Friday, November 23, 2007

EvYouWa2KnAboDes, BWeAfr2Ask

More news about Electrolux's design lab. Next week the 8 finalist of the competition will meet in Paris and the winner will be announced. You can see their projects at designlab TV. Go fresh - by Ho Cheng FeiIn my opinion, not all the projects are actually for the year 2020... some are more 2010 or 2007... but they all are clever ideas. I liked the honeycomb-panel refrigerator and the air freshener... the solar cooking pot would be a nice alternative to electric stoves. I really would have to try out the fog shower, because it may get you clean, but there's also the question about how one feels clean... I totally hate air hand dryers because Fog Shower- by Joo Diego Schimanskyit's not the same feeling as having a surface (towel or paper) touching and drying the skin, and I have my doubts on how green they really are, because air dryers consume a lot, a lot of electricity! they have to go from zero to warm in seconds and then it takes a while until one is actually dry... sometimes you see people using the air dryer and then rubbing their hands on their clothes because it takes too long to dry. Anyway, if the fog shower actually works... then it would be a great saving on water waste! Congrats to all finalists! But that's not all:
Next week in Paris a panel of internationally renowned experts from the environmental, design, and technology communities, are speaking at the International Forum on Design and the Environment presented by Electrolux Design Lab 2007.

Design Lab is an annual global design competition open to undergraduate and graduate industrial design students. This year they are invited to present their innovative ideas for eco-friendly and sustainable household appliances and solutions for 2020.

All four experts have a different background and will explain what they believe is key to tackle climate change:

Matali Crasset, award-winning industrial designer: Environmental design: looking at the bigger picture
Céline Cousteau, international environmental activist: Lessons from tribes in the Brazilian Amazon
Jason Bradbury, Gadget and Consumer Technology presenter: Green Gadgets: making eco sellable
Henrik Otto, Head of Global Design Electrolux: Thinking outside the box: how to work with sustainable design

The Forum will air on Design Lab TV. You are invited to send in questions in advance to the panel via the designlab blog.
That's a great opportunity to learn everything you always wanted to know about sustainability but were afraid to ask... now it's the time to ask, and get some answers from the experts. I am certainly looking forward to that podcast.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


There's still time to organize your agenda and assist to the opening of "Invenciones, Visiones, Ficciones" next friday 23 nov. 20:00pm at Museo de Arte Raul Anguiano (Av. Mariano Otero #375, Colonia Moderna, Guadalajara). They will be showcasing works by contemporary architects:

Carlos Rodríguez Bernal
EEC (Esteban Cervantes)
Elias Rizo
EM Estudio (Francisco Esqueda Martínez/ Ivan Esqueda Martínez)
EV+O (Diego Vergara / Lorena Ochoa)
Jorge Luis Hernández Silva
Juan Manuel Hidalgo / Ruben Hidalgo
LEAP (Raúl Juárez Perezlete / Heriberto Hernández / David Bercovici)
Metroarquitectura (Miguel Echauri / Alvaro Morales)
S2gdl (Alfredo Hidalgo / Louis Céspedes)

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11 Me iTarzan no gustar apple...

Apple just launched their online store for Mexico... and again my questions are:

With all those millions ($$$) Why can't a company like apple hire somebody who ACTUALLY speaks spanish to translate their pages? It's like reading a google or "Tarzan speech" translation!

If this is the "official" store... does that mean, there are "un-official" stores? If you use the same design principles of minimalism: don't say it if it's not necessary.

Where do they get things like : "Mantenedme informado" ? I mean, that could be correct spanish from a book, but is not Mexican spanish... and the site is suposed to be localized for Mexico, not for Argentina, not for Spain, not even for Texas or California!!! Although probably OK at Tarzan's town (Maybe apple has some secret headquarters there! and not at Cupertino as you may believe).

