Offf Ambient Reel, and Why Festivals Must Always Be Cool

Offf 2009 Oeiras : Ambient Reel from Designflux : Devoted to Motion on Vimeo. Design Flux and Mark Webster send along this lovely documentary film they’ve done of the Offf festival last month in Oeiras, Portugal. It’s fun to go back to that aesthetic world. It’s difficult to describe the Offf experience: there were sometimes hard-to-hear talks in the cavernous concrete steel mill, crowds of young, able-bodied designer boys and girls from Portugal, Spain, and around Europe packing into lines as if for a rock concert, and an even slightly chaotic sense. At the same time, there was an infectious …

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Democratizing Creative Tech: Julià Carboneras, OFFF (English + Espanol)

Gijs Gieskes setting up, as I look on (bottom left). Photo courtesy OFFF Festival. What does it mean to truly democratize technology? When is DIY more than just the creation of an object? That’s the question asked by our friend Julià Carboneras, who curated the new Nerdeferences feature of the OFFF digital design conference in Portugal last week. DIY is more than just cool devices, argues Julià: it’s social hacking, too. He brought together myself, Instructables.com founder Eric Wilhelm, and musical inventor and artist Gijs Gieskes (who stole the show, showing some creations live onstage). But there was a bigger …

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Images from OFFF: When Designers Make MacBook Graffiti, and Other Pictures from Portugal

The OFFF Festival, held last week in Lisbon, Portugal, has to be one of the most visually stimulating places I’ve ever been. Herds of bright-faced, young, handsome European artist boys and girls pack by the thousands into an old steel mill. In a cavernous, resonant concrete bunker, the echo of excited chatter never really stops. Instead, to be noticed, presenters have to create visual flash – visual demos here are everything. It almost seems like it shouldn’t work. I notice a few bloggers complained about sometimes-disorganized presentations, the difficulty in hearing (tough for me, and the presentations were in my …

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