Things to Learn at Design School

19/11/2017

I'm planning on writing a longer article on this at some point, but for now, I'd just like to share a piece of writing by Mike Monteiro for the series “Dear Design Student” on Medium. (The whole series is worth reading, whether you're a student or not.)
One of the posts that has stuck with me is “10 things you need to learn in design school if you’re tired of wasting your money”. While I, fortunately, do not have to pay for my education, others do when they pay their taxes (which I do as well, obviously). And as much as I appreciate the environment my university provides, I can't help but wonder whether I'm wasting my time sitting in some of the courses I have to take. I'll write a longer article with my thoughts at some point, but for now, just have this quote from Mike Monteiro. (and read the article in full).

“You’re probably in the same building as the art school kids. Design has as much to do with art as a lobster has to do with a carrot cake. If you truly want a career as a designer, you are going to need to speak about someone’s business and organizational goals. You’re going to have to learn how to analyze data, you’re going to have to learn how measure effectiveness. You’re going to have to learn how to build and extend brands. You’re going to have to learn how to do goal-driven work. Goal-driven. Design is not about expressing yourself. Design is not about following your dream. Design is not about becoming a creative. If that’s the kind of stuff that you’re interested in that’s absolutely fine. Walk across the hall to the art department and learn how many yams you can shove up your ass.”

Reunion

18/11/2017

Photographer Josephine Sittenfeld took photos of her college classmates on medium format film 15 years ago. You can probably imagine how the story continues when they met for a reunion 15 years later. The result is a fascinating series of photographic dialogues. Read more on The New Yorker.

Don't wait, start now

17/11/2017

People like to make excuses. There are a thousand excuses why you can't start now. Having to wait on others is a common one. Want to write a book? Don't wait for a publisher to magically appear. Start writing. And don't stop for a while. The only way to reach a goal is to start walking.

Night Sky

09/09/2017

You're a sky full of stars!

Shot on the Panasonic GH5. 12-60mm MFT lens. Fairly long exposure time, anywhere between 1s to 30s. You can download the images for private use by right-clicking them.

TYPO Berlin 2017

6/6/2017

One week ago, I attended TYPO Berlin for the very first time. It was very inspiring & I'd like to share some of my thoughts. Because I was too lazy to write a blog post, I made a video instead (which turned out to be the much bigger hassle). Here it is. Just a warning: this is incomplete & slightly incoherent.

A few things I forgot:
(this list will probably get longer with time)

– While the audience was pretty diverse, the speakers were mostly white men. I'd like to see more women & minorities on stage, to ensure a diverse set of opinions & perspectives.
– The most surprising & great talks for me were by Liv Siddall & Dominic Wilcox.
– I really liked Peter Bilak's talk, because he defined design very broadly, as I think one should.
– There's a great blog post by Johnson Banks with some backstage photographs.

Upcycling Workshop with Carl Nielbock

7/5/2017

The University of Applied Sciences in Graz invited Carl Nielbock from Detroit to lead a workshop with students on the topic of upcycling. This is a video showing what happened.

Crows in D

»Crow flight patterns are echoed at a thirtieth of a second to create a loopable waveform that corresponds to a tone. The waveform was measured at 27 crows across one tenth of a second. The animation plays at 12fps (2.25 seconds per 27 birds) and is 22.5 times slower than the rate of the comparable frequency. The median crow waveform was “tuned” to D4 and from there, the other crow waveforms were measured. Different wave shapes (sine, saw) were loosely based on flight pattern shape, which was a result of the speed of the crow and the angle and proximity of the crow to the camera.«

Well, I learned something new today. This is really fascinating.

Found on swissmiss.

Wes Anderson

31/1/2017

I'm massively inspired by the aesthetics of Wes Anderson movies. His attention to detail is so fascinating, that alone already makes his movies insantly likeable. Below are some videos I discovered around the web in the last few years explaining his films & his process.

Art is Theft

22/1/2017

I believe we are constantly inspired by the world around us. This video illustrates that in an absolutely beautiful way.
That's also why I think the idea of copyright isn't really fitting for the 21st century and for the remix-focused culture we live in today. That's why the copyright notice in my footer says "1998 – 2017", because all of my projects & all of the stuff I make is inspired by my whole life and all the great people & ideas I've been lucky enough to encounter over the years.

