Build Your Own Coffin And Other Ideas
At our Click conference recently, we invited three young designers to present one project each. The ideas ranged from the brilliant to the, quite frankly, bizarre...
Ilona Gaynor talked us through As Long As I Live, a piece of furniture that would, literally, see the owner through from cradle to grave. "I have designed a singular piece of furniture that transforms and lasts as long as you do," she says. So, the piece starts out as a cot, can then be re-made into a single bed, then a double bed and, finally, a coffin...
Next up, Digital Club showed wwwoorrrlllddd.com. The site's not quite functioning yet, but the idea is to create an alternative world by overlaying Google Earth with new and far more interesting buildings and environments. So, for example, a giant hole could be placed in the middle of London, or a spectacular fairground built in the middle of the Sahara desert. "The user would create a Photoshop or Flash file, then submit it to us with co-ordinates for placement and we'd overlay it on the Google Map," explain Digital Club. "If it takes off, over time we'd have a World 2.0. The Glue Society has done something similar, although as isolated pieces with a specific theme (they are genius)."
And finally James Bridle showed bkkeepr. "It's a personal project I conceived, built and designed a few months ago," he says. "The idea is to track people's reading over time, much as Last.fm does with books. The goal was(/is) to make this traditionally private activity public, addressable, indexable, portable and so on - and give people a simple way to remember what they've been reading. I got it sponsored before launch, so it's already turned a profit, and over 500 people now use it regularly - a number I intend to increase when I get round to putting some more time in and expanding the feature list, and opening up an API so people can do more cool stuff with their data."
Bridle also has another publishing project on the go – an imprint specialising in "classic works of transgressive literature" with the glorious name Bookkake. So far, there are just five titles available - out-of-print classics of the genre such as Fanny Hill and Venus In Furs.
For the covers, Bridle explains, "I worked with photographers on Flickr and licensed the images under Creative Commons, so they receive full credit for the work. Flickr photographer Lejaille with his 'Curve' series was the main inspiration. I then designed the layout and typography of the books myself, based on inspirations ranging from museum signage to classic Penguins from the 1950s (my favourite being Abram Games' Great Escape cover, which I copied to make my own notebook). The books are set in Dolly, a really beautiful book font from the independent Dutch foundry Underware who also do some stuff with blackletter, yet another inspiration, although I ended up creating my own sans-serif blackletter for the Bookkake logotype - a process with its own murky history that I intend to write up at some point."
Thanks very much for the write-up. I should point out that since the above was written, bkkeepr's API has been launched: more details at http://bkkeepr.com/api.
Really liking the 'as long as I live' project, beautiful simplicity and thought provoking concept - a wonderful piece.
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