links for 2009-10-29

  • Saffo has spent the past two decades staring into his crystal ball and seeing just these sorts of contrasts. Once director of the Institute for the Future think tank, he now teaches at Stanford University, alma mater to the founders of Google and many of the technology world’s hottest stars.
  • Entrepreneurs are increasingly turning their eyes to developing markets–because if you can provide places like Africa with products that are vital to the population, you can ignite economic and social development and profit at the same time. Everybody wins.But how do you design a product that the developing world needs? Artefact, a Seattle-based design consultancy, specializes in that problem. Tomorrow they’ll be holding an online seminar at My Design Shop about what they’ve learned, and the detailed steps involved in planning overseas field research.
  • This collection of Chernikov imagery – the famous Architectural Fantasies from 1925 – can be found at the Iakov Chernikov International Foundation (via Coudal). Even in the 1920s, just before the Five Year Plans kicked in, the forms proposed bore little relation to the real needs of culture, industry or society in general, being simply extravagant, elaborate, quasi-abstract compositions that delighted in visual drama and form. Architecture as Cubist or Futurist painting. What’s perverse is how influential these images have become, to the point where architectural culture has allowed itself to be twisted and turned so that the aesthetic first described by Chernikov could actually come to pass in physical form.
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