Archive for November, 2006
Wowzers! This is some crazy cool Non-newtonian Fluid(Cornstarch and Water)! Basically, it’s a liquid that hardens on impact and softens when idle! Run across a pool of it, or stand still and sink! A must watch video!
Reminds me of Liquid Armour(Shear Thickening Fluid), which stiffens upon impact as well. It also reminds me of Magneto-Rheological Fluid Technology, which doesn’t harden upon impact, but hardens when a magnetic field is present. They have a video on their site, and I’ve played around with this stuff which is pretty cool!
One last hardening type material is spyders soft futuristic and flexible d30 material clothing which instantly hardens like armour upon impact, protecting this years winter olympians. Check out their webiste for more! I want one!(d30, or spyder) This is such an awesome new material for kick-butt brain storms!
It’s World Usability Day, so take the day to think about everything that you use, touch, see, or hear and ask, how can I make it better? Is something broken, confusing, too complex, or just not working?
Whys: You should ask why is the VCR clock never right, why are instructions manual so dang complex to understand, why must batteries switch directions each time, why does some packaging require scissors to open, why does my phone have a ton of feature I can’t use, why are nutrition labels so small, Why is the wireless router such a pain to set up, and why don’t public bathroom doors have foot knobs.
Hows: You should ask yourself how can a grocery bag handle be better, how can cleaning be easier, how can road signs be more useful, how can parking meters be better, how can webpages be easier to navigate, how can driving directions be easily understood, how can emails be easier to sort, how can keyboards improve, or simply, how can I reduce the steps it takes to do something.
Woohoooo for usability!!
OOoo. how cool, get a bunch of them, throw them around your office!
“Jamungoâ€™s Sqwerts feature designs by Frank Kozik, Tara McPherson, TADIO, and the Jamungo guys: Ferg and Van Beater. Only 350 of each design (250 for the pink Van Beater design, my fave) were made, so get â€˜em while theyâ€™re hot. via drawn.ca”
A grid image of a bunch of them after the jump!
Here’s an article about the ever going question of designers becoming business leaders in our future. Personally, I think the picture above says it all, but if your interested, read the article via core77. Otherwise, if you want to hear an enlightening and inspiring lecture about creativity in our education system, watch this incredible video by Sir Ken Robinson.
A bunch of ya’ll that have met me have asked me about my card-holder. Well, here it is. I grabbed a few of those free paint chips ya find at paint stores (home depot), made a few bends here and there, and bahm, you have your very own colorful hand-made paint chip card holder. I made a DIY guide after the jump, though the template’s custom to my cards size (3.5″x1.9/16″). The the home depot chips I used can just barely fit a basic 3.5″x2.5″ card with some changes in the template. Lots of pics after the jump along with the DIY instructions.
I love this idea! Not only are these stylish comfy slip-ons great, but they represent a great cause! Sure there are those brands that donate 5% of profits to some fund, but it’s a very different feeling when the very product you purchased is also the donated item! These shoes now represent a much more connected feeling and understanding of the cause. Founder, designer, and “Chief Shoe Giver” Blake Mycoskie has a great story and video you should watch!
Quick thoughts: Brands are becoming such a huge part of our future. They represent a lifestyle and status of life, but they are also icons in solving global issues. Sure there are the ones that do small stunts to satisfy the PR world, but most companies don’t care unless they can profit from it with money. Brands must now echo real global solutions, such as sustainability, poverty, disease, hunger, education, or even as simple as providing footwear to the needed. Losing some profits to gain a much stronger brand experience is not a need, but a must! Our informational society is in the know, and small things can really destroy a brands loyalty.
I’ve been influenced by Greenpeaces “guide to greener electronics“, the Corporate Fallout Detector project, a great deal by William McDonough & Michael Braungarts book Cradle to Cradle, the exhibit and book Massive Change, and the new must buy book WorldChanging!
A few more pics after the jump!
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to walk around the ceiling, but never thought I’d be able to experience it, besides a few instances in amusement parks. Well, not exactly everything is upside down, but the Viktor & Rolf Store in Milan does just this. Check out some other great pics here or here. This also reminds me of a great prank I once saw here!
Just to note, sometimes when you turn things, ideas, plans, etc up-side down, it sometimes makes things better!
Here’s a great set of characters drawn on cardboard sheets! I love cardboard…it’s one of those essential elements that you always have, use, and end up building halloween mazes, castles, mock-ups, storage bins, costumes, or as with many artists, the ultimate canvas. Hit up THIS Flicker Set for all the images and closeups, otherwise, I’ve posted an index of all of them after the jump.
Here’s a pretty nifty idea for a new visual search engine. “Like.com” creates results from both text and image matches! Take for example, a silver watch you saw in a magazine, but you had no clue which brand it was. If you had an image of it, you would pop that image in, and ask the service to look for things that, well, looked “like” it! (They call it “likeness” technology) In most cases, people would go to Google Image or Froogle, but as we all know, not everything pops up in those searches, especially the ones you were looking for, mainly because not everything is indexed with the right meta tags.
Like.com is from the creators of Riya.com,which in short, is a photo sharing storage system with some smart AI(artificail intelligence). You dump in a thousand plus images in, tag a few, and riya starts to recognize images of people, puts them in groups, and automatically tags them over time. Riya recognizes colors, images, text, faces, and much more. The more people that do this and share their images, the better. Imagine seeing all those pictures of yourself from other peoples cameras during those holiday vacations you walked into!
Anyhoots, I tried out riya fro some time and enjoyed it, but never found those many tourists pics of my smiling in the mysterious background which I try to do often. Hopefully like.com will change and improve the image/product search world quickly.
Just a reminder from Seth Godin:
“Normally, people just show up. They show up at work, or at a conference. They show up on vacation or even sometimes they show up at home.
They aren’t doing anything special, they’re just doing.
Well, I spent the day with several hundred enthusiastic people.
This group, led by Jennifer Young, didn’t just show up. They arrived. They were purposeful and positive and prepared and in a hurry… but in a good way.
It didn’t cost anything. It didn’t take any more effort (in fact, it probably ended up being less of an effort.) They got more out of me, more out of each other, more out of the day.
Enthusiasm has a lot to be said for it.”
via Seths Blog
This is soooooo true! I’ve been at several firms, corporations, conferences, parties, etc…and you know what, it’s a real turn off when people show no excitement in their work, their life, or just meeting new people. People or places that thrive with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm really makes any kind of experience better and usually more productive.
If your office space lacks this energy, try throwing a goofy day, some wild retreat, a few wacky toys around(airZooka)(or a handful of toys from Kidrobot), buy a few bean bags or a beanbag chair, add more jazz and color to your space, dress up for halloween, or pretty much anything that makes ya feel like a kid again. If ya work in a stressful environment, perhaps you can make some foam soccer heads for everyone to kick around. Perhaps just the soft lovable “living stone” pillows will do the trick. If you have a larger budget and a larger space, get a robocoaster, a kick butt slide, fun art on the walls, a kitchen full of goodies that change often, or a few razor scooters. Keep in mind, Work is play, play is work!