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December 2008 Archives

December 5, 2008

Nick Sears Orb Video on TED

TED.com just released Nick Sear's 2007 presentation on the Orb. Since it's premiere, he has been working on version 2, which is probably 200% more complex than the first one. There are more LED lights, 80-pin chips, and SD cards. Every component is surface-mounted, and takes place on both sides of the circuit board.

This is the Eagle/CAD drawing of the circuit board:

This is the printed circuit board with the electronics soldered on:

This is when it's illuminated:

It is heading to Singapore for Siggraph 2008. For more information on Nick Sears, visit Art Magnitude site.

December 9, 2008

Dot Dot Dot, The MFA Interaction Design Lecture Series (School of Visual Art)


Just went to this talk about "interviews" related to research process, which I thought was pretty valuable, and was glad I didn't miss. There were 4 speakers:

Elisabeth M. De Morentin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design
She presented some research on the Apple Store Experience, particularly about iPod nano.

Clive Thompson, Contributing Writer for New York Times Magazine and columnist for Wired magazine
He spoke about interviewing the Netflix competition to improve the accuracy of movie recommendation, and the discovery through interview (that six indie movies were causing the algorithmic problem, particularly Napoleon Dynamite).

Jason Severs, Principal Designer, frog design
He presented ethnographic research for a couple of products (e.g. remote control, and Neutrogena Exfoliator device).

Gary Hustwit, Director of Helvetica and currently Objectified (coming out this Spring)
He spoke about replacing the word "interview" with "conversation," which helped people to be more natural (versus over-rehearsed), and the importance of facial cues.

I believe Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware, Design Director of Nokia, Former Faculty at ITP and Steven Heller (Author and Art Director) will be speaking at the next Dot Dot Dot event.

I saw a lot of ITP Alumni, including a couple of ITP Faculty (Kate Hartman, Rob Faludi, and Robert Fabricant, also Creative Director at frog)

I wasn't able to attend the first one, but here were the speakers:
Tom Bodkin, design director, New York Times

Jake Barton, founder and principal, Local Projects

Andrew Sloat, graphic designer and videomaker

Christopher Fahey, founding partner, Behavior; forthcoming faculty, MFA Interaction Design


Check out StartHere, one of the sponsors... They raffled out StartHere notebooks--if you had 3 dots (Dot Dot Dot) on the back of your raffle ticket, you would have won one of these prizes.

Upcoming ITP Events

Big Screens
Friday, December 12, 2008
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
IAC Building
555 W. 18th St.
RSVP: itp.rsvp@nyu.edu

NIME (New Interfaces For Musical Instruments)
Monday, December 15, 2008
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue
This event is FREE

ITP Winter Show
December 17-18
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
721 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York NY 10003
Time: tk

December 12, 2008

Cool Typography...

Found this Bloomingdale's ad for mascara on the NY Times site. I really like how the type mimics eyelashes, very relevant to selling mascara. This looks fresh in the digital world, where Helvetica, Arial and Verdana fonts dominate.


Dynamic Footnotes

Saw these callouts in a BusinessWeek article. Thought they were cool in providing a second layer of information. I thought it was counterintuitive that you had to click on the i-icon to close the box. It took me about a couple of minutes to figure it out. Also, there should be a way to turn of the highlighted information for people who like to read clean copy (i.e. Yellow is such a striking color). I can see this used in Wikipedia.



Here is another image of the Orb projecting Jonathan Cousins' thesis project, data visualization. Orb v2.2 has more resolution. Jonathan Cousin is an alumni of ITP, and has great info visualization projects. I especially loved his CIA World Factbook visualization of the Middle East that he did for Lisa Strausfeld's course, who is partner at Pentagram, and designed the OS system for Sugar for Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC program (One Laptop Per Child).


December 16, 2008

Print is Not Dead, Yet...


So I was contemplating on designing a print version of my portfolio, and just happened to check-out my friend, Pete's new book. He designed it through Blurb, which is affiliated to Flickr. You download Blurb's BookSmart software, and there are a dozen of templates of styles and sizes to choose from. This is great if you don't want to shop for the holidays. I spent Saturday evening creating 3x50 page photo books, and ordered them online.


