December 2009 archives

Entry no.: 947

27 Dec 2009, 9:11 AM

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Travel Bangkok shrine

Bangkok shrine, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Bangkok, 2009.

Shrine next to the boulevard, skybridge and skytrain line, Bangkok. Click here or on the image to see video. Location.

Bangkok shrine, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Bangkok, 2009.

Same shrine from a different angle, Bangkok. Click here or on the image to see video. Location.

Entry no.: 945

27 Dec 2009, 6:50 AM

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Travel Shopping avenue

Shopping avenue, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Bangkok, 2009.

Outside of Siam Paragon near Siam Square main skytrain (BTS) station, Bangkok. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

It was shot here.

Entry no.: 944

23 Dec 2009, 7:51 PM

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Travel Park

Park, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Bangkok, 2009.

Park, Bangkok. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Entry no.: 943

23 Dec 2009, 3:36 PM

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Travel Ice-skating rink

I'll try a new thing here: one-minute videos instead of plain shots. One minute of nothing special, just life. Consider them "long photos".

If the technical part is getting botched (leave a comment if you can't see it) I'll have to move the stuff to Vimeo or YouTube and embed it back here — that'll take a while. Here is the first one, let's see how this goes.

Ice-skating rink, one minute video, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Dubai, 2009.

Shoping mall ice-skating rink, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Click here or on the image to watch the video.

Location.

Entry no.: 942

23 Dec 2009, 4:27 PM

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Travel Burj Dubai

Burj Dubai, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Dubai, 2009.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Burj Dubai is the tallest man-made structure ever built: 818 meters and 162 habitable floors — and expected to hold up to 35,000 people.


Update: This is so tall I had to stitch three pictures together to get it all in the frame.

Entry no.: 938

18 Dec 2009, 9:50 AM

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Photography No interventionist God

I don't believe in an interventionist God, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Berlin, 2008.

Museum, Berlin. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Entry no.: 935

16 Dec 2009, 11:53 AM

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Photography The life, the light

Moments when they're astonishing, the life, the light, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Berlin, 2008.

Ana and Carolin, S-Bahn, Berlin. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Entry no.: 933

14 Dec 2009, 8:02 AM

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Photography The ways we come to know

The ways we come to know about ourselves, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Baia Mare, Transylvania, 2009.

Baia Mare, Transylvania. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Entry no.: 929

11 Dec 2009, 7:59 AM

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Photography Cold-war boy

The radioactive dreams of a cold-war boy, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Bucharest, 2009.

Building façade, Bucharest. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Entry no.: 928

9 Dec 2009, 9:25 AM

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Romania 20 years after

Aneta Bogdan, Cristian 'Kit' Paul in Irina Păcurariu's 'The Other Romania... 20 Years After', Bucharest, 2009.

Aneta Bogdan and myself in Irina Păcurariu's 'The Other Romania... 20 Years After'. Click here or on the image for the video.

TV producer Irina Păcurariu marks two decades from the Romanian Revolution of 1989 — and 20 of democracy — with the show "The Other Romania... 20 Years After", to be aired on Decembrie 15 at 11:00 PM on TVR1.

The segment will be further expanded in a subsequent edition, tentatively announced for January 13, 2010.

Also, you will recognize footage shot and edited by Camil Tulcan for the first and the second Cuculand episodes.


Update: "Our" segment is the one scheduled for January 13.

Entry no.: 922

6 Dec 2009, 1:28 AM

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Design Dieter Rams' ten, plus one (II)

As I previously announced, Gaura Neagră (meaning Black Hole) design blog initiated a quest to find a good 11th rule to be added to Dieter Rams' ten principles of good design.

Yesterday I judged the entries in the competition for the Objectified DVD.

The process

I started by separating into a shortlist the programatic principles that I felt I can bring to the work table and use as filters in my thinking process. Here is the shortlist:

1. Good design is invisible.

Although it seems to revolve around Rams’ “Good design is as little design as possible,” it also brings in new meanings. In the contemporary world everything is designed, but — I think — only the most efficiently designed objects and processes are taken for granted without questioning their meaning and mechanism.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Lately — especially since the arrival of the iPhone — I am intrigued by Clarke’s third law “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” and I wonder how much truth it holds and whether it describes how technology (and consequently design) has the potential to transcend its limits.

The postulation is somehow ambiguous: it can mean lack of visibility and impact if taken literally, which is not desirable — think signage or package design.

2. Good design is simple.

This seems immediate and I wonder why Rams didn’t put it on his list. I think that even if “Good design is as little design as possible,” the overall solution might be pretty complex.

3. Good design is adaptive.

Customization and flexibility are hot themes, yet I think that only some areas can afford them. On the other hand, the walled garden approach seems to work really well in some cases — by completely controlling the user experience.

A community of users/designers that works to help the design evolve: open-source.

A certain kind of flexibility can be achieved by putting design process in the hands of a community of users/designers that works to help the design evolve: open-source. The underlying business model is tricky, though.

The divergent devices might be desirable, but they seem enormously difficult to get right, while the convergent devices are less complex and easier to conceive.

4. Good design is not noticeable as design.

This might be a better interpretation of the design invisibility theme and I like it because it somehow enunciates one of the messages behind Jonathan Ive's words from his segment in Objectified:

 Jonathan Ive's segment in Objectified, screenshot, YouTube video.

Jonathan Ive's segment in Objectified. Click here or on the image to watch video.

  • “A lot of what we seem to be doing [...] is getting design out of the way”
  • “It feels almost undesigned” and
  • “You spend so much more time to make it less conspicuous and less obvious”.

“Good typography is unnoticeable typography.”

In graphic design there is a similar saying stating that “Good typography is unnoticeable typography” noting the fact that a superior virtuosity need not be noticeable as such.

As a designer I think it’s flattering to achieve a by default status by having your creations seamlessly interwoven into the very fabric of day-to-day life, like a staircase banister, a computer mouse, a ball or Google’s homepage.

5. Good design improves living.

This one gravitates around “Good design is concerned with the environment.“ Ethics and sustainability are advanced notions in the design ethos, right at the top of the pyramid — definitely very advanced for a our current economy’s status.

6. Good design is obvious.

The simplicity theme once again, yet... I don’t know. It would be oversimplifying, don’t you think? Good design might seem obvious in some instances, but I don’t think it always is.

7. Good design is elusive.

See Clarke’s first — you cannot put your finger on magic.

8. Good design is user friendly.

I think that user-friendliness is contained in Rams’ principles “Good design is unobtrusive” and “Good design helps us to understand a product.” Of course, principles in this category become more and more important as web design (inherently complex, as new technologies often are) becomes embedded into the core of everyday life.

9. Good design is relevant.

Relevance, like a corollary of Rams’ ten principles.

Beautifully stated! Yet, it seems more like a corollary of Rams’ ten principles. If there was a bottom line, I think this would be the best one.

10. Good design is optimistic.

I really enjoyed the theme of optimism in design, yet I don’t think it should be one of the main rules — I cannot start working on a project by focusing on designing something optimistic.

It might work as a secondary selection filter: between a sad, nihilistic solution and an jovial, optimistic one the latter might work better.

And the winner is

“Good design is not noticeable as design.”

Ok, it was tough (and it can only be a subjective choice) but I came to a decision. Because of the synergy with some of the opinions stated in Objectified movie and also because of the questions haunting me — and especially the answers I would like to be able to give to those questions — I elected as the winning principle

"Good design is not noticeable as design."

I hope that applying this principle, will make me (and others) more humble, committed to simplicity and more willing to conceive my design not to be disruptive but rather seamlessly integrated into the fabric of objects, sensations and experiences everyday life is made of.

Entry no.: 921

5 Dec 2009, 12:26 PM

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Photography Time gets tired of everyone

Time gets tired of everyone (I), Cristian -Kit- Paul, Koh Samui, Thailand, 2008.

Storm coming during rainy season, Koh Samui. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Time gets tired of everyone (II), Cristian -Kit- Paul, Koh Samui, Thailand, 2008.

Storm, Koh Samui. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Time gets tired of everyone (III), Cristian -Kit- Paul, Koh Samui, Thailand, 2008.

Storm, Koh Samui. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

Some of the land on the horizon is the World President's newest home, Koh Phangan island.

Entry no.: 917

2 Dec 2009, 10:10 AM

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Photography Only days of happiness up ahead

There are only days of happiness up ahead, Cristian -Kit- Paul, Store window, Baia Mare, Transylvania, 2008.

Store window, Baia Mare, Transylvania. Click here or on the image to enlarge.