Category Archives: Design

MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: the first cinema screening

In the spring of 1927 Dziga Vertov* moved to Kyiv to work for VUFKU, the All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Adminstration (Vse-Ukrains’ke Foto Kino Upravlinnia, ВУФКУ – Всеукраїнське фоtокіноуправління) after being sacked by Sovkino, the Russian equivalent, for being over budget on his film ‘One … Continue reading

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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: the film locations

1929 poster for the film by the Stenberg brothers “We leave the film studio for life, for that whirlpool of colliding visible phenomena, where everything is real, where people, tramways, motorcycles, and trains meet and part, where each bus follows … Continue reading

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Adriano Olivetti

  Adriano Olivetti in memoriam 11th April 1901 – 27th February 1960   A film about the greatest industrialist of them all: https://youtu.be/Ax_zKlnSxHE        

Posted in Architecture, Art, Computers, Design, Housing, Housing Design, Personal Computers, product design, Typewriters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Why is Computer Design stuck in the 1950s?

  Compared to my first computer, an Apple Macintosh 128K, the modern device has an awesome amount of computing power. I have just bought a Hewlett Packard ‘All-in-One’  PC with wireless keyboard and mouse, 24″ screen, 8GB of RAM and … Continue reading

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Apple Park

Steven Levy of Wired magazine was invited in for a tour of the vast new Apple headquarters building in Cupertino, California, designed by Foster and Partners. Opened in April 2017 the building has cost a reported $5 billion, and the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Building, Computers, Construction, Design, Olivetti, Personal Computers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Archispeak #1 – TEA, Tenerife

WHAT ARCHITECTS SAY VERSUS THE REALITY! Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2008 ARCHITECTS: Herzog & De Meuron, project directed by the Canarian architect Virgilio Gutiérrez ARCHITECTS: “…..A new public path diagonally cuts through the building complex connecting the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Blots on the Cityscape, Blots on the Townscape, Building, Design, Spanish Architecture, Ugly Buildings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Dismal Designs – Nikon D5

In complete contrast to my previous post……. The grotesque looking D5 is the epitome of everything I loathe about the current offering of DSLR cameras. It is the Mr Creosote* of cameras, a misshapen lump with buttons, lids, and switches scattered at … Continue reading

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Delightful Designs – 1946 SIRIO Elettra II camera

As well as being a Leica fan I’m also intrigued by the many ‘Look-a-Leicas’ that mostly appeared in the decade after WW2. The launch of the first Leica in 1925 caused a sensation, changing the way people took photographs. Tens … Continue reading

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Leica 1 Model C – The First System Camera

The renowned optical instrument firm of Ernst Leitz of Wetzlar in Germany produced the first modern camera in 1925, the Leica 1 Model A.  Designed by two brilliant engineers, Oskar Barnack and Max Berek, it revolutionised photography by using 35mm … Continue reading

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Dismal Designs – The Hearing Aid

WHY ARE HEARING AIDS SO BADLY DESIGNED AND OVER-PRICED? An elderly relation of mine has some Starkey 3 Series hearing aids which cost an extraordinary £2,500 ($3,600)! Apart from the outrageous price, of which more later, this is one of the most … Continue reading

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Disappointing Designs – Apple Watch

Being an Apple fan since my first Macintosh I wasn’t expecting to be disappointed by the Apple Watch. I tried out the Sport version recently which seemed well made and there are some great features and apps, but crucially it just … Continue reading

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Golden Silver – The Beauty of Nickel Plate

Around the early 1930s shiny metal things began to look colder and brighter when chromium plating replaced the soft golden tones of nickel plate. You can clearly see the difference looking at these otherwise identical Leica Elmar lenses (if you … Continue reading

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Delightful Designs – Alessi Birdsong Tea Strainer

Alessi ‘Tea Matters’ Melodic Tea Strainer – Alan Chan 2010 No other manufacturer would, or could, make such a quirky and delightful product. Ostensibly for straining tea but imagined as a cage containing the strainer in the shape of a bird, all … Continue reading

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Alessi Makes Serious Coffee

Alessi Neapolitan Coffee Maker – La Tavola di Babele Another one of Alessi’s beautiful masterpieces of design and construction. It only makes a few small cups of delicious coffee and there are a lot of things to clean afterwards, but … Continue reading

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