design/art Archives

August 30, 2005

"Try HALAL!" somebody told me

I was told you're not a TRUE NEW YORKER until you try "Halal" So far I have had a cold cut that was called "Turkey Buffalo Wing Tamale." I had to ask what it was. It's a sandwich, but the coldcut they used is made of remnants of Turkey Buffalo Wings and Cheese. But why do they call it a Tamale? That through me off. It was good, but I thought it was a Buffalo Wing sandwich.

I'm going to try Halal on 53rd and 6th street. It's chicken and rice. When I get Halal, I will take a photo of it. Street food is to be trusted and tastes good. Street art is more interesting...SEE!

How cool is that? I saw a homeless guy with a sign that says "Pay me $2.00 to tell me off." Who needs a television in New York City.

September 4, 2005

Shopping in Chelsea

There was a cool store called "West Elm." It's reasonably priced. I have never seen one in Los Angeles. Later, I found out that William Sonoma owns it. Anyway, it's a cool store. I like this one lamp. They should open one in L.A.

Across the street from "West Elm" is "Angel Street Thrift Store." I walked in and found a cool book about Alfred Hitchcock for $3.00, but didn't have cash on me (and I would feel stupid charging $3.00 to my credit card). Anyway, I went back, and it was GONE. Anyway, it's a cool store. There are vintage designer pieces, ranging $25, $70 and $90. There were some lamps that I liked, but they were $400. At least the money goes to a good cause, substance abuse and mental health.

Both are on 17th Street.

September 7, 2005

More Street Art

I think I have some images of his/her art work somewhere in this blog. This one, I think, is a goldfish jumping into a cup. Green pasteurs...maybe not. I can't read the other one.

September 10, 2005

Semi-Permanent Conference

This is a pretty cool conference, and worth every penny. Unfortunately, I was barred from taking any photos, but check out their site, if you're interested in design. The conference encompassed Print, Fashion, Computational, Architectural, Illustration, Graffiti art/design and more. It was held at the Lincoln Center.

Here's there link:

September 17, 2005

Abstract Graffiti

I don't know who this is suppose to be. I just hope it's not some political dictator. Also, I posted the "Stop Bush" graffiti because it reminded me one of another tag that I saw in Florence, Italy that said "Bush is a terrorista." I don't know what to make of this form of medium.

Visionaire - Part 01

This is the magazine that costs $170.00 an issue. It used to cost $80.00 an issue. If I had the money, I would probably subscribe. One of the issues is are die-cut mandalas and art work stuck loosely in foil colored pages.

Visionaire - Part 02

Another issue was just a scent one. Each page shows and image, and then you refer to the bottle of scent to smell it. The first page is an image of a glacier, and the perfume is the scent of what a glacier would smell like. The second scent and image is "Fetish." Another magazine is a a set of dolls that famous fashion designers painted. The dolls have special accessories.

Visionaire - Part 03

Mario Testino did the magazine of "Uncensored." One image is of a sewn figure (with red thread). The cover looks like it should be censored...

Visionaire - Part 04

There are illustrations printed on latex, a page of slides, and embossed dots (emulating brailled) drawn in a figure. Other pages, which I don't have images include a photograph of Giselle Bunchen, and an envelope on the opposite page containing a swatch of the sheet she is lying on in that photograph. The same goes for an undergarment a model cuts with scissors while wearing them. Cool stuff. I hope all graphic designers, artists, and creative people get inspired.

Visionaire - Part 05

Exhibited at the gallery were these hand cut images. Some of the pieces were 8.5 x 11 inches, and some were 4 x 5 feet.

September 24, 2005

Shampoozied? Ban Books? Stalk Celebrities?

Interesting messages...

October 22, 2005

Red Doors - This is for Justin Cram

Justin Cram got me into red doors. So here it is...the most intriguing red door. Why on a church? Is it a church? Why that intensity (color) and tone? Curious, but it caught my attention.

Louis Vuitton Store - For my Mom

Ever since we went to France, and purchased purses, we've gone into every Louis Vuitton Space, not to mention there web site. Well, here's the one on 5th Avenue. Architecturally original in the sense that there seems to be a glass mask over the over the traditional-Manhattan building. In any case, I believe it fuses the classic and the contemporary seamlessly (Grad School does this to you). And "no" I didn't go shopping, this was an assignment for my Applications class.

