Designing Bodies From a Place of Empowerment

Another great talk from I posted it initially on Twitter but the video has a place here. The content is fantastic and far-ranging, including graphics, design, aesthetics. Ultimately it is an example of how design can affect lives for the better.

Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs: TED

Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs — she’s got a dozen amazing pairs — and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height … Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.

About Aimee Mullins

A record-breaker at the Paralympic Games in 1996, Aimee Mullins has built a career as a model, actor and activist for women, sports and the next generation of prosthetics. more


I first knowingly met my grandparents when I was about five, we had returned from Singapore. No-one thought to remind me that Granny only had one leg, I suppose my parents thought I may have remembered from seeing her when I was about two, who knows? The little pattern of air vents on her calf certainly intrigued and perplexed this five year old.

Granny was a Scot, there were many shortbread tins around her Portsmouth terrace which she rarely left, not even to go to the shop at the end of the road. There was one exception to this, if she left the house at all it was usually to go to Canada. Yes, being a true Scot she had a sister who had emigrated there.

It would appear that as a young woman Granny had some form of blood poisoning from a sore on her ankle and the dye from her stockings. This resulted in the loss of her leg below the knee and a far greater loss, her freedom.

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi, Vimeo

Another great Vimeo find, a simple idea, mapping WiFi reach with light and long exposure photography. This video is one that I have returned to a few times, a simple idea, almost melancholic in its presentation but some lasting images.

This project explores the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.

A four-metre long measuring rod with 80 points of light reveals cross-sections through WiFi networks using a photographic technique called light-painting.

The city is filled with an invisible landscape of networks that is becoming an interwoven part of daily life. WiFi networks and increasingly sophisticated mobile phones are starting to influence how urban environments are experienced and understood. We want to explore and reveal what the immaterial terrain of WiFi looks like and how it relates to the city.

Do Not Disturb, 1945 – Directed by: Lászlo Moholy-Nagy


This film was written, filmed, and edited by students of the Motion Picture class of the Institute of Design, Chicago, under direction of Lászlo Moholy-Nagy.

Directed by: Lászlo Moholy-Nagy
Soundtrack: Music
Film: Color
Film Length: 20 minutes
DVD Format: NTSC

Available at:

Music for Preview: Chet Baker in Paris, Song: Summertime, © 1988 PolyGram, France

Miwa Matreyek’s Glorious Visions: Just Because


Found this while browsing through Ted. It wasn’t really what I was looking for but all the same a very interesting combination of the new (sort of) and the old. ( The YouTube version embedded easier )

Using animation, projections and her own moving shadow, Miwa Matreyek performs a gorgeous, meditative piece about inner and outer discovery. Take a quiet 10 minutes and dive in. With music from Anna Oxygen, Mirah, Caroline Lufkin and Mileece.

About Miwa Matreyek

Miwa Matreyek creates performances where real shapes and virtual images trade places, amid layers of animation, video and live bodies source

The State of Wikipedia – JESS3 Labs: Vimeo

The State of Wikipedia not only explores the rich history and inner-workings of the web-based encyclopedia, but it’s also a celebration of its 10th anniversary. With more than 17 million articles in over 270 languages, Wikipedia has undoubtedly become one of the most visited and relied upon sites on the web today.

The fourth video in our the “State of” series, JESS3 is proud to release The State of Wikipedia as our first video of 2011. And, as if it weren’t good enough, the video features none other than one of the co-founders himself, Jimmy Wales, as the narrator.

JESS3 Labs

People argue and knock Wikipedia but I will stand up and be counted, I think it’s a colossal resource that I use daily. It’s a great example of what happens when people work together. Sometimes abused, my teenage son reports creating bogus Wikipedia pages for ‘a bit of fun’.

Often referred to as Wiki many may not realise that it is just a ‘Wiki’, one of many. The story unfolds in this video.

What JESS3 Labs have done here is, as well as creating and informative video, shown some great graphics for data visualisation.

Jonathan Ive: Mac design & Unibody MacBook Manufacture


A clip from the 2009 documentary “Objectified” which is all about industrial design. Here, we see the wonderfully creative genius of Jonathan Ive, as he talks about the Mac, and specifically the Unibody design of the MacBook/MacBook Air & MacBook Pro.

Buy the DVD here

With a brief intro by Dieter Rams, Jonathan Ive gives an insight into Apple Mac design and manufacture. Ive mentions the curse of design, walking round constantly designing, thinking “why is it like that and not like this?”

“Of course it’s that way, why would it be any other way?”

Listening to this it is hard to miss the influence of Rams and his 10 principles.