It is slightly slower than InDesign, however there are many advantages like the templates, and when an image's resolution is questionable, a warning icon appears. I'm not sure if the software automatically converts RGB to CMYK, but who cares? The prints are reasonably priced. You can choose a softcover or a couple of options for hardcovers. For another $3.00, you can print on Premium Paper, which I would recommend (of course, I only saw this option after ordering the first two).


Afterwards, if you do plan on selling your book, you can set the cost of your book, whether you want to sell the printed version on Premium Paper, and to opt for an online-preview for your readers. Within a couple of hours, your book will appear within the first 5 results of a Google Search. Btw, the preview is limited to the first 15 pages, so don't think that your other 35 pages are missing.

Estimate $10-20 for shipping depending on if it's a rush. And as always, check your work (copy and photos) twice.

T-Shirt Design


Among the numerous DIY sites popping on the World Wide Web, I tried Custom Ink (www.customink.com). For promotional purposes, I tried uploading a graphic of a circuit board for a t-shirt design, but because it was really detailed, it was over 10mb. No worries, they sent me to another page, and I was able to get the file to them. Online or on the phone, the customer service was excellent. I was helped by Sarah Blair, who called me when there were some issues with the process. She explained the output of digital print versus screen-print, and assured me that if I didn't like the quality, I would be able to obtain a refund. You lose a lot of detail with the traditional screen-print, and a graphic designer would have to retrace some of the lines. She was good about calling me with print issues (e.g. ink colors and colored t-shirts). Specifically, on digital-preview, the graphic looked like it could be printed on a navy t-shirt, but she called to tell me it wasn't recommended.

To make a long story sort, details do show up. The photo was taken with my iPhone, sorry. You can choose from a variety of t-shirt brands (i.e. Hanes or American Apparel for that hipster). I'm really happy with the results.

Jonathan Cousins' cute little nerd is modeling and Orb shirt.

December 21, 2008

Not quite up to mass production yet...

Silicone Mold

I have successfully completed my first wax design project by getting a silicone mold of this ring I designed about a month ago from wax. It was a lot simpler than expected. Molds are made out of either rubber or silicone, and the price varies with the silicone costing slightly more, but with silicone, there is less shrinkage, whereas the rubber, you can lose up to 5% every time you cast it. You can choose what metal silver, gold or brass, and within golds, you can choose 14kt, 18kt, and 22kt, and a variety of colors like pink gold or white gold, etc. I found out that if you want to oxidize gold, 14kt works best, which makes sense because 50% is an alloy of silver and copper. The prices are charged according to the price of the metals of that day, so maybe if you're interested in casting gold, I would look up the prices, and check out the stock market.

I ended up buying some supplies because I couldn't make it to the studio. In retrospect, I think it may have been cheaper to do this in the studio, with all the proper supplies (i.e. flexible shaft and burrs). My Proxon, which was semi-professional, started to smoke up when I increased the speed to sand-off the remainder of the sprue, and the rings got hot really fast. I also bought these special polisher-discs that were too big for the ring, so I ended up hacking that and wasted half of them, and some of them started breaking because I didn't have the correct bit. Oh well, you live and you learn, lol. I am pretty pleased at how they came out, but would have lived to polish and stamp the inside of the ring with a logo (maybe next time).

Straight out of production. The sprue is that ~3mm rod that sticks out from the inside of the ring, which needs to be cut.

Finished pieces (sanded, oxidized and polished).

December 26, 2008

Too many movies on my list to watch...

Last night, I just waited an hour to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the theaters, and was glad I did. This movie was probably the most beautiful movie I have seen in a long time. Cinematography and production design was definitely worth $12, but the concept of the story, costume design and acting were amazing as well (NY Times review, second review). This movie is definitely cinematic or digimatic, and is in my top 10 list. I'm was too lazy to read the story, and now back-peddling and reading this F. Scott Fitzgerald story on this blog. It was a moving version of Vanity Fair magazine cover and spread shot by Annie Leibovitz and feels painterly. Below is one scene, lighting is amazing, and I love that lamp behind them.

