life is simple

designing an easier way to live

Love is in the design of useful things

Publishing a website means broadcasting and sharing your ideas, communicating with other people, interacting with them and being ready to hear any response from an ocean of people worldwide.

Practice makes perfect

Experimenting is part of the process in trying to find new ways to be more interesting, to interact in a faster and in a more understandable manner across a media: the internet, that is evolving everyday at a very fast pace. With "life is simple" and my blog, I am doing all this, mixing my passion for the web, typography, photography and design in a personal space where I can express myself free from constraints.

Navigate, enjoy the web design trickery used in here and wander around this virtual space with a great spirit of curiosity. Then, contact me and let me know your feelings and ideas, I would love to have a conversation and share my knowledge with you.

Playing with a responsive layout

Fluid layout is the best way to communicate across media. For this reason, it needs more preparation and tools than old website design did, because it requires more technically challenging measurements.

Below are a series of "ready to pick and use" examples that will help me to develop faster and quicker all that I need for web development. So I developed this page filled with examples of prepared layouts to use in a variety of combinations. With this, I can achieve most of the work that really needs to be done in a simpler and quicker way than building from scratch.

Basic set of flexible columns

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

10 principles on design by Dieter Rams

Good design is innovative

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Good design makes a product useful

A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Good design is aesthetic

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

Good design makes a product understandable

It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.

Good design is unobtrusive

Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

Dieter Rams
Dieter rams, and his designed products.

Good design is honest

It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

Good design is long-lasting

It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

Good design is thorough down to the last detail

Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.

Good design is environmentally-friendly

Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Good design is as little design as possible

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

The residue of time wasted

For 6 months I stepped away from my daily job, experimenting new experiences, following unexpected and different paths to discover new insights, open up new opportunities, and find new joys and pleasures, from which I learned a very important lesson: in life, if you waste enough time, you will find a big and valuable source of creativity waiting for you to be tapped.

Applying paint with a roller pin
My painting

Thanks to all this free time, I had the opportunity to discover new important things about myself; about what I like and am able to do that, before, I never let myself try for lack of money, time or courage. I could finally write poetry, experiment with painting, try calligraphy, start to learn to play the piano, be paid as photographer and act on a stage in front of an audience public by doing theatrical improvisation. All those new experiences helped a lot in so many different ways, and came about because I put myself in a frame of mind away from stress or tight deadlines.

I realised something important: when you are wasting enough time of your life, your brain cannot stay idle, it will be automatically pushed to be inspired to do or towards something that it will lead to new experiences; things that normally are different from the routine of your daily life. You will start to get hungry and foolish in wanting to make things with your hands, to travel, to read more, to learn and assimilate other kinds of experiences and new life perspectives. You will feel inspired to follow your own visionary dreams.

Creativity is the residue of time wasted.

Albert Einstein

The trick it is not to waste your time, for the sake of doing nothing, sleeping or being lazy, but to be able to put your brain in a conscious status of relaxing itself, and let your inner stimulus pass through the dark waters of your worries and rise up to the surface of what you want to do with yourself.

When you start to have the first stimulus, for example writing a new novel, keep at it. Do not let your first steps be stopped by self-criticism and by your inexperience. Let simply go and lose yourself in the wave of newly rising creativity. Nothing that you are making will be ever wrong, it is a discovery, and discovery needs a lot of false starts to get into what you want to achieve.

To be able to zone out, you need to take a good amount of time away from distractions (family, phones, Facebook, etc), put yourself in the right physical environment (for example: outside your bedroom, in a painting workshop area, in a café, at the park or in a quiet street) to focus on a specific task that will intrigue you. You will come out at the end of the journey of experimenting with new interesting results and possibilities.

Do whatever it is that gets you to stop thinking, relax and enter the zone of creativity. In that moment, you will find that you will have ideas, inspirations and new skills that you would like to experience. You will know that you are in the zone when time simply flies away without you noticing, and you'll have a big smile on your face.

The life lesson here is: we need to make more time for ourselves; to waste it happily in some personal projects without the stress of making big achievements, just the pleasure to play with whatever triggers and stimulates our own imagination. You don’t always know where you’re going to end up when you start to explore new possibilities in this way, but I assure you that the results will surprise and inspire you further.

This normal process it is part of the creativity attitude that live inside all of us, and it is made by things like curiosity, playfulness and the desire of developing personal ideas that we dream about, those stimulations leads you often on interesting path and new discoveries, and sometimes it makes you do such great leaps of creativity that you can really became a great visionary.

Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino, writer.

For example italian writer Italo Calvino explaining about how his book Invisible Cities (a book that talks about cities that do not exist in reality but that feel somehow very familiar to the one that exist) he was created. He explain in details his unusual creative process which more or less translate into those words:

Into writing I work in series: I have many folders where I put pages that I happen to write about the ideas that happen casually in my head, otherwise I write only the notes of things that I would like to write about. I have a folder for the inanimate objects, one folder for animals, one for people, one for the historical characters and another for the heroes of the myths; I have a folder on the four seasons and one for the five senses; in one I collect pages on the cities and the backgrounds of my life and in another imaginary cities, out of space and time. When a folder start to be very full of papers, I start to think to the book that I can make out of it.

What I dig out of from his process is that it is important to create all the time that we are inspired about anything (or at least take notes on things that we would like to do so that we don't forget), and not to force creation in making something at last minute and in a very quick way when we are not focused or inspired. Only when inspired and we are willing to follow our curiosity in any possible directions with any limitations, we can brainstorm productively creating original and unique putting our passion at his maximum output of creativity. And if we have no time or resources to develop them, we can always store those ideas and take them out when they will be more ripen. Your brain has an incredible ability to still work incounciously on the background of other daily activities.