This, just from the start (first) page:
  • Bienvenidos al apple store online oficial = Bienvenidos a la tienda oficial en línea de apple.
  • Store para educación = Tienda escolar
  • Store para Empresas = Tienda para empresas
  • Los precios son inclusivos del IVA = Los precios incluyen IVA
  • Reservados todos los derechos = Todos los derechos reservados
  • Aplicaciones de creatividad = Programas para creatividad*
  • Felicitaciones por tu graduación, Carlos! = Carlos, Felicidades por tu graduación!
If iLife, iWork and other apple software are translated by the same monkeys (Tarzan is long dead.. so, who else could talk and write like that?) which did this... then, I suggest to get the english version, at least you won't have the problem of trying to guess what they ment.

English speaking people complain about Chinese or Japanese instruction manuals, yet they don't have a minimum of consideration on how well they translate their documents into other languages (A very good example is the USA travel form i94, which is terribly translated) . They have that same attitude of the Romans, calling Barbarians those who didn't speak Latin. I guess we have a new breed of iBarbarians , which in those times was also condemned by Plato as a form of Racism.


*This is actually a tricky one... I would probably say "software creativo".
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just a minute

Only to post this video clip by Ada Kwok called "creation" which is "presented in Chinese brush painting style taking the viewer through the artistic creation process".

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I was updating my banners, because 'round design is now listed at Kiwiology... and I found this post at . I just love the movie teaser... you can turn on/off subtitles or watch them on sign language!
How cool is this?!

Over in the UK, Aardman Animations, the animation geniuses behind the Wallace and Gromit franchise, have created a new set of characters for a disability awareness campaign. The campaign, launched by the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity, is called “Creature Discomforts” and features six animal characters, each of which is voiced by a disabled person.

Characters include Flash the sausage dog, Spud the slug, Brian the bull terrier and Peg the hedgehog - all wheelchair-bound with different disabilities - Slim the stick insect with a walking stick and Tim the tortoise on crutches.

“We want people to change the way they see disability, to think and act differently and to make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people,” said Bryan Dutton, the Leonard Cheshire director general. “Disabled people experience unnecessary social barriers which are created largely through ignorance.”

Logo -Leonard Cheshire disAbilitiyLeonard Cheshire’s campaign aims to highlight the disadvantage and discrimination that disabled people experience on a daily basis. Each of the ads ends with the tag-line “Change the way you see disability”.

December 3rd is the UN international day of disabled persons. This year's subject is employment... I guess that's a hard one.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

10 bad spanglish & malinchista design

This could happen only in Monterrey... well, not only, but it's typical Regio. Yes, I know that although el examplo de spanglishI'm writing this blog in english, I hate when people write or speak spanglish! Either one or the other... That's why I don't like cable TV in Mexico, I don't like the commentators or the movies and programmes just half translated! I certainly do not like Starbucks where people order a "pastel de bluebery" instead of "pastel de arándano"... and I certainly do not like restaurants with menus in spanglish... or this examplo de advertismo en spanglish. When people say "I am going to buy grocerias al supermercado"... etc. I feel that is a violation of my culture. When it's done by foreigner alliens, then it could be ignorance, arrogance or any other mental illness... but when it's a local, it's either low self esteem or malinche. It's neither cool nor hot, it's just horrible!!!

If it's any help, here are a few translations into correct spanish (note to organizers: there's no need to pay me any fees for this, OK)

designweek= semana de diseño
news= noticias
shape= forma
tickets= boletos
user= usuario
password= contraseña
newsletter= boletín
get it= obténlo
identity= identidad
Award= premio
"how design has an impact on shaping the global economy, society and culture"= "cómo el diseño tiene un impacto que dá forma a la economía global, la sociedad y la cultura"

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Inexpensive morphing concepts

This is like the manatees script generator they use at Family Guy, but this one generates "inexpensive morphing concepts"... like:

director's bureau - special projects- idea generator
  • revolutionary chocolate sex toy,
  • miniature edible machine,
  • inexpensive levitating orchestra,
  • do it yourself shrinking machine,
  • magnetic inflatable sound system,
  • oversized morphing car,
  • battery operated holographic clothing,
  • transparent collapsible hotel,
  • artificial invisible food,
  • pre-fab inflatable company,
  • nutritious edible magazine,
  • medieval aquatic restaurant,
  • erotic vibrating furniture,
  • artificial rubber animal,
  • mobile inflatable house,
  • eco-friendly nuclear appliance,
  • etc. (again via)
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Friday, November 09, 2007

