My name is Nenad Katic. I am an independent designer working across disciplines.
I craft digital content and experiences, design real-world buildings and objects, and think hard to make sure that the ideas behind these make sense in a first place.
Foosball Hero, my debut video game, brings adrenaline rush of the real-world foosball game to your iPad ! It’s fast, noisy, engaging, rusty, dirty and squeaky – just like the old foosball table at your favorite bar !
Casa Mancic is a unique and contradictory home that is constructed as a mix-tech: a hybrid of advanced digital design tools and locally available traditional knowledge of contruction, materials and energy preservation.
5D Digital City system was my key assignment as former Director of Technology at Screampoint.
It was the first digital city system to be successfully adopted by a city government in world, in Wuhan (China) in 2006.
This is not an achievement in interior design nor it is meant to be. Instead, the process of designing my own apartment turned out to be a catharsis in which I radically changed my lifestyle and understanding of well-being.
In a way, it was my own private Fight Club.
work/play with me
Whether you have an interesting project to challenge me, or a unique skill that would like to contribute, I’d love to hear your ideas – we can make amazing things together !
Shout out your mind loud and clear by wrapping your blog in Revolt theme ! Download now for free, and join the revolted community
Museum Macura is a result of an unintentional participative design process in which the original architectural concept was greatly depreciated, but the new and unexpected quality emerged from the loss of control over final design and execution process.
For years, I have been pushing boundaries of architectural presentation, adopting the techniques from far more advanced realm of advertising. I create single image narratives that tell the story about the space yet to be built, and establish a meaningful emotional connection with the public.
MonteVerde attempts to offer an alternative to overblown developments that recently has spawned all over the coast of Montenegro, destroying the local ecosystem.
We work with the client on total design, from architecture to marketing, to introduce an idea of sustainable luxury to this young mediterrenean country.
One of my favorite recent projects is a small website I made for multi-talented artist Ana Zarubica. It’s playful, it’s sincere, we had so much fun doing it, and the compensation was priceless – “a beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
On December 14, 2012, an outcast teenager walked in an elementary school and shot to death 20 children and 6 member of staff, before commiting suicide. In response to that, this week US vice-president Joe Biden formed a task force on gun violence, inviting to dialog National Riffle Association, as well as representatives from video game and film industries. Once again the games and films will have to take blame for violent acts, but let’s just stop for a moment and think about facts.
Kids around the world all watch the same violent films and play the same violent games. Yet only in USA they end up shooting up each other in schools. This fact alone obviously says there is NO CORRELATION between the games, films and real-life violence. If it was, we would be hearing about teen shooting in Spain, France, Poland and any other country as often as teen shoting in USA.
This argument is so simple and so powerful that it makes one wonder why a US vice-president would be blind to again turn his rethorics against the usual suspect, games and films?
The simple thruth is that Joe Biden doesn’t want to solve the problem, but gain political points, and twisting ear to film and video game representatives as well as to NRA in public is a good, media-friendly, PR and gives impression that “problem is being worked on”. But what would Joe Biden, and US Goverment REALLY do if they wanted to stop teen shootings?
Puberty is is a very stressful period of life. As teenagers learn to make their way into the real world and hormone-fueled conflicts arise and it’s easy to get rejected from social circles. Add to this a highly competitive nature of western society and high expectations put on children from an early age, and it is easy for a young mind to feel frustrated and out of balance. All children from all around the world are bound to live through that experience. Most of the teens find their way through this complex situation, but few of them break. Ocassionally, some of the “broken” children will do horrible things to call attention or express their rage.
The way the kids will express themselves is very closely related to the values of the society they live in. In Japan the outcast kids tend to close themselves in their rooms for months or years on end, or commit suicide. Both solitude and honorable suicide are rooted in Bushido, “way of the warrior”, that played a great role in Japanese culture and social dynamics fro centuries. In USA, instead they might take a few guns from their parents closet and become focus of national media attention.
Joe Biden is correct to indicate that violence in media could be related to fire-arm violence. However it’s not the games or movies: it’s the news industry that saturates the media space with unprecedent amount of real-life violence. And it’s no surprise that news are filled with violence in a country that has been constantly involved in off-shore wars for decades. War is good business, as military force helps US corporations establish puppet governments all around the world that ease regulations on control of local national resources, and extraction of national capital. However, most of US public would feel very uneasy about their goverment saying they send soldiers (and robot drones) to die thousands of miles away from home to raise the gross domestic product. So the government needs news industry to change the official paradigm and present the military effort as the righteous battle to spread freedom around the world. This oxymoron, that a violence can be used to spread peace, however absurd may be, starts to ingrain in the mind of the public if its repeated a thousands of times, and after a while nobody questions it: it’s taked for granted.
