October 31, 2005

Lego Serious Play

Why does play work?

* Play is special: if it's routine it's not play.
* Play is voluntary: it can't be coerced or mandated.
* Play is imaginative: you can suspend the rules of the real world.
* Play isn't explicitly productive: direct consequences don't matter.
* Play is unlimited and delimited: play exists for its own sake and is different from work.
* Play happens at an agreed upon location: but it can be anywhere.
* Play has its own rules: it is not constrained by the rules of work

October 25, 2005

Donald R. Pettit's Space Art

"....I wonder what someone like Matisse could do with this ephemeral medium?" wonders Pettit. "Eventually, all the colors blended together yielding a rather dull looking green. I think we've discovered the true color of the Universe!" he joked..."

For more of Petitt's videos I turned to NASA's great video collection unfortunate, you can't link to search results, but I like the term "experiment." There is a whole universe of geeky Nasa fun there.

Petitt's playful experiments with salt in inflated bags created the first models of "planet formation." (you can learn a lot watching TV!) These videos are incredible!

October 23, 2005

Lego Design Work Above and Beyond Expectations

Bricklovinfreakboy/Soren designs lego sculptures superior to anything the company itself has ever put out. His work has been kicking around the internet, but I recently took a long look and was really just floored. There is really a lot to be impressed by. Many of the designs themselves are quite original, let alone his great attention to color detail. Not to mention the engineering of many of the pieces' moving joints. May not be everyone's cup of tea, but there I like to think there is something for everyone to really be impressed by here.

Cassette Jam 05

A Japanese guy's massive collection of blank mix tapes. Behold their beauty. My favorites are the exposed demagnetizers.

Via CocaineBlunts

October 19, 2005

The Best Question

justcurio.us is an anonymous question and answer system, open to anyone, with one simple rule: to ask a question, you must first answer someone else's question. Question yields answer yields question. Strangers helping strangers.

I was asked...

"Since time is altered by mass/gravity and if there are more fat people in "red" states does this mean that there are more or less suckers born every minute there?"

SwarmSketch and Cumulative Design

At SwarmSketch, users... "contribute a small amount of line per visit, then they are given the opportunity to vote on the opacity of lines submitted by other users. By voting, users moderate the input of other users, judging the quality of each line. The darkness of each line is the average of all its previous votes."

"We are currently sketching "Bird Flu", come in and contribute a line."

The "Links" page of SwarmSketch is essential. It houses some classics and obscure "cumulative design projects."

This kind of programing, I think, is a very telling trend. I hope it will ultimately lead to better search AI and better natural communciation.

via FF

October 14, 2005


Playstation2 bus stop ad with bubble wrap buttons. I think this is a lot of fun.


October 13, 2005


...ps, after you've visted the shedder, have a look at what they are doing @ potatoland.com


The Snow Show

"Some today’s most exciting artists and architects have joined forces to design works out of snow and ice.

All together over sixty icons and emerging talents from the fields of art and architecture, from over two dozen countries, have been invited to work together in this experimental and highly challenging process. The exhibition in Lapland will showcase a selection of these designs, which will be constructed into large scale, free-standing structures."

Zaha Hadid and Cai Guo-Qiang collaboration is very beautiful. As well as Lebbeus Woods and Kiki Smith's.

The Snow Show will recreated with new participants to coincide with the 2006 winter olympics.

October 11, 2005

More Papercraft!

After seeing these paper architecture models, and these easy to do beautiful fish. I have become reinvigorated about papercraft!

October 07, 2005

Uncanny Valley

While reading another's post on the 1st Ave Machine. The writer says the videos are "Model citizens of "Uncanny Alley." I didn't know what that was...

"The Uncanny Valley is a principle of robotics concerning the emotional response of humans to robots and other non-human entities. It was theorized by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970. The principle states that as a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion the emotional response from a human being to robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached at which the response suddenly becomes strongly repulsive; as the appearance and motion are made to be indistinguishable to that of human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-human empathy levels."

I like to think that the highest level of "fully human" bots as an impossibility. I like these bots because they exemplify our emotional response on a different scale. They are abstract, designed objects. Our response can be equally extreme, yet not as a matter of literal "empathy."

October 06, 2005

1st Ave Machine

1st Ave Machine video work mixes actual tape with amazing 3D animation work. This video takes still shots of plants and superimposes artificial minimally shaped growths on top. The growths blink and sway with the activity of a reef. All of this set to the "bleep/bloop" soundtrack. Needless to say after that description, the results are beyond staggering. Judging from stills and clips on the site, most of 1st Ave work seems to be a in a similar "augmented reality" vein, whether it be mechanical[a must see if you enjoy a nicely designed bot] or biological.

For easy flash free access to their work try this, as opposed to their beautiful (albeit bulky) site.

Via Future Feeder

October 01, 2005

BBC - Radio 4 - "Creative Genius"

A great BBC radio program of understanding creativity. A wide variety of impressive scientists and artists weigh in on the subject. I have only listened to program three, but the whole series seems very really interesting. The science of analyzing creativity is still relies on vague definitions and infantile neuroscience. Enjoy. Its fascinating stuff...

Doomed Fish and the Incredible world of papercraft

While Paper Forest has been featured regularly on two of my favorite blogs, Drawn and BB. I have definitly increased my intrest in it now that I have printer. Nearly everypost is a gem (I made the panda!). Papercraft uses the internet in just a magical way. I hope the trend of free papercraft design continues to increase in the coming years.

I especially want to highlight the work of Keisuke Saka. His automata are not only mechanical marvels, but are serious scupltures.

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