Communicating With a Digital Existence…..

I recently decided to travel to New York City in an effort to surprise my girlfriend and spend a little time with her as she is in the USA for 9 weeks (what I would consider a long time)

And whilst we had 5 days together, communicating since I have returned home has been difficult yes, but an allowance I am grateful for.

Thanks to free social hosts such as ‘viber’ and ‘between’ we can achieve more than basic communication.

With apps existing to ease the burden of distance between long distance partners, features such as the weather, date, time and location of the other person, along with graphics detailing the time since they last saw each other. Also it features a blog style chat service. This exists only between you and your partner, and is meant to be used to summarise ones day.

This fantastic, progressive app begs the question; are long distance unions’ achievable?

In the pre-web world, couples would go for days without speaking or touching base with each other and even in the pre-smartphone era where we still had cell phone communication, time zones, shitty reception and high cost of contacting your trans-atlantic lover were obstacles that would take a strong minded person to overcome day after day.

Now a new platform has emerged from the 4G, public wi-fi landscape. The comprehensive yet info-lite platform eases the stress and loneliness of being away from your partner. The best thing about it is both people are not need to be online or evan available at the sometime. A post or a text can be left on there for days before someone checks it, but when they do, the sender is notified.

It achieves so much more than the standard Skype and messaging applications because it not only projects the person onto a screen in realtime, it gives them a total online profile to match their real life presence. It mimics regular social interaction through the sharing of memories and thoughts.

It creates a digital presence out of the person that is not present. It is possibly the closest thing that will attempt to recreate the person in another location. (until holograms I presume)

Before HD there was Kodachrome…

This short film details the rise, prominence and fall of a one of a kind photo developing technology.

I find it fascinating because it was kind of like HD before HD. Colour’s were brilliant, texture was communicated through layers due to the unique emulsion method.

It was prominent with photographers and film makers but due to its long processing time not only during preparation but developing the film as well, Kodachrome was eventually surpassed.

It was a medium of the past that was as beautiful aesthetically as the equipment it was shot on and I for one will miss it.

Week 2.2 – Subject Reflection

Hypertext ?!?.I had a brief understanding of it up until now but did not entirely know the history about it originally just being text linked to text.The Nelson reading wasn’t convinced of the concept because of that fact. But since then in the age of Web 2.0 ,hypertext has been it has been dubbed ‘hypermedia’, because multimedia platforms can be linked in this way.

The subject surrounded how the readings related to storing knowledge and information in a usefully and practically And then delving into how accurate and useful the information actually is.

Internet searches then became the topic of discussion and the feature of ‘tailor made searches’. The results that get pushed through to you based on your previous searches, views and purchases. Whilst I think there is a case of support to me made for the tailor made search in the online shopping realm, I do agree with Elliot on the fact of being limited in your gathering of news and information. There are certain parts of the internet that should remember your preferences (shopping, sports teams, dining rewards) and there are certain parts that should not (news, opinion pieces, government propaganda). A newspaper was never printed to meet our preferences, or a magazine and although some feel that they are now the ones in power because they control what news they get, I believe they are actually not because if you select only specific news items then the power belongs with the outlet, and in turn may not give you an even view.

Week 2.2 Readings Thoughts??

Hitler killed himself and then the A bomb was dropped. That was 1945!

Somewhat out of the ordinary, we were prescribed a reading that was originally written before the 1980s.

The author, Vannevar Bush, attempts to predict the influx of technology that is to come over the following decades. He also comments on the massive potential of not only the the pointer needed for a facsimile transmission but record keeping database of the punch card (Which assisted in the record keeping of the Nazi regime).

Bush compares the  technologies that are streamed, to the technologies that are based on a chemical reaction. He analysises the facsimile transaction as advantageous because the scene can be replicated in a different location, unlike a standard camera, but admits that the camera quality is the more desirable reproduction.

He says that he would be a brave man to claim that the ‘pointer’ would be a poor quality reproduction forever, but conceded that the even though the technology would improve, that the future would be in compressing, storing and reproducing books and information and in that respect Bush predicted accurately…..the internet.

His starting point questions the possibilities of being able to condense whole encyclopaedias to the size of a matchbox with little cost and possible magnification technology available to use them again.

Overall, Bush’s predictions are rather accurate and ahead of his time. (It is also a little surreal digesting a social commentary piece from 1945)


Around Australia, there seems to be a culture, a national solidarity in ‘hating on’ people (high profile or not) that have made something for themselves. Tall poppy syndrome is the disease that has burdened us since our teenage years. And I believe it potentially stops us from over achieving or even just, achieving.

Why do we constantly have to cut down individuals that strive to achieve something of merit? It’s a confidence thing. For example, I am 24, if someone my age especially younger were to write a book or have nice car or house, my default thought (and I hate that I think this) is where did they get the money from?? for the lessons or the training or the equipment or the….etcetera, as if they have been gifted some sort of advantage.

I have to blame someone for this way of thinking but Im not sure who, because I cannot remember the first time I stated to think like this.

Could it be a Class?? I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne, very working class. Both parents worked…hard, started work my self at 14 but I did receive a private education. Not really a ‘school of hard knocks’ tale.

