Wood and Light: A Survey of Contemporary Lighting Design

Exhibition dates: September 22, 2017 - January 3, 2018

The Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine is pleased to announce an illuminating exhibition of leading-edge, contemporary lighting design in wood. Curated by Christopher Poehlmann, himself an internationally recognized lighting designer, the exhibition explores wood as a medium for expressing light by presenting work of 23 contemporary designers and makers from seven countries. “Contemporary Wood Lighting” opens at the Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, on Friday, September 22. The opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. and the public is warmly encouraged to attend.

The table lamps, wall sconces, floor lamps, chandeliers, uplighting, and pendant lighting on display range from functional products to conceptual sculpture. “It is a thrilling visual experience,” says Messler Gallery Manager Victoria Allport, “to see how each designer responds to the aesthetic opportunities inherent to wood, whether it is the translucence of veneer, the pliability of lamination, or the precision of working with CNC laser cutters.”

International exhibitors in “Contemporary Wood Lighting” include: Donald Baugh (London, England), Showroom Finland (Helsinki, Finland), Obe & Co. Design (Bells Yew Green, England), Cameron Mathieson (Nelson, BC), Duncan Meerding (Hobart, Tasmania), Peter Pierobon (Vancouver, BC), Marco Stefanelli (Torino, Italy), and David Trubridge (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand). Exhibitors from across the U.S. include: Marta Baumiller (Aquebogue, NY), Garry Knox Bennett (Oakland, CA), Peter Bloch (New London, NH), McCaw/Budsberg Collaborations (Milwaukee, WI), Susan Casey (Philadelphia, PA), Byron Conn (Rochester, NY), Katie Hudnall (Indianapolis, IN), Max Kaplan (Fort Bragg, CA), Laura Mays (Fort Bragg, CA), Julie Morringello (Stonington, ME), Christy Oates (Fennimore, WI), Christopher Poehlman (Philadelphia, PA), John Procario (Cold Spring, NY), Seth Rolland (Port Townsend, WA), and Klara Vavrosy (Bergen, NH).

The Messler Gallery is located on the campus of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, a nonprofit, year-round school that offers courses in furniture making and related arts such as carving and woodturning.  For more information, please call 207-594-5611 or e-mail victoria@woodschool.org or visit our website at www.woodschool.org.

The Middle East’s largest design event set to host biggest season yet in November

Dubai is set to further develop its status as a cutting-edge, vibrant global design hub with the return of Dubai Design Week 13-18 November at locations across the city. Staged in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), the six-day event, which boasts a varied and comprehensive programme of contemporary design, aims to attract more than 50,000 visitors including architects, designers, thought-leaders, influencers and public audiences from the region and around the world.

Sir David Adjaye

This year’s programme of  more than 200 events, up by 35 per cent from last year, includes an extensive talks and workshops programme that will open with Sir David Adjaye, one of the world’s most influential architects, in conversation with Emirati commentator Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi; a series of free-to-attend exhibitions including “Iconic City” that will return this year with a focus on the design culture of Casablanca; installations from both regional and international designers that will celebrate the creative diversity of Dubai and the largest public programme to date with family day activities, product launches, live performances, awards and a unique design market.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

The highlight of this year’s programme will be the Global Grad Show. The “Oscars” of graduate design and technology will bring together 200 works from 92 of the world’s elite universities, up by 50 per cent from last year, alongside those from developing countries, that will shine a spotlight on how the next generation will shape the future through design, science and innovation; Downtown Design, the commercial heart of the week, will this year enhance its position as the Middle East’s leading contemporary design trade show by doubling in size, exhibiting original and high quality design from more than 150 brands across a range of product categories; and ABWAB, the platform for regional designers to show their work on the international stage, will this year grow to exhibit more than 40 designers housed in a dramatic structure made from used materials designed by Dubai-based architects Fahed & Architects.

Brendan McGetrick Talk at Global Grad Show

William Knight, appointed this year as the Head of Design for the Art Dubai Group says: “The momentum behind Dubai Design Week in only its third year is exceptional. Dubai has so much to offer by way of its progressive approach to design and innovation, and Dubai Design Week 2017 is set to match that ambition by reflecting talent drawn from across the globe in a programme that presents the unique blend of potential and opportunity here in Dubai.”

Visitors at Cairo Now City Incomplete exhibition held at d3 as part of Dubai Design Week

Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, Chief Operating Officer, d3 comments: “The third edition of Dubai Design Week is the most exciting yet. The alignment with d3’s goal of supporting sustainable growth and boosting the city’s design credentials is underlined by the huge programme Dubai Design Week offers. Dubai Design Week’s ability to introduce audiences to the wealth of creative talent and unique experiences and services now at d3 is matched only by the transformation of the space into a series of amazing arenas of creativity.”

