Italy: Milan, Florence

March 15th, 2007
italy trip

I’m off to Italy this weekend for a brief research project dealing with experience design and fashion to some extent. While there, I’ll be diving into their culture, food, wines, and anything inspirational. If you know of any must see or eat places, let me know.(must eat restaurants are always welcome 😉 ) A majority of my time will be in Florence and surrounding areas, but a few hours will be in Milan. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to post any finds while there, but rest assured that if I find a wireless network, I’ll post something. ciao!

update: The crazy thick winter snow cancelled my flight out of Boston, hence I’ll be a day or two late…..a small note from my experience during the cancellation….face to face works soooooo much better than by phone….I spoke to 3 people by phone who could not get me anything within 5 days and even told me they could not tranfer me to another airline……then, I decided to give the customer service desk a go and bahm a business class seat on another airline the very next day… ;)  (thanks Mariana!)

Total Darkness Restaurant

March 15th, 2007
dark restaurant

Here’s something I would have never thought up….serving dinner in total darkness as a restaurant theme. I love the idea of heightning your senses for food, but I wonder how many times I would flip food into my face or nose. I guess I’d avoid the noodles or soups and hot BBQ plates. Otherwise, I wonder if the users eat like blind cavemen using their hands. A dark room food fight with thousands of marshmellows could be fun.

“The first dark restaurant in Asia is officially opened on the 23 December 2006. This restaurant, located in Beijing, China, has its interior painted completely black. Customers are greeted by a brightly lit entrance hall and will be escorted by waiters wearing night vision goggles into the pitch dark dining room to help them find their seats. Flashlights, mobile phones and even luminous watches are prohibited while in this area.

The meal will be taken in this environment with the complete loss of vision. By starving one’s sense, your other senses are stimulated to full alert – all so the theory goes – and your food will taste like it’s never tasted before. In case you are wondering about the washrooms, they are all brightly lit. Link [in Chinese] ”

via neatorama

Adidas Greenscreen Shoes.

March 15th, 2007

adidas green screen shoesI’m not sure how useful this is but it’s a definite step in trying on products virtually.

“A new technology puts an end to the tedious business of buying shoes: Customers can now try on a variety of models in front of a virtual mirror without changing their shoes. They can navigate through the collection by simply pointing at products on a computer screen.

A Paris shop has put an end to the tiresome procedure of putting on and taking off shoes: Instead of trying on dozens of pairs, the customer simply stands in front of a virtual mirror. On his foot, he can see his favorite model with the red stripes, he then selects the gold leather alternative for comparison. ”

I’m not sure when I’d actually use this type of tech as a deciding factor since I’m the tangible type that’s got to get the product in my hands, but then again, I buy stuff online now without touching them, sometimes hating what I receive, then getting too lazy to return anything. Virtual haircuts, makeup sessions, workouts, cloths, jewelry, watches, shoes, socks, etc… who knows.. this kind of tech reminds me of that Epcot center ride that projects an interactive ghost next to you towards the end of the ride and you kind of freak out since nothing appears next to you physically but in the mirror exists some weirdo pricking your hair and scratching your head.

Read the rest of the article via physorg

G Pure Energy

March 13th, 2007

g pure energyA few weeks back the iconic creators of Voss Water sent me a case of their new drink G Pure Energy to try out.(thanks melissa!) At first I thought it would be another over caffinated and marketed drink in a very busy sector, but oh was I wrong. I was sent two awesome flavors: Orange Blossom and the Zero Carb Lime both in their squeeze shaped glass bottles with metalic covers. I was also sent a folder containing some zesty cocktails mixes which I have not had a chance to try out but will do so for some upcoming spring parties. So now for testing it out… I snapped open a chilled bottled and gave it a sip. It was snappy, fresh, smoothe, and poppy like champagne. It had a soda like touch but much cleaner without the sugar though sweet enough to enjoy. Unlike many other energy drinks, it didn’t leave a weird after taste, but more like a healthy dose of carbonated water with a kiss of sweetness. Super chilled was a must. It was almost like carbonated water with a bit of a zest which I enjoyed. The only minus was that these bottles emptied fast at 200ml. I’m not sure how much energy these actually gave me but the refreshing zest made me smile. I’ve never seen these in stores, but if you do, give it a go! I’ll post a pic of two of the bottle chillin in the snow on my porch after the jump.

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March 13th, 2007

I’m back from the mind-boggling TED conference and am detoxing my brain from the incredible stories, experiences, and knowledge shared by the hundreds of shakers and movers present there. My minds exhausted and happy while my bodies trying to catch up all at once. As usual, I’ll point to Tom, Ethan, and Brunos blogs for their incredible recap on the TED speakers this year. As I slowly absorb and digest the many wonders of TED I’ll post them on up with my thoughts. For now, I’ll post a few glimpse of my journey there.

Overall, the TED Experience was incredible as usual with a diverse crowd of individuals craving to learn more about every topic imaginable. There was a new simulcast room with HD plasmas hovering over beds and comfy bean bags, a new chocolate tasting section which was oooo so yummy and satisfying thanks to Vosges, a few demo booths by various sponsors, a big gift bag, a cool IT help desk, an amazing photography studio, an addictive Google Snack bar, and much more. One thing I missed was the Aquarium party that usually happens on Friday night but was instead moved to Tuesday night for the speakers party hosted by Google. This years Grand party took place in an airport hanger which was cool, but by no means as magical as the Aquarium. The after Conference Beach party was very good as previous years ended with no party. I could go on and on about this years event, but much like JJ Abrams comments on his magical box, I’ll keep that to a mystery but post a few pics for a glimpse of my experience. Enjoy!

