Metropolis in the News

Last week on ABC’s Nightline, Bill Weir, the host of the segment “This Could Be Big,” waved our October issue on national television. The segment was on QR codes, and our cover had a big one on it. Weir’s question was, “Will this get bigger, or will it end up on the dust heap of technology?”

Our technology issue was all about how digital tools are shaking up the design profession, from architects learning code to using software for participatory design. Putting a QR code on each of those stories was a no-brainer—they add a multimedia layer of information to the page.  But the QR code on our cover was really the masterstroke—it’s a portal to Metropolis’s first digital cover.  When our art director Dungjai Pungauthaikan called the designer Peter Alfano to create the content that lies beneath that huge pixelated box, she said “Peter, this is the cover you’ve been waiting for.” We will say no more, except that once you’ve watched Weir’s segment below, we suggest you get hold of our October issue, and use a smartphone on it. (Or click here)

The “boxes of squiggly lines” are not quite as easy as they are made out to be, as our art department discovered in implementing them. They had to take into account various video formats, incompatible web browsers, and different smartphones. But they stuck it out. Because until Weir’s fancy trick with the champagne bottle becomes generally available, the QR code is very far from the dust heap—it is still our easiest link from the printed word to the digital world.

Read our technology issue here, including the story about QR codes integrated into clothing.

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