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12 MARCH 2016

Josef Frank Exhibition: Against Design in Vienna

"The exhibition JOSEF FRANK: Against Design presents the full scope of Frank's pioneering and diverse oeuvre. In light of his prodigious output of furniture and textile designs that remain current to this day and his intensive involvement with the possibilities of architecture and living in the modern era, the title Against Design might at first seem a puzzling choice for an exhibition on Josef Frank. Frank, whose work as a designer and design critic continues to be considered contemporary today, represented a pragmatic approach to design and argued for a simple and 'normal'—but by no means normative—architecture and design. He believed that existing elements should be taken into account as a matter of course and intuitively developed for practical use, without striving toward representation and innovation. To Frank, it was not so much the formal qualities, but those of social experience that were important; his interiors and household objects were not intended to be subjected to formalist concepts, but placed at the service of convenience.

Especially today, Josef Frank's ideas about an uncontrived and unpretentious functionality, whose aim was an independent, free, enlightened bourgeois domestic culture far from stylistic dogmas and fashionable conventions, seem more relevant than ever."

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TAGS

applied artsarchitecture • architecture and design • Austria • Austrian architect • Austrian designer • Austrian Museum of Applied Arts and Contemporary Art • design • design critic • designer • diverse oeuvre • domestic culture • exhibition • fashionable conventions • formal qualities • furniture design • household objects • interior design • intuitively developed • Josef Frank • living in the modern era • modernist aestheticsmodernist architecturemodernist furniturenon-representationaloeuvre • pioneering oeuvre • practical use • pragmatic approach to desig • prodigious output • service of convenience • social experience • stylistic dogma • textile design • uncontrived functionality • unpretentious functionality • Vienna

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JUNE 2015

Compelling motion infographics: The Fallen of World War II

"The Fallen of World War II is an interactive documentary that examines the human cost of the second World War and the decline in battle deaths in the years since the war. The 15-minute data visualization uses cinematic storytelling techniques to provide viewers with a fresh and dramatic perspective of a pivotal moment in history."

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23 • 80 • Africa • AlteredQualiea • Andy Dollerson • Aotearoa New Zealand • Auschwitz-Birkenau • AustraliaAustriaaverage age • battle deaths • Belgium • Belzec • British colonial era • BurmaCanadacasualties • Chelmno • civilian deaths • concentration camp • cost of war • counting the numbers • course of historyD-Day landingdata visualisation • data-driven documentary • death campDenmark • Eastern Front • Estonia • firebombing • Francefutility of wargas chambergassingGreecehistorical perspective • human cost of war • HungaryIndiaIndonesiainfo graphicsinteractive information designItalyJapanJewish HolocaustKoreaLatviaLithuania • long peace • Luxembourg • Majdanek • military conflictMyanmarNazi Germany • Neil Halloran • Netherlands • North American historical perspective • Norwaynumerical scalesOkinawa • Omaha Beach • Pacific Rim • Pacific War • peace • Pearl Harbor • Peoples Republic of ChinaPeoples Republic of PolandPhilippinespicture statisticsPolandRomania • Siege of Leningrad • Slovakia • Sobibor • Soviet armySoviet Russia • Stalingrad • statistical graphics • Steven Pinker • Treblinka • UKvisual information designwarwar crimes • Western Front • World War II • Yellow River • Yugoslavia

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JULY 2010

Tagtool: a collaborative performative visual drawing tool

"The Tagtool is a performative visual instrument used on stage and on the street. It serves as a VJ tool, a creative video game, or an intuitive way of creating animation.

The system is operated collaboratively by an artist drawing the pictures and an animator adding movement to the artwork with a gamepad. The design achieves virtually unlimited artistic complexity with a simple set of controls, which can be mastered even by children.

The project is coordinated by OMA International. Our approach is that all knowledge acquired within the Tagtool project should be shared. We are inspired by the open source movement and believe that it is also relevant for the digital arts."

(OMA International, Austria)

Fig.1 Hagleitner, Krenn, Kermer, Rieger, 2008. 'Tagtool' (short video documentary).