Dubai Design Week will run from 13-18 Nov here pictured Spun chairs by Magis

Dubai Design Week 2017 is supported by Meraas, who are responsible for a unique portfolio of urban destinations, such as City Walk, The Beach, Boxpark, Last Exit, The Outlet Village, Kite Beach, Bluewaters, La Mer and Al Seef,  that are designed to make Dubai and the UAE better for people to live, work and visit; and Audi, the long-time supporter of Dubai Design Week, which will this year launch the second Audi Innovation Award - a competition for design research and the highlighting of innovative ideas.

Xiaomi launches Mi A1 with Google in major next step for Android One

Mi A1 touted as a fresh take on Google’s Android One program, featuring a flagship dual camera setup and a premium design

Global technology leader Xiaomi today announced Mi A1 in collaboration with Google, the first device to run on the evolved Android One program. 

Mi A1 runs on stock Android to offer a high-quality software experience designed by Google, underscoring Xiaomi’s commitment to providing more choices for users. Priced from INR 14,999 in India, Mi A1 is a beautifully-designed device that combines hardware innovations, including an optical zoom dual camera setup, with great Google-designed software. 

At a launch event in New Delhi, India, it was announced that Mi A1 would be available in India and also in more than 40 markets around the world including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Poland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Mexico. Local pricing in these markets will be available at a later date.

Xiaomi Senior Vice President Wang Xiang said: “Mi A1 is a strategic device in our global expansion, marking a milestone on our quest to bring innovation to everyone. From the beginning Xiaomi has been all about choice, and we are delighted to offer users a new way to experience the power of Xiaomi.”

Wang noted that this is a logical extension of Xiaomi’s long and fruitful partnership with Google. “Google has been a great partner, and given our strong collaboration, we thought their idea to launch a Xiaomi smartphone on Android One would be a great opportunity to give our users a different user experience. I’m truly excited about what this partnership will bring to our users across the world!”

"By taking this next step with Android One, we are excited to be working with partners around the world to bring high quality Android device experiences to more consumers,” said Jamie Rosenberg, Google’s VP of Business & Operations, Android & Google Play. “Mi A1 marries excellence in device design with a simple and pure Android experience, the best of Google built in, and a commitment to future software and security updates. We're thrilled to welcome Xiaomi and the Mi A1 to the Android One family."

Dual camera with optical zoom for more beautiful portrait shots

Mi A1 incorporates a dual camera configuration similar to that in Mi 6, Xiaomi’s latest flagship device, with wide angle and telephoto lenses used to incredible effect.

The two lenses allow Mi A1 to calculate what is in the foreground and what is in the background, creating a depth-of-field effect that typically requires a DSLR lens to achieve, allowing the user to create photos of unparalleled clarity and color. In addition, an improved Beautify mode that makes selfies look more natural, now works with the both the front 5MP camera as well as the 12MP dual rear camera. Mi A1 supports 2x optical zoom, which makes photos of distant subjects remain clear, while 10x digital zoom is also supported.


Created by Xiaomi, powered by Google

Mi A1 is Xiaomi’s first Android One phone, with a software experience designed by Google, offering users a simple, pure Android phone that stays fresh over time with OS upgrades.

As an Android One smartphone, Mi A1 comes with the most popular Google services built-in as default, such as free unlimited high quality storage from Google Photos.

Top-of-the-line specifications in a beautiful design

Available in Black, Gold and Rose Gold, Mi A1 has an attractive full-metal body design that measures just 7.3mm in thickness, with discreet separation lines for a seamless look and rounded edges for great hand feel. It also comes with a rear fingerprint sensor. 

Featuring a 5.5-inch 2.5D curved glass screen featuring Corning® Gorilla® Glass protection, Mi A1 also boasts a 10v power amplifier for deeper lows and higher volumes, ensuring it provides an immersive media experience. A dedicated amplifier also provides support for high-impedance headphones (up to 600 ohms).

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor based on the 14nm manufacturing process, as well as a 3080mAh battery, Mi A1 provides users with a smooth experience that lasts all day. 

With 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, Mi A1 is expected to be available in the Middle East starting October through online and offline channels, with further details to come via Xiaomi’s official Facebook page.


