Can design save the newspaper?

Posted by Alex

Polish designer Jacek Utko on the impending doom of the printed newspaper, and how good design could turn things around. His statistics certainly are convincing, and I hope for the sake of my morning routine that he’s right. I would really hate to see the printed edition become extinct. Watch the TED version here.

He mentions it briefly, but when he says “this is the new role of the designer: to be in the process from the very beginning to the very end”, that is the biggest take away for me. The role of the designer is definitely changing, and our value now has a lot more to do with how we think than what we can do with a blank page.

KEXP’s “Music That Matters” : Alex Ruder

Posted by Jakub

If I had a car or satellite radio i’d probably follow the radio a little more but I don’t have either really, I do try though to catch Alex Ruder on KEXP whenever I can because of his diverse taste on one of radio’s best commercial-free KEXP(Seattle). Its kind of nice to get thru 30 brand new songs within less than 70 mins and a get a little info along the way, definitely worth checking out.

TRACKLIST – KEXP DJ Alex Ruder“Your Style Won’t Survive You”
Flying LotusCamel (Nosaj Thing Remix)

OsborneHydragilm Exit

DestrumentsThe Get Down

CalmerPast Is Present
KilnMarigold Bunker

New VillagerRich Doors
Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiCan’t Hear My Eyes
TussleElephants Meandering (Sal Principato and Dennis Young Remix)

Roots ManuvaLet the Spirit (Hot Chip Remix)


Buraka Som SistemaD…D…D…D…Jay

Home VideoI Can Make You Feel It

KiD CuDiDay ‘n’ Nite (Jori Hulkkonen Remix)

Grampall JookaboxLet’s Go Mad Together
The Bran FlakesWhat It’s All About

Charles TreesMemories
CYNEFall Through Atlantis
Hudson MohawkeStar Crackout

Dyme DefFresh In My Kicks

Circle ResearchThis Is A Recording

Black MilkGive the Drummer Sum
Eliot LippSentinel
Benoit PioulardRagged Tint

Marie SiouxxLove Song

DaedelusC’Est Super

SurkinChrome Knight (f. Chromeo)

LemonadeBig Weekend (Delorean Remix)


KEXP – “Your Style Won’t Survive You” By Alex Ruder

Vitsoe Shelving

Posted by Scott

Since we’re on the subject of Dieter Rams this week, I thought I’d post on his Vitsoe Shelving series. You may remeber the name Vitsoe from the Name That Chair post a while back, but it’s not enough just to have a Rams chair, you must also surround it with his amazing shelves. The Vitsoe site features a nice gallery of the shelves in their natural habitat, and you’ll also catch a few 620 chairs in there.

If course, a setup like those in the gallery will no doubt cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s nice to look. It’s always funny, whenever I somehow randomly find myself in some rich guy house, they never have anything as cool as this. It’s either gaudy old classical gold leaf stuff dripping with ornament or garish nouveau riche style with white carpets and bad marble floors. Apparently you have to be broke or German to appreciate this stuff.

Khoi Vinh / Design Criticism

Posted by Alex

Khoi Vinh just posted an incredible piece about design criticism for his Subtraction blog entitled “Dear Designers, You Suck”. He calls for a new kind of design criticism, one that separates the designer from their work and attempts to imbue the field with more objective and honest criticism.

…are we really having the kinds of meaningful, constructive, critical discourses that we really should be having? Are we too quick to take offense at the opinions of our peers? Or are we pulling our punches too much when discussing the merits of the work that our peers turn out? To put a finer point on it: are we being honest with one another?

The answer is definitely no, we are not being honest with one another. As a student, I am very familiar with the problem he describes. As our school is critique based, we see this avoidance of real, honest criticism every day. When something truly awful gets laid in front of us, we hedge around what we really think with all sorts of meaningless qualifiers: “Well, um, I think…for me anyway, and maybe it’s just the light but…the colors aren’t working.. but uh.. in the best way possible.” I know I for one have never felt comfortable saying what I really think, and this is the problem. There is no way to really grow if you don’t get the critique you need, and getting past the discomfort of critiquing honestly is what desperately needs to happen, as awkward as it might seem at first.