Good design habits

Sandra insisted that I post about some of my observations about the time I spent at Leap's office. (by the way, thanks again to Raul, Heriberto and David for letting me disturb their workplace). This post is dedicated to you guys! I'm telling you that I am still trying to catch up with many pending stuff.

When I taught to the first year architecture students, one of the rules for my lectures was never, ever to put any cups, bottles, thermos, cans or any other kind of container with liquids over their drawing tables at the risk of failing that exercise if I cached them breaking this rule. All liquids should be placed on the floor... or else. When I was a student, a friend said that the exact inclination of the drawing desk, was at which the coffee mug wouldn't slip down... and I always thought, well, he shouldn't have a coffee mug on his desk on the first place anyway!

despedidaI noticed at LeAP was that everyone kept their drinks on the floor. They all have different backgrounds, I mean they studied at different universities, and yet, they all have the same good habit, as any good architect may have: to put anything liquid away from your work. Maybe it's because it also looks horrible to have bottles and drink's cans on top of your desk. I must admit that I used to put my coca-cola on my desk, but always behind the monitor, and only at night or when I was going to leave the office, the rest of the time it was on the floor. It was a funny ritual when the "señora" came to clean the office, every one would keep working and only lift their bottles from the floor when she approached, meanwhile they didn't put the bottle on their desks, but rather they waited until she finished, and then put it back on the floor. The lady always looked puzzled and she may have been thinking: "this weirdos, why they don't simply keep their bottles on their desks and let me clean without worrying of spilling their drinks on the floor!"

Also on the floor, was a supermarket bag that we all used as rubbish bin until Raul bought some nice bins from office depot. Although, it would have been nice to have the reused paper bin, or the iCan to go with all other macs, or this kitschig but award winning crushed paper bins by essey. Anyway, It's nice to think that all that people only generates half a bag of rubbish. Mostly, just napkins from starbucks. I remember those times when we talked about a "paperless office" and many fellow architects said it was impossible. Well, I learned to work paperless when I first moved to NZ, I came here with just my laptop... and all my drawing equipment was on storage boxes. Now, they are still are on storage boxes because I don't need them anymore. It could be weeks or months until I actually "have" to print something. Even then, it must be something that I have to bring or send somewhere: a catalogue, sketches, or a formulaire. The only problem now, is that a have gazillions of data CD's and you have to keep a good archiving system, otherwise, it's impossible to find a specific file within those discs. I used to print covers for all my CDs... now, we buy them on bulk packages of 50 or 100 with no jewel-cases.

pentaphoneAnother habit I observed, is that of the telephone use. Everyone had a cellphone (or two) and then there was also the land-line with 3 wireless phones. Short calls were taken at the workplace, long calls (longer than 1 or 2 minutes) were taken outside. It was also a good excuse to get off the chair and extend the legs for a while... and sometimes also to enjoy the view... something that somehow takes me to this video, for you to enjoy, also dedicated to the guys at LeAP... (if you open an office in the US some day, don't forget to hire Crissy... or Veronica, and you could hire me too: I could supervise them).


(OK, again, most of my quotes came via: architectradure ... I told ya' )
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Robot spiders attack

Festo - Airic's armToday I spent most of my morning encoding or hiding e-mail addresses from our web site to prevent spiders or "spam-bots" form harvesting them. That's how some spammers get e-mail addresses to sell them. It's something I wanted to do for a long time, and funny or scary enough, today I received a spam message comming from :
by with SMTP; 8 Nov 2007 06:28:30 -0000
Received from BLU125-W7 ([])
by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);
Message-ID: BLU125-W7B8A0709EEE8379D85598D48B0@phx.gbl
which contained e-mail addresses harvested from links found on this blog. I sincerely apologize to those affected, but it's not my fault. Blogger, google or in this case hotmail and Ecommerce corporation should have a stricter policy regarding control of harvesting bots. There are methods and scripts to prevent evil bots from crawling and harvesting e-mails or crawling too many times.

