All posts for the month November, 2007

Michal Tatarkiewiczs subway drawings

I’m diggin Michal Tatarkiewicz’s Subway Drawings. It reminds me of my room and desk… plastered full of sketches on every corner! If your a designer or artists, pin those sketches up; the rough, unfinished, drafts, doodles, refined,…seriously, it’s great to see sketches all over the place, or in Michal’s instant in large format! I’ve been to a few restaurants where they give ya a bunch of crayons and an entire table to sketch on… after some time, they post them all up on their walls. Makes for a great environment…napkin sketches at their best.

via WoosterCollective
A bunch more pics on his myspace page.

bmw mini cooper clubman 2008

I’ve been craving a new car for some time, waiting on the Nissan Cube to hit the states (2008) while hopping on the hybrid fuel Toyata Prius bandwagon, as everyone should, but the soon to be released Mini Clubman (stretched mini) has really caught my attention, being small, a bit boxy, and oddly cute like the other cars that I’ve pondered over such as the Scion Xb, Honda Element, and the o so small Smart Car. Of the bunch only the regular mini, xb, and Element are out. I think I can wait as the Mini Clubman (spring 2008) seriously rocks, but I’ve heard rumors that the Nissan Cube (late 2008) is suppose to be a hybrid, as it’s also a 4 door which I like… but the Clubman has this odd 3rd door on the passenger side, much like a secret VIP door to the back seat and some cool barn yard like back doors.

So what does it come down to for me and my next ride?…hmm, fuel economy, cool-oddness, space, fun, comfortable, and some sweet unusual extras.(yes, I know I’m kinda into this boxy pixel thing) Anyhoots, I thought I’d just share my thoughts with ya’ll, perhaps getting some input on what to do or any other thoughts on oddball sweet rides… ooo..Regular mini, Mini Clubman, xB, Cube3, Element, Smart, or I could always just settle with the square “Modular Car“!

Some pictures and links after the jump!
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risd portfolio day nyc

For the past 5 years I’ve been reviewing portfolios for RISD in Boston and now New York City every fall during National Portfolio Days, giving students tips, and digging a bit deep into who, what, and why they are. Every year thousands of students throughout the world wait in mile long lines in the frigid air seeking reviews and tips from schools in all corners. RISD tends to get several tables being one of the largest schools in the nation and many individuals wait for hours just to get a few minutes with us. I went through this experience throughout high school, so I know how disgruntling it can be.

I try to talk to each individual as much as possible, but with hundreds waiting in line it’s tough to dive deep into students personal passions, directions, and experiences without going straight to the basic tips. Many don’t get to see us, hence I thought I’d post some basic points from my experience in what design/art schools seek for incoming students. The tips after the jump!

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weekend links

What an exhausting fun filled thanksgiving week/end! I was out in the Vegas area with family and friends pounding out hours of non-stop eating, mahjong, wii-ing, casino visits, shows, shopping, and many goofy hours with my many cousins in arcades (punch the duck game above) and everything else. Good times!

I’ve only returned to find out that a parking ticket I appealed 3 months ago got declined for no reason. I had pictures etc supporting the wrongful ticket, yet they will only let me dispute it in court, meaning take a day off from work, or pay the crummy $50. I really don’t understand why they don’t fix their system. Sure this system makes people pay more tickets, but when a wrongful ticket is given, the only choice is to pay rather than take a day off.

Design Note: Making money can be a sign of a great business, but sneaky tricks will lower the brand trust and the longevity in a business. Users come first in my world… always! Don’t you love those brands that just fix things without asking questions, then hate the ones that do ask!
Now for the links:
Pancaking a truck video! launches “kindle”, their e-book/ink reader.
Cool Torn graffiti work by Alexandre Farto
Creative IKEA ads… I wonder if these layouts would be good?
Swims: Rubber slip-on booties for your nice shoes.
Popcorn Fork!
Cool origami folds using bills!
What hundreds of thin paint layers look like stacked!
An Interview with Jim Gromen on the rebirth of MadBalls!
Another Eco Friendly Powerstrip!
Google Android (G-phone) emerges!

The 2008 TED prize winners have just been announced. As usual they are stunning individuals with global minds and big ideas! Check out the winner through the TED video above or here. I can’t wait to hear their dream announcements in March.

TED 2008 winners:
Neil Turok: physics
Dave Eggers: writer and activist
Karen Armstrong: religion

Poptech 2007 Camden Maine Jonathan Harris Dan Gilbert, Carl Honere

I’ve returned from the mind-numbing inspiring PopTech Conference still a bit jittery from the collective curious minds at this year’s awesome gathering. This year’s theme “The Human Impact” was way more than I expected covering everything from politics, waste, medicine, minds, communities, art, science, music, and everything else in between. The speakers filled the opera house with passion, greatness, huge questions, and ideas that sparked the hundreds attending and thousands watching online.

