Archive for June, 2007

Drivers of Change cards

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
drivers of change book cards

“What will our world be like in 2050? This set of cards identifies some of the leading drivers of change that affect our future.

Each card depicts a single driver. A factoid and rhetorical question are on one face, backed up by a brief indication of the breadth and depth of the content on the other face. The set was devised by the Foresight & Innovation team at Arup, a group tasked with exploring emerging trends and how they impact upon business of Arup and its clients. The publication serves not only as a vibrant visual record of research, but also as a tool for discussion groups, personal prompts, for workshop events or as a ‘thought for the week’.”

I’ve had these cards for a few months (thanks TED) and they rock! Very inspirational, educational, great coffee table item, easy to read, and an amazing conversation starter for big topics in technology, our environment, economics, political culture, and social awareness in a globally changing sustainable future.

Drivers of Change website.
Drivers of Change Blog
Buy Cards here.


Replate.org: Recycle your food

Monday, June 11th, 2007
replate.org

Are you the type that never finishes a meal on the go ends up trashing it? Are you also the type that sees people in need of food on the streets asking for pocket change or food? We’ll Replate.org’s hope is to fix both these problems by bringing awareness of wasting less and helping more. If you have unwanted leftovers on the go, leave it on top of a nearby trashcan rather than in one so it doesn’t go to waste. I know this might seem odd at first, but I’ve countlessly seen people dig through trashcans seeking good edible food. It’s somewhat disheartening, but treat it like recycling… It’s still usable so help someone out by letting them know. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I’ve always wondered about grocery stores, fast food joints, restaurants, etc throwing away perfectly good food(I see it alllll the time at grocery stores). I forget where, but I once read/heard that all the food thrown away in the states would be enough food for the 3rd world countries in need. For a brief video on this topic have a look at Current.tv‘s video on Freeganism. Here are a few other organizations surrounding this topic: Freegan.info and FoodNotBombs.net.
(thanks axel)


Tunnel House

Monday, June 11th, 2007
tunnel inversion house

Isn’t it great how creativity kicks in when times running out. Take for example this incredible and beautiful installation by artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck a few months before this house was to be demolished…. I’m guessing they saw any opportunity to do something freaking crazy cool to a space that was going to be destroyed and turned this old house into a trippy wooden warp zone! More pics after the jump.(including whats at the end of the tunnel)
via hemmy
A few pics via Kevin Omara
(more…)


Creative Workspaces

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

my.studio.space
NowNow.com.au has a great post “desktop-desktop” documenting an ongoing series of desktops both physical and digital of creatives around the world. The collection includes French Designer Jean Sebastian from the playful design team Atypyk, guru graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, and several others. After scanning through this series I felt inclined to snap a shot of my current studio space pictured above, though it changes constantly.(after the jump: close-up of my toys and desktop screen)

Otherwise, I’ve always questioned the impact of creative workspaces; minimal, cluttered, comfy, colorful, industrial, modern, goofy, cubicles, etc. I have my own preferences, but for a diverse visual list check out “10 seeeeeriously cool workplaces” from the Chief of Happiness. Also take a look at Guy Kawasakis recent trip photos to Threadless.com and their kick-butt space! If you have a nifty workspace ya’ll want to share, take a picture, send it my way, and if I get enough, I’ll post them here.
(more…)


Human Tetris Game

Saturday, June 9th, 2007



I think I’ve discovered the next great Olympic sport to rule the world….. Human Tetris fitting. Give the video a look above, laugh like crazy, then check out a few other great Japanese videos I’ve stumbled upon. I know this doesn’t seem to deal with design much, but where there is laughter comes happiness then inspiration for great ideas.

Human Tetris 2
Tetris comedy
Mad Tetris skillz
Public Prank
Ridiculously fast hands!!!
Ski Resort stunt
Public Toilet Prank

happy laughing!


Rotating Wall

Friday, June 8th, 2007


rotating wall scuplture

Hmmm..call this rotating wall sculpture a work of art, really bizarre, or just freaking cool! Watch the video above and start to ponder…

“The UK city of Liverpool is playing host to a rather kooky piece of artwork for the next 18 months. Called Turning The Place Over (I do hope that’s not a reference to Scousers being nifty burglars) by Richard Wilson, it consists of a rotating wall that turns 360º. Cut in the wall of an old Yates’s Wine Lodge, the installation sits opposite one of the city’s train stations and is costing almost $900,000 – that’s $50,000 for each month of its existence.”
via Gizmodo


Spin N’ Snap Camera Concept

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
snap n spin sony camera concept

Sony just showed off a series of pretty sweet concept ideas on environmentally friendly sustainable electronics in Japan.”One of the more interesting devices of the lot is the Spin N’ Snap digital camera (pictured above), which you charge up simply by placing your fingers in the two holes (which also double as a viewfinder) and spinning it around a few times.”

Check out the pictures via Engadget or the whole article via DigitalCamerWatch.

Personally I love kinetic powering ideas though it’ll take more than one twist to take a picture most likely. We already have the hand-cranking 100$ OLPC laptop, so why not have a minority report like fling-charging camera. I’d buy one.