Key features of Mi A1:

  • Premium full-metal body
  • Dual camera, optical zoom:
    • 12MP wide angle + 12MP telephoto
    • Exceptional portrait photography with background blur
    • Beautify, for natural selfie enhancements
    • 5MP front camera
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 with 14nm FinFET technology (Octa-core 2.0GHz)
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage
  • Up to 128GB microSD expandable storage
  • 5.5-inch full-HD Corning® Gorilla® Glass display
  • 3080mAh battery, USB Type-C port
  • Rear fingerprint sensor
  • IR blaster, with Mi Remote App
  • Dual SIM (3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray)
  • Dimensions: 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm
  • Weight: 165g
  • Available in Black, Gold and Rose Gold
  • Stock Android


Bentley Announces Finalists in 2017 Be Inspired Awards Program Recognising BIM Advancements in Infrastructure Design, Construction, and Operations

Winners to be Selected and Announced at The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference, October 10-12 in Singapore

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, a leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing infrastructure, today announced the finalists in the 2017 Be Inspired Awards program. The annual awards honor the extraordinary work of Bentley users advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations throughout the world. Ten independent jury panels comprising distinguished industry experts selected the 51 finalists from more than 400 nominations submitted by organizations in more than 50 countries.

The finalists will present their innovative projects to their peers, the jurors, industry thought leaders, and more than 120 members of the media as part of related infrastructure forums at The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference, October 10-12 in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

This gathering of leading professionals in the world of infrastructure design, construction, and operations will feature:

  • thought-provoking keynotes by Bentley senior executives and prominent industry thought leaders
  • live technology presentations from Bentley’s alliance partners – Microsoft, Siemens, Bureau Veritas, and Topcon
  • opportunities for attendees to meet and have one-on-one discussions with awards finalists
  • informative industry forums and panel discussions featuring speakers from Microsoft, Siemens, Bureau Veritas, Australia Road Research Board, Applied Research & Associates, Building and Construction Authority of Singapore, and more
  • Be Inspired Awards finalists’ presentations on October 10 and 11
  • evening ceremony and gala featuring announcement of the Be Inspired Awards winners on October 12

The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference is an ideal opportunity for management-level executives in engineering firms, architecture firms, construction companies, and government or owner-operator organisations responsible for the design, delivery, and/or operations of infrastructure to share best practices and meet infrastructure professionals from around the world. All those who submitted a nomination in the Be Inspired Awards program are also invited to attend.

Bentley Systems Chief Communications Officer Chris Barron said, “The Year in Infrastructure Conference is a one-of-a-kind networking and learning experience for infrastructure leaders from around the world. This year we have an unprecedented number of participants for the Be Inspired program, and are pleased to congratulate and acknowledge all of the participants for their excellent work and inspiring projects. Conference attendees will have the chance to meet the awards finalists, and see them present their projects, which represent this year’s most outstanding BIM advancements in global infrastructure.”

This year’s conference will be held for the first time in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, one of the most iconic buildings in Asia. The structural design of Marina Bay Sands was done by Arup and was Bentley’s 2010 Be Inspired Award winner for Innovation in Structural Engineering.

Mike Lee, vice president of sales, Marina Bay Sands, said, “Marina Bay Sands is honoured to be the chosen venue for Bentley Systems’ first-to-Singapore conference. Our relationship with Bentley dates back to our construction days, as our iconic building was structurally engineered using Bentley Systems software. We look forward to welcoming Bentley and its delegates to our integrated resort to experience its multitude of business, leisure, and dining offerings under one roof.”


The Be Inspired Awards finalists for 2017 are as follows:

BIM Advancements in Bridges

  • AECOM – Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge – (New Haven, Connecticut, United States)
  • Arcadis-WSP/PB Joint Venture– Citylink Tulla Widening– (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
  • Long Jian Road & Bridge Co., Ltd. – Heihe - Blagoveshchensk Heilongjiang River (Amur River) Road Bridge Project– (Heihe City, Heilongjiang Province, China)

BIM Advancements in Buildings and Campuses

  • Morphosis – The Bloomberg Center – (New York, New York, United States)
  • Shalom Baranes Associates – Cannon House Office Building Renewal – (Washington, District of Columbia, United States)
  • WSP – 1 Blackfriars, London – (London, England, United Kingdom)

BIM Advancements in Construction

  • China Construction Sixth Engineering Division, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin Tianhe-Cloud Building Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. – Sanya New Airport Reclamation Project – (Sanya, Hainan, China)
  • JMC2 – Heaven Sent – (Simi Valley, California, United States)
  • Leighton Asia – Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge – (Hong Kong)

