Derek O'Brian

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15 Must-Read Design Books From 2015

From gorgeous graphic design tomes to tech-fueled children’s books, 2015’s best design books offered fresh angles on old subjects and revealed innovative ways to craft narratives. There was an enlightening biography of architect Frank Gehry, a crisp monograph from Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, …

Bottle Design Brain Melter: The Handle is the Spout, the Opening is on the Bottom, the Inside and the Outside Are the Same Surface

That there is the Klein Bottle, first conceived of in 1882 by German mathematician Felix Klein. Klein's "non-orientable surface," as it's called in …

How to Take Sharper Street Photography, Even at Night

Capturing sharp photographs is by far the toughest technical skill in street photography. People move quickly, you are often moving quickly, the …

Antennagate: Apple Explains All, Gives iPhone 4 Buyers Free Cases

Steve Jobs gave a detailed explanation of the iPhone 4’s antenna issue, and how Apple is responding to the problem.<p>The iPhone 4 is amazing, according to reviews and customer surveys. The media stirred up a huge storm about the supposed signal-dropping error with the antenna. Steve Jobs took the …

The Wind Tunnel Project review – monumental design with a deadly serious purpose

On 19 May 1942, the BBC recorded the song of a nightingale in a garden in Surrey. They had done this annually since 1924, when it was the world's first outside broadcast, but this year it was different: the microphone accidentally captured the grinding of bomber engines as a raid set off to attack …

Learning from How Designers Think and Work

When I was in business school, Stanford’s d.school was just a glimmer of a thing living in a trailer across campus, barely known to most of us business students. Five years later, there is much discussion in the business world about design’s evolution from producing of objects to producing a broad …

Interactive floor plan: BT House, Brazil, by Guilherme Torres

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Turn STEM to STEAM: Why Science Needs the Arts

Last month my institution, California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, selected scientist Amory Lovins to deliver the commencement speech and to receive an honorary doctorate. I'm sure many people in the audience were wondering why CCA, a school of the arts, chose a scientist for this …

No to NoUI

‘<i>The best design is invisible</i>‘ is the interaction design phrase of the moment. The images above are from my ever-expanding collection of quotes about …

Underwater Conrad Hotel, Maldives

Digital Camera Maintenance and Care Tips

A digital camera is a sensitive device. As such, it needs to be cleaned and cared for so it will always be on optimum performance. Proper maintenance …

7 Design Principles, Inspired By Zen Wisdom

Want to become the next Steve Jobs–or just understand his near-spiritual devotion to simplicity? This primer, outlining the main tenets of Zen design, will help.<p>One of the best-known photographs of the late Steve Jobs pictures him sitting in the middle of the living room of his Los Altos house, …

Nagano, Japan A project by: Artechnic Architecture

The 12 Things That Successfully Convert a Great Idea Into a Reality

How many times have you been in a meeting and someone says to you, “That’s a great idea, you should take the initiative and make it a reality.” What typically happens? Most of the time – nothing. Most great ideas remain dormant because people don’t have the courage, resources, time and/or money to …