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Monthly Archives: April 2012

On Thursday the 19th April, we were given a lecture on the ‘aesthetics of technology’ by Hugh Pizey. We first looked into the aesthetics of Science Fiction. We looked at a scene from the classic 1950’s “Forbidden Planet,” looking at the iconic 1950’s American Sci-Fi style. Now, probably what we would call retro-geeky.

The great machine

This really made me think. I have never really noticed how much science fiction really does influence the world of product design. I suppose it makes perfect sense, we watch films set in the future – showing some really awesome gadget that instantly makes you say “I want one of those!!” Then some clever designer actually thinks of a way to produce these awesome gadgets.

A brilliant example of this is star trek in the 1960’s. The crew of the starship enterprise used these strange devices that flipped open to communicate with one another…. flip phone?

Is that texting I see?

This is quite an exciting idea. I wonder what cool gadgets we see in movies now, will wind up coming to reality and becoming part of our daily lives.

lightsaber????? fingers crossed…



We received a lecture by Iain Jonston about the industrial heritage of Glasgow and how it fell.

This was the only history lesson I have ever found interesting! Iain first showed us the boom of Glasgow industry during the 1800s and early 1900s. These can be seen in some of these images:

Shipbuilding on the Clyde

Steam locomotive production

Conversely, Iain also showed us what happened when the industrial boom left us. Glasgow is now a husk of its former self in terms of industry and manufacturing. Where once, we led the way as the 2nd city of the Empire, we are now just a ruin of what once was.

What is left of clydebank shipyards.

But is it all downhill now? Will we no longer prove to be an important city, now that we no longer have industry or manufacturing (or so little that makes no difference)? Or…
Can we make Glasgow a thriving centre for other types of industry? how about design?

Personally, I think it is a little sad that we could not keep more of our industrial heritage, but we cannot spend all our time longing for what was once ours. I think Glasgow can still be a globally┬áinfluential city, through academia, and importantly – digital industry. Bring on the next industrial revolution! I think we are ready.


We visited another part of the Art school campus (that I’m sure most of us didn’t realise existed) to have a ‘wee nosey’ around the Digital Design Studio situated in Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

The studio is dedicated to, as you might imagine from the name, all manner of digital design – ranging from small animations to full 3D digital projection technology.

3D projection of Glasgow, gathered from real data

One very interesting topic that was discussed was the use of 3D scanned data to create CAD models. One use of this is to make accurate copies of cityscapes such as the image above, taken from above glasgow.

I know that a few of our class are very interested in working in this kind of field in the future. DDS makes me wonder just how many of us Product Design Engineers will end up working entirely in some kind of digital reality. What do you reckon?