Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

Jay Jay in Bucharest — a city with no respect

December 5, 2009, 3:15 AM

Jay Jay in Bucharest

Jay Jay Johanson sang tonight.
A voice out of this world.
An immense joy for the soul.


If only had I had the pleasure of listening to him somewhere else. I can’t yet describe in words the anger and the desperation that overwhelmed me while watching the people around me. Jay Jay’s music may have trip-hop and electro elements, but in its essence, it’s very close to blues, or old school jazz — a melancholic man singing from the bottom of his heart. How can one trample underfoot such sincere music?

More than half of the ‘audience’ was talking loudly, chitchatting like grocery sellers in the market, backs turned from the scene, smoking their fetid cigarettes and drinking their beer. No respect whatsoever for the few that were all-ears, no respect for the few that felt shivers down their spines whenever Jay Jay’s voice sighed or trembled. No respect for themselves, the ones that are the ‘educated’ young hope for the romanian future. We all know each other more or less — advertisers, journalists, so called modern artists, musicians, entertainers, djs, vjs and so on. Small world. Crème de la crème. The ones present at every hip, cool, trendy, ‘indie’, ‘underground’, ‘alternative’ music event. Muse? They were there. Massive Attack? Of course. Placebo? Cohen? Goldfrapp? IAMX? You bet. All there. Sitting around, chatting and drinking. Like they just got there by mistake. Like it didn’t matter whether the singer was singing about his lost love or the last three burgers he just wolfed down while watching the game. Too bad Jay Jay didn’t have the strong enough sound system to cover up the truth: there is no real cultural demand in Romania. It’s all a façade.

Fuck you very much, hipsters and yuppies. You just proved once more that Romania doesn’t deserve to be european. Not now and not in the next ten years. And that’s being optimistic.

— iancu



China admits no mistake—seriously

October 2, 2009, 6:46 PM

All is more than clear now: don’t ever fuck with China. They’re this serious:

An instructor aligns the formation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Airborne Corps during a training session at the 60th National Day Parade Village on the outskirts of Beijing, September 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Joe Chan).

Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

(via Boston)



“It’s good to feel uncomfortable.”

October 1, 2009, 12:17 AM

Another thoughtful article from Dave Trott:

[…] we need to study ourselves.

To find out what side of the brain we are dominant in.

(Left brain being the rational side, right brain being the emotional.)

Then we need to spend as much time as we can exposing ourself to influences from the other side.

Because whatever side is dominant is our comfort zone.

We’ll naturally gravitate to that.

But anything we learn in our comfort zone won’t give us any new combinations.

Whereas whatever we learn on the other side of the brain gives us a completely new set of possible links to our existing side.

So we should force ourselves to experience whatever we’re not comfortable with.

If you’re a numeric person, force yourself to experience art and music.

If you’re a visual person, force yourself to read more books.

If you like fiction, make yourself to read non-fiction.

If you like rock music make yourself listen to Classic FM.


While we’re in our comfort zone we’re on auto pilot.

We’re relaxing and letting it wash over us.

But when we move out of our comfort zone our mind is forced to think.

Forced to try to find something good in what we don’t like.

Staying in our comfort zone just means staying with what we already know.

There’s no growth there.

No possibilities for new combinations.

Paul Arden used to say, “It’s good to feel uncomfortable.”

We shouldn’t be frightened to feel uncomfortable.

We don’t need to live in either of the two big comfortable, predictable circles.

Thanks again Sebi for the tip ;)



Design Challenge — something for the soul

June 3, 2009, 12:13 AM

For quite a while now I’ve been dreaming, hoping, pondering, trying to come up with some sort of solution to force myself in working and doing more of the stuff that I like, that I chose to do for the rest of my life—design. ‘Unfortunately’, we’re not as lucky as Michelangelo, Durer or other masters, we have internet, instant messaging, tv and so on, so many things that distract us from what we truly like to do.

Eventually, a solution came up: to give myself a “non-comercial” theme to think and design, every two weeks or so. Worried as I was that I wouldn’t be serious enough to keep doing it on a regular basis, I managed to convince some of my friends to join in, hoping that if I wouldn’t design for my eyes only, at least for them I would :) (I still remember very fondly my college years when I’d work and wait unpatiently for the end of the semester when everybody would show their projects—competing with them was the true school).

So, this is it: Design Challenge.
A flickr account where every two weeks all the members post their work on the previously given theme. Working only for the sheer pleasure of challenging wits and talent.

Here’s a glimpse of how the set with the works looks:
Design Challenge

Since all the members are romanian, comments are not in english. But you’ll get the general idea, trust me. Enjoy :)