BIM Advancements in Environmental Engineering

  • NJS Engineers India Pvt. Ltd. – JICA Assisted Ganga Action Plan-II – (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India)
  • Raymond Vogel Landschaften AG – New Landscape for New Hydropower Plant in Hagneck – (Hagneck, Canton Bern, Switzerland)
  • Stream Environment Sdn. Bhd. – Automated Waste Collection System for Changi Airport Terminal 4 – (Singapore)

BIM Advancements in Manufacturing

  • CPC Corporation, Taiwan – Talin No.12 Topping Unit Project– (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
  • PJSC Giprotyumenneftegaz – Central Production Facility, Novoportovskoye Field – (Tyumen Region, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russia)
  • Satria Technologies Sdn. Bhd. – Sustainable Solutions for Control and Protection Systems – (Klang, Selangor, Malaysia)

BIM Advancements in Mining and Offshore Engineering

  • AMEC Foster Wheeler – Gruyere Project – (South Dorothy Hills, Western Australia, Australia)
  • Offshore Oil Engineering Co., Ltd. – PL19-3 Oil Field Jacket Design and Development of ‘Fixed Offshore Structure Design Tool’ Software – (Tianjin, China)
  • Volgogradnefteproekt, LLC – Design of Electro-Technical Solutions and Systems for Control of the Conductor Supported Platform of Filanovsky Field– (Caspian Sea, Astrakhan Region, Russia)

BIM Advancements in Municipal Operations

  • AAM Group – Creating Singapore's National 3D Map Using Mobile Mapping – (Singapore)
  • Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited, PowerChina – Application of BIM Strategy for Shenzhen Qianhai Municipal Infrastructure – (Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China)
  • Tianjin Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute – Construction and Design General Contracting of Retrofit Project at Haiyu East Line Municipal Road – (Sanya, Hainan Province, China)

BIM Advancements in Power Generation

  • China Water Resource Pearl River Planning Surveying & Designing Co., Ltd. – Wugachong Reservoir Project – (Pu'an County, Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China)
  • COBA – Engineering and Environmental Consultants – Kholombidzo Hydro Power Electric Plant – (District of Blantyre, Malawi)
  • PowerChina ZhongNan Engineering Corporation Limited – Digital Delivery of Qiongzhong Pumped Storage Power Station – (Qiongzhong County, Hainan Province, China)

BIM Advancements in Project Delivery

  • A Natural Gas Company – Implementation of a Comprehensive Technical Records & Information Management Program Powered by ProjectWise – (Canada)
  • Ghafari Associates, LLC – General Motors Productivity Improvement Program – (Various Locations, Michigan, United States)
  • Mott MacDonald and the Costain, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Bachy Soletanche Joint Venture – East Section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel – (London, England, United Kingdom)

BIM Advancements in Rail and Transit

  • China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd.; Yungui Railway Yunnan Co. Ltd. – Application of BIM Strategy for Dali to Ruili Railway Project – (Baoshan, Yunnan Province, China)
  • Jacobs/Zephyr UAS – Mapping 42 Miles of California High Speed Rail Corridor Utilizing UAVs – (Burbank to Los Angeles to Anaheim, California, United States)
  • MRT Corporation Sdn. Bhd. – Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) SSP Line – (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

BIM Advancements in Reality Modeling

  • CEDD-AECOM-The Earth Solutions – Development of Anderson Road Quarry Site – (Hong Kong)
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Architectural Engineering – Virtual Penn State Campus – (University Park, Pennsylvania, United States)
  • The Sanborn Map Company, Inc. – Sanborn3D HD Maps for Autonomous Driving: Santa Clara – (Santa Clara County, California, United States)

BIM Advancements in Roads

  • AECOM (Poland) – Road Design and Inter-disciplinary Coordination of the E10 Avvakko-Lappeasuando Project – (Gällivare kommun, Norrbottens län, Sweden)
  • CCCC First Highway Consultants Co., Ltd. – Application of BIM Strategy on the Transformation of Meiguan Expressway to Urban Road Design Project – (Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China)
  • CH2M Fairhurst JV – A9 Dualling - Glen Garry to Dalraddy – (Dalwhinnie, Highlands, United Kingdom)

BIM Advancements in Road and Rail Asset Performance

  • New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) – NJDOT / Public Private Partnership of a Bentley-Hosted SUPERLOAD System for Oversize / Overweight Vehicle Permitting and Routing – (Trenton, New Jersey, United States)
  • Oregon Department of Transportation – TransInfo – A Connected Data Environment for Transportation – (Salem, Oregon, United States)
  • Highways England – Network Occupancy Management System (NOMS) – (Strategic Road Network, England, United Kingdom)

