May 29, 2005

Thoughtless Acts

Despite the rule of not reposting Boingboing. I have to add this amazing book/site. "Thoughtless Acts" a book published by IDEO which explores our creative and instinctual interactions with objects. The book features photographs of pencils used hair ties, and bags overtop parking meters. The introduction says it best...

"Some actions, such as grabbing onto something for balance, are universal and instinctive. Others, such as warming hands on a hot mug or stroking velvet, draw on experiences so deeply embodied that they are almost unconscious. Sill more, such as hanging a jacket to claim a chair, have become spontaneous through habit or social learning. Observing such everyday interactions reveals subtle details about how we relate to the designed and natural world. This is key information and inspiration for design, and a good starting point for any creative initiative."

To me, the recognition of this phenomenon perhaps may share either meaninglessness of design, as our instincts subvert even the most carefully rendered objects, or proof of the even more carefully designed nature to come. In science fiction extremes the book indulges a fascination with a urban nature where our spaces and objects are completely fall in accordance with our instincts. Is this the current situation to some degree? How will our creativity survive in such a coddling environment?

The best part about the site however may be the growing collection of contributed Thoughtless Acts. I strongly suggest you check it

May 26, 2005

Big Box Reuse

"As superstores abandon buildings in order to move into bigger stores, what will become of the walls that they leave behind? It is within the answer to this question that we are seeing the resourcefulness and creativity of communities dealing with a situation that is happening all over the country: the empty big box. Through travel and the study of buildings, Julia is researching the way people build their towns, creating the context for their own lives."

This is a really powerful idea to me. When people criticize Wal-Mart, and the like, they fail to acknowledge the infrastructure that goes into the construction of these truly impressive edifices. Check out this article about her and the project

Via Space and Culture

May 24, 2005

The Complete Guide to Isometric Pixel Art

EBOY changed the face of pixel art. I have often seen their work featured as New York Times illustrations. When I do see their work in real print, I generally get all in a tizzy and exclaim to the other around me "Thats EBOY they are amazing, they are huge on the internet." They generally respond with an "Ehh... Looks like crappy nintendo, I could do that." In truth, they can't, and neither can I. That was until I found Drawn!'s post with a link to a Isometric Pixel Art tutorial.

****UPDATE ................................................................................... UPDATE ****

Also check out these political and pop cultural scenes represented in isometric form

May 21, 2005

Transformers Commercials

The Transformers Archive has an amazing amount of material about all aspects of the Transformers/Beast Wars universe. Though I am not a big fan, that is only based on the fact that I haven't had much access to the show. Transformers are still today a massive source of design inspiration for many. These commercials give you quick free looks at the machines in action. It is hilarious and beautiful eye candy. Especially this japanese ad for sausages.

May 19, 2005

Senster: First Robotic Sculpture

Commissioned by Phillips and built by Edward Ihnatowicz, a cybernetics sculptor, Senster was one of the very first computer controlled robots. While it was sessile, it responded with curiousity to movement and sound. While the design of Senster was beautiful enough to still hold up today, what struck me about it was its similiarity to Outerspace, one of my very favorite robots. The two both have a very minimal anti-humanoid form, and move in such non-threatening glides. I think they both represent the intelligent mechanical forms we can come to expect from the non military robot sector.

For the the most interesting collection of robots on the internet, check out Near Near Future's "Robots" archive

via Things

May 17, 2005

Link TV: Mosiac

The website LINK TV puts together "MOSIAC," a pastiche of middle eastern news from around the region. Translated and based around subject, the programs provide a seriously necessary opportunity to view the world from "their side."

Also check out some of Link's other programing centers on globalization on all levels. Although there is a political agenda(liberal) it is far from extreme. Check it out.

via Stefan (thanks)

May 16, 2005

LED guitar tuner

The "Strobopick" is a guitar tuner which uses LEDs to project the shadow of the strings in order to tune a guitar" seconds, without plugging in, in the dark, in loud rooms..."

Once again LEDs come to the rescue and find a solution to a problem we didn't know we had.

Alkanoglu Volkan's Drawings

This architect has some pretty intense drawings. Very little information about the work, especially any actual architecture. Complex and strange mechanical stuff. Via Things

May 11, 2005


"...ShouldExist seeks to find answers to the good questions. What's wrong with our world? How can we make it better? Who would know best how to do this? Who is working on something similar? What do they have to say? What next? is a non-profit website, founded on the belief that individuals are more successful when we work together through open standards, modularity and decentralized control...."

Created by Eric Hanson, ShouldExist is an open dialog where you can introduce your ideas to the wild, thereby making them non-elligable for a patent. Ideas already on the site range from "Green Hotels" to a public war crimes database

I recently submitted by idea for "Hypertext Shakespeare."
In case it doesn't make it to the site...

"Shakespeare great works (and eventually all "The Classics") released on the internet/cd-rom featuring the full text complete with loads of definitions and references. Understanding Shakespeare can be quite difficult when you aren't familiar with the specific events or mythologies he may be refering to. Students are often giving anandated and altered versions of the texts to aid their understanding. The hypertext format is undeniably more organic than footnoting systems. The question of whether or not these stories are still relevent to western society can be bettered addressed when we have a collected and natural system for reading them.

Based the model provided by Wikipedia/everything2 the works can be easily read in their nonalterted traditional state. However if a reader chooses to select a word or passage... a dictionary, or encyclopedia, or multiple literary analysis appears. The material selected would be asembled by a broad panal of experts, and represent multiple views on the passage and works at hand. Essentially, everything that is already avaible in a public library. This would just be a system that makes is compact and at our fingertips in a format that we are becoming more and more comfortable with.
The model could be extended to all classics, and perhaps even The Bible."

Gallery of Computation

These are beautiful gallery of beautiful flash and java algorithms made by Jared Tarbell The images form by random programed instances like orbiting and dividing. They are entirely digital, yet seem so organic due to color choices and careful design. Some of my favorites are "Substrate" which mimics a city's growth, and Bit 10001 where you can change the perspective and see the action in three dimensions.

I found it while digging around Levitated's Evolving Computational Creatures a presentation which draws comparisons between a programed processes and natural ones.

May 10, 2005

Homemade Ambient Orb

Also known as a "A wireless color-shifting abstract decoration." This heroic hacker took a simple tap-light and and built a color changing orb which responds to any input he chooses... weather, rss, stock market etc. The commercial device this is modeled after is sold for $150, whereas his cost just $50. It is a shame to building process takes intensive programing, and "high-voltage" semiconductors...

via hackaday

May 09, 2005

NYC PeaceMech

No posts due to lack of personal time.

Today Wooster once again another tremendous post. A 4 foot poster was placed on on Rivington Street in NYC with a beautiful sketch, and writeup explaining the "LMDC Peacemech." A giant robot which would roam around the "Business district" around the former World Trade Center. The creation, and existence of the mecha would bring autonomy to New York City, and create a "anarcho-democratic" Utopia fit for the 21st century. Check it out

May 03, 2005

First Person Pinball

This game is a stunning creation found via the selectparks archive. A force feedback eye level pinball machine. The player inserts his head into a helmet/box directly in front of table and watches as the ball hurdles toward his or her face. The best way to understand is to watch this fantastic video.

May 01, 2005

Fire Extinguisher on Core77

This discussion and reworking of a fire extinguisher design explains everything there is to love about design.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.