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2012: The Year in Graphics

Great work by NYT. Graphics and interactives from a year that included an election, the Olympics and a devastating hurricane. A selection of the graphics presented include information about how they were created. HERE 2012: The Year in Graphics

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Beyond 9/11 photographed by Marco Grob wins Emmy

Marco Grob (born in Olten Switzerland, 10' from where I grew up) has won an Emmy together with TIME for the stunning portraits of "Beyond 9/11 Portraits of Resilience" in the category "New Approaches to News and Documentary Programming"

The The 9/11: Portraits of Resilience project also appeared as a special issue, a film documentary, a book and a photo exhibition. But the website is “perhaps the purest expression of what we attempted to accomplish,” said TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel. “It’s very gratifying that it was recognized and I want to first of all pay tribute to the brave men and women who suffered through the terrible events of 9/11 and then shared their stories with us and the world.”

(via TIME)

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Chic Engine Helps You Find That Dress You Saw on Pinterest

It is not new but the story behind impresses me in terms of idea creation and also it represents new ways how information can be found closer to the real-life search approach: "I saw this white dress the other night, and want to get results for a this type of white dress and not just a dress which has the same shape." Jonathan Allen wrote about Chic Engine on searchenginwatch.com:

What does breast cancer screening have to do with fashion? More than rubber bracelets or ribbon broaches.

Adrian Rosebrock, from Catonsville, Maryland, has put into action insights from his day job as a developer at the National Cancer Institute unit to make a visual search engine.

Working in the breast cancer screening unit, Rosebrock has been developing metrics to detect cancer in images and taking those learnings about computer 'vision', namely histology, and applied it to the problem of shape and color in visual search in the fashion vertical.

His project, Chic Engine, matches the shape and color of any image led query you input, either via a image file upload or a hosted image URL – provided you are looking for clothing matches. Currently the index of returned products comes mainly from ShopStyle but what is available so far is an impressive demonstration of how visual search could be something to look out for.

Full article

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Most liveable city: Zurich

Nice movie by monocle about Zurich.

For a small city, Zürich’s 50 museums, theatres and concert halls are a subtle hint that there’s more than beautiful architecture, clean living and stunning scenery in Monocle’s favourite city of 2012. A strict corporate culture with a village-style feel that means Zürich is a microcosm of a well-balanced city that larger neighbours could learn from.

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100 years of Swiss graphic design

This expo offers more than just the Helvetica font and is definitely worth a visit if you are in Zurich. - still runs until 3 June 2012.

Swiss graphic design – one of the country’s leading products – is encountered everywhere. While a single individual style cannot be identified, a certain common approach is evident. This is revealed in the striking awareness of quality in the works, in the skilled handcraft, as well as in the precision and reduction to essentials. Graphic design from Switzerland reflects both international trends and local qualities; irony and wit are its constant companions. The view of one hundred years of graphic design shows both the diversity of current visual communication as well as the fine lines of tradition that connect works from different epochs. Alongside the poster and smaller items of printed matter, the show also includes outstanding examples from advertising and information graphics, typography, signage or book design, design objects that relate to graphic design, as well as selected striking advertising spots, and works for web design. Many objects come from the museum’s own collection.

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Google added 750 people to its Manhattan office in 2011

The internet giant has expanded heavily with 4 new NY offices and adding 38% more staff in the recent years, especially in New York City. After acquiring four New York companies and going on a hiring spree for its media and advertising arms, Google now has about 2,750 employees in New York City, a 38% increase from 2010, the company told The Wall Street Journal. Check out the new offices designed after the city below. Not sure if I could concentrate with all the playground around but certainly a great environment to foster ideas and creativity. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpm_LIyMtMY]

(via wsj)

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Binaural sound made by Sony

This is a pretty impressive piece from Sony if you watch it/listen to it with your headphones on. The sounds are done by award winning sound designer Nick Ryan and shall demonstrate a three-dimensional sound experience done with binaural sound technology by Sony. Watch the video with your headphones and the making-of to it. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk9Evqi4rqo]

Making of [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xR3CYRAaJ8]

(via ibelieveinadv.com)

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Pinterest: a quick overview

As you might have realized another ubiquitous thing on Facebook going on at the moment is Pinterest. I remember it popping up a year ago but didn't quite see the use of it beside Facebook. But people, especially women, going crazy at the moment - here a quick overview with an infographic done by lemon.ly. The numbers show a clear influence in (viral) marketing and an audience to look after now and in the future. (click to enlarge)

(via mashable.com)

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The battle for Christo's Over The River project

I love the sketches to Christo's project and the projects itself of course. To realize the following project the team around Christo has been through an incredible battle of 20 years to finally get approval in November last year. The project Over The River  plans for 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels to be suspended high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado.