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animationaudienceAustriacollaborationdigital artsdrawingevent • gamepad • illustrationmovement • OMA International • open sourceperformanceperformativepublic spacespectaclestagetagging • Tagtool • Tagtooling • toolvideo gamevirtual graffitivisual artist • visual instrument • visualisationVJ

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 MARCH 2010

Otto Neurath and the Vienna Method of Picture Statistics

"The Vienna method of picture statistics represents a remarkable episode in the history of statistical graphics. It was an organized attempt to use graphical design for the purpose of achieving changes in society, primarily through visual education of the masses, and especially by presenting basic socio–economic facts in a readily comprehensible form. ... One of the leading ideas of the Vienna circle was that nature, as well as history, economy and society, could be described by the same methods. These should produce valid statements about space–time relationships that would lead to predictions which in turn could influence the course of events [6].

A characteristic of picture statistics according to Neurath's Vienna method is that numbers are represented by a series of identical pictorial elements or signs, each of them representing a defined quantity... . The discrete character, the attractiveness and expressiveness of the picture elements are essential aspects of picture statistics. They can be transformed back into numbers by counting picture elements. This contrasts with the practice of present–day bar charts or histograms in which numbers are translated into lengths of continuous line segments, and in which the numbers are reconstructed from readings on a numerically divided scale.

Neurath vigorously rejected histograms with numerical scales, pie charts and graded symbols, as much as he disapproved of continuous line charts. He strictly adhered to counting of recognizable and suggestive signs."

(Paul J. Lewi, 2006)

[6] Otto Neurath, Empirische Sociologie, 1931. Otto Neurath, Foundations of the Social Sciences. 1944.

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2006Austriachartcommunicationdatadesigndiagram • graded symbols • graphicacyhistograminformation designinformation graphics • line charts • numerical scalesOtto Neurath • pictorial elements • pictorial representation • pictorial signs • picture statisticspie chartssocio-economicstatistical graphicsVienna CircleVienna Method • Vienna Method of Picture Statistics • visual communicationvisual designvisual educationvisual information designvisual languagevisualisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 FEBRUARY 2010

The University of the Third Age (U3A)

"The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a highly successful adult education movement providing opportunities for older adults to enjoy a range of activities associated with well–being in later life. Two substantially different approaches, the original French approach, and the British approach which evolved a few years later, have become the dominant U3A models adopted by different countries. Within many countries communications between the individual U3A groups is limited; between countries there is even less communication. Thus, very little, that is readily accessible, has been written about U3A developments internationally. This article provides an overview of U3A in many countries. Data were obtained by contacting colleagues in a number of countries for up–to–date information about U3As in their region.

U3A underwent a substantial change when it reached Cambridge in 1981. Rather than relying on university good will the founders of the British model adopted an approach in which there was to be no distinction between the teachers and the taught (Laslett, 1989). Members would be the teachers as well as the learners and, where possible, members should engage in research activities. The "self–help" ideal was based on the knowledge that experts of every kind retire, thus, there should be no need for older learners to have to rely on paid or unpaid Second Age teachers. Laslett provides a substantial rationale for this approach. The self–help approach has been highly successful in Britain as well as in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Some of the strengths of the approach include: minimal membership fees; accessible classes run in community halls, libraries, private homes, schools, and so forth; flexible timetables and negotiable curriculum and teaching styles; wide course variety ranging from the highly academic to arts, crafts and physical activity; no academic constraints such as entrance requirements or examinations; and, the opportunity to mix with alert like–minded people who enjoy doing new things. Each U3A is independent and is run by a democratically elected management committee of members."

1). Wokingham U3A Open Day, UK
2). Peter Laslett (1989). A fresh map of life. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

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19731981accessibility • adult education • andragogyAotearoa New ZealandArgentinaAustraliaAustriaBelgiumBoliviaBrazil • British approach • CanadaChilecivic engagementColombiacommunitycurriculum • Dominican Republic • Ecuador • empowermentflexibilityFrance • French approach • GermanyinstructioninteractionIrelandItalyJapanknowledgelearnerslearninglifelong learninglike-mindedmembershipMexicoNetherlandsNorth America • older learners • paedagogyParaguayparticipationpedagogyPeoples Republic of China • Peter Laslett • PolandQuebec • Republic of Chile • retirement • Scandanavia • schools • self-help • Spain • substantially • Switzerlandteaching • teaching styles • Toulouse University • training • U3A • U3A groups • UKuniversity • University of the Third Age • Uruguay • USA • Venezuela

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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