Saturday, March 29, 2014

NASA z-1 and z-2 suits...seriously? my gut reaction...

Considering the technology that these contain, and the "the chance to make a suit with a look unlike any suit ever built before." They blew it. First off, the congratulations though. To get this to a reality is no small feat, I can't imagine the technical difficulties and resolutions that had to occur in order for the engineers and designers to get this to come to fruition. With that though, there was also a serious opportunity to blow people away, to amaze them visually, to MATCH the technical ingenuity that they had accomplished. Instead, this looks like a poor rendition of what a beginning student thinks a space suit should look like. Look at the z-1. Where did you get your inspiration from? The color palette? Buzz Lightyear?!! Also look at z-2, and the options you can 'vote' for. Like the suit itself, it looks lazy. It looks like they asked a layman to come up with 3 graphics for a space suit. Oh, and the layman they ask has no graphic or design sense or education. Sorry to be so harsh NASA, but damnit, you had an AMAZING opportunity here. Instead you are showing us this less than average design, and telling us how amazing it is. Sure, technically yes, but goodness, our eyes and hearts don't lie. Next time, or maybe soon, get a concept designer or kick ass industrial designer involved, someone like Scott Robertson.

This is further reason why STEM needs to become STEAM. When you take art/visual out of the tech, you take out the way people interact with the technology. As amazing as any developed technology is, if it poorly interacts with people it will run into difficulty. This is why windows copied mac, CGI and robots that try to be too human freak us out, old space suits rocked and these new suits sputter(they are less than appealing, no matter how much you market and tout them).

Take a page from the COSMOS playbook, in addition to the amazing tech/content/subject matter, you HAVE TO present it in a visually stunning way.Z-1, inspired by buzz lightyear?

Z-2, something at the Ymca?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A step towards ‘programmable materials’ "Could change the world of mechanics forever"

towards materials that can change shape. amazing.

In this instance it's used to change the aluminum bar's thickness, this would affect it's vibration dampening abilities. Small step, huge implications.