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Brendan Dawes, hacker and interaction designer, trawled through his sketchbook to deliver an inspiring opening talk about his work, what inspires him, and some Rules for making. Full notes after the jump.
I hate that phrase “A poor craftsman blames his tools”. I’d like to find who said that and bash him in the face with a beautifully-made hammer.
Blackwing 602: L30 on ebay. Chuck Jones used these.
Dixon Ticonderoga. Rahl Dahl wrote with these.
When you care at that level, you’re going to care about the things that come forth from these tools.
Iteration as a craft or as a way to see new things. Instagram was an iteration on photo sharing, not an innovation.
BD started iterating on these. only 0.1 difference between each one. Sometimes you’ll go from an ornate design to a circle in one step.
Well designed objects are all imbued with good use of punctuation.
You know something’s finished not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.
Why can’t things be perfect at version 1? Why are we never done with things?
Created the accidental news explorer: search for a term, read an article, discover Related News, spiral out, end up somewhere you didn’t expect to be.
Spent two weeks adding a feature: suggested starting points (headlines). Usage increased 2%. Was it worth it? BD felt compelled to do an update because people feel as if an app is dead if its not being updated.
Using lots of tools: altoids tins, keychain laser pointer, chumby, calipers, pencils, arduinos, breadboard.
His wife asked for L200 Christian Dior face cream for her birthday. He gave her a box that with an ardiuno and a small LCD screen that played back their text messages. Physical container for digital things.
What if one button did one thing?
Laser-cut wooden box with an arduino and a display of the weather that peeks through the transparent button.
Device to print for happy thoughts on the internet.
One of the makerbot founders said “If we were mechanical engineers, we would have known this was impossible and never tried it.”
BD has a makerbot and made a lot of crap. He also made some useful stuff: egg cups, headphone wrap to contain cord.
He doesn’t use a visual interface; it’s done all in code: OpenScad. Write code and it spits out a model.
BD learned Bring to projects what makes you you, and celebrate that.
Watch this (don’t read the author):
Once you know who it is, it totally makes sense.