BIM Advancements in Utilities and Industrial Asset Performance

  • AES Indianapolis Power and Light – T&D Implementation of Asset Risk at Indianapolis Power & Light – (Indianapolis, Indiana, United States)
  • BP – Khazzan Central Information Store (CIS) – (Khazzan Field, Block 61, Ad Dhahirah Governorate, Oman)
  • North Caspian Operating Company N.V. – Kashagan Oilfield Corrosion and Inspection Management Project in the North Caspian Sea and Bolashak Operating Production Facility – (Atyrau Region, North Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan)

BIM Advancements in Utilities Transmission and Distribution

  • Hubei Electric Power Survey and Design Institute – Macheng Caijiazhai Wind Farm Project – (Macheng, Hubei Province, China)
  • Pestech International Berhad – Automation and Integration of Substation Design Work for 230kV Project – (Kratie and Kampong Cham, Cambodia)
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company – Reality Modeling in Bentley Substation – (San Francisco, California, United States)

BIM Advancements in Water and Wastewater Plants

  • Beijing Institute of Water – Tongzhou Water Works of Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Project – (Beijing, China)
  • Shanghai New Jinshan Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd. – Xinjiang Water Purification No.2 Plant and Supporting Pipe Network – (Jinshan District, Shanghai, China)
  • MWH Ltd. (operating in CiM6 alliance) – Netheridge STW – (Gloucester, England, United Kingdom)

BIM Advancements in Water Networks

  • Manila Water Company, Inc. – Manila Water Natural Calamity Risk Resiliency and Mitigation Masterplan – (National Capital Region, Rizal Province, Philippines)
  • Enorsul - Sanitation Services – Optimization of Water Distribution System and Reduction of Losses – (Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil)
  • AEGEA – AEGEA Prolagos Sewerage Master Plan 2041 – (Região dos Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)


About The Be Inspired Awards Program and The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference

Since 2004, the Be Inspired Awards program has showcased excellence and innovation in the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure projects around the world. The Be Inspired Awards program is unique – the only competition of its kind that is global in scope and comprehensive in categories covered, encompassing all types of infrastructure projects. In the awards program, which is open to all users of Bentley software, independent panels of industry experts select finalists for each category. For additional information, visit www.bentley.com/BeInspired.


Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference is a global gathering of leading executives in the world of infrastructure design, construction, and operations. The conference features a series of presentations and interactive workshops exploring the intersection of technology and business drivers, and how they are shaping the future of infrastructure project delivery and asset performance.


Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference will include:

  • The Buildings and Campuses Forum
  • The Digital Cities Forum
  • The Industrial Forum
  • The Rail and Transit Forum
  • The Roads and Bridges Forum
  • The Utilities and Water Forum
  • The Be Inspired Awards Ceremony
  • Alliance Partner Pavilion and Sessions
  • The Project Delivery Summit (by invitation only)
  • The Infrastructure Asset Performance Summit (by invitation only)
  • The CIO Summit (by invitation only)


The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference Sponsors

  • Platinum: Microsoft
  • Gold: ARC Advisory Group, BNP Media, Engineering News-Record, Informed Infrastructure, New Civil Engineer, PennEnergy, Reliabilityweb.com, SPAR 3D, Water & Wastewater International


For more details and a complete list of sponsors, including Silver level, click here.


The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference Alliance Partners

  • Bureau Veritas
  • Microsoft
  • Siemens
  • Topcon


The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference Supporting Partners

  • Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE)
  • Bluefield Research
  • Building and Construction Authority, Singapore
  • CEATI International, Inc.
  • Chemtech Foundation
  • FIG (International Federation of Surveyors)
  • InfoNetrix
  • Institution of Engineers, Singapore
  • ISGF (India Smart Grid Forum)
  • Korea BIM Association
  • Newton-Evans Research Company
  • OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium)
  • Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau
  • Your Singapore
  • Zpryme


Media Day

On October 9, more than 120 journalists from leading media outlets around the globe will gather at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore for Bentley’s annual Media Day briefing. These journalists will also participate in The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference.

For additional information about The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference or to register, click here. Follow us on Twitter @bentleysystems and follow the news leading up to this event using these hashtags: #YII2017 and #GoingDigital. Like Bentley Systems on Facebook: http://facebook.com/bentleysystems, and follow us on LinkedIn.

Are you Mac or PC?

Since the dawn of time, humans have spent endless amounts of time pondering some of the most important debates in history: Did Han shoot first? Or was it Greedo?, Were Ross and Rachel on a break?, Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke? Now, we all know that Han did in fact shoot first (regardless of what George Lucas would have you believe) but what about Macs and PCs, which of these titanic machines really does reign supreme?

