Right before the end of the shortest month of the year, Daily Inspiration was invited to cover one of the most renowned festivals in the world, FITC. I quickly packed my stuff, jumped on a bus and headed over to Amsterdam to attend the conference and listen some of the most inspiring designers and creatives around the world. The conference is a celebration of the best practices in the worlds of design, web development, interaction and innovation in creative technologies. Here is an excerpt from the beautifully curated event.
First day started with elegant dutch design studio, From Form. The talk was articulated around a number of projects realised in the past couple of years after the breakthrough title sequence for Offf festival back in 2013. Their continuous search for innovation often results in new poetic and delightful movies. Coffeecompany is a great example of this, a movie meticulously crafted depicting the journey of a coffee bean from production to the table. The film was shot in one single take featuring a 17 meter table and a number of ingenious visual tricks. WDKA is another fun, fresh and inspiring video describing the creative life of students.
Demi Kandylis from Splitelement conducted a very informative and detailed talk on the role of interaction design in society and the key difference between creating something for yourself in the local makers space or creating something for a client that has to last for longer than a day or two. He went on describing in fine details the different stages that led to the creation of the interactive space for Mini. In a record 17 days project over Christmass and New Year’s holidays, his team managed to create an interactive installation using 33km of EL Wire overcoming a number of on-site issues and an epic snow storm. Kandylis likes to stress how communication, coordination and above all simplicity are the key basics for a successful project.
Developer vs Designer by Dominik Bamberger and Kenneth Wimer couldn’t be better spotted as a design talk in the digital age. The funny duo went through the most common issues and misunderstandings arising from the clash of the two professions, ever more distant and dependent on each other. In their views having an effective communication between teams comes down to develop a shared language and establish an adequate feedback channel to understand each other before lots of precious time is wasted. The smaller the iteration between feedbacks the better. When possible working with designers and developers in the same room is the best solution they claim.
FLORIC, is a design studio born out of the magnificent CIID, that we previously covered on DI. The duo showcased their latest inventive gizmo, the Bike Bell. As you might imagine this is not just a normal bike bell, it is instead a bluetooth enabled bell that allows users to find their bike in jammed parking through a custom app. The talk evolved around the different steps of getting an idea from concept to production and beyond through Kickstarter.
Thanks to FITC I was finally lucky enough to attend a talk from one of my favourite artist ever, Quayola. I saw his works plenty of time but never had the chance to hear him talking. His works aptly sit in the interceptions of architecture, sculpture, design, art and coding. He explained how he develops artistic obsessions that need years of research to express themselves in the form of series.
Strata is an exploration of classical art and iconography. Using different computer vision techniques, he tries to analyse and decode different rules, color schemes, proportions and parameters in original artworks from masters like Rubens or Michelangelo. These general rules are then utilised to recreate an abstract digital expression of the original. The result is often a very abstracted version of the original but nonetheless based on the same parameters.
Unfinished Michelangelo’s sculptures are the inspiration for Captives. This ongoing project is a study of digital and physical sculptures in the modern age. Mathematical functions and processes describe computer-generated geological formations that evolve endlessly, morphing into classical figures. Industrial computer-controlled robots sculpt the resulting geometries into life-size “unfinished” sculptures.
Sougwen Chung is an interdisciplinary artist from New York, as well as the designer behind the beautiful FITC 2015 identity. Her highly conceptual talk was a remark of her great portfolio works. The talk titled The Century of Selfie, was an account of the ubiquity of this digital self-expression daily mediating our identities and experience. As part of this mass spectacle of the digital space, selfies can represent a true limit of expressions and understanding of our societies. A threat to specificity and individuality as Selfiecity by Lev Manovich confirms.
Back to Chung’s works she presented the audience with ECDYSIS, an immersive audio-visual installation depicting biological and architectural adaptation. Gothscreenshots is a peculiar side project depicting the omnipresent interaction between human and interfaces- a communication infrastructure that if decontextualised takes on a life of its own. Excuviae explores three dimensional mark making trying to disengage creative expression from the algorithm allowing space for improvisation within the software’s dictatorship.
MediaMonks is one of those design studio surfing the recent interactive revolution on the web. People from the audience could vote with their smartphones which project Mediamonk’s spokesmen had to present in a simple, straightforward and effective interaction to awake the crowd after their sandwiches. Where Good Days Starts is the first IKEA catalogue that can be explored through a movie. The narrative of the film unfolds around a typical family going about their daily routine, users can explore extra content hidden in the storyline. Night Walk in Marseille is an interactive web experience allowing the user to ramble around the streets of Marseille at night. As if digital wondering around the incredible little alleys, walls, stores, bars or venues of the french town wasn’t good enough the user could also unveil extra stories embedded in the experience in the form of videos, interviews, animations or text.
After realising that Jessica Walsh’s talk was exactly the same as the one she proposed at Offf Festival back in 2013, I headed to see one of the most interesting young designer out there, Henrique Alves. This incredibly humble and talented London based developer is the guy behind Hailo. He stressed the importance of consistent style guides throughout the projects, moreover he placed particular emphasis on prototyping and sharing knowledge between different teams.