PopTech also launched a new extension to their conference called the “Pop!Tech Accelerator” facilitating world changing projects starting off with “Masiluleke“which is a groundbreaking software tool for HIV/AIDS patients throughout Africa. The idea of “Accelerator” is to leverage the community of PopTech attendees with their network to create world changing projects.

As usual, I’ll point my fingers to ninja blogger Ethan Zukerman who sat in the dungeon simulcast room next to me zipping his feisty fingers onto his furious laptop for the complete detailed recap, but I’™ll post more on my experience, a bit on the speakers, lots of pictures, and my journey up to beautiful Camden Maine. I’m not sure when all the footage will be archived and available for viewing, but they’ll eventually appear on their PopCasts Streams which I’d suggest catching up to.

My recap after the jump, otherwise, Poptech 2008, a definite must go to!

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Here’s another great TEDtalk by Vilayanur Ramachandran on the brain, phantom limbs, synestesia, and how vision plays a critical role in all our minds.

“In a wide-ranging talk, Vilayanur Ramachandran explores how brain damage can reveal the connection between the internal structures of the brain and the corresponding functions of the mind. He talks about phantom limb pain, synesthesia (when people hear color or smell sounds), and the Capgras delusion, when brain-damaged people believe their closest friends and family have been replaced with imposters.”

Many friends ask me why am I so scientific about design, or why do I dissect every element possible before concluding to a final design direction (interaction, experience, and industrial design). Usually I just say there is no other choice, but such videos as the above explain it all. There is reason for everything and that’s the exciting part. I can stop and say I just like a design, but to figure out why someone likes, hates, or experiences a design differently is the good stuff. Everyone has a different experience growing up hence in my world there is no such thing as an exact definition but only dynamic definitions. This goes for words, colors, emotions, scents, ideas, cultures, objects, people, etc.

Anyways, I won’t dive into this argument too long because there is no wrong or right… just an opinion. I’ll admit I wasn’t always like this, but I’ll list a few videos over the years that have that made me dive deeper into the “design thinking” world. Hearing from non-designers is key in our future. We are a hybrid society of designers. If you inspire only from designers, you’ll just become the same… so diversify and become the hybrid that we all are.

Seth Godin (video)(gel video)- Marketing, Purple Cow, Marketers are Liars.
Malcolm Gladwell (video)- Sociology, Blink, Tipping point
Steven Levitt (video)- Economics, Freakonomics
Steven Pinker (video)- Psychologist
Dan Gilbert (video)- Psychologist, Stumbling Happiness
Juan Enriquez (video)- Economics
Barry Schwartz (video)- Psychologist, Paradox of Choice
Erin Mckean (video)- Lexicographer
William McDonough (video) – Architect/sustainability, Cradle to Cradle
Al Gore (video)- Climate Crisis
Hans Rosling (video)(blog)- International Health
Chris Anderson (video)- The Long Tail
Chris Jordan– (video)(treehugger post) Photography/Consumerism

So many to name, but this is a good list to start some disrupting.

Heineken wobo glass bottle to brick sustainable concept

Sweet goodness! What a great idea. Manufacturing Beer bottles to convert to brick structures for later use. This reminds me of the POM bottles that can be used as regular glass cups for home use. Why can’t this come back to reality! The amount of bottles tossed each year is absurd. Makes me want to ask photographer Chris Jordan to make a visual map of it for his “Running Numbers” series! (Did ya know in the USA alone we go through 106,000 aluminum cans every 30 seconds! It’s absurd!) There’s also the “66 Beer Bottle= a cheap solar water heater” direction.

Upcycling is a 21st century term, coined by Cradle to Cradle authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart, but the idea of turning waste into useful products came to life brilliantly in 1963 with the Heineken WOBO (world bottle). Envisioned by beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken, the “brick that holds beer” was ahead of its ecodesign time, letting beer lovers and builders alike drink and design all in one sitting.

Mr. Heineken’s idea came after a visit to the Caribbean where he saw two problems: beaches littered with bottles and a lack of affordable building materials. The WOBO became his vision to solve both the recycling and housing challenges that he had witnessed on the islands.”

I want I want!!! It’s like buying Lego’s with your beer bottle as an adult! or you can just reuse what you have laying around much like the students at Western Washington University.(their show is in Seattle today, Nov 10th, 5-7pm)

via inhabitat

One of the most inspirational lectures from TED2007 is finally out for sharing!!! Stanford Professor Larry Lessig give his take on digital copyright and how laws are strangling creativity. (his books here)

Larry Lessig gets TEDsters to their feet, whooping and whistling, following this elegant presentation of “three stories and an argument.” The Net’s most adored lawyer brings together John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights, and the “ASCAP cartel” to build a case for creative freedom. He pins down the key shortcomings of our dusty, pre-digital intellectual property laws, and reveals how bad laws beget bad code. Then, in an homage to cutting-edge artistry, he throws in some of the most hilarious remixes you’ve ever seen.”

Afterwards, watch some of my favorites from TED2006 here.