In this way, “rightful violence” became a staple element in american public conciousness, or even better said, unconciousness. To get back to films and games, now we see clearly that the games/film do not cause violence, it is the latent rightful violence in the air that causes violent film and games to be so popular. Kids don’t end up shooting kids because they’ve seen it in the game. They shoot kids in real world and people in virtual world for the same reason: because it feels like a natural thing to do when violence is all around them, and it is blatantly justified as a righteous mean to a better world.
So if US government really wanted to stop teen shootings, it should start by ending the wars it is involved in. Bring the soldiers back home and reunite them with their families. Reprogram drones to work in agriculture or construction instead of blasting people. Put all the trillions of dollars that USA is spending on warfare, on wellfare: invest in public health system, social housing and education.
If you want to build a better world, you don’t do it by rearranging neighbor’s yard, you clean up your mess first. True, the stock market might take a slight hit when the wars end. Some very rich people will be very pissed off, as they will not be able to buy a 10-foot longer yacht every 6 months, and will have to settle with their present day luxuries. But for the 99% of the population, it will be beginning of a truly better world. As public conciousness changes from the constant threath for their private property and freedom rights, towards the feeling that their country really cares for them and leaves no one behind, the culture of violence will recede. Games and films will not need violence to sell. And kids will stop shooting and start talking to each other again.
Hello, everyone. My name is Nenad and I am an information addict. I am compulsive e-book reader, web video watcher and podcast listener, routinely doing all these things at the same time.And with an unusually lot of free time over the holidays, things started to spiral out of control.
I guess I always had it in me. As a child, my favorite past time was reading (and copying drawings) from children’s encyclopedia. At the age of 4 I already knew circumference and radii of all the planets in the solar system and their exact distance from Sun. I knew the capital cities of all the countries of the world, their population and I could draw any flag or coat of arms from memory. A few years later I learned BASIC programming language without even seeing computer in person. However, it wasn’t until fast internet access came along some 10 years ago that my condition started to worsen. My mind quickly adopted to the dynamics of hyperlinks as I jumped between articles in an insatiable hunger for new ideas and concepts. Mind you, at least my addiction was a very high brow affair: I always had zero interest in gossip and mundane earthly things that the media throws at us all the time to numb us into mindless consuming. No, I was after high-calorie information, big fat juicy world-changing ideas, the ones that expand the domain of human culture. Science, technology, arts – you name it and I’ll suck it in like a genetically modified sponge. However, even the best of the knowledge can be as mind numbing as watching Jersey Shore if you overdose. And that’s exactly what happened when I got my first iPad almost 3 years ago.
When you’re an information addict, having an iPad with an internet connection is like living with your best friend who also happens to be a drug dealer whom you saved life and now he’s forever in debt with you.
Laptops are great, but they were always too cumbersome to be a truly portable media consumption center. Come iPad, and you can read all the books in the world, watch all the movies and follow all the blogs from the comfort of your toilet seat.
And so, with iPad in my hands, I started to devour information as never before, at an exponentially increasing rate. I started feeding on wonderful, mind expanding ideas that maintained me in perpetual state of awe as I skipped between dozens of ebooks to TED to Radiolab to blogs, using Wikipedia as a staple food to my all-you-can eat knowledge binge. I got acquainted with advanced research and latest breakthroughs in psychology, psychics, ecology, urban sociology, political economy, behavioral economy, genetics, neuroscience, game theory and information theory, dazzled by concepts of metacognition, life as a negative entropy, singularity, memes and selfish genes. And of course, being an aspiring digital artist and designer, I had a particularly sweet tooth for digging out anything I can find out about latest and fattest in art and design, with an unashamed fetish for artist interviews and making-of videos. I started getting new books faster than I could read them (as of last week, I have about 15 half-read books on my Kindle, that I regularly came back to and switched between, despite being of their very diverse subjects (all non-fiction ). My bookmarks on the topic of minimalism are more messy than a bombed city ruins.
And then finally, a few weeks ago, I noticed I started to change. I became an intellectual Nazi. I realized I was forcing myself to have casual conversations even with the people I truly cared about, because frankly it was all so boring. Seriously, if you’ve just watch a video where a team of scientists had made a regular ink-jet printer printing our real (and fully functional) human organs, its really hard to switch back to talk about weather, football, shopping or watching friend’s vacation photos. Naturally, my social life would just about to start crumbling down if I wasn’t already aware that it was going to happen (because I’d just read the latest research on how information overload affects social relationships), so I put conscious effort to maintain regular contact with people around me.
However, my productivity started to suffer too. It’s not only for the sheer amount of time off work that I was spending on information consumption. My addiction has affected the focus of my work (as I was learning daily about sexy new ideas and challenges) as well as my ambitions (which grew disproportionally big for my abilities and the time on my hands). I was also quietly frustrated about working alone on my laptop instead of being a part of a bunch of rowdy MIT geeks just about to change the world, or too-cool-for-school teams of designers or artists collaborating on projects of breathtaking beauty. Luckily, since I’ve read so much about human motivation, flow and positive psychology, I managed to offset these problems and maintain or even increase my productivity in spite of adverse effects of my addiction.
