Tag: Symbolic-Overdrive

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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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.

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.

Image-Consumption

Happy Meat

While the meat-industry deliberately creates products in which you cannot recognize the animals they are made of, the toy-industry deliberately simplifies and exaggerates animal characteristics into caricature. The Happy Meat project by Type-B combine the best of both worlds in a rather uncanny hybrid. Bon appetit!

Biomimicmarketing

When Biomimicmarketing Kills

Loosely regulated and largely untested in clinical trials, herbal medicines nonetheless do big business based on their image of being wholesome, natural, and backed by millennia of tradition. Common sense tells us that it’s healthier to swallow a flower than a pill, and wiser to consult with a kindly herbalist than with a white-coated doctor.

Biomimicmarketing is so persuasive that it can sell poison, so long as the poison is “natural”. Aristolochia, a mottled purple flower, was a common medicine in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, and is still an ingredient in traditional chinese remedies and in certain weight-loss supplements. Prescribed for ailments as wide-ranging as childbirth, arthritis and snakebites, for thousands of years doctors and patients managed to miss the flower’s most potent property: It will kill you.

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Back to the Tribe

Twitter Followers as Currency

Imagine what you could do if you had one million Twitter followers. You would be so rich! Now seriously: Are followers becoming an alternative currency? Perhaps, although we are still awaiting the day that you can walk into a bakery and routinely buy a loaf of bread with your Twitter following. Scratch to win. Or if you don’t believe in lotteries, you can simply buy one million twitter followers for only $8295.

Image by Julian Bleecker.

Biomimicmarketing

Selling Rum with Dragons, Berries & Bats

We remain startled by the continuous employement of ‘natural’ images to market products. Bacardi Rum wins the triple biomimicmarketing award with their latest dragon-berry mix. Apparently the marketeers of Bacardi expect the combination of bats, berries and dragons to successfully promote the alcoholic sugar drink.

According to the ingredients list the drink does indeed contains both strawberry and dragonfruit substrates. The bats are missing, however, they’re merely added to the marketing mix to metaphorically enforce the association with night live.

Bacardi furthermore recommends to enjoy the drink with ginger ale for a quadruple biomimicmarketing mix of Dragons, Berries, Bats, Ginger and Headaches. Image consumption in the overdrive. Cheers folks!

Boomeranged Metaphors

Just Browsing

Dutch designer Boris Rijksen experiences a culture shock when he enters the real world after a day of screen work. Before, the ‘digital immigrant’ struggled to understand digital situations, but what about the digital natives? Will they struggle to understand real situations?

Digital interfaces use skeuomorphic elements to make the digital world more like the non-digital; trashcan, desktop as examples. Boris proposes a similar approach for digital natives in the real world.

Short promo (in Dutch) and project site (in Dutch)