Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Interactive Architecture

Christmas is scarily fast approaching and already the cheesy “I Wish It Could Be Xmas Everyday…” jingles are already being played on the radio.
I have just stumbled upon one of the best set of Christmas lights. Last Christmas Tokyo’s shopping district of Aoyama made their usual Christmas Light Columns interactive. For the first time the Tokyo public could “call in” to the light columns and change the colour of the neon lights by using just their voice. The guys at Semitransparent Design who created this innovation also got a Cannes Lion for this too.

I found this light project here on Ping Mag, it’s a great blog entry covering all sorts of interesting stuff the Japanese are doing to make their architecture interactive; from Sony’s Live Colour Wall to Microsoft’s Shadow Play.

I wish we had more interactive buildings or installations open to the general public here in the UK. When I say interactive, I mean really physically interactive, not just texting in a short message to be displayed on a on a cheap LED wall (Budweiser I think had something like this in Picadilly Circus?). For example, wouldn’t it be great if buildings could sense volumes or people walking past it via sensors and change its external lighting to match the buzz of people? We interact with buildings everyday, from pushing a button for a lift or using your Oyster Card to enter the Tube why not take this interactivity further and allow people to have fun while doing it?

Friday, 19 October 2007

congratulations Skype!

Ive just seen this post on Hyper’s blog about Skype reaching 10 million simultaneous subscribers.
Sam and Techcrunch are pointing out that its all very well having 10 million subscribers but as Skype to Skype calls are free, the bigger Skype gets, the smaller the margin of profit.
I don’t think its all doom & gloom as surely this when Skype start to charge a small* subscription fee with over 10 million subscribers this would be a hefty revenue stream and by the sounds of it Skype are working on building some really innovative affiliate programmes and retail partnerships too with the likes of Gap and American Express which is further scope to boost revenue.

Sam’s quote is “Kind of like more and more people coming to your party, but drinking the hooch without bringing a bottle…”
I say “they might not bring any hooch, but they’ll chip-in and help you buy a bigger house while they are there…”


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

the barn cafe

Its been all quiet on the posting front as ive just spent a very chilled week in Cornwall, relaxing, eating, swimming and walking.
We stayed in Lamorna and I can highly recommend it, it’s a quiet, beautiful and secluded cove about 3 miles from Mousehole on the south coast of Cornwall.

Another highly recommended place to check out if you are ever in that part of England and hungry is The Barn Café!
This is probably one of the best café’s ive visited in a long time. It’s a husband and wife owned café/greasy-spoon on a small farm about half a mile from Lands End and busting with character and charm ,but not in a cheesy tourist way. I had the fried bacon and mushroom “Tiger Bap” and it was amazing; the bacon was perfect, thick cut and not too watery. We ate our lunch in their garden surrounded by free roaming chickens, rabbits and a few horses in the field next door. One of the best greasy spoon/cafe ive been to…great place to end a long trek along the coast!

Thursday, 4 October 2007


I know its not new news but ive been following the news story over the past few days (Metro, BBC) about random stone sculptures being left outside random people’s houses in Yorkshire in the middle of the night.
Each sculpture had a strange marking spelling “Paradox” and came with a riddle individual to each sculpture. It turns out the sculptures were a stunt by a reclusive artist called Billy Johnson to promote his artwork.
Although the stunt is fairly rudimentary, it’s such a clever and simple way of creating fame and interest in a product without being “flashy” and over complicated. Although it could be argued it’s a gloried combination of door dropping and weird midnight stalking…