To simplify the concept I narrow down on three simple principles:

  • RecycleWhat happen that I create for work or in my spare time (and is left unused) because it could be useful for other ideas and projects.
  • FunBe curious and play with everything inspiring to create (even not work related) because it always leads to learn new things, to acquire a different prospective or to develop better ideas.
  • ArchiveIdeas on what I would like to use or create (but I do not have the time right now) because when there will be more time the idea can be still carry on, or make new creative connections in the future that will make the initial idea to be much more effective with a new combination.

Those new creative approach of doing things when we feel it, more than when we need it, it allow me to have more interesting material after a period of time from which I can make something unique out of it, instead of just imitating and stealing other people ideas, but more than anything it will allow me to see more potential creative patterns where other do not.

As a very important skill, creativity even if it is not distributed evenly between all the people we can definitely improve it, train it and be better at using it and controlling it at will. Therefore, we have to allow to each of us time and passion in falling in love with anything that we like and give an honest opportunity to make something out of it, even if it at first we feel that is something completely useless. Training your own creative process by making things that we really enjoy, it will help you in having a more positive attitude, open minded to various kind of opportunity and situations, and have unique and very valuable insights.

Be ready for new discoveries and waste your time more often. You will discover the magic in the doing after freely thinking from constrictions.

Good Photography

After one year of making photography part of my life, I started to realise what it is all about. Finding beauty in the world through the eyes of the photographer.

After many street photography walks, conferences and public events I can see hidden rules that makes a picture better than most, and what I learned I would love to tell you with some of the pictures that I made.

This what good photography means to me:

Focus on the detail
Immortalize beautiful things
Capture the moment
Open a window to other realities
Frame an emotion
Leave the imagination to fill what is not there
It is all about the light
Look for a different prospective
















Act as if

Our thoughts are a magic part of us, and they carry us to places that we have never been before if we let them fly free. "Acting as if" is about believing in things that don't currently exist. For example to imitate confidence when you don't have it, so when you succed, it will generate real confidence.

Ascending and Descending by Escher
Mindtrick yourself

Mindtricking ourselves helps in achieving what we think we cannot do or be. It helps to change us for the better. The famous expression "Fake it until you make it" is a clear example of self-convincing methodology that pushes yourelf out of your comfort zone and into a confident state of mind. When we choose to live with a strong faith in things not seen, not proven, and not guaranteed, we tap into the power of the possible; making what we believe unachievable, available to us.

Wayne Dyer wrote a book called "You'll See it When You Believe it". We live too much of our lives with the silent mantra of "I'll believe it when I see it" and in doing so we hold ourselves back, limit what's possible, and negate the power of our mind, imagination, and intention to allow and create things, situations, experiences, and outcomes that are new, unpredictable, and even miraculous.

"Acting as if" helps us change what we want to feel about ourselves and how we behave with the people around us. Next time that you go to work, try to act as if you were the boss of the company; or when you are drawing, feel like you are really an eminent artist; or when you go and ask a girl out, believe and act as if you were a very charming and sexy model and dress and behave to such standards. You will see in you a change in behaviour and attitude from your normal set of choices, because you will feel like you are impersonating someone else.

Like in theatre "acting as if" happens regularly, and as proper acting requires preparation to enter into a role, "act as if" could require you to learn how to behave through making actions, and the way to say things differently to achieve that exact feeling. Learn those attitudes and practice them even by yourself in front of the mirror looking into your own eyes.

William James
William James, philosopher and psychologist.

I'd like to quote an important believer of such theory William James:

Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind … Action seems to follow feelings, but really action and feelings go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

Those new actions and expressions will trigger the feelings and attitude that you are searching for, and this is a well-known fact from psychology called "The Law of Reversability". This law says that just as thoughts and feelings lead to actions consistent with them, the principle is reversible, and actions consistent with particular values or beliefs actually lead to the thoughts and feelings that would have triggered the actions.

Life itself is a quotation

I love quotations. Simple great words that are able to inspire me from the depth of my soul. So I decided to collect a list of selected few, that I want to carry on with me through time.


Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.

Steve Jobs

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

Douglas Adams

Creativity is unusual stuff: It frightens. It deranges. It’s subversive. It mistrusts what it sees, what it hears. It dares to doubt. It acts even if it errs. It infiltrates preconceived notions. It rattles established certitudes. It incessantly invents new ways, new vocabularies. It provokes and changes points of view.

Fabrica (Benetton creative hub)

Creativity takes courage.

Henri Matisse

Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.

Marcel Proust

You can drink the images with your eyes.

Max Ernst

Designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono

Things that are easy to use, survive; regardless of what is fashionable, and people want to use them forever. But if things are created merely for a passing vogue and not for a purpose, people soon get bored with them and throw them away. The fundamental problem is that many products are created to be sold, not used.

Sori Yanagi

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

William James

Write the book that you want to read

Anonymous

By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility. We can let fear rule our lives or we can become childlike with curiosity, pushing our boundaries, leaping out of our comfort zones, and accepting what life puts before us.

Alan Watts

Good design is good business.

Thomas J. Watson Jr.

Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.

Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

Typography is what language looks like.

Ellen Lupton

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Pablo Picasso

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it's decoration.

Jeffrey Zeldman

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive.

James Gleick

Everything you can imagine is real.

Pablo Picasso

The book is like the spoon, scissors, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved. You cannot make a spoon that is better than a spoon... The book has been thoroughly tested, and it's very hard to see how it could be improved on for its current purposes.

Umberto Eco