorpg_computer_games_fan_art_by_snowzero
Digital-Presence

Gamers Care as Much for Their Avatar as for Their Best Friend

According to a study by brain researchers, regular gamers identify so strongly with their avatar – the character that executes their action in the game – they have the same emotions for their avatar as for their best friends.

Emotionally the avatar has a similar position as ones best friend, despite its “virtual” presence and the often longer lasting relationship with ones best friend, says neuroscientist Shanti Ganesh, who just defended her phd thesis on the topic.

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Back to the Tribe

Face ‘doek’

This Face ‘doek’ (Dutch for blanket) was designed by eighteen year old Noortje van Steenis and put in the corridor of her high school as a protest against the addiction of her fellow students to Facebook. She doesn’t have a Facebook account herself. The Facedoek functions like an old fashioned announcement space. Everyone is allowed to write on it. Peculiar image of the week. Picture by Marcel van den Berg.

goldenpalace_titi
Manufactured Animals

First Monkey Named after a Website

Meet the first species named after a website. Discovered in 2004, the honor of naming this new monkey was auctioned off to raise funds for the national park it calls home. The monkey is now know as the Goldenpalace.com Titi. Yet another example of the dominance of the technosphere over the biosphere.

Since its christening as Callicebus aureipalatii, however, there’s no evidence that the titi enjoys online gambling any more than it used it.

Image via Nova Taxa.

The_immortal_cohen
Anthropomorphobia

A Frankenstein-esque System

Life-support machines, they are designed to activate our bodies when anatomy fails. But what will happen when the machines keep each other alive?

Designers Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen created The Immortal; a machine which exists out of several life-support machines connected with wires and electric cords. They keep each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.

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Floppy wha?
Boomeranged Metaphors

Design Looking Backwards

Why do phones make the noise of a camera shutter every time a picture is taken, the save icon remain a floppy disk, your email have an envelope and your iCalendar look like its made from a cow?

On the one hand, being the creatures of habit that we are, we find comfort in the familiar. But does that come at a cost and limit functionality, as well as cheapen our experiences?

In products the real material generally costs more and (arguably) is perceived as better. (Think solid aluminium Macbook Air vs Ultrabook) but in the digital we’re already aware that the form is generally 2D and not physical.

In a sense skeuomorphism makes the digital more approachable and understandable, the argument remains as to whether we now need our digital technology to imitate that which exists, or on the other hand do we expect our technology to surpass the physical?

Handwritings great, but I guess most people bought a phone to type, and reading “marker felt” on a 4″ screen in pt. 7 size font is painful at best. Bring on Helvetica. Or better yet Newvetica.

dad hires virtual hitman to get son out of gaming
Digital-Presence

Dad Hires Virtual Hitman to Kill Son’s Online Avatars

A 23-year-old in China was recently puzzled why his online avatars were being killed off at disproportionate rates. After asking around, the young man eventually discovered that his own father was behind the virtual murders. It turns out that the father was concerned that his unemployed son had become addicted to gaming, and reasoned that hiring an online hitman would be as terminal a solution as a real-life assassin. The only problem? Virtual avatars usually have a pesky supply of extra lives.

Story via BBC News. Image via Kotaku. Thanks to Jack for the heads-up.