BestBuy: brand value and experience, booo.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

best.buy.yack

I recently voyaged to one of my favorite hands-on testing grounds store BestBuy, but what I left with was a diminish in their brand value and trust. The events experienced were not new, but they were unnoticed in the past as in recent years my expectations in brands, customer-centric services, and brand experiences have changed a bit.

So, what happened? I needed an external hard drive since my measly laptop was under 1 gig of space. I went to BestBuy and bought a pretty nifty external Hard Drive that you basically just plug in via USB and your set to use. At the check out counter, the sales rep kept insisting that I have a GeekSquad service added to install it since there was a sticker on the box. I said no thanks, and she kept telling me about how much easier it would be to install etc. I told her that all I needed to do was plug it in. Then she said “oh, well I don’t even know what you are buying.” Right there and then, I lost my brand value and trust in BestBuy. First, they had a dumb sticker on a product that does not need a person to come help install it for $$$.(It’s like having a person come install a toaster at your house). Secondly, the person working and selling me the product did not even understand the product nor understand what I meant when I said hard drive.

For crying out loud, don’t hire people into your company that don’t understand the products you are selling. I’m not just ranting at BestBuy, but there are many other brands that have employees that don’t have a clue to what the company does. Yes, I know it cost more to hire people that breathe your brand, but I’m guessing it cost more money to re-market your brand value to customers that have had a bad experience. Good things are easy to forget and bad experiences are never forgotten. I’ll stop my ranting here, but BestBuy, take for example some kick-butt brands like Jetblue, Wholefoods, Patagonia, or TraderJoes; they get it, their employees do it, and their customers know, experience, and live their brands like a religion. Brands are truthful users experiences today, not just portrayed over-marketed lifestyles anymore. We live the digital age…we ignore ads, research deeply, and leave nothing hidden.


mix1 beverage: all-natural fast food

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

mix1 beverage life fast food

On another random drink journey to Wholefoods I came across these brightly packaged Mix1 beverages claiming to be the “all natural fast food” drink packed full of the optimal mix of ingredients to maximize your all-day energy and balance needs.

At first glance, these bottles seemed more like mini paint buckets or large nail polish canisters with their flat sides and corners, but hey, they grabbed my attention being surrounded by the the other over-texted transparent like packages upon the shelf. I picked up the lime flavor to try out. It taste like a mini blended smoothie with bits of protein. It also had this distinct flavor that reminded me of the famous Asian mini bacteria drink called “Yakult“, though pronounce in Cantonese “Yu look doe”. Anyhow, the drink itself was tasty and refreshing, though I’m not sure how much of a boost it gave me.

On a side note: It’s amazing to see how many new companies are spawning out that become their own brand, or need to. Take for instance Mix1. They all sell a story, a story about how they themselves started and wanted to create a drink they would use. Not only does the story apply to the founders, but every single worker down to the sales rep. Another great example is HonestTea. The founders had a hard time finding a drink in the market that was not too sweet yet tasty. Most Iced teas were jammed full of sugars, so they created Honest Tea, which taste like real home brewed iced tea without the over saturation of soda like sugars.(read there story here, or an interview with the co-founder here)


Venting Our (Carbon Dioxide) Problems into Space

Monday, June 4th, 2007
earth carbon venting mr wong concept

Here’s an intriguing proposal to help rid the carbon problems in earths atmosphere; vent it out to space! I’ve never thought of such an idea, but then again, I never really understood our atmosphere scientifically as Mr. Wong below describes. I’d also question what happens when it’s all out in space? Is space the solution for all of our problems? anyhow, just thought ya’ll might like this read:”This week’s issue of The Economist reports on an interesting scheme proposed by Alfred Y. Wong, professor of physics and director of the Plasma Physics Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles, to rid the Earth of carbon dioxide emissions. Wong posits that a conveyor built in the Arctic could take advantage of the Earth’s magnetic field to expel emissions into outer space.

The Antarctic and the Arctic are the only two sites on the planet above which the sky opens up to space. There, particles from the sun that get through and cross the atmosphere could be harnessed for their gigawatts of power to lower the concentration of greenhouse gases by expelling them.

read the rest after the jump… via treehugger
(more…)


TuneGlue: MusicMap

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
TuneGlue visual musicmap

Here’s another pretty sweet interactive visual music map suggester(TuneGlue). You type in a band name, expand to see “like-bands”, delete a few, lock down the primaries, and after a few clicks you have a dozen more bands to check out.

The interface is simple, the branching is nice, and the suggestions are pretty good. It would be cool if a “listen” button was incorporated into the pod options rather than seeking a sound sample on your own. Be awesome if you could use this software for your own desktop mp3 collection as well..fun times at parties if ya ha a big touch screen for guests.(Microsoft Surface Table, or Jef Hans multi-touch wall)


zamzar.com

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
zamzar.com

Don’t you hate it when someone sends you a file format that your computer doesn’t read? If so, give Zamzar.com a try which offers free online file conversions (up to 100mb) for videos, images, documents, and music formats. They even have a nifty little URL video conversion section to download streaming videos to savable formats rather than squinting into the source code.

Zamzar reminds me of YouSendit.com which helps you store and send files across the net (up to 100 megs). So now you have online format converters and online file senders. I haven’t used Zamzar much, but I’m sure many of you will find it handy though the conversion types are basics and nothing super fancy yet(designers: no ai, psd, sldprt). Check out their conversions list here.