When I say design, what do you think of? Maybe something involving graphics, aesthetics, or "style"? That’s often what I think of. But design isn’t just about the visual elements of a website or a car or a building; rather, it’s about finding solutions to real problems and creating a better user experience.
I can’t remember the last time ideaLAB’s recording studio went unused during Open Lab. Along with 3D printing, it’s definitely our most popular offering. The studio has a slew of software, a couple of microphones, a MIDI keyboard controller, digital turntables, a drum machine, and two guitars (one electric and one acoustic/electric).
Confession: despite working everyday with new (and old) technology, I wasn’t terribly eager to dive into the world of 3D printing. To be sure, the technology behind it interested me, but, from a standpoint of usefulness, I was pretty skeptical. I mean, does the world really need more plastic junk? So, when ideaLAB set up not one but two 3D printers, I definitely had mixed feelings.
When, exactly, did our digital world arise? For many, the advent of social media might first come to mind. How about the birth of the internet? Or maybe the first PCs? Each of these technological developments have certainly been revolutionary, but George Dyson, in his book Turing’s Cathedral, argues that the framework for modern computers and the digital age was actually constructed long before any of these phenomena.
Much e-ink has been spilled--rightfully so--about the brave new world we live online. Targeted advertising, data breaches, the NSA; it’s easy to grow overwhelmed by the potential dangers of sharing personal information electronically. Practically everything we do on our phones and computers is tracked, often in an effort to sell us something or gain some upper hand (financially, politically, socially, etc.). Consequentially, there is now an unprecedented amount of detailed data about us that's ripe for the parsing.