futuristic user interfaces

An interface from ‘Prometheus’ (Scott 2012) The head-up display (↑HUD) of ‘The Terminator’ (Cameron 1984) VisualPunker has amassed a ↑nice collection [containing a lot of animated gifs] of futuristic and retrofuturistic interfaces and HUDs from anime, other motion pictures, and computer games. In this respect I fullheartedly recommend ‘↑Make it so: Interaction design lessons from science fiction‘ (Shedroff & Noessel 2012): Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying … Continue reading

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frankenrifle in mali

The above screencap from a BBC report on the conflict in Mali was made by @ByronDoerfer and sent to ↑C. J. Chivers, who gave a ↑first diagnosis: This gentleman, reportedly a Chadian soldier in Mali, is holding what appears to be a well-worn ↑AKM variant with a host of after-market add-ons, creating a cosmetic hybrid between the globally established Kalashnikov operating system and the modern Western military obsession with rails, sights, tactical grips and collapsing stocks. [italics emphasis mine]     [...] I haven’t had time to review the kit of Chadian soldiers generally. So I can’t say whether this … Continue reading

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damascus it is

On 26 February 2013 TV2 of Denmark needed a backdrop for a report on the current conflict in Syria. As it seems someone at the station searched the web for a suitable picture and hit upon a beautiful vista of the old city of Damascus. But the picture shows Damascus as it most probably has looked during the time of the ↑third crusade (1189-1192). Above that the picture doesn’t depict anything from the empirical world, but is a still from the computer game ‘↵Assassin’s Creed‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2007). Quite tell-tale is the wooden beam attached to the minarett at the … Continue reading

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fallingwater neuschwanstein hybrid

This is the fictional castle or fortress atop the ↑Reichenbach Falls where the showdown between ↑Holmes and ↑Moriarty takes place in ‘↑A Game of Shadows‘ (Ritchie 2011). It was ↑created by the VFX company Framestore. Their first inspiration was the ↑Festung Hohenwerfen in Austria:  But as Hohenwerfen looked a bit too military, the designers threw in elements inspired by ↑Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria:  And then of course, the basic idea, to my eye, comes from ↑Frank Lloyd Wright‘s ↑Fallingwater:  RITCHIE, GUY STEWART. 2011. Sherlock Holmes: A game of shadows [motion picture]. Burbank: Warner Bros. … Continue reading

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games as art

John Maeda’s opinion piece ‘↑Videogames do belong in the Museum of Modern Art‘ has spawned a series of comments, among them ↑this one by Dedwrekka: Actually GTA ['↑Grand Theft Auto'] could be easily described as art.     GTA is about the breakdown of the social contract. Given an open world that responds to their actions, but has no actual effect on them, most players tend to sit down and go on long rampages in a short amount of time.     Part of what makes games art is the interaction between game and player. In that sense, a person … Continue reading

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star wars origami

Martin Hunt invents great origami models depicting things out of the star wars universe and shows them off at ↑starwarigami. Unfortunately he withholds most of his diagrams as he wants to publish a book in which all of them are collected. But there are countless links to ↑diagrams by others at a subpage of starwarigami. If all those are too complex for you at the moment, try Chris Alexander’s simpler designs at ↑star wars origami. Chris already has published a book, hence at the moment, as far as I can see, ↑only the diagrams for his rendition of the Millenium … Continue reading

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joost swarte interview

↑The Comics Journal just republished online a ↑long interview which Daniel Peniston and Kim Thompson did in 2006 with Dutch comic book legend ↑Joost Swarte. The interview not only shows what a Renaissance man Swarte is, but there also are discussed e.g. architecture, theatre, and the Clear Line aka ligne claire, originally Klare lijn as coined by Swarte. A fine companion piece on the latter subject is Paul Gravett’s ↑Hergé & The Clear Line. … Continue reading

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the painted smile

The fifth of November it is, and indeed we do remember … The next problem was the creation of the main character and the actual setting for the strip. Since ↑Dave [Lloyd] and I both wanted to do something that would be uniquely British rather than emulate the vast amount of American material on the market, the setting was obviously going to be England. Furthermore, since both Dave and myself share a similar brand of political pessimism, the future would be pretty grim, bleak and totalitarian thus giving us a convenient antagonist to play our hero off against. Not unnaturally, … Continue reading

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hand fixing hand

Like countless others I am a ↵huge fan of the work of ↑M. C. Escher since my boyhood. ↵Like his ‘Reptiles’ Escher’s ‘↑Drawing Hands‘ are apt to serve as a metaphor for countless things, like e.g. the process of ethnography. The ‘↑Hand fixing Hand‘ version by photographer ↑Shane Willis transposes this to yet another level. via ↑entry at ↑io9 … Continue reading

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behind the metropolis

Just refound these two behind-the-scenes stills of the set of ‘↑Metropolis‘ (Lang 1927), showing how one of the most famous vistas in the history of the moving images was built. From looking at them alone it becomes understandable why the movie was ↵so costly.  LANG, FRITZ. 1927. Metropolis [motion picture]. Berlin: Ufa. … Continue reading

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