LOVE Stamp

I always loved this graphic!

MOMA Opening Night For Safe Design

My friend Christian had a pass to go to the opening night. It was GRAND! I met a ballerina, and Jorge Student, who graduated from The Royal College of Art in London, and designed this folded corrugated plastic cardboard house that is collapsible. He now works at IDEO. I was thrilled when he gave me his card. But of course I don't have a cell phone.

Super Creative People at MoMA

This guy made the backpack he's wearing. Then I met this guy who's partner works at ID Magazine. I was intrigued by his interlocking scarf. There are no seams, it's just made out of interlocking pieces. Very creative.

Meat Packing District is the Upcoming Chelsea

I went to a cool restaurant, emulating a generic French cafe, called "Pastis." Busy, busy, busy, but worth the wait.

Contact sheets and Fashion Shoot

I just liked these photos.

Beautiful Objects 01 - Famous Designers

I found the coolest calendar, wall, sign, mesh chair, texture, Noguchi's Rocking Stool (which I wish I thought of when creating my cardboard chair) string sculpture...

Frank Gehry Cardboard Chair
Mondrian-like Shelves
Wired Mesh Chair (This chair is in my "Spoon 100" book)
Enzo Calendar
Noguchi Rocking Stool

November 1, 2005

Physical Computing - Portable Piano

November 18, 2005

Forget About the Cardboard Chair

How aout the cardboard house?

Street Art on Bleecker


From Safe Design

More Safe Design

Stuffed microbes. Bullet-proof t-shirts.

Lovely Textures

White, Folds, Subtraction

Architecture Exhibit

Architecture Exhibition Continued

Cooper-Hewitt & The Met

Beautiful Trash

January 24, 2006

FAO Schwartz

I love this store. We peeked in because of my toy design class.

January 29, 2006

Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Window

Cool Storefront Window in SoHO and Foil

March 13, 2006

Obscure Trash Art

March 18, 2006

Japanese Anime

What's up with Japanese Anime? I went shopping for a tween's present, and she really liked Inuyashi. Instead, I bought this box, which is closed, and doesn't tell you what character is inside the box. I ditched the heavier one because it either looked like it was going to be the bad guy, and took my chances with a middle weight box. I found that this character named Bleach sees ghosts, and he's in high school. His friend-girl is a "Soul Reaper." Cool name, but is this some Goth/Cult movement. She's going to tell me which one she gets. It sounds like there are 2 pieces of plastic, so maybe one is a character, and the other one is a sword or cat. We'll see. I think it's tied to a videogame.

I Love this Aphorism

April 3, 2006

Adicolor: Guerilla Campaign

I went to this Adidas exhibit, which was to give me the "ultimate" experience of making me feel like I'm one with the "in" crowd. When I first arrived to the address 267 Canal Street, I walked into 2 stores, and asked about the Adidas exhibit. This Chinese man, who couldn't speak English told me to follow him, so I did. He walked through the store to the back, and crossed the street and into another entrance to a basement. I started to feel that this wasn't legit, and was wondering if this was a place where they sold fake Adidas. But then, at the end of the hallway, I saw this colorful videotracking projection and a ultra-contemporary sculpture that had Adidas stamped all over it. The experience was pretty effective in making me feel pretty "cool" that I knew about this event, and "special" that I was part of this covert operation. The tennis shoe line emulate printmaking business model, where some shoes are limited edition, and the same went for the athletic jackets. There were some commercial to underground grafitti artists tagging shoes, and popular artists like "Fafi, a French grafitti lady artist. "Fever 1," a dancer, hired for this 2-week event, pitched a great story/sale.

April 13, 2006

Whitney Museum

Liked the political messages, but I though the Biennial was disappointing this year.

Great Graffiti

Found on a building in SoHO.

Innovative Graffiti

I like the fact that this piece is taped to a wall. The aesthetic is graffiti, but is it considered graffiti because it's not an act of vandalism?

Jewelry Inspiration

I think they are by Vered Kiminski.

More Jewelry Inspiration

May 30, 2006

"Transformed by Light: The New York Night"

"Transformed by Light: The New York Night' Exhibition at the Museum of the
City of New York. It ended on May 7, 2005, but here are some photos. Enjoy!