Merrick Morton/Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Pictures


Also want to see these flicks... And I love Apple's Movie Trailers Page:

Gran Torino
Revolutionary Road
The Soloist
The Reader
Waltz With Bashir


On a side note, the production value of this movie reminded me of a discussion we had in Clay Shirky's class about Hollywood making a comeback after UGC. Are studios producing less movies throughout the year, and more resources for one or two movies? This movie costs $135m with tax breaks because it was shot in New Orleans.

December 27, 2008

Photography Links

I really like this forum. People are knowledgeable and friendly...


As a big fan of Annie Leibovitz work, I really like these covers:

This is the photo of a cover that Annie Liebowitz shot for Vanity Fair (talk about lighting forced to look painterly):

This is the video of the making of the shot above (I can watch this a million times). Takes awhile to load the video:

What is remarkable about this is lighting different skin colors so they look true, and also she puts another spin to it, look how the red background is consistently red in every photo of the series:
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/07/onthecover_slideshow200707 (actually click on the next link):

(slide show-- this link automatically refreshed is for you):


Saw these link bounce around ITP mailing list (was it Matthew Burton who sent it out?)




Photo DIY tricks (I subscribe to the newsletters):


Just found this...


My ex-co-worker, Andrew Famiano found this site for me. Beautiful site and beautiful photography:



i love this...


Okay, I'm just going to say it...

This site is probably the worst web experience I've ever had. I typically don't criticize, but I love Vanity Fair Magazine, so I'm hoping that this blog post encourages their user experience designer/web team to get a move on. I spent an hour just flipping through a slide show that at most other sites, I would've spent 10 minutes on, but because I love the photographs, so I was persistent. The page refreshes S-L-O-W, and I'm not sure if it's because it's pinging information to a free account at Google Analytics (it says so on the bottom left corner of my Firefox Browser, and I'm assuming it's a free account because the page takes 20-30seconds to refresh). I'm waiting an eon to just read the captions of the photographs and upon scrolling, I'm waiting 2 eons to get to their video gallery. And just looking at the layout tells you they need some help with information architecture. I'm not sure if this experience is suppose to frustrate the reader to the point where they just close shut down their browser, and go pick up a magazine from Borders, but if that's the case, they need a new business manager. Look at all that wasted space.


I remember as a teenager that Vanity Fair and New York Magazine were on the same plane, but on the web, NYMag surpasses Vanity Fair. They could probably use some CSS help from my friend Andrew Famiano or Flash help from my friend Austin Corneilo.

Matzo Ball Soup...


I just made this discovery today. I recently bought a jar of Manischewitz matzo ball soup, and upon reading the label, found out that it is vegetarian. I guess I always assumed it's base was chicken broth, which means I can serve this to my vegetarian friends (Pablo) when they come over, yay! I think their are chicken versions out there, but this brand specifically labeled it vegetarian.

December 29, 2008

Matchstick Dress


This whole dress is made out of matches, and is on exhibition in the Scholastic building in SoHO. What is more remarkable is the designer is only 18-years-old. Her name is Lily Faget. It's really beautiful. Watch out Stella McCartney and Mark Jacobs! Or maybe she'll intern for them.

December 31, 2008

Wikipedia needs your help...

When I was visiting Wikipedia, I came across this page, Jimmy Wales' letter requesting donations. I felt compelled at 3:30am to give.

Anyway, what's even cooler is the "Contribution history" page, which you can see a list in real-time. Most people are anonymous, but I like reading the comments from different languages and see different currencies, which show how Wikipedia has an impact globally.


Contribution History Page

If you love design, check out this designer's site...

I found him through LinkedIn via Nick Law, thesis adviser at ITP, and works at R/GA. His name is Michael Clarke and he has a beautiful site with beautiful work, but most of all, his "Links" page lists a series of designers and artists hyperlinked to their source site. Easy to read and navigate to, and all the links are current, which he posts the month and year he updates.

About December 2008

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in December 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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