Philippe Starck: Why design?


Designer Philippe Starck — with no pretty slides to show — spends 18 minutes reaching for the very roots of the question “Why design?” Listen carefully for one perfect mantra for all of us, genius or not.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes — including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks here.

The Art of Drowning: Vimeo

Directed by Diego Maclean. Poem by Billy Collins.

Those who know me know how important to me swimming is to me. I guess I will have got off to a good start as a toddler by spending a few years in Singapore, lots of time at the beach. They say you can’t, but I forgot how to swim. We subsequently lived back in my country of birth, Northern Ireland and, from what I remember the beach at Magilligan Point wasn’t a great place to swim.

When I did re-enter water it was Coleraine Swimming Baths aged seven or so: I leapt in the pool and realised that I no longer knew how to swim. For what seemed an eternity I sunk to the bottom of the deep end, repeatedly bouncing up, unable to shout I gasped for air and returned to the bottom. Eventually the two lifeguards who were engrossed in conversation a few feet away realised I wasn’t arseing around and pulled me out.

At seven there wasn’t too much to flash before my eyes.

I now swim lengths without breath, I swim well, very well. Sometimes though I worry that there still isn’t enough to flash before my eyes and more disturbingly I worry that I have spent a life bouncing off the bottom. The truth is that there is a very fine line between swimming and drowning, a mistimed gulp of water can catch even the most experienced swimmer out. You don’t need me to drag the metaphor out I’m sure.

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography – Language: (RogersCreations)

It’s while since we’ve had a bit of Kinetic Typography here so words from Stephen Fry (animated by RogersCreations). Anyway, a brief discourse on language.

Using the wonderful words of acclaimed writer, actor and allround know it all (I mean that in the best of ways) Stephen Fry I have created this kinetic typography animation. If you like what you hear you can download the rest of the audio file from Mr. Fry’s website. and then go to the audio and video section at the top of the page and look for the file entitled language. You can also find the file on iTunes by searching the name ‘Stephen Fry’s Podgrams’.

I loved this particular essay on language and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make my first kinetic typography video. I hope you like it and even if you dont I would like to heard what you think in the comments section. Also I know that at points the audio does not match the text so you do not have to write that. It is because I copied the transcript off of Stephen’s website and it was not 100% exactly what he said and i did not notice until I was well underway. However these cases are few and far between.

Just in case you were wondering the programs I used to make this were all by Adobe. Mostly After Effects but also Flash and Illustrator. Flash for the changing background colour transitions and illustrator for putting the words in to the shape of ‘language’ before loading it into After Effects to animate.

Andreas Templin: “as if to nothing”

I haven’t honestly planned this but another interesting way to present stats here, this time from Andreas Templin, via Vimeo. I guess this could have been tagged on to the Berlin Festival that I seem to have had on the blog recently. Anyway, there is some food for contemplation here.

Andreas Templin “as if to nothing”, 2008, computer-based single-channel videowork with sound. updated version available every year, length is defined by length of the soundtrack: 28,46 mins (looped)

The video-installation “as if to nothing” comprises of a selection of statistical data of the earth and its population. This data, created by various governmental and intergovernmental sources and displayed in a specific and subjective interdependency, is combined with the highly dramatic second move of Bruckner’s 7th symphony which is being looped for the screening. This music-piece, a tour-de-force through human emotions, is used to underline the weight of the subject-matter of this artwork. The video-installation is in fact a computer-programme which utilizes the internal clock of the computer to calculate the statistical algorithms, which are updated on a yearly basis.


Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

iPad – no video?

I have previously commented about my love of statistics so here is a quick plug for The Joy of Stats soon to be aired on BBC4. This video is here because Rosling is bringing the subject alive through the power of design and visuals. Look and learn.

Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

Hans Rosling’s famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport’s commentator’s style to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development. Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before – using augmented reality animation.

In this spectacular section of ‘The Joy of Stats’ he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes.

Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.

Sponsored by destiny – Vimeo: Just Because

Another Vimeo delight Slagsm̴lsklubben РSponsored by destiny by Tomas Nilsson. This appeals to my graphic sensibilities and is also quite funny in places. Tomas says,

School assignment to reinterpret the fairytale Little red ridning hood.Inspired by Röyksopps Remind me.

Music: Slagsmålsklubben, Sponsored by destiny

Animation: Tomas Nilsson

Feel free to watch in HD at Vimeo