New Website

13/1/2017

It's the beginning of a new year full of opportunities, challenges & experiences waiting for us. To kick things off, I'm excited to be launching my new website.

I often tell my clients that a website is never finished. If it's finished, it is in need of a redesign. A website is constantly evolving, just like the company or organisation behind it is always in motion. This is one of the main reasons I try to employ more and more agile development techniques in the work I do. But sometimes, you just have to realise that you've gone down a dead end and need to take a few steps back. This is what happened with my own website.

My new website does not only look new, it has been engineered from the ground up with current technologies & best practices.
In some ways, this new, redesigned website is similar to my old one. It is still built with the great Kirby CMS that I know and love and most of the content (especially my blog) is still available at the same spot where it was just a few days ago.

But in many ways, this is also a complete overhaul. I've completely rewritten the code powering this website (within the last 7 days, which is a new record for me), I've rewritten all the copy on the site to (hopefully) articulate myself more clearly. One of the big changes I've made is that I've scrapped the German version of my site and now offer all of my content in English only. Most people speak English anyways & this change allows me to update the content more easily and should lead to more concise communication throughout the site.

I've also slightly altered the structure of the site. The "Profile" section now includes some more information about me and what I do all day. The "Work" section has been split into my portfolio and new Skills & Process sections, which outline how I work with clients to create experiences and products that are innovative, long-lasting, honest & thorough down to the last detail.

The home page now also features a new video section, as well as a little experiment called "Mixtapes" that contains some new Spotify playlists for your enjoyment. More will be added in the future.

On a more personal note, I'd like to say that I'm really excited for this year. 2016 has been the most eventful and exciting year of my life (both in personal and professional matters) and I'm committed to making 2017 even more enlightening & interesting. If the first two weeks are a valid indicator, this year is shaping up to be pretty great. In May, I'll be going to Berlin for the annual TYPO Conference. I'm working on interesting projects with great people. And I'm studying at a fantastic university with inspiring people that challenge me in completely new ways.

Thanks for your support. Let's make 2017 a good one.

Best,

David

--

Some technical, nerdy details:
This website is built with the awesome Kirby CMS. Developed in Brackets with a newly developed S(CSS) structure, it's built based on designs made in Sketch. Its underlying grid is made with Flexbox, which works like magic. The SCSS is compiled using CodeKit, which also handles image optimisation. I use various Kirby plugins, like the Uniform plugin for my contact form and some others. I've switched from Google Analytics to Piwik Analytics for faster & more secure statistics.

My main focus was to built a site that is fast and future-proof. The flexible template, content & CSS structure means that I can extent the site at any point and just build on top of what is there right now.

The new portrait that I use throughout this website and my social media was taken by Thomas Schrott.

Rearview Mirror

17/11/2016

We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror.
- Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan is an incredibly interesting character, with a lot of ideas that were way ahead of their time. You should indulge in some Wikipedia-Reading if you haven’t heard of him yet. His book „The Medium is the Massage“ is also pretty great.

Anyway, I think this quote is very fitting not only in the technological context that Marshall McLuhan used it but rather in all parts of life, really. You accumulate various experiences over the years, positive and negative and you make decisions regarding your future based on all you’ve learned in the past. Sometimes, that is incredibly useful, but sometimes, it might also limit our view. Because, you know, there are some things you don’t see in your rearview mirror.

UNSATISFYING

07/11/2016

Some things in life are just incredibly unsatisfying. This is a beautiful animation containing some of the highlights.

Are you feeling a bit shaken?

29/10/2016

“Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe stirred, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.”
– Victoria Erickson

I love this quote. I need to remind myself of this over and over again, because we human beings are not really programmed to that sort of thinking.

IKEA: My son

15/10/2016

Once again, IKEA manages to make an ad that is beautiful and quite touching. We need more ads like that.

My New Room

03/10/2016

Sooo, I've moved. I'm officially a Grazer now, as they say. More or less. Anyway. A quite important part of moving is – of course – the apartment itself. In this blogpost, I'd like to give you a little tour through my new home base.

The title of this post is "My New Room", because it really is more of a room than an apartment. But that's all I really need & want anyway. I like my space to be compact and minimalistic and, above all, practical. And that's exactly what this room is. So it's pretty perfect! And pretty as well!