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TED2007: Icons, Geniuses, Mavericks.

March 5th, 2007
ted conference 2007

I’m off to my 5th inspirational brain safari known as the TED Conference (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) over in Monterey, CA this week. This years speakers list is pretty damn amazing but as usual the conversations with attendees into the late nights will be the most memorable.
If you have not had a chance to dive into the world of TED you can catch a glimpse through TEDtalks (my selected picks here) or by exploring their site. I’ll post the captivating daily speaker schedule after the jump though the interactive one on their site is a bit more useful.
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Nathan Shedroff Interview

February 28th, 2007
nathan shedroff core77
If your interested in the world of “Experience Design” then give Nathan Shedroff, an experience strategists, a listen from core77’s podcast here(45 mins). Otherwise dig into his great publications on his website.
As a indusrial designer, I’ve always approached design as a methodology and not as a restrictive definition. I’m not saying restrictions are bad, but it’s bad without knowing what’s allowed, which also let’s you do a ton of different projects. If your a student out there still defining design, check out experience design, because once you figure it out, you can pretty much take on any project ranging from basic product development, business plans, marketing strategies, emotional connections, brand value, and much much more…it’s such a broad and adaptive direction that you’ll be always be learning, trying, and understanding. That’s just my take an love for experience design, which also includes the physical world and not just GUI/web design as most people know it as for some odd reason.

Pink Dragon Fruit!

February 26th, 2007
pink pitaya dragon fruit

Wow…OMG that looks soooo good! I personally loooove eating dragon fruits, but I’ve never seen a flamming pink one like the one above! As much as I crave dragon fruits, this picture made me mentally drool. Not only does an image like this capture my attention, curiosity, and thoughts, but it ignites my tastebuds. I’ve always wondered how to extract that magical element in food into product design. Sure, there’s amazing packaging, housewares, utencils, glasses, and items that surround food, but how can product designs in say laptops, pens, chairs, cars, etc make me drool like food does? I’m not sure, but I do believe in the idea of sense being enhanced or triggered by the other senses…like hearing through images, or seeing through touch.  Here’s a pretty cool thesis bases on that idea called “Synesthesia”.

via deliciousdays (a very inspiring tasty blog)(fyi: designers looove kick butt food)

The Next Net 25

February 24th, 2007

stumble uponslidebebomeebowikia



turnadifyadmobspot runnervitrue

success factorsjanrainreardenlogoworkssimulscribe
Here’s a great inspirational article/list of 25 online start-ups to watch out for this year. If your an entrepreneur craving to see what’s hot in the web world then this is a must see list. Some services I live by, some I’ve never heard of…Time to start up the trial engine this weekend.

CNN’s article here and slideshow of all the groups here. I’ll post all the start-ups briefs after the jump.

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Faceted Curtains

February 24th, 2007
faceted curtains

Woa, cool…faceted curatins by Hannah Allijn ….I love the untraditional especially in fabrics! Reminds me of an incredible faceted purse a friend owned by master fashion designer Issey Miyake. ( I cant find a pic online of it, but it rocked…the triangulated black leather mesh cradled to any surface while flickering reflections in all directions just like a diamond)(made me very jealous but then again, anything from Miyake would make a designer drool)

via designsponge
update: This Faceted Gas Station oddly reminds me of these curtains. I prefer the curtains though…

L.A.S.E.R Tag:Graffiti Research Lab

February 23rd, 2007

laser tag graffiti research lab
Here’s another amazing project and video by the beloved urban communicators “Graffiti Research Lab” making a slick and beautiful interaction between a user, a simple green laser pointer, a projector, and some code! This is projected graffiti at it’s best! Here’s a nice Flickr collection from the project. I’m all for making art on buildings with projectors since there’s no damage done though I’m sure a huge flicker of light into your office space can be crazy annoying when your panicking to finish up a deadline without distrations…oh well. Keep it rock’n ya’ll!

JetBlue: Customer Service

February 23rd, 2007

Last week, Jetblue had a hell of a time with all the news spreading around about the horrific operational meltdown during the frigid weather that gave some unlucky passengers a hell of a crappy waiting experience (waiting in an airplane on the runway for 8 hours)(NYTimes story after the jump). I was stunned to hear this horrible news as I myself think and rate JetBlue as a revolutionary company redefining the airline experience both before, online, during, and after.

Well, right before I dived into the story any further, JetBlues CEO David Neeleman announced a YouTube video with an apology with some major policy changes. The changes include:

• All non-airport crew members of JetBlue will be badged and ready to go if needed to be called upon
• Increasing number phone lines open for changing reservations
• Tripling the size of the group that schedules pilots and stewardesses

The airline announced a new reimbursement program for delayed passengers, retroactive to last Thursday, February 15.

• Delays 1-2 hours: $25 off a future flight
• Delays 2-4 hours: $50 off a future flight
• Delays 6+ hours: Free round-trip ticket

More details on the jetblue site here.

Now, thats a hell of a incentive to book from Jetblue and be rewarded for the airlines delays compared to other airlines. I also read that any passenger booked passenger declined a seat because of overbooking would be rewarded $1000!!!Anyhoots, kudos to Jetblue for setting some new standards again in an age old business that everyone uses!

via consumerists

(full nytimes articel after the jump)
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