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Graffiti: Vandalism or An Art Form?

What is “art” really? And how can we define the term? To put it simply, “art” is a form of expression. Anyone with a background in art can tell you that, regardless of the medium or the canvas. But where do we draw the line with street art? Graffiti has been a controversial topic of discussion in the art world, with many conservative audiences arguing that it is a form of vandalism. Let’s deconstruct the legal implications of graffiti.

Let’s say someone has painted over your car or your house without your permission. You wouldn’t be very happy about that. But would you feel the same if the painting was a beautiful work of art rather than a street tag? Do we discriminate the artwork based on its style or skill level? Or do we disregard the painting altogether because it’s someone’s property?

According to Angie Kordic from Wide Walls, “the excitement of being a renegade and the fear of getting caught is what many artists consider the very core of graffiti culture, especially during the days of rough, growing competition and the willing to become as good at drawing as you possibly could. When caught in act, however, the writers get charged with vandalism, fined, and given community service hours during which they help clean up graffiti. By definition, it is “an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property”, and while we can’t argue that graffiti (mostly tags, considered a reductive form of art within graffiti community itself) often end up on someone’s walls, we do have to wonder if it really is “destruction” and if, perhaps, we’ve been asking the wrong question the whole time.”

What do you think? Is graffiti a form of vandalism?

Sources from: http://www.widewalls.ch/is-graffiti-art-or-vandalism/

Music: David Duchovny Announces 2018 Australian Concert Tour

The X-Files star David Duchovny is coming to Australia… to sing. Yes, you read that right.

Duchovny has announced his 2018 Australian concert tour with a new album, which is set to be launched later this year.

The actor’s debut studio album Hell or Highwater was released two years ago, featuring alternative rock sounds inspired by Bob Dylan, R.E.M, Leonard Cohen, and the Flaming Lips.

Duchovny will be touring Australia throughout February and March 2018, with shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, and Brisbane.

Pre-sale begins on Wednesday, May 31, while ticket sales to general public start on Friday, June 2. For more information, visit Select Touring website.

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.

What Workspaces Are the Best for Freelance Workers?

Agustin Chevez, Swinburne University of Technology

People who work in the gig economy can work from everywhere. But not all places are compatible with the contingent nature of their work, recommended health and safety guidelines or fulfil their needs when it comes to the social nature of work.

Temporary self-employment is not new, but online platforms like Upwork and Freelancer are enabling an estimated 55 million freelancers in the United States (35% of their workforce) to connect with those that require their skills. A 2014 study estimates 3.7 million (30% of workers) contribute A$51 billion to the Australian economy each year.

The sheer amount of freelancers and their significant contribution to the economy, make it important to consider what makes a good place for gig workers to do their gigs. While workspaces used by freelancers might have similar components (for example chairs and desks) as those used by full-time employees, historical differences make freelancers’ workplaces different from the office.

It’s important to remember that the office is an invention. Contemporary corporate workplaces are the result of conditions that have not only given us the office building, but shaped civilisations.

For example in the US, the office evolved from a variety of circumstances including increased trade produced by the railroad. People could no longer do their business in their heads and businesses progressively needed more space for managers.

Further management inventions, such as hierarchy and bureaucracy, shaped organisational structures. Other developments like a reduction of the cost of steel and the invention of the elevator shaped the physical structure of tall buildings in prime locations in New York City and Chicago.

In Australia, one of the first multinational corporations, the East India Company, contributed to the development of the early office building. In the early 1800s, the first Postal Act of 1825 enablied the New South Wales governor to fix postage rates and appoint postmasters outside of Sydney. This led to some of the first offices of Australia Post.

The technological, economic and social circumstances fostering freelancing are in many ways different, if not at odds, with the context that created the office. However work is a social activity and professional isolation can negatively impact job performance and create adverse psychological conditions.

Another popular option for gig workers is the coffee shop. These have provided a social outlet and have hosted activities similar to today’s work activities –reading, writing and exchange of information – since the 17th century. However, these places are not sites for gainful or productive work.

If not a traditional office or coffee shop, then what?

Coworking spaces are shared workplaces utilised by professionals, mostly freelancers, who miss the interactions (and amenities) of the office but do not want to commit to long and complicated lease terms. These spaces allow freelancers to rent space in a casual fashion and in short terms, even by the hour.

Coworking also allow freelancers to work among others, even if not with them, in other words to “work alone together”. What started in 2005 in San Francisco by a software developer who wanted “the freedom and independence of working for myself along with the structure and community of working with others”, is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

Some spaces cater to specific professions, from fashion designers and writers to lawyers. Other spaces play host to every profession under the sun.

Some coworking offerings are based on the access economy, taking advantage of underutilised resources and making them accessible. For example, Spacious is looking into the more than 2,000 restaurants which are closed before 6pm in New York and aiming to open them for coworking during business hours.