Over the River has been on the drawing boards for 20 years now, with over $7 million of Christo’s money invested into it with environmental studies, mock-ups, surveys from the air and wind tests. The project was finally approved by the federal bureau of land management which ows 98% of the river front.

 

Supporters and opponents gathered at the final public hearings earlier this month fighting for officials to consider their input on the temporary permit. Opponents fear that the $50 million project, entirely paid for by the artist, will disrupt the pristine landscape and cause dangerous traffic within the winding canyon.

Christo’s team has promised ambulances and helicopters on standby incase of an emergency during the exhibition, along with more than 20 Colorado State Troopers enforcing a no-stopping rule.

“We are fearful of impeding our way of life on a day-to-day basis for years to come. We are fearful for the wildlife and sanctuary that we enjoy,” Opponent Thomas Kainz of Howard said. “Most importantly, fearful that we are faced with yet another case where someone with deep pockets and political connections gets their way like some spoiled child. Mr. Christo may see this as some wild juxtaposition between the line of fabric in the surrounding nature over the roaring river, but to me, I see it as a bastardization of the beautifully pristine, quiet countryside that I and many, many others choose to live in.”

If the proposal is approved, construction will begin this Summer and Christo will exhibit Over the River for two consecutive weeks in August, 2014, at the earliest.

(via archdaily.com)

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The 3 Biggest Barriers To Innovation, And How To Smash Them

How do you transform an opportunity into an idea? Well, the first thing is to get comfortable with the belief that any old ideas won’t do. What we’re interested in are disruptive ideas; that is, ideas with the power for great impact and influence. Ideas that challenge assumed boundaries and inspire a sense of what’s possible. In my experience, however, most ideas never get anywhere near this level.

1: Feeling overwhelmed, directionless, and without focus

The problem is that traditional brainstorming has ignored the huge difference between generating lots of ideas and capturing quality ideas. As a result, brainstorming sessions often leave organizations and teams feeling overwhelmed and directionless—a state Beth Comstock at GE insightfully calls, “paralyzed by possibility.” Simply put, if your ideas are going to have any disruptive impact, you need to move beyond a shotgun approach to brainstorming and start pursuing creative effort with a laser-sharp focus.

2: Thinking in terms of isolated products, services, and information

Gizmo-ized is another way of saying that even a product as ancient as a bottle of wine no longer stands alone as a static object; it’s dynamic. “It is offering me more functionality than I will ever be able to explore,” Sterling writes, “This wine bottle aims to educate me—it is luring me to become more knowledgeable about the people and processes that made the bottle and its contents. It wants to recruit me to become an unpaid promotional agent, a wine critic, an opinion maker—it wants me to throw wine-tasting parties and tell all my friends about my purchase.” The relationship between a product, a service, and the information they provide is more important than the details of any one particular feature alone.

3: Getting stuck at the water-cooler

As a result, they rarely escape people’s heads and instead remain there, unformed. The view from inside the company, however, is different. One of the most common phrases I hear from clients is, “We don’t need any more ideas; we have too many.” But, when I ask to see the documented ideas they have, they start back- pedaling: “Well, we don’t have them written down or anything. But, we discuss them a lot.” You can talk about ideas in general terms, at least for a while. But, abstraction makes it harder to understand an idea and remember it. So, to increase the potential, you have to stop talking about it and explain it in sensory terms. Sketch it out!

Read how to smash these 3 barriers.

(via simon witcher and fastcodesign.com)

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windows phone 7 series

Windows 7 has no killer feature.. nothing is new and I am not all that sure if the x-box live access is really an argument for ms phone users. However, the GUI is quite nice and does not look like a copied iPhone GUI (like Android). On track to catch up with iPhone, Android and meego?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IOTrqlz4jo]

More videos about microsoft phone in their youtube channel.

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