art & perception

Message in a bottle

It’s been a tough week. There’s a lot of anguish about. Do something small, like this.

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Flying Blind With Unisys

Last week I commented on the puerile computer game imagery being used in corporate advertising by firms like BT. Its now Unisys’ turn to insult our intelligence with its “3D Visible Enterprise” campaign. Every sentence is sententious. “It’s more predictable because it’s visible”. “Imagine any change, and know how it will affect every layer and […]

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Miffed Missive From Massive

Bruce Mau has written to say he is “surprised” by the tone and content of my email newsletter piece last week about his new exhibiton, Massive Change. What I said originally was: “We will build a global mind. We will design evolution. We will eradicate poverty”. No ifs and no buts are discernable in Bruce […]

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Care and time

Britain’s National Health Service has identified five “key dimensions of patient experience” – and time and speed issues dominate. The top two issues are first, waiting times for appointments, and access to services; and second, time given to discuss health/medical problems face-to-face with health care professionals. A third priority, “safe, high quality, co-ordinated care”, included […]

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Sim-IBM

Has anyone else noticed how the tv ads of tech companies are becoming indistinguishable from computer games? IBM, British Telecom and Hewlett Packard have all released TV commercials and print ads that feature young professionals floating, gravity-free, in abstract urban spaces. High altitude, low-bandwidth thinking in action.

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Pros and cons of Dutch design

I was asked by the main Japanese design magazine, Axis, to write an ‘afterword’ for their special issue on Dutch design. I took the opportunity to reflect on trends in design policy in other countries. Dutch design has enjoyed tremendous international success and prestige in recent years. Can it last? One reason ifor its recent […]

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The new medicis

Those were the days. This text, which was written for Japan’s Hakuhodo advertising agency, is a reflection on the changing nature of sponsorship. At the time (1990) I was convinced I had invented a killer business concept – ‘cultural engineering’. Unfortunately, when Japan’s bubble economy abruptly collapsed in 1992, so, too, did my concept: it […]

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What are artists for?

(A comment for Cumulus, the European association of design schools). In order to do things differently, we first need to see things differently; the imaginary can be extraordinarily powerful in shaping expectations. In order to do things differently, we first need to see things differently; the imaginary can be extraordinarily powerful in shaping expectations. New […]

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Lost In Space: A Traveller’s Tale

As well as being thresholds between land and air, modern airports are gateways to complexity. Through them, we enter the operating environment of global aviation, surely mankind’s most complicated creation.

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