Book Review: Artful Design

What We Make, Makes Us

In our age of rapidly evolving technology and unyielding human restlessness and discord, design ought to be more than simply functional; it should be expressive, socially meaningful, and humanistic. Design should transcend the purely technological, encompass the human, and strive for the sublime.

Sublime design presents itself, first and last, as a useful thing, but nestled within that window of interaction lies the novel articulation of a thought, an idea, a reflection—an invisible truth that speaks to us, intimate yet universal, purposeful without necessity of purpose, that leaves us playful, understood, elevated. It is a transformation so subtle that it escapes our conscious grasp but that once experienced—like music—we would never want to be without again.

— Manifesto

Ge Wang is a professor and computer music researcher, perhaps most widely known in the field as the creator of the ChucK language for creating computer music systems and one of the founders of the company Smule, creators of numerous iPhone music creation apps including the Ocarina and “I Am T-Pain”. In this new book from Stanford University Press, he lays out a set of strong arguments about design (mostly focusing on his work in computer music, but also thoughtful ruminations on pencil cases and other artifacts) focusing on how we as designers can aspire to the sublime in the systems that we build. (more…)

The Importance of Design in Digital Therapeutics

Digital therapeutics design example

Find me a person who has no issues with the medical industry and I’ll find you a pig that can fly. There isn’t a person around who isn’t disturbed or appalled by the industry for one reason or another. These reasons range from misleading or inaccurate information, expensive and potentially dangerous misdiagnoses, overworked doctors and nurses too hurried to give patients the time they need, mountains of confusing rules and regulations, baffling insurance practices, costly hospital services and equipment, and finally, sick, scared patients who have no choice but to work within this system. (more…)

The Impact of “Robles v Domino’s Pizza” on Web and Mobile Applications

Cover image of court decision for Robles v Dominos Accessibility Case

On January 15th, the 9th District Court ruled against Domino’s Pizza in a case that, if you are paying attention, telegraphs a topic that should be on every website, web application and mobile application developer’s mind.

The court found that websites, web applications, and mobile applications were, indeed, mediums covered under the ADA, which ensures that people with disabilities enjoy parity of access with able-bodied individuals. (more…)

Art+Logic at NAMM 2019

NAMM Show Banner

Every January, the entire pro audio and music instrument industry congregates in Anaheim, California for the Winter NAMM Show. This year it’s taking place later this week, from January 24th through Sunday the 27th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Art+Logic will be in attendance for the 28th consecutive year, checking in with clients (old, new, and future!) and also taking a peek at new gear that’s coming down the pike.

I’ll also be speaking Saturday afternoon on a panel as part of the A3E track — “Cloud Integration Strategy: Server vs Service” will happen at 4PM Saturday January 26th in the Hilton. If you’re there, please say ‘hey’. (more…)

Perspectives on CES 2019

CES 2019

This was my fifth CES in ten years, and it definitely felt busier than ever. The exhibit halls, ballrooms, and conference facilities were packed with all sorts of goodies every hour of every day, at hotels up and down the Vegas Strip — not just at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo. As always, restaurants and venues were packed, and halls were jammed with noise, lights, and cool things. You can read all sorts of articles on everything that was exhibited at the show, so I’ll give you my personal take on what I think the themes of the show were, from the perspective of a “smart products” guy (e.g. software and hardware = smart product). (more…)

Incubator Kick-off

Art+Logic has kicked-off its first software Incubator project, and I was selected to handle the development effort. After meeting Dr. Scott Hawley and being briefed on the technique he uses for classification of audio files using neural networks (NN), and determining current and future features, we were ready to begin the project. While we go through this process, I’ll be documenting it on this blog. (more…)

The Promise of Software-Driven Hardware

“Hardware is the new app” is something you hear regularly in the Silicon Valley. And it really is a valid statement. With the introduction of the smartphone 10 short years ago, the app took software off computers and company networks and put it into the hands of everybody doing every activity every day. As long as you have a (smart) phone, there is an app for everything. (more…)

Sixteen Panels Made Me Think

Solar panels on house

Three years ago my wife and I signed up to purchase an array of sixteen solar panels for our rooftop. It was part of a neighborhood group-buy sponsored by the City of Milwaukee, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and our local neighborhood association. Along with the purchase, we became members of the MREA and learned for the first time about their annual Energy Fair. Every year, thousands of people with an interest in sustainable energy convene in northern Wisconsin for three days of workshops, industry speakers, and other activities. (more…)