A while ago, I had a very insisting visitor that almost caused me to lose my adsense account because of "unusual invalid activity". I had to ban him (or her) using the last resource: .htaccess This script can also be used to prevent bots from viewing a page at all. As Mike Pilgrim points out, some of those spiders are harvesting bots, some are just annoying, and some are real evil.

Airic's armSo, what to do against evil spam bots? I can't block them from this blog, because I don't have privileges to ban them from crawling here. The best strategy is to hide your e-mail addresses from your web site or ban those bots from entering at all. Some people are against e-mail munging (disguising), but there's no other way of stopping those spammers. Yes, every method has it's (dis)advantages. After careful consideration, I decided to use the Enkoder (via). It's very similar to email protector, a 2 digit encryption script, but you don't have to upload the decryption script into your directory. Like I said, after careful consideration I decided to use Hivelogic's Enkoder... I suggest to those affected by spam-bots, to use it as well.

Festo - Sound machinesNow to the good bots. Have a look at these amazing pneumatic robots created by Festo. Some of them use so called Festo Fluidic Muscles which are the core technology for the Airic's arm prosthesis for example. (via) (have a look at the sound machine video)
This robotic prosthesis sports a "bone structure" which mimics that found on a real live human, and can be moved via the 30 "muscles" built within. Essentially, Festo's approach to movement relies on "an elastomer tube reinforced by aramid fibers, which contract quickly and exert a pulling force when they're filled with a blast of compressed air or liquid." (via)
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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Holly pegs batman!

Alex Silva sent me this suggestion for Jalogüin (a bit late) ... it's also a good excuse to post (also late) a picture I took about a week ago. Maybe it's still useful for bat-girl (Alicia Silverstone) to hang her bras... although, it would be more interesting if it was Uma Thurman or Michelle Pfeiffer... well, I hope it's not too late for that.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

PDMA NZ Launch

PDMA (Product Development and Management Association) is a networking and advocating organization for professionals. Like other societies or associations, they organize conferences/ events, publish books and journals, and promote professional development, education, experience, networking and recognition.

PDMA New ZealandNext week they will be launching their New Zealand chapter. The event is on Tuesday, 6th November 2007 5:30pm with a small presentation: ‘Business Environment for Innovation’ by Adj. Prof. Rod Oram and some jazz to enjoy the networking afterwards.

Study Centre Staff Lounge
Massey University
Gate 1, Albany Expressway

The Product Development and Management Association of New Zealand (PDMA-NZ) is the New Zealand Affiliate of the U.S. based PDMA - a global organisation committed to innovation and product development.

The Association is a not-for-profit entity and the premier global advocate for product innovation and management professionals. The existing membership comprises some of the best new product professionals from the most widely admired and accomplished innovation companies in the world as well as some of the field's foremost academics.

PDMA-NZ is committed to the professional development, collaboration and promotion of product innovation among individuals and organisations across New Zealand.

By becoming a member of PDMA New Zealand, you will automatically become a member of our parent organisation PDMA and receive the benefit of belonging to an international community of over 3,000 innovation professionals globally. Establishment of this local body is well timed to give New Zealanders the opportunity to be part of a national body, exchange information and network to collaborate locally and globally

New Product Development for DummiesIf you are curious about new product development, you believe that new product development is just about sniffing some markers and drawing doodles that will eventually become a successful product like the next iPod or something; or if you seriously think that hearing the voice of the customer is when Mel Gibson gets some kind of schizophrenia, or if you are just about to graduate and still believe that intuition and common sense are the only things you'll need for making good design... If you said yes to more than one of the above, then probably you should read first New Product Development for Dummies (no joke) and (then) attend the launch event! ... or just go and read it later.

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