design

(WMB4X) If There’s Grass on the Pitch…

The World Cup, the premier football competition, the one they all want to win and unlike the World Series (which I know was named after a Newspaper) it is truly a global event. Because of FIFA’s global conquest to spread the game to all corners of the globe the 2022 tournament will take place in Qatar. That and a whole bunch of money, a ridiculous amount of money.

With every new major sporting event there comes redevelopment of the areas which will stage the pieces of history. London 2012’s Olympic Park would be a prime example of how they do things outside of football with a new stadium and aquatic centre built amongst other things.

Recently The Qatar supreme committee unveiled their ‘Olympic Park’, their ‘Wembley’.

This was designed by the same woman who designed London’s Aquatic centre Zaha Hadid. Very elegant and contemporary it is. However it does remind me of something, I was thinking it might be my dirty mind but it does remind me somewhat of a “lady garden” Now before I get accused of being a disgusting individual other folks have noticed this too and they have put this to the architect. She isn’t happy with the comparison. Stating:

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.”

That in itself is fair comment I suppose. However as I write this I am watching West Bromwich Albion play Aston Villa. Neither of those teams have a home ground that looks anything like a vagina, the Hawthorns and Villa Park both have “the hole” but I’ve never thought wow this place really shouldn’t be shown before the watershed. But art, and this art, is up for interpretation.

I have problems with this addition though:

“Honestly, if a guy had done this project, critics would not be making such lewd comparisons.”

I beg to differ. If a man designed something to look like a massive vagina people would mention it. Woman-kind would protest, some might even say how disgusting it was. The sex of the designer is irrelevant. I realise that architecture is not exactly an area where women are able to flourish as opportunities for high profile projects go to men and Zaha Hadid has probably had to work her arse off to get a foot in the door, but comments like this do little to aid the case of female equality.

I liken it to the “Is it because I is Black” comments of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G or me blaming me not getting any hits on this blog because I am disabled. You can’t allow yourself that cop out, because it is not giving your critics a valid response and that leads to a lazy artist always unwilling to use the criticism to improve.

I think this stadium looks good. Zaha Hadid would have been much better off saying “A vagina you say, well now you mention it….”

Image from http://www.theregister.co.uk (I needed the image to illustrate my point please don’t sue me)


Please visit the Resident Weeble who likes a good stadium as much as the next man

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Skeuomorphism

A skeuomorph or skeuomorphism is a design element of a product that imitates design elements that were functionally necessary in the original product design, but which have become ornamental in the new design. – Wikipedia.

Look it’s just like torn paper!

From the outset of iOS Apple have applied this design principle. Address Book looks like it’s older paper brother and the same can be said for Calendar app on the Mac to name but two. This has been much maligned it would seem and with the departure of Scott Forstall in an Apple re-shuffle which sees Sir Jonny Ive take over the software design as well as that of the hardware. It may become a thing of the past.

I am torn (like the pages of my electronic calendar) I am geek enough to want my computer things to look computery and shiny. My Mac for example always boots in Verbose mode, meaning it looks like an old Windows machine booting from DOS (for practical reasons I like to see whats going on). However the folksy me that likes to sit in a big jumper with fluffy slippers (ok I have not got fluffy slippers, but they are there in my head) and curl up and watch a movie, likes the fact that there is an App that looks like Post it notes (Stickies) for note taking.

The skeumorph approach I believe played a huge part in getting those who weren’t geeks or in the Apple family to make the switch from other platforms. It’s much easier to say to Grandma that the Address Book application is the one that looks like the one that has been in her handbag since 1948. It’s easier for Grandma to understand that, and not be frightened by it, and embrace the technology.

Many of us have shown people how to do things electronically only to return later and see them bravely soldiering on with pen and paper. Tech is worthless if it is not accessible. Whilst I hold no fear that Sir Jonny won’t come up with a wonderful design for iOS OSX or iOS11 whatever it be called, I do fear that if he adopts the minimalist design he has for his hardware in the world of software, it will be a step backwards for the masses