Walking through the aging citizens of Milan

Image for post
Image for post
Via Rubens. July 25, 2019.

I started to make street photography almost a year ago, I did it mostly during my early morning and late evening commuting. At that time I didn’t have a project in mind, it was a random journey without a particular target. Later on I discovered that old people figures visually emerged in several photos, especially in those taken during the hottest months of the year when the younger Milanese population usually migrate towards the pre-alpine lakes and the beaches along the peninsula coasts.

I can’t say exactly why I unconsciously shot those pictures at first, then I realized that in my eyes, elderly people are bearers of fragility and solitude as well as persistence and perseverance. This ambivalence created a positive tension that brought me to portray them consciously and what follows is a partial documentation of this persistent and at the same time fragile layer of humanity. …


Image for post
Image for post

A camera app Manual Mode concept

Recently I sold my first and probably my last physical camera, a Fujifilm E-X2 with a Fujinon XF 35mm F2 lens. I did it because I was afraid to use it, whenever I thought of going out to take some photos I had to program it, feel in the right mood, feel able to manage an “exceptional” event.

In short, the good part of that experience, I think due largely to the physical controls and the lens, didn’t compensate for the discomfort I felt every time I decided to take it with me. Bags, cleaning accessories, extra batteries and SD cards, fear of losing or irreparably ruining something. Not to mention the embarrassment I felt the moment I take a photo. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mehdi Sepehri on Unsplash

And the year to support journalism

2018 was the year of data. Data which isn’t always infallible and objectively true, data that human beings struggle to read and understand if they aren’t narrated. Data stolen and used to change our behavior of citizens, data sold and used to teach unscrupulous robots to watch and discriminate against persons, data used to fabricate fake news and data used to automate surveillance, repression, censorship and disinformation making them more efficient.

Data recounted and visualized by our guardians, journalists who helped us to clarify these and other issues, which try to keep our democracies healthy between political power and economic interests. Guardians under attack, increasingly less influential, more fragile, in transition between different ways of doing journalism and squeezed between overbearing governments and technological giants unaware of their responsibilities. …


Image for post
Image for post

jQuery, WordPress and PHP aren’t considered cool web technologies anymore, but they are still immediate and understandable tools if you need to quickly design, develop and publish a website or a blog. This concept isn’t far from what Rails did and still does for web apps.

Combining Rails — which is a web development methodology more than a simple framework — to a developer friendly deployment solution like Heroku, you can figure out why a lot of successful apps started in this way.

I consider those systems “speaking” blueprints which stimulate the developer creativity by clearly communicate what she can do and what she can achieve. In some cases they can limit you with strict design rules, but they are an alternative to a disarmingly blank page with its infinite possibilities. …


Image for post
Image for post
Unité d’Habitation, Marseille

Web Brutalism is a style far from a naïve visual representation in vogue at the shadow of the Golden Gate then democratized by the digital prêt-à-porter of the WordPress themes.

It is free from visual cliché, from harmonious colors and proportions, from royalty-free images, parallax effects and blurry videos that paint unlikely scenarios.

Brutal is a rebel taste which bring back at dawn of web design, a style free form the modernist sophisticated essentialism — as opposed to its architectonic counterpart — and from web design banality which leaves room to the avant-garde kitsch.


Image for post
Image for post

It was exactly two years ago when I met Marco to discuss a new project. What follows, traces the Iperstudio genesis and its possible future development.

A radical project

Iperstudio is a radical project, and any mention isn’t merely accidental. Radical means many things, the essence of something, a math operation, the part of a word or, for those who know the Italian history since the end of the Second World War, it is about artistic and political movements which, without much ado, were able to settle reactive ideas complying to the needs of society, ideas which were able to have a positive impact on it, despite the mistrust or the lack of preparation to receive them by the most. …


Image for post
Image for post

During my vacations I decided to start a side project. The idea was to spend part of this free time to improve my design and development skills as well as to create something that eventually, would came in handy for my daily work.

Motivated by my customers recurring needs, and aided by a book I was reading at that time, I decided to craft Mario, a headless CMS with a conversational UI.

Create a custom CMS from scratch could sounds an insane and challenging task, considering the rich offer of CMSs and the complexity that these systems can reach, but I think that despite the final result, with or without a working CMS it will be worth the effort. …


Image for post
Image for post

The original goal of this story was to put down my experience about the design and the development process behind Mapnaut.

Lines that I brushed aside for a while until I realized that the Mapnaut spaceline was, and probably still is, a meaningful complementary view to the old Twitter timeline and the new algorithmic one.

Today Twitter celebrates its 10th anniversary, what better day and what better way to demonstrate once again my love for this “little” but extraordinary medium.

Terrarium

One day Damiano contacted me asking if I was willing to give him an hand to develop his master thesis project further. I had previously attended to his early stage presentations from MIT during his internship at SENSEable City Lab. At that time we were attending the same university program directed by Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor. …


Image for post
Image for post

Everyday Web Designers have to struggle with several legacy technologies, mostly related to the browsersity and legacy LAMP stacks. However new scenarios might gradually improve this stagnant situation.

The Charm of the Imperfection

JS and PHP share many things, they both first appeared in 1995 and increased their design and reputation over the years without a sudden mirroring of these new features by browsers vendors and hosting providers. Being able to manage the span among their several versions is a daily challenge. …


Image for post
Image for post

What is a browservice?

A browservice is a mobile device very similar to a smartphone in which the sole application running is a web browser, the runtime for the webfacts.

Where is the home screen?

What you see when the browservice starts isn’t exactly an home screen but just a list of your favorite webfacts.

Where is the phone?

No phone, the browservice supports data connections only. In alternative you might be interested in No.Phone, a nice (fictional) service that allows you to transfer or get a real phone number and receive/make calls as well sending/receiving SMS from the web.

Why the apps look so different each other?

Well, because they are not apps, they are webfacts. There are many well designed and poorly designed webfacts anyhow we don’t force their authors to follow web design guidelines, we only suggest to follow them. …

About

Mariano Viola

Digital goods shaper. Team leader at Accurat. Technologist, designer, amateur photographer, avid walker.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store