Visual Arts: GOMA’s Building to Feature James Turrell’s Light Artwork for Its 10th Anniversary

Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is celebrating its 10th anniversary by transforming its building with a major light installation from international light artist James Turrell.

The installation, which will be revealed to public in early December, will be a permanent feature of GOMA building thereafter. The installation is planned to light up the gallery’s southern and eastern facades every evening.

The gallery’s lead architects, Kerry Clare, Lindsay Clare and James Jones said they envisioned “an artist illuminated ‘white box’ on the building’s main pedestrian approaches”.

GOMA director Chris Saines said the milestone event provided an occasion to realise the architects’ vision. “It needed something like a major anniversary to get everyone galvanised,” Saines said. “It’s like it’s been in hibernation as a project, and I just thought the tenth anniversary was a really good time to wake it up.”

Saines said Turrell will bring a new touch to his work for GOMA. “He’s undoubtedly the world’s most influential artist who works with the medium of light,” he said. “This is a very different kind of Turrell work and I think that will make our building a destination for Turrell lovers.”

Turrell is also slated to be present for the lighting on of the building in celebration of GOMA’s 10th anniversary.

The installation has been in the works since late 2013, funded by private benefactors as well as contributions from the Queensland Government. The gallery’s supporters are also invited to donate through the 2017 QAGOMA Foundation Appeal.

Digital: Google Launches Siri’s Competitor on iOS

To compete with Apple’s Siri, Google has launched Assistant for iOS at its I/O developer conference on Wednesday.

The AI-powered voice assistant was first introduced on the Pixel phone, and is currently used in over 100 million devices. Users can interact with Assistant through by voicing commands, typing queries, or taking a picture.

Currently, Google Assistant only supports English language, but upgrades for German, French, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese are expected to arrive soon.

Google Assistant is now available to download at App Store.

Music: Yours and Owls 2017 Lineup Announced

The lineup for Wollongong’s Yours and Owls Festival 2017 has been announced, with headliners such as Safia, Allday, The Preatures, Dune Rats and more.

See the full line-up here:

Pre-sale tickets will be available Friday, while public ticket sales begin on May 22.

This event is strictly over 18s. For more information, visit Yours and Owls Festival website.

September 30-October 1 | Stuart Park, Wollongong

Digital: Instagram Launches New Web and Mobile Features

Instagram has rolled out new features into its website in an attempt to expand to areas with slow networks and inaffordable data.

Users can now share pictures and use the Explore tab on the platform’s mobile and desktop websites. Picture uploads feature is also available on the mobile site. However, some features such as video uploads, filters and Stories are still unavailable outside the app.

“Instagram.com (accessed from mobile) is a web experience optimized for mobile phones,” the company told TechCrunch. “It’s designed to help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on.”

The upgrade is a tie-in of Instagram’s global growth strategy targeted at 80 per cent of the user base outside the US.

Event/Exhibition: Bankstown Poetry Slam featuring Rupi Kaur

As a part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Bankstown Poetry Slam’s May edition is bringing the internationally acclaimed poet Rupi Kaur to the show.

The event, which also features Bankstown local Iman Etri, is also opening a callout for performances and youth open mics. Registration for attendance and performance closes on May 5.

For more information, head to the event’s Facebook page or email info@bankstownpoetryslam.com.

Wednesday, May 24, 6.45-9pm | Bankstown Arts Centre, 5 Olympic Parade, Bankstown

Music: Paramore Comes Back With A New Sound In ‘Hard Times’

Paramore has released a new single from their new album, ‘After Laughter’.

Titled ‘Hard Times’, the ‘80s-tinged pop song has received rave reviews from critics; Jordan Sargent of SPIN said the band has “come out of the other side with what immediately feels like one of the best singles of their career, and one of the best pop songs of the new year”.

The band, including returning drummer Zac Farro, has also been announced to play at Riot Fest in Chicago and Rock For People in Czech Republic.

‘After Laughter’ is out May 12.

