Thursday, September 02, 2010

Intersection of Technology and Liberal Arts

I have always appreciated the "breathing" status light on my MacBook. On multiple occasions I was consciously aware of being calmed by its rhythmic presence nearby on the desk when cramming for an exam.

If you have never seen or noticed the status light on a MacBook, here's a quick video:




I recently came across an article discussing a patent Apple filed back in 2002 describing the tedious science behind just the right rhythm - the average respiratory rate for adults. This highlights the human touch in Apples attention to details that so many appreciate, sometimes without even being aware.

This is not cold hollow technology to be understood. This is technology made human, that understands us. This is the intersection of technology and liberal arts. It meets us on a level of general cultural concern in our daily lives. This is the basics of classic design principles - Dieter Rams style (this single element arguably fulfills all 10 of Dieter’s design principles)


“We’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, to be able to get the best of both, to make extremely advanced products from a technology point of view, but also have them be intuitive, easy to use, fun to use, so that they really fit the users – the users don’t have to come to them, they come to the user.”

—Steve Jobs
Until another company starts taking a holistic approach to designing their technology, you can be sure to see a Mac on my desk and an iPod in my pocket. I’m not afraid to put my money where my mouth is, even if it means I have to drive a junker to afford it.

3 comments:

Matt said...

I don't like Apple. This is mostly because I'm rebellious and don't want to like something that all the "cool kids" like. I would rather be the windows guy than the apple guy on those commercials. He may not have any friends, but at least he looks like a professional. Also because when I have used them, I have not enjoyed them. I know that many people like them. I do not. I enjoy blinking lights of all frequency of blink. Also, I know more deeply how windows works and I am much more able to be creative in a windows environment than in an apple environment.

DK said...

Haha... more power to you Matt!

DK said...

You do realize you are creating your own reactionary "inner circle" by rejecting things on the basis that the cool kids like it. Your just one of those "anti-cool" cool kids.

I guess I'm not cool enough to fit into your "anti-cool" club because I like cool things. ;)