Hoffice, an emerging model from Sweden, invites people to work from a more common “during-the-day underused resource: our homes”. In Australia, a bank is opening its lobby for clients to cowork.

Which codes or health and safety requirements apply when a restaurant, or home, is also being used as a workplace? As legislation evolves to protect the right of freelancers, design must strive to provide them with safe and good working environments.

Several studies from social and physical sciences on topics as varied as the influence of ceiling heights in creativity or the effects of smelling peppermint in typewriting speed and accuracy, suggest that qualities of the environment can affect work. Quantitative and qualitative studies also highlight the role of physical proximity between people in supporting interactions and transferring knowledge.

Even experiments with divers suggest that information is better recalled in the same environment that it was learnt (surface or under the sea). Working from a constant, purposely designed space to work with or among others might not only help to provide the necessary contextual cues to remind freelancers what they need to do, but the environment to do it better.

As the gig economy evolves, distinct places for gig workers are likely to change the skyline created by the railroad and busy managers. The advantages of freelancing such as casual and portable work should not come at the expense of a precarious work life without access to ergonomic, social and purposely designed spaces that take into consideration the uncertain nature of their work.


Kyla Lodewijk, Provisional Psychologist and Allied Health Consultant, also contributed to this article.

Agustin Chevez, Adjunct Research Fellow, Centre For Design Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology

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

Music: 2017 Big Pineapple Music Festival’s Lineup Announced

Big Pineapple Music Festival has announced its 2017 lineup, featuring Peking Duk, Birds of Tokyo, The Veronicas and more.

The fifth installment of the festival, which is set in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, will also feature Vera Blue, DZ Deathrays, Cloud Control, Northlane, SAFIA, Ngaiire and more, spread across four stages.

The festival will also bring back Avant Garden and its live art, hoola-hooping, air brushing and DIY craft.

Camping will be available on Friday, May 26, the night before the festival. Tickets will be sold starting 9am on Thursday, February 9 at Moshtix.

For more information, visit the Big Pineapple Music Festival website.

Big Pineapple Music Festival 2017 Lineup

Birds of Tokyo
Peking Duk
SAFIA
Northlane
Cloud Control
The Veronicas
City Calm Down
L D R U
DZ Deathrays
Horrorshow
Vera Blue
Harts
Alex Lahey
Boo Seeka
Ngaiire
Polish Club
Sampa The Great
Bootleg Rascal
Jack River
Nicole Millar
Pierce Brothers
Citizen Kay
Bec Sandridge
Fortunes
Moonbase
Lastlings
Benson
Winston Surfshirt
Ocean Alley
West Thebarton Brothel Party
Gold Member
Hey Geronimo
BEarfoot
In2Nation
Buck Dean & The Green Lips
High Tropics
Arpier
The Hi-Boys
DJ Fro

Saturday, May 27, 11am-10pm | 76 Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye

News: Adobe, Tesla and Zendesk Join Amicus Brief Against Trump’s Immigrant Ban

31 technology companies, including Adobe, HP, Tesla and Zendesk, have joined an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration.

The lawsuit, brought by the state of Washington, is in opposition to Trump’s executive order which bans immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

These 31 companies are:

 

  • Adobe Systems Incorporated
  • Affirm, Inc.
  • Ampush LLC
  • Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
  • Bungie, Inc.
  • Casper Sleep Inc.
  • Cavium, Inc.
  • Chegg, Inc.
  • ClassPass Inc.
  • Coursera
  • EquityZen Inc.
  • Evernote
  • Gusto
  • Handy Technologies, Inc.
  • HP Inc.
  • IAC/InterActiveCorp
  • Linden Lab
  • Managed By Q Inc.
  • MobileIron
  • New Relic, Inc.
  • Pandora Media, Inc.
  • Planet Labs Inc.
  • RPX Corporation
  • Shift Technologies, Inc.
  • Slack Technologies, Inc.
  • SpaceX
  • Tesla, Inc.
  • TripAdvisor, Inc.
  • Udacity, Inc.
  • Zenefits

 

With these, a total of 127 companies have signed the brief. The companies, which included Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, argued that the order will bring negative impacts on American businesses and prevent them from hiring the best employees.

“Skilled individuals will not wish to immigrate to the country if they may be cut off without warning from their spouses, grandparents, relatives, and friends — they will not pull up roots, incur significant economic risk, and subject their family to considerable uncertainty to immigrate to the United States in the face of this instability,” the brief stated.

How To Turn Your Home Into A Creative Space

If you’re a writer, drawer, painter, an artist or a creative of some sort, you would definitely consider turning your home into a creative space. Whether it’s your bedroom corner or the spare rumpus room in your house, there are plenty of ways to revamp your space. Here are few things to consider when rearranging your home:

The Hero: Your Desk
Since we spend the majority of our time tethered to our desk, it’s important to consider what sort of desk we need as well as the ergonomics behind it. Think about the size of your desk and how it’ll fit in your space. If you can – always opt for a bigger desk as it will allow you to work freely without any restraints. As for chairs, you have the choice of a wheelie chair or a stationary chair. For a stationary chair, Charles Eames replicas are currently in style.