I've shared my thoughts on moving and starting a new chapter in another blogpost, which you can read here.

My view is directly onto the main railway station here in Graz, which is actually kind of amazing. I have a weird obsession with train travel and actually travel by train quite a lot and having the main station in front of my window is kind of a nice sight. It's always changing and moving. Just like life! #davidslifelessons


If you want to follow my explorations in Graz, it might be a good idea to follow me on Instagram. I've kind of fallen in love with Instagram Stories and I share stuff on there quite regularly.

Born to be Mild

2/10/2016

"Whether you’re crazy for roundabouts, addicted to photographing mailboxes, have the world’s largest collection of British milk bottles, or you’re a dull man with pretty much any sort of hobby that induces bafflement and yawns in friends and acquaintances, there’s a club just for you. A drolly cheerful celebration of the very ordinary, Born to be Mild explores the uncommon hobbies practiced by the members of the Dull Men’s Club – an online community that connects ‘dull men, and women who appreciate dull men’."

I love this: "The Dull Men’s Club: where being extraordinarily ordinary is celebrated". We need more of that sort of enthusiasm. Whether for everyday things, or something different.

Vincent Van Gogh Visits the Gallery

30/09/2016

I have to admit, I'm not someone to watch a lot of TV shows. In fact, I don't watch any. However, I recently stumbled across this scene from Doctor Who. And even without any of the context that I'm sure I would have if I watched other episodes, this scene is incredibly beautiful.

"In an episode of Doctor Who from 2010, the Doctor and his companion Amy take Vincent van Gogh, who was not a commercially successful artist in his own lifetime, to the Musée d’Orsay to see an entire room filled with his paintings. The resulting scene is unexpectedly touching."
kottke.org

This Is the Beginning of Anything You Want

26/09/2016

I adore this song by Boy. It might be one of my favourite songs of all time. I keep coming back to it at various points in my life and it never really fails to make me emotional. But I don't think it ever was more fitting to listen to that song than right now.

In one week, I'll start to study Information Design in Graz. Next Saturday, I'll be moving for the first time in my life, into an apartment, on my own. Up until now, I didn't really think about any of these changes happening in my life. I had a bunch of other stuff to do. And I'm generally a person who tries to avoid the possibility of becoming emotional. I guess I still feel like showing emotion is a weakness, which is probably stupid. But in our generation, it seems like indifference is the default feeling for many of us. Whether it comes to big changes facing our whole society or personal challenges. And I suppose I'm rather indifferent about something than sad or worrisome. Which is not good. Better deal with emotions than avoid them. I have to work on that.

In fact, I'll have to work on a lot of things if I want to be able to sustain myself. I've been lucky in that my family always took care of me and my needs. But now I'll have to feed myself. (Yes, cookbooks and kitchen tools have been bought.)

Although, looking back, if there's something that the last 18 years of my life taught me, I guess it's that I'm kind of fine on my own. I might not be cheerful and happy all the time (which is a stupid thing to aspire to anyways), but I'm also never completely lost. Needless to say, I'm also much happier around my close friends and I'm really blessed with an incredible friendship group, but if it comes down to it, I can also get along with myself. Not always. But most times. I think that's good, at least. And so, looking forward to probably the scariest thing that I've ever done in my entire life, at the very least I know that I'll probably be fine, whatever ends up happening. What is certain is that I will learn a lot. And if that is the worst that can happen – fucking up, but learning from it, then that's not so bad after all.

This post is very weird. I should probably have put that disclaimer at the very top. But since I started this post with a song reference, I guess I could end it with one as well. I'm a huge Coldplay fan and in their song "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall", I love this wonderful line:

I'd rather be a comma than a full stop

Even if I'm kind of frightened of what's ahead, doing new things that might seem daunting is soo much better than just standing still. This step is one more comma in what I'm not going to call life sentence, because that doesn't have such a positive connotation. But you get the idea.

Oil and gas companies are facing major technological disruption

24/09/2016

A documentary by The Economist on the future of energy production. This is a tremendous challenge facing our generation, but it also presents an opportunity for innovation on a scale that we've never dreamt of before.

I think the world of energy production in 10 years will be very different from the world we're living in today. But we have to put in the work to get there.

David Lynch on Creativity

13/09/2016


David Lynch shares some beautiful thoughts on how to "catch" ideas and what it means to do happy work.