Tuesday, April 22, 2014

John Ruskin - First user of emoticons?

I’m pretty sure I see a vintage winky face in Ruskin’s 1879 book Proserpina ;)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Grinding us down to a single flat surface (iOS7 quotes)

iOS 7-inspired. Phooey! Flat means boring. Who wants flat champagne. Or a flat personality, or singer. Nobody. “They” say it means simple, clean, clear. Give me my texture back, my depth! Nature is the ultimate in simplicity, yet She is full of texture. Effervescence is life.

The death of skeuomorphism is a reflection of our newfound “simplicity” in life, which seems to me the opposite of simplicity—a glossing over of the beautiful details in life, to make more room in our minds for the irrelevant details that bog us down. What exactly are we replacing our time with, that we save by using txtspeak instead of real words, and what are we losing by transporting ourselves in metal machines over concrete and asphalt to flat office walls, and shopping in shiny supermarkets instead of pulling the vegetables from the land with our own hands, feet in the warm dirt, sun on our faces? We’re losing the Art that is Life.

The decline of design, the decline of society? Have our lives really gone from tapestry to glass? Imagine how quickly Michelangelo could’ve finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling in iOS 7-style. And how speedily we all could pass through a flattened Louvre.

Before I give the impression of a technological malcontent I will stop here and declare that even though I can’t get on board with modern design yet, I am grateful for all the opportunities that technology gives us and all the ways it improves our lives—don’t get me wrong there. But I like shadows with my sun, and big billowy clouds in my sky, and leafy sprawling trees I can hug or climb—not one I’d bump into then slide down like a cartoon character into a glass door. Keep your cloudless mono-blue sky with backlit sunshine, thanks all the same.

“The longer I live, the more I am satisfied of two things: first, that the truest lives are those that are cut rose-diamond-fashion, with many facets answering to the many-planed aspects of the world about them; secondly, that society is always trying in some way or other to grind us down to a single flat surface. It is hard work to resist this grinding-down action.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Professor at the Breakfast-Table, 1859

“Life just seems so full of connections. Most of the time we don’t even pay attention to the depth of life. We only see flat surfaces.” ~Colin Neenan

“One’s life must seem extremely flat
With nothing whatever to grumble at!”
~W.S. Gilbert, Princess Ida; Or, Castle Adamant, 1884

“I think miracles exist in part as gifts and in part as clues that there is something beyond the flat world we see.” ~Peggy Noonan

“Skeuomorphism isn’t the be-all, end-all of things, but after using it [Apple iOS 7] for 24 hours now, I’m really not a fan of the bland and flat look at all. It feels almost soulless and has none of the personality I’ve loved since the first day I bought my 3G all those years ago.” ~Wayne Hunt, September 2013
, comment at Cult of Mac

“The speed and functionality is great. The look is dull and stupid—and the glaring, bright colors don’t fix that.” ~VirtualVisitor, September 2013
, comment at Cult of Mac about Apple's iOS 7 ("Jony Ive Explains Why He Decided To Gut Skeuomorphism From iOS 7" by Buster Hein)