The harsher teachers at our school tend to get a bad reputation for being blunt–which in my mind translates to a good reputation. I’ve always seen the most improvement with my own work when the first thing the teacher says is “this is really bad, and here’s why.” I want the teacher that makes people cry. I want to hear “this is terrible” when the work actually is. The worst thing someone can do is say they like something just to be polite.

Khoi’s article is a breath of fresh air, and I truly hope his words will be put to practice. I like to imagine what class would be like if everyone truly spoke their mind; how exciting! How much more we would learn! Maybe it won’t happen tomorrow, but it can start with reading this article. Well done Khoi for calling attention to a such a pervasive problem!

Juan Maclean+Junior Boys+Terje+Yacoub

Posted by Jakub

The Juan MacLean
April 7th is a huge release date for electronic juggernauts The Juan MacLean and Junior Boys, both putting out Best Of like albums that you’ll probably see on many lists this year. This song Work is just perfection in my eyes of what i’d love to take in the studio, it has the dark drive and its sexy beyond belief. Those distant Tangerine Dream synths and rolling leads just grab me right from when they start. The Juan MacLean does jam out on his new album, full of pop length songs and the vox upfront, reminds me a little of how Adult. started out meets Human League.

Todd Terje makes America’s Horse With No Name a bit easier to play out for all the slow disco DJ’s out there, a lovely simple edit.

I found this Manoo remix of Yacoub on a mix by Culoe De Song, just a real nice groove, i’m sure when i’m older i’ll be listening to only this kind of music, all my friends and I will have ponytails, steel round framed eyeglasses and our world music vinyl collections will be sprawled across our living rooms, almost crushing the newly mined gold bird cages holding our rare cockatoos and sometimes even being bookended at times by 500+ euro authentic African rain sticks, while the house reeks of Nag Champa and the kiln is burning my latest failed attempt at a clay vase.

Junior Boys – Work

The Juan Maclean – The Station

America – Horse With No Shame (Todd Terje Edit)

Yacoub – Da Na Ma (Manoo Remix)

Calculators: Japan vs. Germany

Posted by Scott


“Omron 86R & Braun 4 776 calculators. Interesting similarities and differences, especially layout, letter forms, color and shapes. The Braun’s 12.5mm total thickness versus the Omron’s 25mm is a clear sign of the 10 year age difference between the two designs.

Omron 86R & Braun 4 776 calculators. The Braun’s font is clearly Akzidenz Grotesk, but the closest I can find for the Omron’s font is Univers 53 Extended. Any better ideas? “

Dieter always wins out, but that Omron still has it’s own thing going.

Via faasdant

Praveen & Benoit + o9 + Mount Kimbie

Posted by Jakub

Praveen & Benoît - Songs Spun Simla Remixes
Praveen & Benoît’s Songs Spun Simla Remixes has a few lovely surprises with remixes from our favorite mix contributor Tom Croose doing a slow shuffle remix to names like Daedelus, Machinedrum, and David Last but one of my personal favorites is this Shigeto remix called The Tunnel is Still There (Shigeto’s Deep Tunnel Diving Remix). The Shigeto remix grabs a certain energy from the song and runs with it, below is video for the remix that HeadUp did using footage from Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi.

o9 released Church of the Ghetto PC in 2004 on Schematic who have gave us Phoenecia and Richard Devine. The song Terminal Silver has a hint of the ever classic Alberto Balsalm by Aphex Twin but its a bit more digital and bubbly.

I’ve been hearing about this Mount Kimbie duo for some time now, pretty nice stuff and its kind of hard to pin down their sound and style. Either way its really nice to listen to especially this song WIlliam which has these foggy PBS sounds to it but moves into a nice

Praveen & Benoît – The Tunnel is Still There (Shigeto’s Deep Tunnel Diving Remix)

o9 – Terminal Silver

Mount Kimbie – William

Praveen & Benoît – Chiaroscuro (Daedelus Remix)

Praveen & Benoît – The Tunnel is Still There (Shigeto’s Deep Tunnel Diving Remix) video

DRAFT – Shigeto – The Tunnel is Still There (Praveen Remix) from Alex Koplin on Vimeo.