It may seem pretty obvious that for designers, it's got to be a Mac. And many would agree. But they can be pretty expensive - for the money you'd spend on an iMac, you could potentially build a PC from scratch to the same specifications and also save yourself some cash.

Macs do tend to be the best platform for design and creativity, that's mainly down to the strength of its applications and the fact that Macs are usually top quality machines.

Not to say there aren't PCs that could do the job just as well. Considering you can build a PC, it can basically be anything you want it to be (You could even install a Mac OS on to it if you were so inclined). The only real issue is that there are applications that only run on Macs, and sometimes their PC counterparts can be bug-ridden after-thoughts.

Until I started my first 'proper' job in design, I was a champion of the PC (mainly because I couldn't afford a Mac) and it was fine. It had enough RAM and good enough hardware to cope with the adobe applications I needed it to run.

Macs always frightened me with their lack of buttons and simple app icons, but by the end of my first week working on my Power Mac G5 (old school, I know) I had fallen in love with the fluidity and simple elegance of the machine. And I firmly believe that once you've had Mac, you can never go back!

But that's just me! What's your preference? And more importantly, why?

Check out the latest poll from our friends over at @GrDeUK to see what some of your fellow designers thought!


Envato Transforms Design Industry With New Subscription-Based Service and Fair Payment Model for Designers

Envato Elements Allows Agencies, Designers, Marketers and Creatives to Gain Access to Thousands of Digital Assets, While Uniquely Compensating Contributors for Their Creations

Envato, the world's leading digital asset marketplace, today announced the launch of Envato Elements, the first unlimited download, community-generated design subscription for agencies, designers, marketers and other creative professionals. The platform offers thousands of graphics, templates, add-ons and fonts under broad usage rights for one low monthly fee. The only design subscription service using a progressive subscriber share model, Envato Elements is transforming how the digital community both buys and sells designs online by providing fair compensation for its content creators.


"Subscription models have often been criticized as unfair to artists when it comes to royalties and payment," said Xavier Russo, Strategy & Marketing Manager at Envato. "Envato Elements was designed to completely change all that with our new 'subscriber share' model. By compensating our contributors more fairly, we can offer our subscribers the most diverse and amazing library of content. It's a win-win for both parties and a huge step forward in the industry."

Envato Elements was created to better serve frequent users of digital assets who care about design. The platform curates and showcases a unique library of content with a strong focus on quality and on-trend items. A single, commercial use license applies to all items on the site.

Content for Envato Elements is provided by a global community of independent designers, and gives subscribers access to a fresh and diverse library. Early beta users have praised the platform adding:

  • "With Elements, I feel like a kid in a candy store. It's not an issue anymore if the client changes their mind. It frees both myself and my clients up to get what we really are after for an end product."
  • "I love how I have access to such a large number of assets and don't need to worry about all the licensing terms and buying each product individually. It's great to have it all together and only pay a monthly subscription price."
  • "I love the licensing part. It's like a secret weapon for client projects."
  • "I can download and test many things. One of the worst parts about buying graphic assets, is that most times I can't test them before I buy, and by the end I buy a bunch of stuff that I never use. So, Elements solves this problem for me."

Unlike many other subscription services -- such as those in the music industry -- Envato subscribers' money actually goes to the contributors that they use and value. This encourages contributors to create items that are broadly appealing, as well as those that serve various niches. For more information on Envato Element's unique subscriber share model, please click here.

"Think of Elements like a 'Netflix' for the design industry," continued Russo. "Users can easily scan thousands of inspiring assets and download as many as they need to create their own design -- be it a masterful web page or infographic, to a slick PowerPoint or blog site. Their imagination is the only limit."

Through their subscription to the platform, users can enjoy:

  • Unlimited Downloads: Access to 5000+ items of diverse and quality content for one price, locked in for the life of the membership.
  • Less Risk and Cost: Users can experiment with different elements to create the end product they and their clients are truly seeking -- without the risk and cost of paying individually for designs that ultimately go unused.
  • Continuous New Content: New items are continuously added to the Envato Elements library, with entirely new categories such as Web Templates coming soon.
  • Broad Usage Rights: One simple license with commercial use rights, so subscribers can clearly understand what they can and can't do with the downloads, unlike subscriptions with confusing usage rules.
  • Curated Content: Created by a handpicked set of designers and contributors, and then expertly curated to showcase the best.