"Timescapes" a compelling multimedia presentation of the history of New York playing at the Museum of the
City of New York. Former ITP alum was commissioned to do this piece. It goes over the history of the 5 burroughs.

"On The Couch: Cartoons from The New Yorker"

I recommend any graphic designer to see this exhibition.

On The Couch: Cartoons from The New Yorker

Pay specific attention to the couch and the backdrop drawing.

This is at the Museum of the City of New York.

Great Graphic/Environment Design Compliment

So why have I taken so many photos at The Museum of the City of New York? I absolutely fell in love with the way they've presented information, specifically graphic and typography. All of the exhibits were compelling and interactive with their audience.

I had to take an image of a compliment to one of the exhibits. Kudos to the designers and curators of that museum.

Historical Dinnerware

I really like these patterns, and would like to somehow integrate these motifs into my own work.

Sherril Schell - New York Photographer

This was a great exhibition, lots of "architectural" photography, the most famous is this photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge.

June 11, 2006

Doll House Themes Parallel To Historical Tenement Quarters

New York Toy Stories

My favorite of this set is the prequel to Sony's Aibo (Interactive Dog--Not Robotic).

November 3, 2006

Abstract Cardboard Art

This is for anyone who had to create, design or produce a cardboard chair (usually an industrial design/architecture assignment), this is for you...

November 4, 2006

Clifford Ross, a Photographer and Inventor

He was a guest speaker in Red Burn's class, and his presentation resonated with me. I saw him last year, when he showed his then-current work of large-scale photographs produced by a camera he designed and paid someone to make (click here to see the camera "R1"). In his quest, to bring the mountain to you, he believes scale and detail is important, which is why the negatives are 9 inches by 18 inches, and can capture in focus anything within 4,000 ft in range. I believe the resolution is in the 5,000-6,000 dpi, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, in person, you can see the shingles of that barn.

In the past, he was collaborating with scientists to make a high-def movie camera that captures 360º so it's kind of like everything you see when you make 1 turn, all at once, which might be projected on his i3 Cyclorama, which is described like a spiralled IMAX screen. I would definitely like to interact with this immersive experience. The above image is a screenshot of one frame projected on a flat screen of what this camera shoots.


Also, here is a list of what he believes are "necessary ingredients for invention and art:"

1. curiosity
2. persistence

3. be ready to embrace the unexpected

4. collaborate/collaborate with the past

5. pay close attention to accidents

For more info, please visit his site:

November 6, 2006

Keith Herried

I met my friend Keith Herried, when I decided to take some life drawing art and acrylic painting classes at a local college. We used to eat at this El Salvadorian restaurant during breaks, pupusas, huevos ranchero and horchata. It became a weekly habit, and then after classes, we went to an exhibition or we used to draw people at a cafe. Our group of two grew to four (Brenda and Eduardo). I think they ended up going to art schools professionally, one on full scholarship.
I've kept in touch with Keith. He just had his first art show. I knew he would make it. I'm so proud of him. He just sold a piece too. One of the things I really appreciate about his work is that he's not afraid of being experimental. He has numerous works using collage, oil and watercolor. This is his self-portrait and the invitation.
Btw, this was in Los Angeles.

November 8, 2006

Storage Signage

I really didn't notice this building (it's across the street from Grimaldi's) because I usually come here for dinner. I believe they are apartment buildings, and I think some of the units have high ceilings. They get a nice view of Manhattan.
I can't even imagine this building in 1893.

Wired Nextfest 2006, Part I


Screen made up of fog. Any media projected on it looks ephemeral.

3D Display Cube
Former ITP alum, James Clar

Each cube is made up of 1000 led lights.

Vein Viewer

This is fabulous if you have small veins. Normally, a nurse pokes around looking for a vein in my arm for about five minutes.

Flexible Screen

This is a thin flexible screen attached to the arm of a soldier in combat. The army plans to print buttons on the other sleeve using a technology called e-ink. These buttons would be used to navigate through this interface. It looks like it comes out of a Harry Potter novel.


November 9, 2006

Wired Nextfest 2006, Part II

Bots were big.

