Archive for the ‘Interaction’ Tag

How to VJ #8


Design Fail: Melli Bank in Iran via DTYBYWL.

Make your interactions simple and intuitive. Or else the whole process will be painful. And confusing. And you might need an ice-bath afterwards.

this_dance_short by brandyalexander on Vimeo.

When I played alongside The Brandy Alexander Project recently (they’re excellent, btw), they noticed my button-bashing gets pretty frenetic.

Now there’s nothing odd about that to me. Because that’s how I’ve played for a while. I’ve practiced enough that the interactions don’t feel overwraught.

Interactive Propaganda Generator #1 by Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo.

But shouldn’t things be simpler?

When you VJ, you are essentially playing one or more instruments. You should not be aware of the instruments. You should so in tune that you don’t notice them between your fingertips and the output projection.

The more you can reduce the strain of interaction, the better the results can be.

I love this interaction by Matti Niinimäki because it strips away the interface.

Mickey Mann by Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo.

The Mickey Mann style of VJing reminded me of stories I heard a while back. MIDI performance using a Wii-mote. Now how can you not love that?

Any way you can remove complexity from your interactions can boost your performance. It can get you deeper into the flow and closer to what you’re communicating.

Previous How to VJ:

#7 No laptops: 8-bit VJing

#6 Pixel-per-pixel: a history

#5 Making layers: an example

The Choice of Machete


Who wrote the book on jungle survival and is it a website yet?

This could be the deepest recession in 70 years. I’m 26. I’ve worked in advertising for 17 months.

Nothing was clear when I entered the jungle. Tribalism ruled. Now everyone’s desperate for daylight.

Machete by Jules Suzdaltsev on Vimeo.

Those with the new weapons vaunt them. Those with the old craft and guile still hack so precisely.

But when the machete lies still, what sounds does the jungle make? How does it feel? Light slats through the canopy and life teems between your toes.


Vong Phaophanit, “What Falls to the Ground But Can’t Be Eaten”, Tate Britain.

I’ve never understood the debate – and the tribalism. This is a weird juncture in the history of advertising. That much was clear from the fringe.

At the same time that everyone talks about interaction and experience, tribes can barely look each other in the eye. So completely they miss those slats of light. They’d barely notice the weather.

Saxso Funny by rafaelci9 on YouTube.

The choice of machete is a pointless debate. You could hack all day – online, in print, on TV, even on the radio. You’re still hacking.

I don’t think we’ll be Amazon-deep in the jungle forever.

But we could build something while we’re there. Sit down and interact. Put the machetes away, switch the laptops off. Imagine the clearing we want then make it together.

Creativity sees connections where they didn’t previously exist.


The Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, Auckland, New Zealand.

(What’s the connection with advertising? Take a look at their website.)

Feeding a Young Cyber Lion

Brazilians Fabiano de Queiroz Silva and Marcelo Mariano Dias recently nabbed the Cannes Young Lions Cyber Gold for this refreshing MPU (no interaction, sorry – but sign up at the site and have a play).

You’ll have noticed Brazilian names on these lists before. So what’s the trick to Brazilian digital design? Where does this eye come from?

Taschen have just put out a mouth-watering anthology of Latin American Graphic Design. I’ve been browsing fervently. The only Brazilian names I’d heard before were Alexandre Wollner and, ahem, architect Oscar Niemeyer.

Ok – so Niemeyer wasn’t a designer as such. And he doesn’t feature in the book. But information architecture? No? I’m building on flimsy foundations here, aren’t I… Seriously, though – if you read more about Niemeyer you’ll see how hugely educational he has been to the Brazilian design eye.

“What attracts me is the curve, free and sensual, the curve I find in the mountains of my country, in the winding course of its rivers, in the waves of the sea, in the body of the beloved woman.
The universe is made out of curves – the curved universe of Einstein.”

Some further stars, past, present and future (below L-R): Guto Lacaz, 6D Estúdio, Kiko Farkas, Alexandre Wollner and Ruben Martins.

Previously: Brazilian designer remixes big brand logos.

Elsewhere: A Design for Loving, my full article on Taschen’s Latin American Graphic Design for Jungle Drums magazine.

Hey! Leave Those Brands Alone

Danish artist Nadia Plesner devised this design to raise money for Darfur.

Louis Vuitton aren’t happy about her fundraising activities (full story here), citing an infringement of “Intellectual Property Rights”.

“Intellectual Property”?

Wow. How contrary. Brands want us to love, cherish, kiss and hug them. Online, they want us to play with them, tickle them, retouch them (I’m thinking sneakers and labels – Beck’s Fusions last year comes to mind).

They want us to remix. Because they know we like to remix. But only if it’s on their terms and, preferably, their microsite.

This attitude’s so retro it’s almost charming. But not quite. And far less charming for its PR stupidity. They could have easily supported the campaign and added buckets to their brand greenwash. Not to mention dirtied dollars to the Darfur appeal.

I’m with Brazilian designer Mario Amaya (see below). Let’s get remixing brands, whether they like it or not. If they want to be in our lives, they need to be taught how the real world shakes today.

Related: Boosh vs. Honey Monster, Round 1.

Essential: The Pirate’s Dilemma – We Invented the Remix.

Previous: Segway Watch – the Future Goes Social.

Ponging for Pacifists

No winners and no losers in this piece by Viennese collective Monochrom.

Just eternal interaction. Harmony and synchronisity. A noble thought.

But it raises the point: without an element of competition, how long can interaction stay interesting?

Have a play and find out (via). (It could give you a breather from GTA IV.)