Consider Storage Space
To reduce clutter, think about using dividers, shelves, filing cabinets and storage boxes for your books. For desk space, use pigeon holes and trays to organise your documents.

Adding Pot Plants and Greenery 
Breathe life back into your home by adding some pot plants. Add a desk plant like cacti, ferns or succulents and a giant floor plant of your choice. If you’re not big on plants you can also have flowers – peonies and Australian natives are in season.

Think About The Lighting
There’s really no point in decorating your space without good lighting. Especially if you’re a creative, a sufficient amount of light is needed. Arrange your desk near a window for some good natural lighting and buy a warm white fluorescent desk lamp from IKEA  rather than using your main light switch for work. It would give your workspace the tone and ambience it needs.

Inspiration Boards 
Give yourself a constant boost of inspiration and motivation with an inspiration board. Pin images that you like that inspire you and centre it in front of your desk or on a feature wall to inject a bit of creativity into your day.

The Art World with Children: Why Legal Checks Are Important

In the art world, working with children or using children as part of a creative or an artistic piece, there are legal obligations to consider for the artist employing them whether they’re actors, performers or models. This could also include educational or practical workshops.

According to the Arts Law Information Sheet, there are several laws that protect children during the creative or artistic process which outline legal issues for artists and art organisations in NSW.

They will be required for a police and working-with-children checks to prevent issues such as child pornography and obscenity. With national police clearance, they can be authorised to publish their works with permission as well as avoiding complicated legal affairs with the children’s family and the media.

Design: What Does ‘Design’ Really Mean?

by Mitchell Adams and Elizabeth Webster

In the race to stem the flow of complex product imports from low wage but increasingly skilled newly industrialised countries, Australia and other developed countries are nervously talking about the importance of research, development and design. This, they think, is where the high wage jobs will come from – and we in the ‘west’ have a unique handle on this. Thailand and China can assemble complex manufactured items, but ‘we’ have the monopoly on the inventive and creative parts.

Everyone is now hopping on the design bandwagon – design systems; design thinking; business model design; registered designs and design ideation. Even the economists are talking about design (in the context of a market).

But what is design really? In many respects, this is like asking fish where the water is. Every tangible product and intangible organisation has a design and always has had. But presumably, all those schools of design and designing businesses must believe they are adding value over and above what has been.

Design as applied art

Design is traditionally associated with applied art, or more precisely, aesthetically pleasing products. Applied art in this context includes recognisable areas such as fashion design, graphic design or product design.

 

Design as functionality

Traditionally the engineers also have used the term design. But this is to do with the functionality of the product, not its appearance. Hence, we have industrial design, engineering design and process design.

Increasingly, the term design now embraces appearance that is valued both for its own sake and because it enables desirable new forms of functionality. Apple is a champion of this. They require beauty in appearance but also demand that this appearance accommodates complex functionality. And they understand the power of a brand that can optimise these combined attributes. Consumers may not necessarily think about where the iPhone or MacBook is assembled, but they are being asked to turn their minds to where the product was designed. Hence Apple’s movement away from labelling their products as “Made in China” to “Designed in California”.

 

Design as process

Design has morphed again and now the term is used to describe a process that brings together seemingly unrelated groups of people to solve complex problems. The value here is employing design thinking to solve problems that ultimately enrich a user’s experience with a product or service. It is about creating an environment where stakeholders, not just the designers, can work collaboratively in the same space to solve the problem. Compared with the traditional ‘production line’ methods, these new design processes iterate between the upstream and downstream creators and end-users to produce an integrated and well thought through good and service.

The Centre for Design Innovation at Swinburne is a creature of this process. It takes a problem and creates outcomes that are end-user centric. Each problem requires a tailored working team with the right set of multidisciplinary skills. The aim is to enrich the end users’ life.

An example of a problem currently being tackled by the Centre is the reduction of head impacts during sports-related contact. The aim of the Centre’s Smart Cap and Gear project is to design an advanced wearable product that monitors in real time forces to the head and torso during sporting activities.

Likewise, at Swinburne’s Design Factory the group attest to the philosophy that design acts as a broker, bringing people together to solve complex problems. Along with their industry partner Visy, the Design Factory’s students and design coaches have recently redesigned the milk create. Helping to reduce the costs associated with storage, cleaning and theft, the solutions generated by the Design Factory are now with Visy’s supply chain stakeholders.

For many people design as process is nothing new. They have been doing this for…ever. This ‘movement’ is not aimed at them. The value in labelling an activity comes from highlighting what is implicit and enables those who do not work this way intuitively to change their behaviour. In this sense, bandwagon slogans and business review fashions do contribute to the economy. It’s just a pity they are using a confusing word.

The Conversation

Beth Webster, Director, Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology

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