Supporting Resources

Pricing & Availability
The standard price for Envato Elements will be $49 per month. To celebrate the launch, there is a special limited time price of $29 per month, locked in for the lifetime of your subscription. To subscribe, please visit: https://elements.envato.com/subscribe

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Kevin Smith's troll-schooling inspires creativity

Dont hate, create!

World-renowned podcaster, writer and director, Kevin Smith, took to Instagram in response to the trolling of his seventeen year old daughter, Harley Quinn Smith.

Instead of responding to the troll in kind, which considering the content of the message would have been understandable, Smith responded by classily suggesting that the troll should change his life. Read the post below:

What it's like to be my daughter: 17 year old @harleyquinnsmith_ received this message simply for the heinous crime of posting a pic of herself on @instagram. I have zero clue what the reference to #TheMatrix is all about but, wow - way to unload on a teen girl because YOU have nothing to do in life. But even though I should be apoplectic about it, my kid thought it was funny. "I'd be mad if I had a tiny dick and anonymous voice too," she said, bemused by the bitterness. But here's a nickel's worth of free advice for folks like this Troll: if you hate me (or my kid) this much, the better use of your time is to make YOUR dreams come true, instead of slamming others for doing the same. The best revenge is living insanely well - so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence. Show the world WHY we should be paying attention to you instead of anyone else. Because randomly attacking others merely communicates how creatively and emotionally bankrupt you are. You think you have something to offer the world but others are getting all the attention? Don't bitch or punish the world: just create. Create something nobody's ever seen before and there is a good chance the world will notice you. Attacking teen girls on the Internet is the saddest form of masturbation that exists and requires no discernible skill or talent. You want attention? Don't make yourself mad, make something original and fun. Because if you're not being useful in this world you're being useless. Don't be useless: go make stuff that makes people happy! #KevinSmith #HarleyQuinnSmith #YogaHosers

A photo posted by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on


Smith's message goes much further than just schooling a vile troll, it's an inspiring message to anyone - but especially to creatives like ourselves.

"You think you have something to offer the world but others are getting all the attention? Don't bitch or punish the world: just create. Create something nobody's ever seen before and there is a good chance the world will notice you."

By being creative, by focusing on bettering ourselves and working on something that we are passionate about - instead of being frustrated by the work of others - we can all achieve our goals and get the recognition we deserve.


Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Image Credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Kontextür enters world of play with shark and diver from Designer Matt Cavanaugh

New York-based modern design brand introduces DIY model kits.

This summer Kontextür literally dives into uncharted waters launching Shark and Diver, the first in a series of exciting and imaginative DIY toy assembly kits in collaboration with Brooklyn-based designer Matt Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh masterfully casts minimalist design into the orbit of PLAY, transforming a system of flat die-cut vinyl and screws into remarkably life-like kinetic creatures. The first two designs in the series, The Shark and Diver, are inspired by complex paper airplanes (and other instructive DIY toys) that challenge the mind, stimulate connections of brain and hand and give insight into how things are made. The DIY kits also encourage endless hours of creative play once complete.

Kontextür's founder Kenneth Schiller said, "I was intrigued by objects that serve not just for their aesthetic truth but to encourage our explorative, playful instincts. Matt captures the pure enjoyment of using your hands to assemble and create durable pieces of art by imbuing life into simple industrial materials. This collaboration with Kontextür is proof of the amazing things that come from PLAY."

The Shark: Kontextür celebrates the glory of the Great White with this minimalist designer toy. Articulated joints allow the tail to swing from side to side mimicking the graceful and powerful tail thrusts of a real shark and the hinged monstrous jaws open and close.

The Diver: The Scuba Diver, with oxygen tanks in tow, plunges with equal parts excitement and fear into the unknown. Put your fingers inside the diver's torso to make the legs flutter kick as the Diver observes the wonders of the ocean with newfound respect for the awesome universe below.

Kontextur honors this spirit of curiosity, exploration and conservation.

The Designer: Matt Cavanaugh arrived at the final designs using an organic process that adheres to the Kontextür PLAY focus on creating a hands-on experience that is intrinsic to human nature. "From early on in my discussions with Kontextür, it became obvious that the way I was building the prototypes, pinning the paper pieces with binding posts, could make a great DIY kit. People could build the Shark and Diver themselves and experience first hand the imaginative solutions I arrived at to fold and bend flat materials to create complex forms," said Matt.

