David Hill

The Porsche 911 has become an icon of automobile performance by design

The Porsche 911 has become an icon of automobile performance by design

Ferdinand A. Porsche, designer of the iconic 911 sports car, died yesterday at the age of 76. He was the grandson of the founder of the company, known to many by the nickname "Butzi". He was also one of my design heroes. A hero not only because he penned one of the most impressive car designs ever, but because he had a design philosophy that inspired my own. I'm mourning the loss of this design legend. Someday I want to own a nice black 911 and emerse myself in his philosophy every day, tough duty. A true design legend at work shaping a future icon The original Porsche 911 turned out to be such an immediate and lasting hit that the company never entertained replacing it with a new design. Instead, they managed the design through evolutionary refinement. Each new generation was intended to improve on the breed, rather than ignore the past. In spite of countless modifications, technology shifts, and governmental regulations, today's 911 is a clear descendant of the original design vision. A vision that has endured for nearly 50 years. There are few other cars that can boast of such an incredible legacy and cult following. Now in its seventh design generation, the car remains an icon of performance, engineering prowess, and pure sex appeal. Ferdinand was once quoted as saying “Design must be functional and functionality must be...

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Laptop Magazine just published their annual Best & Worst Laptop Brands for 2012. Lenovo was well positioned once again in the number two spot with an overall score of 84. The ranking includes scores for both ThinkPad and IdeaPad. In case you're curious, Apple topped the list with 88 points.  A gap of just 4 points is not so big. More about that later. The overall brand scores are determined by adding scores in the following categories: Reviews, 20 Points Possible Design, 15 Points Possible Keyboards & Touchpads, 15 Points Possible Tech Support, 15 Points Possible Displays & Audio, 10 Points Possible Value & Selection, 10 Points Possible Software, 5 Points Possible Innovation, 5 Points Possible This is the overall scorecard summary for Lenovo as it appears in the Laptop Magazine article. 2nd Place: Lenovo Trusty and reliable, the Lenovo brand also held on to its No. 2 spot from last year. While it only topped two categories (innovation and customer service), Lenovo consistently scored well, winning accolades for its keyboards and touchpads as well as value and selection. We also look forward to a bright future for the brand, with such upcoming Windows 8 devices as the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. I pulled these two excerpts from the

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Today would have been the 126th birthday of the seminal modernist architect, Mies van der Rohe. Although Mies is my favorite architect, celebrating his birth was not on my radar until I saw this morning's Google logo. Thanks for the reminder Google. I really like how they transformed their logo into an abstraction of 1956's Crown Hall at IIT. If you click on this link you can watch an interesting Google Doodle animation and learn more about Mies. Mies did not like the railings that were added to the porch and stairs As a designer, I really admire the work of Mies and how he took simplicity and ordered perfection to the highest level possible. He broke new ground with buildings that celebrated structure rather than hid it. The Wikipedia claims he called his buildings "skin and bones" architecture. He used rationale ideals to guide the creative process of architectural design. One of his most famous quotes is quite simply "God is in the details". I've never seen a building he designed that looks dated or out of step with my own design thinking. He was a true pioneer in the field of architecture. One of my design professors, Len Singer, was actually the last person to have graduated with a degree from IIT under the direction of Mies. Maybe that's where I discovered a passion for Mies and his work? The

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John Karidis always dreamed of a new butterfly

John Karidis always dreamed of a new butterfly

Today started out like any other day for me, an early morning conference call, calendar planning with Bev, some ThinkPad strategy sessions, and a few design detail meetings filled my calendar. Shortly after lunch, however, all of these things became significantly less important. Sadly, I received word that my good friend John Karidis had lost his 5 year battle with cancer.  I was devastated. For those of you who don't know, John was the engineering inspiration and driving force behind the ThinkPad 701c. You can read that as, he invented it. Most people may remember this iconic ThinkPad by the code name "Butterfly". The engineering achievement associated with this ThinkPad was incredible. The entire idea of creating a Thinkpad with an expandable keyboard stands out in a way unimaginable to most. You can watch the original television advertisement for it here. Aside from this milestone career achievement, John was quite simply put, the best engineer I ever met, or had the honor to work with. He was an IBM Distinguished Engineer at a level that deserved a special title. News of his passing brought a tear to my eye. I always knew this was a foreseeable outcome to his long illness, but I was less than prepared for the ending. Some things in life just aren't fair.   Butterfly was the first ThinkPad I ever owned, and I must admit, the one with the most incredible crowd...

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ThinkPad design is one of my Pinterest boards

ThinkPad design is one of my Pinterest boards

Last week I added another social networking tool to my arsenal, Pinterest. At first I was a bit skeptical of this one, but now I'm a believer. It's a great venue to share favorite images on virtual bulletin boards and caption them as you see fit. My initial focus was to create a ThinkPad Design board so that I could share some images with my readers. After playing around with the tool, I decided to include other interests. I've now added boards about architecture, product design that showcases form+function, motorcycles with soul, and Japanese gardening. You can browse my Pinterest page and boards here. The Wikipedia defines Pinterest as follows: Pinterest is a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website. The service allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections. The site's mission statement is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting." Pinterest is managed by Cold Brew Labs, a team based in Palo Alto, California. The website has proven especially popular among women.   I'm not sure I totally believe the Wikipedia claim that the site is of primary interest to women. The page states that most of the site's users are female, with 97% of the site's Facebook "likes" being made by women. I don't want to argue with the Wikipedia, but my some of my pins have not...

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