"The general idea behind Agile is that instead of arguing about the wording of a requirements document written three months earlier with little perspective into the current situation, it's often healthier to acknowledge that the project is going to be flexible and evolving, and put processes in place that allow it to be that way.
Barely over 200 words, that manifesto become the foundation for a movement that has changed the world of software development forever. Endless writing and speaking has explored the various ways the manifesto could be interpreted, and many specific frameworks and methodologies (such as Extreme Programming, Kanban, Lean, and Scrum) have been developed to formalize its principles. A whole 'Agile industry' has emerged, with successful companies offering tools, training, consulting, certification, and other products and services. The economic engine behind the Agile movement as a whole is massive. ...
On the surface, it seems like design and Agile should magically work together, but there are some underlying philosophical issues you have to wrestle with before figuring it out. Design is all about big-picture thinking: planning, strategy, working out all the details, thinking everything through, making it perfect, etc. (Eric Karjaluoto called it the 'masterpiece mentality.') Agile, on the other hand, is more often about doing the basics and saving details for later: iteration, minimum viable products, 'perfect is the enemy of done,' etc. Those two worlds don't blend smoothly together, at least at first. Agile developers can get frustrated with designers for over-thinking things ('Why can't they just let it go? We can get to that later.'), while the designers get discouraged by the perceived low standards of Agile developers ('Don't you want it to be good? Don't you want the user to be happy?').
In both cases, though, the problem comes from a misunderstanding of each other's perspectives (as problems often do). The designer isn't being obsessive, they're just trying to do right by the user. And the developer isn't being lazy, they're just following a process that actually gets things done with minimal navel-gazing. Both sides could learn some important lessons from each other."
(James Archer, Forty)
"In the 1960s, the New York subways were a mess, sign-wise. Station names and metro lines were spelled out in a hodgepodge of sizes, shapes, and styles. The original mosaic tiles had been joined by cut stone and terracotta—all of which clashed with newer enamel signs. They were not only inconsistent in terms of style but also in where they were placed, so straphangers didn't know where to look for directions on how to get from point A to point B.
In 1970, following the merger of the IND and BMT lines, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) hired Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, designers at the firm Unimark, to put an end to the typographic chaos. The system they devised still informs signs made today and is painstakingly outlined in a 174-page manual"
(Belinda Lanks, 15 September 2014, Businessweek)
"Some places are better observed from a distance if you want to grasp their inner essence. For this portrait of her hometown, the tropical economic powerhouse of Singapore, Tan Pin Pin decided on a strictly external perspective. She meets with political exiles in London, Thailand, and Malaysia who had to leave the city thirty-five or fifty years ago – and who are to this day not permitted to return unless they die and their relatives bring back their ashes. The protagonists of the film fought for increased democracy and for Singapore to be freed from colonialism. They escaped long prison sentences and judicial capriciousness, but at the price of exile. They have a heightened view of the city today, full of dreams yet also analytical: To Singapore, with Love [星国恋] is a homage to individual fighters whose lives have been shaped by emigration. They tell their stories more as utopians than as victims, opening up amazing perspectives on an ultra-modern city in a democratic coma as well as on life in exile, whose path is never straightforward for those who do not lose sight of their goals, even when far away from home."
"Legendary designer Peter Saville says abstract art is part of our everyday lives. From Kasimir Malevich and his Black Square through to contemporary product design, in an exclusive film for BBC Arts Online he makes the argument that modern devices such as iPods owe their shape and feel to pioneers of Abstraction, via the fundamental building blocks of the Bauhaus and Dieter Rams."
"Cybernetics as a process operating in nature has been around for a long time ... as a concept in society has been around at least since Plato used it to refer to government.
In modern times, the term became widespread because Norbert Wiener wrote a book called 'Cybernetics' in 1948. His sub-title was 'control and communication in the animal and machine'. This was important because it connects control (a.k.a., actions taken in hope of achieving goals) with communication (a.k.a., connection and information flow between the actor and the environment). So, Wiener is pointing out that effective action requires communication.
Wiener’s sub-title also states that both animals (biological systems) and machines (non-biological or 'artificial' systems) can operate according to cybernetic principles. This was an explicit recognition that both living and non-living systems can have purpose. A scary idea in 1948."