shared 21 Mar, 2011
September 22, 2010 – March 20, 2011
There are times when I can be very impatient. Sticking a small film canister pinhole camera outside a window for six months didn’t feel like something doable for a woman who will take her film to Walgreens for that one hour service when there are more better options.
In the end, I managed to leave one of two cameras in place for the duration. The image above is a six month view into the transit of the sun as it rises over the Oakland hills.[read in full]
shared 06 Dec, 2010
Privately commissioned to create a gift for an architect, Daniel Weil created a one-of-a-kind clock that is both simple and complex. Reducing objects to their component parts has long fascinated Weil. The Radio in a Bag he created for his degree show at the Royal College of Art three decades ago is an icon of 20th century industrial design. This clock is the latest demonstration of his interest in investigating not just how objects look, but how they work.[read in full]
shared 11 Oct, 2010
Last year’s Copenhagen climate conference failed to produce any sort of useful legislation. Maybe the wisdom of the crowd can do a better job. That’s the idea behind MIT Climate CoLab’s Collective Intelligence Climate Contest, a project that asks participants to submit proposals that answer one deceptively difficult question: What international climate agreements should the world community make?
There will be two winners of the year-long contest. After a
preliminary round where judges ferret out infeasible entries, visitors
to the contest site will be able to vote on their favorite proposals.
shared 18 Aug, 2010
You may have seen or even own Clocky, Guari Nanda’s first rolling alarm clock that runs from you in random directions to get you out of bed. Now, 4 years later, at the New York International Gift Fair, she’s released Clocky’s updated little brother, Tocky. This one is all 2010: it’s spherical, has a touch screen and changeable skins, records messages and mp3s with its built in mic, and can be driven around with your iPhone (just kidding about that last one).[read in full]
shared 15 Jun, 2010
Rogan recently released their newest bit of design re-invention with the Timeless Watch. Made in NYC, the wrist candy repurposes old watch pieces, making each one both unique and a chic example of upcycling.
But the best part of this accessory, its “timeless” empty face, not only neatly dismisses the modern anxieties of analogue-vs.-digital and how to convey the appropriate importance without looking too flashy, but in the process also cleverly comments on the whole convention of keeping time at all.[read in full]
shared 03 Jun, 2010
In order to get any group of people to work together towards a common goal, you need to find the answers to these questions:
- What do you want people to do?
- How will they do it?
- Who do you want to participate?
- Why will these people participate?
This should be the starting mindset for any brand or anyone designing experiences that are intended to engage a community of likeminded people.
When brands attempt to work with groups of individuals outside the brand, i.e.[read in full]
05 Mar, 2010 – 9 comments
you may have seen this before
Ever since I put together my slideshare on time (above), I’ve been obsessed with how I personally experience time.
An obsessive fascination with the future makes me good at what I do (thinking about the future) while leaving me almost entirely unable to live in the moment.
I rarely take the time to savor what I’m doing. I think I’ve had the opportunity to sip the finest drinks, eat the finest meals, and meet the finest people – but I can’t really remember as I’m typically trapped in my own head working out a problem or making plans for the future. And if recent conversations are indicative of a larger pattern – I think this future thinking lock-in is a growing trend among people like me.
I watch as we all sit in coffee shops, restaurants, and even movies, with our eyes half glued to our mobile phone. Mobiles quickly went from the thing we pick-up to simply look busy to the things that keep us perpetually busy. I spend a good deal of my time pecking away at my Google Reader; repetitively hitting ‘J,’ exchanging action for stimulus, action for stimulus, planning ahead, thinking about what to share, what to push to my blog, and what will allow me a moment of 140-character performance. I plan my route home, my clothes for tomorrow, my haircut for next week, my speech next month, my thoughts for my next meeting, my schedule for the weekend, my next blog post, my current project, my next project, and anything else that comes orbiting my thoughts.
Being more conscious of this, I’m even more convinced that as designers of experiences, we fail to understand people when we build branded experiences. People are rarely ever prepared to be in the moment when they’re online. Moreover, it’s incredibly difficult to get someone to slow down, breathe, and truly experience the world in front of them. Knowing this, we have two choices: 1) build experiences that play into the future-obsessed state that most people occupy, or 2) break real ground in developing experiences that coerce people into a present-conscious state.
If you’re interested in training yourself to be more present, here are 6 steps from Psychology Today:
- When you’re trying to do something, pay more attention to the activity, the room, the people, anything other than your own thoughts. Get out of your head and into the moment. Here’s a trick: play one of these things is not like the other with things in the room.
- When worried about the future, find things to savor. Much of what we do when we think about the future is collect mental images (often quite negative ones), savoring a momentary pleasure helps you stop catastrophizing future events. As Mark Twain said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
- Breathe. Yes, it is that simple. Take a moment to take a few deep breathes.
- Find your flow. Give yourself a clear task and focus deeply on your work.
