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April 29, 2002

fellow "architect abducted by the web" Matt Jones has updated the artifacts section of his site.
well worth the visit.

Posted by fabio sergio | 6:24 PM | permalink


i just came back from a few of days in beautiful Toscana.
i am teaching and coordinating the "interactive module" of "Digital Creator", a master course in digital media design held by Arsnova Siena.
it is such a gift. being able to pass knowledge on to others.

i also had a chance to spend the week-end at a friend's place near Siena, in the Chianti region.
rolling hills dotted with vineyards and old stone villages.
it seems that man and nature have found a magical balance there.
it shows in the quality of the food, the relaxed pace everyone seems to live at, the talk of the nice people i've met.

on a completely different note i discovered today that has ceased broadcasting on April 22nd.
it's a pity, Heather Hamilton's irreverent weblog was very enjoyable, but i do understand her reasoning. you can still read the archives for the full story and to enjoy her witty if a bit in-your-face writing style.
the whole thing is also good food for thought about this medium and its potential downsides.
if anyone had any doubts, words spoken in this virtual arena can have very tangible effects in the real world.

curiously enough this very site at the moment has had very little visibility (read traffic), even though i've tried to spread the word a bit with friends and such.
oh well.

the voice of one in the desert.

Posted by fabio sergio | 5:51 PM | permalink


April 22, 2002

guess who is finally back?

bright lights at the end of the tunnel.

Posted by fabio sergio | 5:11 PM | permalink


April 18, 2002

i should know better by now. but it still amazes me.

how open and wonderfully down to earth the design world is.
how this is truly a medium of relationships.
space. time. boundaries.

i recently re-visited the site of the person whose thinking has inspired me most in my work in the past years.
you know how it goes. you have a few scattered thoughts and then you look around and somebody has already figured everything out.
much better than you could have ever done. years ahead of you.
i am talking about Nathan Shedroff.

lately he seems to have been thinking about the future of branding (PDF).
i've been doing the same, mostly along the lines of the individual as a brand concept.

so i wrote him an email to (finally) thank him.
and the next day, he answered.

Posted by fabio sergio | 9:49 AM | permalink


April 17, 2002

thanks to great books like Don Norman’s "The Invisible Computer" it seemed information appliances were simply going to swarm the market, but now also these products seem to be suffering the internet’s hard times.

a few days ago i met old friend Axel Unger, who now works as the “only designer” for information appliance maker Appliance Studio and i was happy to hear that office furniture manufacturer Steelcase has decided to co-market one of their interesting products.

dim lights at the end of the tunnel.

Posted by fabio sergio | 10:27 AM | permalink


April 16, 2002

i survived Milano's "design week".

for those of you who never heard about it, Milano yearly hosts the "Salone del mobile", one of the biggest furniture fairs in Europe. it's a chance for all the showrooms and large/famous design studios in town to open their doors until late at night and show off their newest products.
the other cool aspect of it all is that designers flood milano, to see and be seen, so it is usually a good time to meet old friends and get updated about their latest and greatest.
i did not have a lot of time this year as i came back on wednesday from Paris/Rome, but tried to replace quantity with quality.

thanks to Monica del Torchio i finally had a chance to take a look at Michele De Lucchi’s beautiful studio.
it sparked recollections of Renzo Piano’s Punta Nave Building Workshop in Genova.
the feeling of entering these spaces is very hard to describe. i think they come as close as anything to embody what creativity stands for. it feels as if the walls themselves are permeated by it.
i am very tempted to take off on a tangent about the power of beauty in people’s lives but will resist the urge to do so. maybe another time.
yes, i agree, their sites really need help, but perfection is not of this world, right?

i also checked out my former employer’s prototypes at the stunning La Pelota space in Via Palermo.
Whirlpool has been reinforcing its brand values by sponsoring concepts that are driven by design rather than by technical feasibility.
a couple of years ago Macrowave set the standard, involving famous product designers such as Christophe Pillet, Konstantin Grcic and James Irvine.
this year Project f looked at washing products and how they fit in our lifestyle.
i particularly liked BioLogic, the work of my friends and former colleagues Ruben, Patrizio and Giuseppe , but also the other concepts were very interesting.

last tip of the hat to Massimo Randone who helped organize the “SOS Design for Emergency” exhibition.
they asked the design world to donate objects to raise funds in favor of Emergency, a no-profit organization that focuses its activities on treatment and rehabilitation of victims of antipersonnel mines.
the result? they ended up with a lot of beautiful products and sold all of them on the opening night.

