This week, artist archiving/organisation platform kleio is getting a reboot. With a worked-over visual profile, and a bunch of new and refined features, kleio is maturing into a very powerful tool for both big and small collections. For us, the whole project and our involvement gets bumped up a few levels by the fact that it's both initiated and run by artists, looking for solutions to own problems. There's a lot of heart in kleio.
Just putting the finishing touches to Travellog – a Seminar Trip documentation platform designed and developed for the architecture chair of Philip Ursprung, ETH, Zürich. The interface itself is great, but what's even more interesting is how it all connects up behind the scenes, and how that might grow way bigger than one chair. Right now eveverything is kept internal, but we hope to show you more in the near future.
In a redefinition of the classical role of a publishing house, Kein & Aber (Zürich, CH) launches a functional beta of their brand new online store, for both print and digital products. Our idea was to rethink the physical bookshelf as a navigational instrument. This early version, programmed by dreipol, is just the start; the functionalities of the digital shelf will keep growing over the coming two years.
The third annual artist expedition Sound Development City marks the second year of our involvement. This time the online 'Log Book' has been overhauled and condensed; a third reading layer has been added in the form of the continuous observations of collaborating author/playwright Uwe Lützen, and everything has been compressed into three columns on one single view.
To check it out and follow this year's participants as they travel from Riga to Helsinki, follow this link!
Something completely different: We just finished concepting/designing an internal productivity tool for the MARS Group. The tool – called 'Activity Process Management' – will be developed in-house.
We're proud to announce that the November issue of renown Swiss Architecture and Design magazine Hochparterre includes an extensive A/Z feature by Urs Honegger. The magazine decided to dedicate the cover and 3 spreads to an in-depth interview, and a dissection of our Gradient Tagging concept, focusing on the Lines version. Thanks muchly!
Some time into the process of developing the mammoth package that is the Tourenatlas, we realised that a digital filter to the 1000+ routes would be a brilliant addition to the paper. So we sat down and sketched a mobile interface for Helvetic Backcountry's data, and over the late-summer months we developed an app for iOS and Android. The 30 areas with their 399 peaks can be filtered by ascent duration and difficulty, and the detail view shows you Serafin's beautiful maps overlaid with peak and route descriptions and photography. After the somewhat confusing twilight state of Apple's review process, the app is now live for free, on both the App Store and Google Play. Everything is in German, but if you're travelling Switzerland and enjoy touring, you can still get a very good overview of what areas might interest you.
Arthouse cinema Xenix asked us to design a poster for their month-long Mumblecore programme. I think we fell a bit in love.
Perspectives (previously 'collecthing') originates from some sketches back in 2007, and developed from the same ideas about collecting web fragments as Trails. However, it took on a completely different shape: Where Trails allows you subjectively de-fragment your online research locally and physically, Perspectives lets you gather everything online, order and categorise in a completely free, visual layout based on coordinates, and collaborate with others on dynamic information maps. Over the last 5 years the project has lingered in the back of our minds, with at least 2 bigger attempts to bring it into a public domain. Finally, thanks to a 4-day programming spurt in October 2011, it seems we finally arrived at a working solution. More to follow in the next months...
That’s the starting point for ‘Le Dossier Diemtigtal’, a collaboration between Astrom / Zimmer and renowned authors/playwrights Antoine Jaccoud and Beat Sterchi. The story of the unknown man found frozen to death in the Bernese mountains is the seed for an online narrative(s), bridging genres, disciplines, and geographic and cultural areas.
We'd love to give you some proper insight into what we've been doing so far, but until the documentation site is up and running you'll simply have to trust us: This tale, supported by Migros Culture Percentage and the Oertli Foundation, will be told like none before.
In the process we discovered a lot of overlap in thoughts and approaches. Specialising in Fuzzy Technology, Edy is hard at work investigating the innards of human/computer interaction, and where we can find connection points not only on the conditions of the machine. This collaboration definitely isn't finished.
We are very very happy to announce that Lines just got honoured with the Swiss Federal Design Award! As a consequence, the Café Society will for half a year during 2012 move its headquarters to New York!
Berlin-based font designer Hannes von Döhren shook the world of type in early 2010, when Brandon Grotesque hit the charts, and bumped MyFonts' Helvetica sales to a 2nd for several months. Our collaboration in the design and development of the HvD Fonts website focuses on Hannes' spec sheets. By expanding the page area to fit all the sheets for all fonts, laid out in a grid, the navigation takes on a panning nature, giving the visitor a feeling of moving through an endless field of type and lettering. Making portfolio sites is often very demanding, but once in a while they are just great fun. HvDFonts.com was one of those.
Czech-born journalist/philosopher Vilém Flusser wrote brilliant stuff. Alongside McLuhan, Baudrillard et al, he was one of the last century's most insightful critics of media's influence on culture. With entertaining wit and elaborate (sometimes to the point of confusion) in his Does Writing Have a Future? and Into the Universe of Technical Images, he paints his vision for the evolution of human communication, knowledge creation, and thinking. This in our opinion brilliant lateral thinker is a definite must-read for anyone interested in the ways and workings of communal knowledge. We can hardly imagine our work without his influence.
Together with pharma educators medinform, we shaped a streamlined workflow for their communication strategies involving these modular posters, and established a counter-view to the current pharmacy information politics. The initiative shifted the roles of joining pharmacies to one of an information provider rather than drug seller. Currently over 40 pharmacies all over Switzerland are using the modules and their accompanying digital distribution system, and the number is growing.
What can designers contribute to such a big problem..? Perhaps the most obvious way is by providing new access to facts. 300 Years of Climate Change (2007) is a self-published edition of a extensive textual study on the topic, translated into an infographical layout that allows for experiencing the growing public discourse over the last three centuries. A text from Spencer Weart split up in four categories: Society, Politics, Media and Disasters. The publication shows the growing correlation of these aspects and their sometimes unlucky influence on each other.
UPDATE: The concept (written for print in the Organ journal) can be found online here.
Assigning different functions to different spaces is a fundamental task that Architects and Graphic Designers have in common.