- Accept rather than avoid. If you’ve ever tried to not think about something, you know it’s impossible. Accept your thoughts for what they are.
- Keep a fresh pair of eyes. Don’t let routine turn your life into a haze – try to notice what’s new around you, all the time.
shared 04 Feb, 2010
Toshiba is developing a system that tracks patterns in users’ mobile behavior to then predict and provide information accordingly. It will use sensors in consumer mobile devices such as GPS and accelerometers, which detect movement and rocking, to assist in making prediction possible. Looking closer at this emerging technology, we might spot possible applications and effects on our behavior and psychology.
So what kind of practical utility will this have for users? Say you’re leaving the apartment in the morning, your phone would automatically display train schedules for the nearest station.
04 Jan, 2010 – 6 comments
You’re the unborn son/daughter of an entire world – what a heap of expectations – that’s the bad news, unfortunately.
The good news? Well, it’s an amazing time to be alive. And there are so many amazing people to be alive with who are dedicated to making the world a better place during your time with us.
Oh, and the technology… It’s an amazing time to be alive with a pair of thumbs. And you have 6.7 billion pairs of them (give or take a few unfortunate accidents).
But the most fascinating tech isn’t what’s in our hands, it’s what’s in our heads. We, the once predictors of rocket cars, summer vacations on Mars, and robotic sexual partners, we the over-achievers and over-dreamers, we’ve begun to fail at predicting the new pace of technology. Our wildest dreams are now in our nearest grasp.
From Ray Kurzweil, he of the Singularity,
Progress is exponential–not just a measure of power of computation, number of Internet nodes, and magnetic spots on a hard disk–the rate of paradigm shift is itself accelerating, doubling every decade. Scientists look at a problem and they intuitively conclude that since we’ve solved 1 percent over the last year, it’ll therefore be one hundred years until the problem is exhausted: but the rate of progress doubles every decade, and the power of the information tools (in price-performance, resolution, bandwidth, and so on) doubles every year. People, even scientists, don’t grasp exponential growth. During the first decade of the human genome project, we only solved 2 percent of the problem, but we solved the remaining 98 percent in five years.
But Two-Thousand-Teens, let’s not lump you in as the next decade. You’re more than that. You’re our second chance at a new century. We’ve stumbled, we’ve lost the faith in ourselves, we’ve made promises we knew we couldn’t keep, and we’ve spoiled the first few blank pages of our masterpiece. But that’s why you’re here. Again, expectations… but in this endeavor, you are not alone.
But, Two-Thousand-Teens, we have our work cut out for ourselves.
Between 1910 and 1920:
- Thomas Edison demonstrated the first talking motion picture.
- Motorized movie cameras were invented, replacing hand-cranked cameras.
- The crossword puzzle was invented by Arthur Wynne.
- Mary Phelps Jacob invented the bra.
- Gideon Sundback invented the modern zipper.
- Stainless steel was invented by Henry Brearly.
- The pop-up toaster invented by Charles Strite.
- Short-wave radio was invented.
- Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays.
- Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for chemistry, discovering a new source called radium.
- Einstein published his general theory of relativity.
From the most banal experiences of the 21st century to the most sublime, much of the foundation was put in place during that second decade of the 20th century. It’s the same story again – the world we want to build, the society we want to live in, the future we want to dream, it all begins right now.
Like you, our dreams are yet unrealized and perhaps even undreamt. Two-Thousand-Teens, remind us to be hopeful, to be bold, to make ridiculous predictions, and to attempt foolish feats. To borrow a phrase, remind us that he not busy being born is busy dying.
To the inhabitants of the Two-Thousand Teens, let us not make another resolution for another year. Let us make a resolution for the 21st century and let’s use our time here to realize it. For perhaps the first time in our modern history, our vision is small compared to our grasp. Our culture is afflicted with short term thinking, quarterly demands, and our obsession with the present. It’s our future that matters most.
And let us have the strength to weather our mistakes and our misfortunes.
The phrase too big to fail was perhaps first uttered right before the Titanic embarked and sank in those icy waters in 1912.
World War I, the Great War, The War to End All Wars… well, didn’t. But within the decade it took with it over 16 million lives and 16 million possibilities for a different world.
Two-Thousand-Teens, we’ll never know who among us will have the pleasure of seeing you through. But while we’re here, it’s a pleasure to have you, and a pleasure to be your partner.
I promise not to take you for granted.
11 Nov, 2009 – 5 comments
How do we design experiences with an understanding for how humans perceive time?
I’ve been obsessed with this deck from Matt Jones ever since I posted it last week. Presented with a few days off myself, my obsession was allowed to run rampant. I cherry picked quite a few things from his presentation and then dug a little deeper with the help of a couple books and the internet.
I would have liked to spend a wee bit more time with this one, but I’m trying out this new philosophy of not letting ‘the perfect be the enemy of the good.’
I’d love to hear some thoughts on this one, so donate your two cents in the comments.