Posted by fabio sergio | 10:33 AM | permalink


April 12, 2002

i have meant to read Steven Johnson's "Emergence" book for quite a while now, but i've so far lacked the time to go to one of the (few) bookshops that sell english books in Milano.
yes, i know, i could also follow the link above and buy it online, but i never said to be a coherent human being, did i?
today i stumbled onto this interview with the author that has me even more interested.

i guess seconds should start showing an "emergent" quality and provide me with "a whole that is more than the sum of its parts".
a 25-hour day.

Posted by fabio sergio | 2:49 PM | permalink


April 09, 2002

i am having one of those "connected planet" moments, as i am happily typing this from a shared computer in the Charles De Gaulle airport, in Paris.

i know that to many of you weblogging "on the move" is probably old hat by now, but i can't help but think how technology is allowing us to bring our personal "relationship cocoon" with us all the time.
it feels as if we are never really loosing touch with our references, our roots.
i am in Paris but as i walk its supposedly foreign-feeling streets i am chatting with italian friends over the phone.
i don't feel out of context.

"people are strange, when you are a stranger; faces look ugly, when you are alone".
well, that's gone.

is this good? i don't know.

Posted by fabio sergio | 12:49 PM | permalink


April 05, 2002

as you might have read i am fascinated with the idea of layering physical space with digital data.
lately i've been salivating at Headmap, visionary ideas on social, economical and even metaphysical implications of wireless techs. very recommended.

Posted by fabio sergio | 12:44 PM | permalink


April 04, 2002

it's very hard to get excited about digital design these days.
or at least that's how i feel.
it seems we've all been digging our own trenches, waiting to see where it's all going.
now a welcome surprise has me hoping that we may have seen the worst.

Posted by fabio sergio | 9:48 AM | permalink


April 03, 2002

strange thing happening.
i own one of those smallish and beautiful ericsson t-28s gsm cell phones. it gave me trouble from day one, including a SW bug that had the phone believe the battery was dead hence turning itself off even if everything was working fine. time-to-market woes i guess. well.
the thing's got vibracall, which means it vibrates to alert of incoming calls. it is a gentle vibration, so gentle that if the phone is not held close to the body you'll never notice it.
now, i know some people out there will start to raise eyebrows and wander where this is all heading but rest assured, no triple-x stuff coming.
see, i keep the phone in my shirt pocket, where i can feel it silently humming its shaky tune.

ok, the thing is, weird as it sounds, lately i still feel the vibration when the thing is actually on the table, in my bag, or wherever else i loose it daily.
to the point that i sometimes check even if i know very well that the phone is not in my pocket.
this has obviously me wandering what is going on.
here's my latest theory.

these devices are more and more acting as extensions of our bodys.
we rely on them to store our most important info. we use them to talk to our loved ones. sometimes we save lives with them. sometimes they save our life. we choose their color to match outfits and moods. we make fools of ourselves by choosing ring tones that everybody despises, especially on crowded trains. or offices for that matter.
these things are already much closer to being limbs, organs, than we care to admit.
so, here's the thought for the day.
what i am feeling is the pain of the amputee, still feeling the vibration even when the phone has been removed.
i believe the medical term sounds something like "ghost pains".
there, i've said it.

Posted by fabio sergio | 9:57 AM | permalink


April 02, 2002

drum roll please.

after almost two years this very domain is counting the hours to finally go live.
no more " has been registered" generic pages.
no more re-designs.
what can i say, it has been a long time, i have been very lazy.
come on DNS update, do your magic.

Posted by fabio sergio | 2:13 PM | permalink


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