The Whole Package: Schiller and Cavanaugh worked to integrate Matt's design process into the packaging. An accordion style folder opens to reveal that's needed to build the toys - cut vinyl filets and screws of the process - with graphic art and a descriptive how-to. The packaging presentation aims to reflect the experience while also having some fun with it.
The spirit of PLAY is 21st Century ready. It is brought to the user with an interactive, step-by-step visual instruction-guide online at Kontextür's website. The DIY kits retail for $39.50 each. For ages 6 and Up.


Brooklyn-based Design Studio Waggo introduces new pet accessories

The New York-based company launches its Fall 2016 collection.

Waggo, the Brooklyn-based pet accessory brand known for its modern and chic yet playful use of colour, introduces its newest collection for Fall 2016. Waggo designs accessories for dogs and their equally stylish owners and expands its offerings in all categories this September.

The new collection features the brand's best-selling Buffalo Plaid Stripe pattern with a line of beds, blankets, bowls and toys. Waggo extends its popular ceramic offerings with new treat jars and four new bowl designs perfect for pups large or small. New to the brand are mats and blankets just for pets that don't sacrifice good design, along with storage options and toys.
Available directly from Waggo's website and local, independent retailers.


Wrike for Marketers: Simplifying work and freeing creatives from technology overload

Wrike introduces Wrike for Marketers, a new vertical solution developed specially for marketing and creative teams to streamline the creative process. The solution is based on Wrike’s core work management platform, with added capabilities specific to helping marketers define, plan and execute standout campaigns in a real-time, multichannel digital world.

“We spent nearly 12 months working with marketing teams around the world to understand their processes and where progress gets hung up and impedes workflow,” said Andre Hill, Vice President, Strategy and Solutions at Wrike. “The take away was that marketers and creatives want to redesign their relationship with technology so that it aids in the creative process, and doesn’t add new layers of distraction.”

Wrike for Marketers is designed to support all phases of the marketing lifecycle. Jobs are requested with customisable briefs and planned with timelines and resource management. Ideas and content are created with a document editor and the Adobe Creative Cloud Extension that notifies, assigns and brings focus to creative work. From there, the assets are reviewed and approved with Wrike’s built-in proofing and commenting capabilities which ensures everyone has full context of the job goals and feedback. And statuses are visible at a high-level summary view or granular level through Wrike’s powerful reporting engine.

“I believe we’ve built the easiest way for marketers and creatives to manage their work from inspiration to delivery” said Andrew Filev, Founder and CEO of Wrike. “A big pain point for these teams has always been the time and frustration required to transfer information between the various phases of projects. Wrike for Marketers integrates those phases into one continuous stream.”

One of the key challenges faced by creative teams is the proofing, review, and approval process that occurs daily between designers and campaign stakeholders.

“We found a huge amount of lost time for teams around the approval process,” added Hill. “Designers are often put in the difficult position of having to wait for feedback, and aggregate notes and comments into a spreadsheet or other document to track them. On the other end of the spectrum, stakeholders often don’t realise the designer is waiting for their feedback or approval. We saw that by connecting versions, proofing, and approval status, we had an opportunity to save a lot of time for an entire team.”

Wrike for Marketers integrates versions of images and other content into a visual tool for proofing and change requests. From there, a status tool shows designers exactly which stakeholders have approved the piece, and which are still awaiting changes.

Creative Teams Run on Wrike

Wrike customer ONLYCH1LD is a San Francisco based film production company with offices in Denver and Paris. Using the capabilities available in Wrike for Marketers, their team coordinates and collaborates on projects through all stages of the creative process from brief, development, and post-production simultaneously in multiple locations around the world for clients including Levi's, SAP, McDonalds, and Microsoft. (See video of how ONLYCH1LD uses Wrike)

"Every day we're working with local producers, talent, and artists in various international locations, on multiple projects," said Samuel Miller, Creative Director and Founder at ONLYCH1LD. "Finding a solution like Wrike that handles the administration and organisation so that we can focus on the creative work and client relationships is really helpful to us. Wrike allowed us to work smarter and be more creative day in and day out.”

Wrike for Marketers Includes:

Ideate & Plan with confidence

• Complete creative briefs with Request forms
• Set Campaign Timelines & Due Dates
• Manage Team Workload & Availability

Spark the ultimate creativity with Wrike’s Adobe Creative Cloud extension

• Receive and Manage your work via Adobe Creative Cloud extension
• Read, Reply and Add to Comments
• Upload & Version File Attachments

Keep creativity flowing with faster review and approval

• Markup documents and images
• Get clear and actionable feedback
• Works everywhere you work (from your desktop, mobile or tablet)

Deliver your creative vision on-time

• Streamline all your creative assets for campaign launch
• Efficient workflows maximise team satisfaction
• Easily create reports to track performance