Scully on memorials, and the impact of organizing information for humans

At the IA Summit this year, there was a lot of talk about whether or not individuals organizing information was still relevant (which is an absurd question on one level, but I suppose it’s important to work through this identity crisis together as a community).

There are some things that a designer’s understanding of context can do with information that a hive mind or a universal standard simply cannot.

It hit me with a thud as I read this interview: A Monumental Discussion with Vincent Scully | Metropolis Magazine.

Scully explains one of the design features of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC:

The other brilliant move was her determination that the names on the memorial reflect the chronology of their deaths. The authorities wanted very much to make it alphabetical. But I’ve heard people standing in front of that wall, pointing up to a cluster of names, and saying: ‘They were all killed by the same burst.’ The memorial is very close to the sequence of how people died. So it’s the whole story of the war. And in a way, symbolically, it starts out with the first casualty, and then it goes in the depths of the war, where the casualties were massive, and then it goes to the last.

There’s the human story. And there’s how stories get told and resonated with how we shape information. It happens every day, in many contexts much more mundane than this … but all of them are meaningful, all of them change us.

Wacky Castle House




wacky castle house

Originally uploaded by inkblurt.

Last time I visited my folks, on my drive between their place up around Canton, GA, and the Atlanta airport, I ran across this strange castle-like house, tucked in the midst of semi-rural suburbs.
I’m dying to know what the heck this thing is.
It appears to have a moat around it, because in the front there’s a railing that looks like it goes into a pool (from my vantage point outside the gate, it was hard to tell).
Out back, it has a weird little smaller castle house like a pool house, maybe? And some creepy cartoonish character sculptures.
It must not be a very new house, because it has a gigantic TV antenna sprouting from one of the conical roofs. (I forgot the word for those things.)
There are a few more pics in the flickr stream, linked from the picture.
(Edit: See the new info on the house in this post)

Day of dead parade on south street




Day of dead south street

Originally uploaded by inkblurt.

South Street in Philly had a day of the dead parade on Sunday. It was small but charming. This picture was actually in a shop window, but there are a couple of shots of the skeleton puppets in the parade on my flickr stream.
Unfortunately my real camera broke, so all I could get were these fuzzy phone-cam shots.