Category Archives: lisbon

the invisible tag


the underground / metro ticket in lisbon was surprisingly made out of paper.
i made a mistake of inserting the ticket into the card slot, which was obviously for something else. despite the language barrier, a local guy tried to explain to me how to make the ticket work – i had no clue that it was in fact a RFID based ticket till then. a closer inspection revealed a really tiny bulge on the card – without the support of the graphics printed on the paper. the reader part also lacked the visual cue. perhaps there is a different approach in educating the public about the new technology – or this has matured in lisbon so long that the phase for the public education has long passed. in japan – there have been very elaborate efforts to make people understand the concept of, or at least learn how to use the touchless public transportation cards, like the easily memorable character, life-sized advertisements, and widely distributed instruction manuals.

tradition + tradition, lisboa


the landmark at Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio) and food stalls. tourist hotspots always allow us to see the mixture of old and new traditions – even if you are a strict traditionalist who refuses to accept the new one as a part of tradition. our perception tends to be visually biased: landmarks that lived through centuries tend to dominate our perception of what the culture was. the transient yet possibly dominant and much more practical part of the culture may be easily forgotten or erased completely due to the lack of visual evidences or documentations thriving through the wither and tears of time. what will be the vehicle of our next generations of ‘traditions’? in the last century, at the boom of the digital information sphere, we thrived and fought to stress the importance of usability and the value of understanding the way we live to translate that into our design, in fact, digital or physical. we did start talking about how to make the digital interaction and information more tangible and intuitive to our senses. what will be the new line of efforts to make our intellectual world that largely reside on the digital world be part of our lasting history and tradition?

I spent a few hours in Lisbon on transit to Rio. For someone deprived of any sense of direction, it was a very difficult city to get around. I relied on the classic tram 28 to show me around the city.