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Blog posts tagged as 'materials'

Things with an end

I bought some Nike Mayfly running shoes.

Nike Mayfly

They are ultra-lightweight, and quite lovely.

Nike Mayfly

They are so light because they were designed with a definite lifespan.

They are only built to last for 100km.

Nike Mayfly

On a good day, I usually run 10km.

These shoes are shoes I can use maybe ten times.

Nike Mayfly

This defined sense of the object’s limited-life reinforces it’s narrative.

The thing is a clock.

It’s beginning, middle and end will be marked.

And indeed, the object itself asks you to record the beginning…

Nike Mayfly

…and to do right by it’s end.

Nike Mayfly

This is planned obsolescence with conviction – and as a result it involves you with the object, it’s materiality and your use of it to a greater degree than most mass-produced goods.

I haven’t run in them yet.

I’m waiting for just the right moment to start the clock on their life, and take my first steps in them – towards their end.

Friday Links: nostalgic cameras, pixels, materials, and impulscriptions


I liked this take on what a Digital Holga might look like (the Holga, if you’re not aware, is a little toy camera). It’s well presented and has some lovely illustrations, but the two things I liked most were: the rotatable control panel, making it simple to convert for left-handed use; and the idea that, whenever it might exist, it should always use a previous generation of sensor technology. Built-in nostalgia.

A couple of links from Matt J: first, Greg Allen linking to Alvy Ray Smith on displays, and pixels: His point turns out to be, not that pixels aren’t squares, but that square pixels suck.

And secondly, for the materials science folder: new research that makes the ability to print lasers much closer to reality – which, of course, points to several interesting futures.

Nick found this NPR website designed specifically for the iPad as an interesting example of what websites designed for touch look like.

Giles Turnbull coined a nice neologism in his write-up of Economist direct – “impulscriptions“; not a true subscription, but one-click issue purchasing when the current edition takes your fancy. Lovely service.

And finally, I really enjoyed this paragraph from Robin Sloan’s link to Matt J’s previous post (on Hopeful Monsters and the Trough of Disillusionment):

“Hybrids are smooth and neat. Interdisciplinary thinking is diplomatic; it thrives in a bucolic university setting. Chimeras, though? Man, chimeras are weird. They’re just a bunch of different things bolted together. They’re abrupt. They’re discontinuous. They’re impolitic. They’re not plausible; you look at a chimera and you go, “yeah right.” And I like that! Chimeras are on the very edge of the recombinatory possible. Actually — they’re over the edge.”

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