Visual Arts: Artist To Watch – Furry Little Peach

Furry Little Peach or Sha’an d’Anthes is an illustrator and visual artist based in Sydney, Australia.

The 24-year-old specialises in watercolour and ink, and her illustrations often feature animals. “I first began posting on Tumblr when I should have been preparing for the HSC,” d’Anthes told Creators. “I must have been 16 or 17 when I posted my first drawing online, and then discovered that the Internet was a great place to connect with both your audience and other creatives.”

 

d’Anthes often shares her work through Instagram and vlogs, where audiences can watch her working process in the studio.

Currently d’Anthes is selling artworks, enamel pins and sticker sets from her website. She is also participating in a project called “Fragments: Raising Fund for Syria”, where all proceeds from her new series of artworks will be donated to Care Australia for Syrian refugees.

Explainer: What is Experience Design?

Faye Miller, Queensland University of Technology

“It’s not just a _____, it’s an experience.” The Conversation

Substitute the blank space above with just about anything these days (car, meal, city, website, course, concert, charity, therapy), and you get the unofficial catch cry of the early 21st century.

Whatever you have to promote to the world – among the endless options in category X competing for attention – is not desirable without it being an “experience”.

But what exactly does that mean? And what does it mean for the two groups of people who potentially collaborate to provide it – the creative types and the business types?

Experience and design

Experiences are ultimately about human perceptions, memories and impressions. Psychologically speaking, how a person experiences an event or phenomenon is an emotional and rational response to an outside stimulus.

Once lived, an experience can be stored as a memory within a person’s mind – and we all know we like to keep pleasant memories that “stick” for the right reasons.

Design usually falls into the domain of the creative types; but “design thinking” is becoming an acceptable and popular practice for just about anyone. As Tim Brown, CEO of global design firm IDEO put it:

Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

That means anyone who wishes to innovate can design – that is, visualise, map, conceptualise, sketch – solutions based on gathering knowledge of how people behave in terms of technological use or non-use, and how this knowledge can advance the aims of an endeavour.

When we talk about designing experiences, it is important to first understand how certain types of people experience something in context, and then design or facilitate experiences that make a positive difference for people.

Exponomy

In the US and Europe, the so-called “experience economy” (also known as exponomy) is on the rise as a potentially transformative concept for businesses, consumers and society in general. The idea can be traced back to 1998, when B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore of Harvard Business School introduced a new way of thinking about commodities not just being about goods and services.

Commodities were, the pair argued, more about human experiences that are highly memorable and emotionally engaging enough to sustain long-term value and relationships. Such experiences were powerful enough to change the ways in which people lived and behaved. In short, Pine and Gilmore believed people were willing to pay more for the commodity with the X-Factor.

This suggests companies need to pay much closer attention to the design of experiences co-created by their customers. Businesses need to provideopportunities for customers to participate in experience design through user research. Similarly, a collective mindset needs to be cultivated that allows businesses to realise the interrelatedness of different companies and industries.

This would help them design for experiences that are collaborative across different sectors. For example, a major fashion event would collaborate with the entertainment, media and tourism/hospitality industries to provide an audience with a lasting impression through a multi-sensory experience that is both enjoyable and prosperous.

In recent years, “experience” related positions such as User Experience (UX) Designer/Researcher and Chief Experience Officer (CXO) have increasingly become more visible in organisations of all types.

While some creative positions have a narrow focus on designing digital experiences for website users, others at the senior executive level, such as CXO, aim to plan and maintain a more holistic user-business-technology experience, including “blended” experiences online and offline.

Some experience designers work as freelance consultants, either independently or as part of a design firm, for clients in a range of sectors.

Experience design globally and in Australia

In practice, experience design has grown to include the personalisation of experiences through better understanding of different types of human beings combined with unique, innovative ideas developed by company leaders. Perhaps the most well known example of a globally influential and transformative experience-based commodity is Apple.

