A beautiful interactive visualisation of every paper published in Nature.
Sunday, February 28th, 2021
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
Wildlife Photographer Of The Year on the Clearleft podcast
This one is a bit different. Whereas previous episodes focused on specific topics—design systems, service design—this one is a case study. And, wow, what a case study! The whole time I was putting the episode together, I kept thinking “The team really did some excellent work here.”
I’m not sure what makes more sense: listen to the podcast episode first and then visit the site in question …or the other way around? Maybe the other way around. In which case, be sure to visit the website for Wildlife Photographer Of The Year.
This episode of the podcast ended up being half an hour long. It should probably be shorter but I just couldn’t bring myself to cut any of the insights that Helen, James, Chris, and Trys were sharing. I’m probably too close to the subject matter to be objective about it. I’m hoping that others will find it equally fascinating to hear about the process of the project. Research! Design! Dev! This has got it all.
I had a lot of fun with the opening of the episode. I wanted to create a montage effect like the scene-setting opening of a film that has overlapping news reports. I probably spent far too long doing it but I’m really happy with the final result.
And with this episode, we’re halfway through the first season of the podcast already! I figured a nice short run of six episodes is enough to cover a fair bit of ground and give a taste of what the podcast is aiming for, without it turning into an overwhelming number of episodes in a backlog for you to catch up with. Three down and three to go. Seems manageable, right?
Anyway, enough of the backstory. If you haven’t already subscribed to the Clearleft podcast, you should do that. Then do these three things in whichever order you think works best:
Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
Over the last fifty years, we have come to recognize that the fuel of our civilizational expansion has become the main driver of our extinction, and that of many of the species we share the planet with. We are now coming to realize that is as true of our cognitive infrastructure. Something is out of sync, felt everywhere: something amiss in the temporal order, and it is as related to political and technological shifts, shifts in our own cognition and attention, as it is to climatic ones. To think clearly in such times requires an intersectional understanding of time itself, a way of thinking that escapes the cognitive traps, ancient and modern, into which we too easily fall. Because our technologies, the infrastructures we have built to escape our past, have turned instead to cancelling our future.
James writes beautifully about rates of change.
The greatest trick our utility-directed technologies have performed is to constantly pull us out of time: to distract us from the here and now, to treat time as a kind of fossil fuel which can be endlessly extracted in the service of a utopian future which never quite arrives. If information is the new oil, we are already, in the hyper-accelerated way of present things, well into the fracking age, with tremors shuddering through the landscape and the tap water on fire. But this is not enough; it will never be enough. We must be displaced utterly in time, caught up in endless imaginings of the future while endlessly neglecting the lessons and potential actions of the present moment.
Friday, April 5th, 2019
After two decades in tech, I realise phones and social media won’t be going away, so we work with them. My take is that I now need to seek positive digital tools that connect more of us to the non-digital world and really benefit our lives.
Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
A deep, deep dive into biomicry in digital design.
Nature is our outsourced research and development department. Observing problems solved by nature can help inform how we approach problems in digital design. Nature doesn’t like arbitrary features. It finds a way to shed unnecessary elements in advancing long-term goals over vast systems.
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
Monday, May 1st, 2017
Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
A lovely interactive demonstration of evolution, based on the original code Richard Dawkins used for Climbing Mount Improbable.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
100 words 031
Spring is well and truly springing. The days are getting nice and long. The sky is often clear and blue. The temperature occasionally reaches levels conducive to T-shirt and shorts.
These are good days to be enjoyed by the sea in Brighton. Lately though, I’ve been spending quite a few of these days travelling to and from London on client work. But even then, trapped in a train travelling the vertical line of the compass, the view on the countryside outside can look downright glorious—luminously green fields filled with signs of newborn animal lives illuminated by the springtime sun.
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
Beautiful visualisations of science and nature.
Made with love by a designer with a molecular biology degree.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
A truly fascinating and well-written article on how changes are afoot in the worlds of psychology, economics, and just about any other field that has performed tests on American participants and extrapolated the results into universal traits.
Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Camille Seaman Photography -The Last Iceberg Series II - NEW, The Last Iceberg, A Penguin's Life - NEW, The Big Cloud - NEW
Camille Seaman's stunning pictures of icebergs and clouds make me feel small and insignificant. But in a good way.
The circlemakers work with vegetation. Andy Goldsworthy works with the landscape. Jim Denevan works with sand.
Sunday, December 30th, 2007
A brilliant braindump by Matt Webb examining the weave of the Web and the nature of reality. Set aside some time to soak this up.
Saturday, February 4th, 2006
Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative.