Monday, April 03, 2006

ACDC 2006 - Day 3 (3/25): Craft Gets Radical

Theo walking his Animal

Theo Jansen:
Learning to Walk
- engineer, painter, sculptor
- made UFO and flew it over Delft
- lo-tech/hi-tech work

- makes life-forms from electricity tubes

- uses computer to "evolve species" before building
- copies "genetic codes" from winners after "walking match"

- 11 tubes determine "loop" for walking (shape of a step)


- wind-stomach = lemonade bottles that store wind, energy
- building the beginning of a brain

Jonny Ive

Jonathan Ive: Designs for Insanely Great Experience
- CBE (Commander of the British Empire), "one step below a Sir"
- interview w/ Chee Pearlman

Themes: focus, all-consuming ("no time to worry about periphery")
!Not to do a lot of unnecessary stuff
- "care so much for the few things you do"

!small team, worked together for a long time
- learn collectively
- "special momentum"

!Hates - "look at the difficult problem we solved"

An object testifies to what it takes to make it
- value system, humanity, care that yielded it

Was an Apple customer first, then consultant, then in-house
- wanted to focus on craft

!In order for innovation to take place, company needs to change
- enormously difficult

During hard times at Apple, spent less time designing, more time trying to convince people
!- When you just go back to design (stop blaming others), keep working at it over and over, there's something about a good idea that cuts through, you don't have to persuade

Simple goal: "make nice stuff"
- as good as it can be
- not worry about imposed connections
- not about self-expression or design statement

- If you care about what you make, you need to be there to affect all of it

- arch/design is formed by really understanding the material

- much of starting the design process is talking about what you're trying to do
- what is the goal?
- "What we're good as a team is moving fragile ideas until they become robust, then lots of prototypes, follow through all the way into production."
- "failure is healthy part of the process"
- "I don't feel we're done" (with the iPod)

- brutal speed of technology
- focus on intrinsic value in product rather than technology

How minimal can you go?
- What's important about iPod is the music, not the design
- get the design "out of the way", defer to the content
- trying to simplify and refine is really hard
- "care", "pursuit of excellence"

!It's about making "great product", not making money, it's a consequence
- not "design is important" legislation

Meet everyday w/ Steve, work together
- being preoccupied w/ creating new stuff

Value of learning stuff together, a privilege
- sense of looking to be wrong, inquisitiveness; it means you discovered something new
- are you prepared to be wrong? Are you comfortable w/ being wrong?
- Easier when you've been together a long time, trust

!Be heavy in thinking, light in implementation


Andy Borowitz: What's Intelligent - Design
- Comedian, creator "Fresh Prince of Bel Air"
- best way to close the conference

"I'm so radical, I'm gnarly"

If we defeat terror, what's next? War on shyness?"

Laughter was perfect ending to absorbing, exhausting conference