Tangible Things

Merry Christmas everybody!  

I've spent the last couple days with my beloved Canon Pixma Pro-10.  For those of you who have come across one of these photo printers, you likely know two things about it: 1) it makes amazing prints, and 2) it's roughly the size of coffee table.  Unfortunately, its sheer mass doesn't jibe well with London apartment living... so my visits with the printer have been few and far between.  But man, oh man... the times we do spend together!

The concept of "tangible things" has been on my mind for a couple weeks now.  My wife took me to the London Design Museum to see the entries from this year's Beazley Designs of the Year.  The exhibit had a wide and interestingly diverse group of design nominees.  What stuck with me, though, was the video at the end of the exhibit about previous winners and the selection process.  A portion of the video was dedicated the concept of internet design, and how some of the greatest design innovations these days aren't physical things at all.  Instead they're applications and ways of using the web that impact the design of how we live our lives.  

That reality is inescapable.  Technology is changing so many things around us on a daily basis... and really, that's great.  But sometimes, I wonder if there's a necessary beauty in physical things too.  The needle on a record as it spins at 33 and a third.  A film negative.  A physical print rather than pixels on a screen.  I'd imagine that like most things - it's all about balancing the old with the new.

In the past year, I've spent countless hours on my computer - editing photos in Lightroom and Photoshop, and sharing them to various places on the web... including this very website.  For me, it was really nice to balance that out spending a couple days making prints that I can pick up and look at in the light of day.  It was a creative salve for a tech-busy life.

Of course, then again, I've just spent the last 10 minutes on my computer blogging about it, so I'm not exactly unshackled from the virtual world either, am I?