Apple changed the way people experienced technology with simple interfaces, interactive gestures and memorable branding permeating the products through to their digital and in-store service. This design was a combination of user needs and behaviour which Apple designers perceived and their own creativity, as Steve Jobs himself put it:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesise new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

While the tech industry in the US seems to have embraced the experience economy (with US-based innovation firm frog this year declaring its “coming of age”), the concept has impacted upon many types of businesses and sectors across the globe.

Australian businesses are now starting to acknowledge the emergence of the experience economy with sectors such as (but not limited to) arts and entertainment, tourism, and higher education re-thinking their roles as key players.

Recently, the Australian independent music industry was explored conceptually for the first time using an experience-economy lens, acknowledging the complex relationships and interactions between music business entrepreneurs, musicians, music fans, and the digital and live music experiences.

While these elements usually work in isolation, the exponomy (and experience designers/CXOs who implement the concept) are able to unite them on common ground. Furthermore, exponomy highlights the fusing of industries towards increasing value for all stakeholders involved in a given venture.

A good example of this is the recent collaboration between Australian musicians and wine tourism campaigns, featuring a Nick Cave classic soundtrack for the Be Consumed at Barossa Valley cinematic multi-sensory advert (see above).

The ad won international acclaim as best tourism ad at Cannes and has succeeded in its goal of attracting more tourists to visit Barossa Valley as a result. This shows that real-life experiences can begin with audio-visual tempters designed to engage imaginations on a personal level.

In the same way, higher education in Australia as a major service provider is currently reframing its understanding of how to design for diverse experiences for students, teachers, researchers and research users.

Designing experiences that acknowledge, enthuse, inspire and potentially positively transform the whole person – not just the customer, employee, student or statistic – appear vital to sustaining long-term partnerships.

 

Faye Miller, PhD Candidate, Information Systems, Queensland University of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Digital: Best Platforms for Website

These days, everyone can build a website – but not all platforms are made equal. Web platforms vary in their templates, features, functionality, ease of use and cost – thus, each comes with its own pros and cons. Here are Studio 22’s version of best web platforms on the Net, and the pros and cons of using them:

Squarespace

Established in 2004, Squarespace arguably has the most beautiful templates in the Internet, with understated elegance and emphasis on visual/imagery content. Squarespace also allows you to customise the template – and the more adept you are in coding, the more you can alter the template to your liking. Squarespace is suitable for people in creative professions, such as designers, photographers, event organizers, bloggers and more. But there’s a catch: it’s more expensive compared with other platforms, with prices starting at US$12 per month. New users can get a 14-day free trial.

 

WordPress

As one of the most popular platform on the net, WordPress offers an extensive range of free and premium templates. WordPress is also simple and easy to use, even for beginners. The cost to use is generally pretty low, too. However, because a lot of people are using the platform, your website may end up looking generic. Customising the template can also be quite difficult if you have minimum coding experience.

 

Wix

With hundreds of templates for all kinds of industries, Wix provides a lot of advantages for users – such as easy-to-customise templates, user-friendly interface, options for additional Apps/plugins, and affordable prices. Furthermore, no coding knowledge is needed, as users can just click and drag to change the website’s look. However, if you require custom domain, you can’t get it from outside sources – getting premium membership at Wix is the only option available. You also need to back up your content before changing your template, which is impractical.

 

You can also explore other web platforms such as Weebly, Tumblr, Blogger and more.

Event/Exhibition: TEDxSydney 2017

If TED Talks is part of your daily inspiration, you should not miss this event.

TEDxSydney 2017 promises a day of talks, music, films and debate, featuring speakers from a wide range of disciplines such as technology, science, design, education, business, art, health, law, politics, entertainment, and more. With the move to a new, bigger venue at the International Convention Centre Sydney, the event is expected to welcome a record number of attendees.

Attendees will receive special TEDxSydney tote bag as well as morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Tickets start at $175. Attendees must be members of TEDxSydney community. For more information, visit TEDxSydney website.

Friday, June 16, 9am-6pm | International Convention Centre Sydney – ICC Sydney, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney