Daily Archives: 28 Nov 2011

The Only Company that Cares about Design

While I had my lunch in the lovely café space of the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, I watched a little of the film Objectified on my iPhone. (Living it up on the small screen!) I love this movie because it’s all about industrial design, a topic that I hold near and dear to my heart. Anyhow, in one part of the film, legendary designer Dieter Rams claims that there is only one company that truly cares about design. The answer? ………. Well, it’s Apple, of course. (Geez, did I really need to tell you that?) Anyhow, watch the film and you’ll see why he says that. And it’s something that I’ve long believed. You and me, Dieter, you and me.

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In Praise of Multitaskers

I’m listening right now to “Central Park in the Dark” by Charles Ives. And while he may not have been a multitasker in the purest sense, I love Ives because he was phenomenally successful in his music (even though much of it was never performed while he was alive) and in his day job as — of all things — an insurance agent. (In fact, I understand that Ives’ work in estate planning is taught to this day.) Nice to see the analytical and artistical (a neologism in the spirit of Ogden Nash) coexisting so nicely. I’ve always admired his music so much because he was just too enthusiastic to be restricted by things like harmony and time signatures — a joyful, exuberant cacophony. (See, especially, the “orchestral raspberry” at the bombastic end of his Symphony No. 2. You can see and hear Leonard Bernstein conducting this piece on YouTube right here. The fun begins at 11:30 (where the brass come in) and peaks at the very end, at 12:38. Whee!)

And, while we’re at it, it looks like Ives was also an accomplished athlete, having been the team captain and pitcher for the Hopkins Grammar School baseball team:

Way to go, Charles!

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Max Workshop @ Berkeley

In the realm of “you can always dream,” I learned that the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at Berkeley has summer workshops on Max/MSP/Jitter (see the 2011 announcement right here). It all looks very cool and I’d love to go. A few glitches, though: (1) two weeks is an awfully long time to be gone from home; and (2) even though July of 2012 (when I assume they will do it again) is after my sabbatical is done and I’m theoretically back on the subsidized travel clock, I’m not sure my ever-loving school (UVU) would want to give me more money to go off and learn things before I even get back in the classroom. So, maybe 2013, maybe never….

In the meantime, cast your eyes upon CNMAT’s excellent “Compact Spherical Loudspeaker Array,” which consists of 120 loudspeakers that are all of 1 inch each. The idea is that it can give directional sound like with acoustic instruments (and much more for the adventurous out there). It would also make an excellent replacement for the star on top of our Christmas tree.

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