Oh time, how you are a precious commodity we have so little in each day. While I have been pre-occupied with more important manners as of late, throwing the music of the month kinda got pushed back.
Why that song, you may ask. No, there’s nothing deeper to it other than that time just keeps moving forwards, and almost everything in the song above is more or less outdated by modern standards. Especially with some of those hair styles. Yet, it has some pretty damn good energy to it, which is also why it sometimes comes back to me after all these years. Yes, the song is corny, the song is very repetitive in a way, but it’s a good rush at times. It does its job, and entertains.
Which is our bridge to the small discussion; What’s the item that’s useless and closest to you at this moment? Uselessness is sort of relative of course, and while an ornament in itself is absolutely useless, its fulfilling its role as a pretty thing to admire. A plastic model is meant to be built and bring enjoyment through that as much as toys fulfil their roles in play. A good spatula fulfils its role when you are able to use it without a second thought, it’s there to be used and stand the heat.
Designing a useful product, whatever it is, is something that simply doesn’t happen. It takes tests, trials and errors and research. Rinse and repeat. Then you may just end up with an item that’s useless, unable to fulfil the role its meant to act in. The aforementioned spatula is something that’s very easy to screw up. Make it form material and it will either melt, crack or heat up to burn the user. In worse cases, the material may poison the food or scratch surfaces. The shape is incredibly important. Unseen convenience is something we take granted, like the small vertical surface texture in plastic bottle caps. Few millimetres here and there, nobody cares, except when your hand begins to cramp up because the handle doesn’t have a nice chamfer and is just ever so slightly in a wrong angle to force your hand into unergonomic position.
Tools from few thousands years past that still have some sort of handle intact do fit the hand of the modern man just fine. We can only hope the same can be said in a hundred years, unless obesity and other health problems begin to change human body to a large extent.
But what of personal comfort? How can a designer and the company their work for fulfil your personal need for comfort in the products they put out? The answer to this is that they can’t. It is virtually impossible, thus standards are used. One of the multiple reasons for companies to put our dozens of different variations of the same product across some years is to hit a niche of people who are in need of something new to replace their old stuff. For spatula, you always have the standard ones, but providers have been pushing out millions of different variations of the same old and completely working mould for decades, perhaps even hundreds of years now. I know a person who used to bitch about never being able to find a proper replacement for his favourite spatula that had broken some years ago. The same can be said of me, but I’ve always favoured simple wooden spatulas myself, and most of my common use kitchen utensils tend to be my own design.
From that, let’s discuss the visual design of movie robots we’ve seen during the last century. Hate it or like it, in ten years we will recognize a certain era of movie making simply by looking whether or not the sci-fi armour looks like the movie Iron Man or if the robots have segmented parts with lots of bits showing the insides of the robots. You’d think that after people criticising the visual look of the live action Transformers movies, Ultron’s design would have made away with these elements. Ultron himself as always been rather simple in its looks, but that’s what makes it work. Age of Ultron’s design suffers from the same problem people have claimed the movie Transfomers to suffer from, but in lesser scale. It’s true that you can make heads and tails of Ultron’s body, yet it has the same sort of nonsensical points that offer no reason for their existence. Worse yet, the last upgrade where Ultron adds Vibranium plates on top of him are useless and protect virtually nothing.
Ultron’s face is pretty easy to get. It’s in an eternal manic grin with slit eyes. The movie on the other just give him see through cheeks and the horrible lips Transformers movies have. I would argue that they Ultron’s lips look worse when you take into notice that they could’ve taken a lesson or two from Bay’s films.
Ultron’s body has a slight Terminator flavour to it, but that doesn’t explain why the hell it has gaping holes on its torso. The movie would’ve been over pretty fast if they had shot those weak spots, or shot other weak spots. It doesn’t make sense how Ultron was able to rip himself into pieces despite stronger power didn’t do a dent to it. You’d think that adding those plates would actually take care of the weak spots, but the it still has them.
But Ultron’s fiction. The design can work on whatever bullshit plot element they want to think up. I was wondering if I should do a similar review on Avengers 2 like I did with Godzilla, but I realized that it would be nothing but bitching how Ultron’s design was screwed up, so I left it here without any further mentions on the movie’s failings.
On other news, Schwarzesmarken, the upcoming Muv-Luv (Alternative) visual novel has been split into two parts; one coming in the summer and one later in spring. I bet at least the latter part will be pushed to early 2016 as per âge’s normal practices. Whether or not it will get a review or something will be handled when the time comes.