Behold the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon, a new “table PC” all-in-one steathily introduced at CES (so much so that I missed it completely until just now). The name isn’t much better than “Microsoft PixelSense”, but the pricetag ($1,699) might help it break through where said famously unsuccessful and overpriced ($10,000) multitouch ancestor couldn’t. Size-wise, it’s a lot more portable than some monsters out there, and the design looks pretty appealing in the demo videos. Fingers crossed that this is the one that makes multitouch tables – er, table PCs – more feasible for the masses.
If you spend any time trying to think big thoughts about how to make technology truly meaningful, or even if you just worry your smartphone is slowly taking your place, this is the short documentary for you. From the Vimeo writeup:
The 18 minute "Connecting" documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry's thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming "Internet of things." Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a "super organism" capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.
Now showing at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, “Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan” includes a “digital cave”:
Weaving together archival photographs and current imaging technology, the Digital Cave serves as a virtual reconstruction of the South Cave at Northern Xiangtangshan. This immersive installation allows viewers to experience the site and see sculptures that have been removed from the cave restored within their original setting. The configuration and scale of the three screens are based on the architecture of the South Cave, the latest of the three cave temples of the northern group and one that contains inscriptions dated to 568–572. The South Cave features an open cubical chamber, about ten feet wide by nine feet deep, with curving recesses on the back and side walls that house symmetrical groupings of deities.
Inexplicably excellent: Out Of Print is a live printing installation that scrambles up Twitter trending topics with an iPad, then sends the results to be letterpress printed. From outofprint on Vimeo, via Creators Project.
The Venice Architecture Biennale closed this weekend, shuttering a few remarkable pavilions. The Chilean Pavilion sticks in my mind in particular, largely thanks to this video of it by director Christobal Palma.
“By perfecting the atmosphere in a room, Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde makes clouds appear out of thin air. In what seems like Photoshop or magic, Smilde carefully regulates the humidity, temperature and light of a space—and when the moment is right, he summons the cloud using a fog machine. The cottony cloud only lasts a few moments for it to be captured on film, and suspends in the middle of the room just before it collapses—evoking a sense of surrealism and ephemerality of nature.”
It’s not every day that someone tweets me a stop-motion traveling exhibit assembly video from Holland. I’m not exactly sure what happens with all the holes and slots in the final product, but the video sure is fun to watch.
A while back I created an exhibit design bookshelf on Shelfari (with the help of then-intern-now-designer Jess Griscti). For years I have collected books on exhibit design, museum planning and interactive space. I have the actual physical bookshelf, with all the actual books, in my office, so I don’t look at the virtual one that often. It’s worth a look. It still needs some categorizing and blurbs, but I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else.
There is debate about Google Art Project, and I’m sure there will be more for Google World Wonders. But there is something to be said for bringing far-flung, spectacular cultural places into your living room. Not to mention the carbon footprint advantages.
(And as a colleague of mine said recently, “Yes, but can I have that glass-window-wall-world-view thingy in my house?”)
The ‘Schiaparelli and Prada’ exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens this week, with a compelling approach to exhibit design and curation. Especially interesting: the use of custom-shot video in juxtaposition with the objects on display. The videos put two fashion designers from very different eras into “conversation” with each other, though a real talk never happened.
This week, Core77 posted a fly-through video of Renzo Piano’s new design for the Whitney in the meatpacking district, which is planned to open in 2015 at the south end of the High Line. It will be a “200,000-square foot museum that includes 13,000-square-feet for outdoor exhibitions as well as an 18,000-square-foot temporary gallery,” and will contain “the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City.” I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time there.
Speaking of designing exhibits about design, here is a great short video by Walker Art Center about their current exhibition, Graphic Design: Now In Production. It features curator Ellen Lupton from the Cooper-Hewitt, design director Andrew Blauvelt from the Walker … and lots of installation imagery of the exhibit itself. Just in time, too: the show closes on January 22.