Then, finally, my information addiction itself started to cave in. I’ve bitten more than I can chew. I’ve got too many books, streamed too many videos. Maybe it was the thing I read on cognitive frustration of young children that tipped me over. You see, when a baby is born a meticulous mental process begins, one that records everything that comes from the outer world. Baby’s brain grows exponentially as new neural connections are created to store all that overwhelming stimuli of visuals, sounds and facial recognition. Soon enough the toddler will start to interact with the world which will bring in even greater amount of data to be stored. What a child lacks at the beginning is a method to process all this information, to organize this data into meaningful hierarchies. At some age of 3, many children get frustrated by their lack of comprehension and sheer information overload and they will get easily irritated, followed by outbursts of tantrums or just flat-out denial of everything, a well-known phase when a toddler would reply “No” to just about any question. This process of accumulation culminates at about age of 5: at that age, a child has as much as 10 times more neural connection than an adult human. It’s all information and still very little meaning. However, with the help of parents (and later, the peers) children start to develop criteria to process information and ignore the stimuli that are considered useless. This process of reducing number of neural connections and filtering out lasts for entire life and it’s the basic mechanism that makes the brain so functional. As of early age of 5, brain stops recording data, and instead first interprets the data and then only this subjective interpretation gets stored in the memory. We never remember facts, we only remember stories about the facts that are critical to our normal mental and physical functioning. In some misfortunate children this data processing is impeded, and they may for the rest of their lives remember what the weather was like on any particular day 50 years ago, or they can perform other outstanding feats of memory and calculus but they would still be unable to lead normal social and emotional life exactly because their brains are bound in storing raw data instead of processed impressions.
To get back to my story, lately I started to feel like a data-overloaded frustrated toddler. With an omnipresent and instant access to all the world’s knowledge, it’s so easy to overstrain our brains. And unlike toddlers, we do not have a keen adult to guide us through learning to make sense of all that we read, watch or listen to.
Last century, media-wise, was dominated by television, which many criticized as (mostly) a cheap commodity entertainment that distracted masses from aspiring to get more from their lives. Television gave us the stereotype media consumer of 20th century: dumbed down, passive, indifferent, and over-weight, a loyal customer and a passionate shopper during certain times of year.
This outcome is inherent to television’s one-way nature of communication. We can only watch what’s being served, and we can never talk back.
Internet is, on the other hand, all that television could never be (and that most tv station owners would never even wanted it to be). On internet, we choose what we read, and we are often quick to offer back our opinions. It is an unprecedented platform for learning and dialog, but from my own experience I can see that our brains (or at least, my brain) are still not evolved to take the full advantage of its potential, and that adverse effects are only starting to show.
Will 21st century stereotype media consumer will be an extremely well-informed, organic food-munching, art-loving science hobbyist, that is still profoundly indifferent and passive to the global state of affairs and increasing social injustice and ecological and economical problems? Will we, at our best, all become couch activists exchanging photos of starving children on Facebook without ever seriously thinking of reaching to help them in real world?Will we, at our best, increasingly fragment our brains into a growing variety of super-interesting activities until our heads explode from multi-tasking on dozens of micro-hobbies at the same time?
I personally like to think that this will not be the case, although it is very likely what future holds for most of us that are already in our thirties or older. Our brains were already not so flexible when the global information bomb exploded. However, I do believe our children will evolve and be able to make more sense of it all than we could ever did.
But honestly, I have no idea. I have better things to do right now: I’m going cold turkey on information. I strictly prohibited myself from any sort of leisure media consumption. I only allow myself to use my computer and gadgets for productivity and communication (with occasional film, podcast or fiction book in designated “leisure” hours). If the term “information diet” is all the rage now, I see myself as a radical info-vegan extremist. If I happen to fall of wagon and read a blog or -even worse- an essay, I will punish myself to try to absolutely make sense of what I’ve read, to comprehend it completely before I succumb to impulse to tap a hyperlink button that would leave me to another article. If I happen to get dazzled by a video of that fancy new artist, I will make myself to go to museum, not necessarily to look at art, but to just smell some oil on canvas.
I’ve been going strong on my info-vegan diet for a couple of days, and I’m loving it.
I have time to make delicious meals instead of eating out daily menus. I do some exercise, very slowly and focused to really feel the burn in the muscles instead of “working it out”. I just sit back and enjoy the scent and the taste of my morning coffee without frantic urge to go through dozens of inspiring articles before I get to go to work.
I swear I would even stop to smell the flowers, if I ever find one in this city.