Star Wars: Episode IV, the massive infographic

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Zurich-based Illustrator and graphic novelist Martin Panchaud created a massive infographic adaptation of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. If printed, the document would be more than 400 feet long. You might think of it as a visual Star Wars Torah scroll. SWANH.NET

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Google's former "design ethicist" on "How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds"

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Tristan Harris was Google's "Design Ethicist" where he studied how design choices directly affect people's behavior in conscious and unconscious ways. He's also a practicing magician! As he says, "Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it." Over at Medium, Harris wrote a fascinating post about persuasive technology and how design can "exploit our minds’ weaknesses." From Medium:

Western Culture is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. Millions of us fiercely defend our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how those choices are manipulated upstream by menus we didn’t question in the first place.

This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose. I can’t emphasize enough how deep this insight is.

When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask:

• “what’s not on the menu?”

• “why am I being given these options and not others?”

• “do I know the menu provider’s goals?”

• “is this menu empowering for my original need, or are the choices actually a distraction?” (e.g. an overwhelmingly array of toothpastes)

"How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist" (Medium)

Harris's piece supports the essay that my Institute for the Future colleagues Marina Gorbis and Devin Fidler recently posted about the incredibly high stakes of on-demand platform design: "Design It Like Our Livelihoods Depend on It" (WTF?) Read the rest

A taxonomy of unethical technology design patterns

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Tristan Harris, formerly Google's Design Ethicist and Product Philosopher, delves into the way that technology design can "hijack your attention," by introducing casino-like intermittent reward; by framing a subset of possible actions as a comprehensive-seeming menu; by deliberately introducing a sense that you might miss out; by forcing you to move though a clickbaity newsfeed to access your friends' updates; by paraphrasing one request ("where can we go for a quiet chat") as another ("which nearby bars make good cocktails?"). Read the rest

Amazingly weird results when people draw a bicycle from memory

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For his project Velocipedia, artist/designer Gianluca Gimini asked friends and strangers to draw a men's bicycle from memory. Then he digitally mocked up the designs.

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Jeff Veen: turning pirates into customers

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I met Jeff Veen when we worked together at Wired magazine. Jeff came on board in 1994 and built websites for Wired and Hotwired. After that, Jeff went on to do a bunch of cool things, such as launching Typekit (a web font serving service) and serving as Adobe's VP of Design. Today he lives in London and is design partner at True Ventures.

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Endangered species ads: animals being 3D printed

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A new ad campaign from the International Fund for Animal Welfare features rendered images of cross-sectioned endangered animals on the beds of 3D printers, being printed out, layer by layer. Read the rest

Star Wars tiki mugs from Mos Eisley Kon-Tiki Bar

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Thinkgeek is accepting pre-orders for six upcoming 14 oz Star Wars tiki mugs, standing 6.5"-7.5" tall, with contrast-glazed interiors. Read the rest

Fantastic space-age "tube turntable" from 1968

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Behold the space age beauty of the Paam Tube turntable, created by French designer Yonel Lebovici in 1968. On eBay, they appear to be listed in the $700 range or less if they're non-functional.

(via Discogs on Instagram and Paddle8)

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The quest for the well-labeled inn

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I have a first-world problem: I stay in a lot of hotels.

Beautiful Japanese "minimalist survival kit" that fits in a tube you wear on your back

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The Minim+Aid is a "minimalist survival kit" from Japanese design firm Nendo that features "a whistle to alert others of one’s presence, a radio [that can also charge your phone], raincoat, lantern, drinking water and a plastic case, all packaged inside of a 5cm wide tube that is waterproof and floats." Read the rest

Treescrapers are bullshit

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Architects love to render their buildings covered and ringed in trees: trees that sprout from balconies, dot roofs, climb walls. Read the rest

Hammock-headrest, with blinders, for aviation

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Dutch designer Manon Kühne won a Crystal Cabin Award for her "Headrest," which was her Delft University of Technology thesis project, created with Zodiac Aerospace’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Lab. Read the rest

Why we need a new kind of design discipline for on-demand platforms

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Over at Medium's WTF? Future of Work publication, our pal Marina Gorbis, exec director of Institute for the Future, and IFTF's Devin Fidler write about why we need new design principles for on-demand work platforms.

Their creators have mastered the discipline of interaction design and brought it to new heights… when it comes to consumer experience. Uber, Munchery, Postmates, and many apps are exquisitely designed, sometimes even addictive for users. They make previously laborious processes effortless and seamless. No hassles with paying, calling, talking. Swipe your phone with a finger and voila: your ride, your meal, your handyman magically appear.

But the apps are not only platforms for consumption. They are quickly becoming our entry points for work, gateways to people’s livelihoods. In this sense, whether or not platform creators realize it, they are engaging in another kind of design, socioeconomic design, the design of systems that people will rely on to structure their work, earnings, daily schedules. And here we find ourselves in the same phase as interaction design was decades ago — the inmates are running the asylum. The stakes, however, are much higher; instead of just convenience, we are talking about people’s livelihoods.

"Design It Like Our Livelihoods Depend on It: 8 Principles for creating on-demand platforms for better work futures" Read the rest

Optical illusion hanging lamp

Glen Lewis-Steel's "Lee Light" is an excellent illuminated optical illusion.

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HP's new logo a hit

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Flagging computer company HP hasn't had a great decade, but for the new Spectre laptop it reintroduced a daring minimalist logo that's been spotted once or twice before, but is only now hitting products. Everyone loves it! So do I.

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Studio sculpts giant coin, photographs it alongside normal objects to make them look tiny

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In 2011, the Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgl scuplted a massive 50-Euro-cent coin and shot it from above with a tilt-shift lens alongside numerous full-sized objects to make them seem to be cunning miniatures. Read the rest

New trends in Chinese mobile UIs for 2016

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Dan Grover has updated his excellent annual survey of UI trends in Chinese mobile apps with a new installment that covers the t-shirt icon, the happy shopping bag, the moving SEND button, the rise of data-management apps and chatbots, and more. Read the rest

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