Need a dance partner? No need to be a wall flower. I think they waltz, but not sure if they tango.

Bot arm has approximately 33 air pumps that act like your muscle and tendons. They hope amputees can use this botic arm. I like the detail of the fingernail etched into the model hand.
This bot can pick itself off the floor, and make unique human natural gesture. It's tiny.
Seal Bot Clever way to hide the power source. These bots react to your gestures. If you squeeze it, I think it makes a sound. I think they are being used for therapy.

Wired Nextfest 2006, Part III

Power Aware Cord

A power strip that indicates how much energy you use.



Heat from light bulbs are not wasted energy here. It doubles as a heater also.


Water Garden


November 13, 2006

Analog Texture

I like the simplicity of this film. It simultaneously feels binary and archival.


November 14, 2006

Pollie Barden Networked Journal Project

When Pollie first pitched her idea, I remembered thinking "Wow! That's pretty ambitious." Anyway, two weeks later, she's already making her prototype and hooking her sensor to the book (which I believe is an fsr). So imagine that black electrical tape around the book's border is a force field. As you write in the book, it triggers the LED light. Then replace that LED light signal with a cell phone message, email, audio, or any kind of response. Keeping this in mind for when my group designs an antenna for our bookshelf. Kudos, Pollie!

I was wrong about the sensor. It is an analog QPROX (proximity sensor) that is constantly on using PWM (pulse width modulator: technique for controlling analog circuits with a processor's digital outputs). I think she's going to ground the cover of her book with some conductive fabric. I really can't wait to see this at ITP show.

For more information about Pollie's work, click here. She also designed and produced this cool laptop tray for one of the kids in her assistive tech class. I think he was very happy with it.


November 15, 2006

The New York Times Building

I was passing by the Center for Architecture when I decided to pop in. There were three exhibits: New York Times building, WTC, and student's work, which I will cover in later blog posts. I really appreciate the process of designing a building, especially when it's a collaborative effort. I think about the chief architect's role and also all of the team members regard to discipline, and attention to detail.

Here's one page of hundreds in a book the size of half a coffee table:

This series of photos are of four models. I am not sure what the scale for this model is, but keep in mind, all of these were constructed in scale (e.g. ¼ = 1 foot).
The building with the city: nyt0.jpg

Just the building:

The entrance:

Close up of the same entrance:

Floor view:

November 20, 2006

Lucky Sketches

One day, when I was reading an article about social networking in primates, Lucky, came up to me. I quickly sketched him out. I really like drawing with a pen because it makes me sketch with quick deliberation, whereas with a pencil, I constantly erase and redraw.

World Trade Center

Question: How would I get 5,000 people to meet for dinner and vote for a design for the new World Trade Center?

Answer: I would probably ask the 5,000 people beforehand to bring in an artifact about the issue they want to discuss, and bring it to that event. Then when people discuss their issue at the table, and vote, everyone is on the same page.

Then I would probably collect their artifacts, and display them on a wall or inspiration board, whether part of an exhibition or not. That way, people can assume that their time and thoughts were considered.

I was impressed with this exhibition at the Center For Architecture. These two walls display numerous articles about the design and construction of what the new Freedom Tower.



Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part I

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. Unfortunately, I can't remember which school these set of illustrations belong to, I like layers of information displayed graphically here. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.





Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part II

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. I took these images for someone who really liked metal work and textures. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.




Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part III

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. I believe these sketches came from the architecture department at Cooper Union. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.



Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part IV

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. I believe these sketches with regard to structure came from the architecture or interior design departments at Pratt. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.



November 23, 2006

Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part V

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students at Princeton. I really appreciate all the decorative details in these models that I would normally overlook in buildings, in general. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.

Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part VI

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. These images show the importance of information design. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.

Center For Architecture, Student Exhibition Part VII

Of course, I took a lot of notes, but I lost or misplaced them. These works belong to architecture students. These images show multiple ways of layering experimental textures to build structure. If I find my notes, I will definitely edit this entry.



November 29, 2006

Neat Window Displaying Bed For Bot

This store is next to the Great Jones Cafe. The mannequin looks like one of those seatbelt dummies.

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part I

David Bamford's Remote Emote is pretty cool. He is in my Networked Objects class. The concept of this piece is kind of a physical mirror installation. There are two of these in two different locations. When one square rod is pushed in one location, the corresponding rod in a different location protrudes. It kind of reminds me of Andrew Shoben's work. Immaculate detailed construction and engineering.
To learn more about his process, check out his link.

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part II

Another amazing project created by Rocio Barcia and Karl Channell. They produced these controllers that allow you to change the space and scale of the scene that is projected on the screen. I believe this project has a lot of potential in providing an immersive experience in a non-linear narrative. I can picture the user toggling between two or three scenes from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, or even a moving sequence that would allow a user to experience time travel.

December 1, 2006

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part III

Ilteris Kaplan's Mood Box

These boxes collect people's emotional state, which is connected to a data visualization interface, called "Moodbox Stats." Collective and random emotions in a specific location are mapped on a color wheel by time. The stats measure the overall emotion of a room or location. Currently, the working prototype communicates emotions to each other. Input: press a button to record emotion. Output: the box changes colors to express the emotion-input.

"Hey Ilteris, how about a Mood Wall?"


Jane Oh rewards the "Walking Potato"

I think it's a device that rewards you for getting off your couch. The user is suppose to walk, which is measured by a pedometer, and logs in the distance. The more you walk, the more television you get to watch. The pedometer is wirelessly connected to a television.


Angela Pablo and Megan MacMurray, Electric Plant

Using an inflatable to represent power consumption. When an energy saving light bulb is plugged into this device, it pumps air into recycled bags that forms a plant sculpture. When a regular bulb is switched on, the plastic plant deflates.


Chris Paretti and Chris Karailla

Voice replaces the remote controller for these cars. If you call a number, you can control the speed of these toy cars with your vocal "Vrooms!" I think the dial plan (Asterisk) parses the frequency and the pitch of your voice to control the speed of the car, and the the telephone extension determines which car you control.

Anyone with a cell phone can participate in this race. Here is a video of how it works...


December 2, 2006

Preview Winter ITP 2006, Part IV

Pollie Barden Networked Journal, in progress...

About two weeks ago, I documented Pollie's project. It was great seeing her process from cardboard journal, pcomp journal/book design.

That's Tom Igoe in action, Professor at ITP, and author of Physical Computing books: no_pollie01.jpg

Book Design, this image shows the container for the pages of the journal. Note that gray material is conductive fabric: no_pollie03.jpg

That the back of the book, which contains all the electrical components: no_pollie04.jpg
(1) Breadboard that is designed in the journal. It has a wireless piece.
(2) Another breadboard that will be designed in another journal, which is suppose to be situated in another location. This will be hooked to a low-tech printer (that roll of paper), so it would print any activities of the journal (1).
(3) Copper fabric, which grounds the sensor, and helps its sensitivity.

For more information about Pollie, click here.

Andew Schneider's Sustainable Practices, 1/4 Projects

In an effort to recycle plastic water cups, frequently used at ITP, he decided to build this Wheat and Rye Grass Ecosystem. See, not everything at ITP is about microcontrollers, this is pretty low tech and beautiful. I wouldn't mind having one of these hanging in my balcony or even an office somewhere.


By the way, he also designed the ITP Winter Show 2006 postcards. It conveys human, enchantment, and possibilities.


December 4, 2006

The Irony of BusinessWeek's Award

So in October 2006, BusinessWeek published a story about "Top Design Programs," and NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program was listed as one of the top D-Schools. They gave us this plaque, need I say more? Maybe the design objective is to redesign the award? Actually, we're happy that we were in the mag, and the award is up on the wall between the computer labs.

December 5, 2006

New York Times Illustrations from Processing Application

This is truly a beautiful information visualization illustrated by James N. Sears. It was published in the New York Times Magazine (December 3, 2006), as the cover.

Although the printed illustrations are beautiful, the actual screen interface is more engaging.

Also mentioned in this story is Matthew Burton, also a member of the ITP community.


Processing was developed by M.I.T. grads Casey Reas and Ben Fry, and it's free to try. It is part of ITP foundation courses because the language is similar to Java, except the interface is easier to understand than Eclipse. Also, it's a good introduction for Arduino, which is also another free software that similarly functions as Pic Basic Pro.

