UX Belfast, October 2018

October’s UX Belfast saw the mesmerising Jorge Arango take questions and talk us through his new book ‘Living in Information’ – a compelling mix of practical advice and thoughtful reflection on the responsibility of designers to create what Jorge terms ‘generative’ online environments.

To thank Jorge for his time, the meetup made a donation to his selected charity, The Long Now Foundation. For more information visit http://longnow.org

Puppet Belfast once again provided food and drink in what was our largest meetup to date.

Plans are afoot to evolve UX Belfast to better serve and represent the UX community in Belfast, offering talks and insights into the work of local professionals while keeping one eye firmly on books, learning, and professional development.

There’s something about airports

Airport architecture makes them enjoyable places to be. I rarely travel by air, but I do know that it’s possible to waste hours at a time in them. It seems that ever since the Pan Am terminal at JFK airport in New York appeared, airport terminal design took a turn for the transcendent. I can’t say that Stansted Airport is up there with the best, but it’s beautiful by night.

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An evening with Libeskind

I was delighted recently to be able to attend an address given by none other than Daniel Libeskind in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. The event was a University of Ulster bash, however the night belonged to the guest speaker.

Coming across as slightly more unassuming (and shorter) that one might expect, Libeskind emitted passion and enthusiasm for his craft like all great practitioners. In a relatively short time (certainly less than an hour), he walked us through perhaps a dozen of his projects, and for each offered brief, but no less comprehensive insights into their purpose, the design rationale and the ground-breaking nature of each. Links below go to a few of the projects covered.

Ground Zero, New York
Jewish Museum, Berlin
Imperial War Museum, Manchester
Orestad Downtown Master Plan

Listening to someone with so much experience, but still with so much fire in their belly reminds me what a privilege it is to be a designer, albeit the scale of works vary widely.

It also reminded us how envious I am of architectural works. These are projects that will last for generations; even when the buildings themselves come down, they will be remembered. Like great music, great architecture can be very much of its time, and yet remain relevant long after trends have moved on.