Steampunk art evokes an alternate reality where steam is the primary source of power. Technology, though highly advanced, has taken on a very different look and feel, and fashion is heavily influenced by Victorian styles. In this episode, we explore the Steampunk aesthetic and art movement. We speak with a Steampunk artist, a composer who created an entire piece of music inspired by Steampunk, and a performing arts collective whose work falls naturally into this intriguing world.
Video games are more important than they seem. They are a storytelling medium, a place for self-expression. The age-old tradition of gaming teaches us strategy, maneuvering, and the importance of making choices. From the cinematic experiences of mainstream gaming, to the hyper-personal environments of indie games, gaming activity defines the way we live and interact with information, and each other.
Eric Zimmerman, Game Designer
Jesper Juul, Game Studies Scholar
Leigh Alexander, Game Journalist
Syed Salahuddin, Game Designer and Curator
We swim in an ocean of products. Behind each one, there is someone (hopefully) thinking about the way we experience it. In this episode of Off Book, we explore three aspects of product design: build quality and engineering fundamentals, humanism and sustainability, and speculation on the future of the product experience. In discussion with the 4th generation owner of a classic brand, a brilliant designer of socially progressive products, and an MIT researcher looking to revolutionize the product experience through 3D printing, we’ll capture a sense of the values and challenges in the contemporary world of product design.
As the 90s came to a close, the business of music began to change profoundly. New technology allowed artists to record and produce their own music and music videos, and the internet became a free-for-all distribution platform for musicians to promote themselves to audiences across the world. The result was an influx of artists onto the cultural scene, and audiences were left wondering how to sort through them all. In this episode we discuss these massive changes, and reveal how music blogs and websites have arisen as the new arbiters of quality.
Jon Cohen, Co-Founder, FADER Label
Ryan Dombal, Senior Editor, Pitchfork
Blake Whitman, VP of Creative Development, Vimeo
Anthony Volodkin, Founder, Hype Machine
Type is everywhere. Every print publication, website, movie, advertisement and public message involves the creation or selection of a fitting typeface. Online, a rich and artistic typographical culture exists, where typefaces are created and graphic design seeps in to every image.
In episode 2 of Off Book, typeface designers Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones outline the importance of selecting the right font to convey a particular feeling. Graphic designer Paula Scher talks about building identity in messaging, while Eddie Opara uses texture to create reaction. Infographic designers Julia Vakser and Deroy Peraza map complicated data sets into digestible imagery, mixing color, graphics and type.
Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, Typeface Designers
Paula Scher, Designer
Eddie Opara, Designer
Deroy Peraza and Julia Vakser, Designers