Could It Be Money?? My attitude towards the wealthy at the time was questionable. Have they made it all themselves?, have they inherited it?, what gives them the right to look down on ‘westies’? They’re not famous!….just as un-famous as I. Seems like jealousy, as if I was missing out on private lacrosse lessons and purple Lacoste polos.

Could it be Opportunity?? Sure the rich kids may have had the extra coin to buy a few study trips to Paris, or symphony tickets to Prague, but I still had regular soccer trips to Paramatta. We are all Australian, not exactly in a third world country.

Well none of those………I give up (and if someone else finds the reason I will eternally hate them)

At 24, I believe it to be the surrounds you grow up in that shape your attitude to achievement and deserved success. If you have worked hard to have what you have whether it be money or fame then you deserve it.

People will always complain, its in our nature but the best way to ‘move forward’ is to accept there is always going to be some better than you.

Hairstyles are design fiction too….right??

How do haircuts come into fashion and what makes them go out?

Much like design fiction, do they exist in a augmented reality before the make it to the real world. Surely the mullet was a fictitious creation??

Over my teenage and adult life I have had a total of five fashionable hair styles…..fashionable for the time.

The Shag…..The Short Back Spike…..The Faux Hawk…..The Short Sides Hipster…..The Slick Back.

If only one of those styles had been out of order I would of been judged completely different. I have always thought of my hair as being the ultimate individual style tool, but everyone (sorry if you don’t) has hair.

It is interesting that the hair styles that are in fashion suit the same description as the clothing of the day.

When I had the shag I thought it would suit if a started dressing and acting like a surfer. Making my mother buy me all the necessary surf attire, the baggy jeans and giant logo t shirt. The short back spike cropped up around 2006 (Dragon ball Z lite). This was usually accompanied by a pair of of baggy jeans, a shitty pair of globes (shoes) and an equally shitty hoody. This one caught on with the bogan community around two years later and still can be seen on the crowns of middle-age man-children around the ‘burbs.

I was sick of having the same rug as everybody else so I decided to look to my favourite sports people……….from Europe. I had chosen David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo as my follicle gods. There was no way I could continue to dress like what now had become ‘a bogan’. My identity was changing, I was 18, my mind was exploring, I was no longer surrounded by religion, I started to collect art, graphics, retro goods. And I had a worldly haircut to match. Suited with a fitted pair of jeans, duffle coat, wayfarers and postie bag.

As a various social change drifted over the late 2000s, counter culture began to flood back into alternative fashion. Denim jackets and leather patched accessories paired with black jeans that shrunk as much as circulatory possible. Piercings and aggressive slogans adorned t shirts and overcoats. Be it my feelings of social injustice or late onset teen angst, I needed a do’ to match my get up. Shaved sides and and hi-top was the cut gaining the alternative worlds attention and although I was paid out endlessly by my peers, have a guess what look they are rocking now (2013).

After the punk lite look faded, it was all about being a modern man. Behaving and looking the part became very important to me. I was (still am) committed in a serious relationship, working hard for my career and future. My outfits became very heritage, 60s london-esque. No logos, fitted pants and leather shoes were the main rules. My hair matched the part with a classic short sides and slick back to communicate forward thinking, stylish and classy.

Until I penned this post i never really knew how much our (or particularily my) hair says about us. I think it communicates our personality much more than any item of clothing because it is practically internal. And thats where the real person lies…

2.1 Readings – Thoughts ??

The moment Bruce Sterling claimed the “video” is the most successful design fiction to date, made me start to pay attention. The Hugo award winner and massive Design-Fiction advocate says that the moving image was arguably the most loved and well received artefact of design fiction due to the sex appeal of people interacting with other people or objects………..and then wanting to show other people or objects.

Two videos were shown as examples comparing two different types of video. The first showed the content being derived from robots tracking car and pedestrian movements through the medium of closed circuit television. This showed that there was a concept of vehicle tracking for whatever purpose in a designers alternative reality and through a real world need and application, such as traffic management, the design was refined and brought to life. The second video pitches a reality where almost every domestic interaction involved touching a piece of glass. Whether it be temperature sensitive, or smudge resistance, the glass would act as an evolved computer monitor displaying information and being able to interacted upon. Much like an giant iPad in every room. This was interesting because it wasn’t actually a new device born out of an imaginary reality, but an evolution of existing tablets and touch screens.

The second reading, a summarised manifesto of the teaching of design fiction education, details Matthew Ward’s adaptation of DS and the almost crucial need to embed it in design students for their own benefit.

The piece regales how Ward forces his students to imagine a alternate or augmented reality and its contexts, such as people, cultures, governance etc, and then design appropriate artefacts to help them communicate these practices.

Ward then goes on to make a very real and thought provoking point, that designers are never in the here and now, that that they are always designing for the future. Now this notion made me think that if they are never in the here and now, then should there be any need to teach them about design fiction as their line of thought would already be on the outer??

He aligns design fiction with speculative inquiry and concludes by confirming that “By focussing on the speculative and fictional, design is no longer constrained by the practical reality of todays material and economic restrictions”. And it is with that final sentence that I finally realise why DF is so important in enabling moving people forward.