Posts tagged “Design

Simplexity

Posted on June 30, 2017

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“The term we came up with was simplexity. That is the art of simplifying an image down to its essence. But the complexity that you later on top of it – in texture, design, or detail – is masked by how simple the form is. Simplexity is about selective detail.” –Ricky Nierva, Pixar Production Designer *

The Pixar Process

Posted on June 30, 2017

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The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC had a fascinating Pixar exhibit in 2016. Getting a small peek into the work within the studio gives a real appreciation for the concepts (like simplexity) that are applied in the Pixar process: And how research, collaboration, and iteration wrap around Pixar’s story wheel: “…You are sure right about the importance of a good story in movies. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of work (and rework, and rework and rework) to get it right. And even then quite often we’re not 100% pleased. As John Lasseter likes to say, our films don’t get finished, they just get released.” –Pete Docter While they’re no slackers when it comes to research,…

The Lightning Field, Part 1

Posted on May 26, 2017

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Visiting Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field is like going to an event. You might know the framework, but you can’t predict the exact experience. So after some fortunate advance planning (I read about visitors waiting 10+ years for schedules to align) and a journey into Western New Mexico, I stand with my main art friend and four other overnight visitors in an isolated cabin next to a grid of 400 polished stainless steel poles. A simple framework. We congregate on the back porch of the cabin. Clear skies, no lightning expected. In the washed-out afternoon light the poles blend into the high desert landscape. Wind comes and goes, loud then silent. Rabbits scurry from beneath the cabin, a few cows stroll in the distance. Without connectivity to the outside world,…

Double Negative

Posted on April 16, 2017

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In 1969, artist Michael Heizer began displacing 240,000 tons of rock in a Nevada mesa. Dynamiting two facing trenches across a canyon, he cut downward into the earth, contrasting both the canyon ridge and physical art structures built upward into the sky. When he finished in 1970, he left behind negative space in the landscape and one of his first monumental earthworks: Double Negative. Nearly fifty years later I wait alone in the darkness above the mesa, listening to the wind and watching for sunrise. As dawn breaks over the desert, I hike into the North cut and toward the Virgin River below. Sometimes it’s not what you add, it’s what you strip away. “There is nothing there, yet it is still a sculpture.” –Michael Heizer *

Decoupling

Posted on October 21, 2016

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Some drive-through restaurants utilize off-site locations to receive orders – the speaker by the menu board is run through a call center team, and orders are routed electronically to a screen in the restaurant. You don’t actually interact with someone at the restaurant location until you get to the pick-up window. The ability to distribute process activities across physical locations has been convincingly demonstrated. You can decouple activities and geography, people from organization reporting lines, processes from technology, and products from sales channels. It’s an opportunity and a challenge to appropriately balance the dimensions. I once had a social conversation with a business executive who could not understand the difference between television content (shows) and television networks (channels). It’s no wonder some companies go…