December 7, 2006

Christmas Ornament Sculpture

These ornaments kind of remind me of Paul Rand's cover of Direction (1940), where red dots are symbolically ambiguous, becoming Christmas decoration and blood drops. I was telling Andrew at work that they looked like festive bombs.

December 8, 2006

Saks does it right...

So far I've seen this twice in two years, and I'm still not bored. Randomly lit snowflakes synchronized to music.

ITP Winter Show 2006

Orbital, James Nick Sears, Ron Sears, Leif Mangelsen

Imagine this with tri-colored LED lights. Pretty crazy, huh? I think this project maybe a show-stealer.

The motor is off... orbital00.jpg
The motor is on... orbital01.jpg

For the final iteration for the ITP Winter Show 2006, click here.

Another photo taken in class... globe_jnsears.jpg

Off, of course.

December 11, 2006

Let Them Eat Beautiful Cake!!!

This cake was for my friend Cliff. I'm not sure where his wife, Ziggy, got it. Not only is it beautiful, but it was delicious (flavors: chocolate, and hints of coffee and peanut butter).


December 12, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006 Preview

"Now, finally, a lot of people are beginning to see how machines might in fact learn to fit into their lives as well as humans do. People are increasingly choosing their books and music by the algorithmic recommendations of Amazon instead of those of their friends, planning dates with mates they find in textfields instead of local bars or social clubs."

—Christian Croft


This machine will fill out scantron bubbles for you if you drop a coin in any of its slots. Christian Croft designed the gears and kinetic system from scratch (i.e. using the laser cutter to cut Plexiglas). I know he's going to be insulted, but I have to say that the design of this machine is beautiful.

His commentary of moving forward to a world of automation is humorous. I always appreciate Christian Croft's and Andrew Schneider's conceptual art projects. I'm not sure if it's because they have a background in theater, but their work is never too abstract for me to understand.

This machine is going to be attached to a desk.


This code means something, translated from binary to English.

For more information about this project, click here to visit his site.

December 18, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006, Sunday, December 17, 2006

Some photos from the show. More to come later.

ITP Winter Show 2006, NYU, Tisch School

The Orbital By James N. Sears, Ron Sears and Leif Mangelsen

3D display using persistence of vision.


December 20, 2006

ITP Winter Show 2006, Monday, December 18, 2006

PART o1:

Solar Cell Bikini by Andrew Schneider

Power your iPod mini with your bikini that collects power from the sun.

The "Is Our Machine Learning" Machine by Christian Croft

Commentary on the smartness of machines.
itpwinter01.jpg width="200" height="150" />

Ubi-atch Toys by Min, Gilad and Chung-xi

These toys read your email as if you were having a conversation with the writer of the email. They are also designing a version for iChat.

Couch Potato by Jane Oh

This device rewards you after you have taken a walk around the block. The more you walk, the more you get to watch television.

The Networked Journal by Pollie Barden

I've written about this project before. Please see earlier entry for more information.

Ambient Lighting Design itpwinter05.jpg

Interactive Puppet Theater

You interact with a sensor that looks like a microphone to manipulate puppets in action.

A mirror that allows you to see yourself in different hairstyles.


Are we in a time warp? Typewriter outputs digital? Typewriter crosses computer. itpwinter08.jpg
Twister Game networked? There are hundreds of solutions to win this game. A new approach to Twister, but you need to find the right combination. To do so, it requires you to touch other players. itpwinter09.jpg
Gilad Lotan

Each copper piece represents a continent. When they are spun, you see video of news from that continent that was mined from the Internet.


These fingerless gloves warm your hands ups when you hold your partner's hand. itpwinter11.jpg

MoPress by Alex and Jane

You wear this jacket that logs in data and provides this visualization.

Powder and Ferrofluid Interesting texture when it pulses. Pretty mesmerizing. itpwinter14.jpg
Hat Mutterer itpwinter15.jpg

This project is called "Hair" by Carolina Pino

Kyungmi's "Kenny" digital paint brush itpwinter17.jpg
Networked Shoes as a performance tool. This was indeed a treat to watch. itpwinter18.jpg itpwinter19.jpg
Lara and Myra worked on a chair that functions as a musical interest for assistive tech.itpwinter20.jpg

December 21, 2006

More ITP Winter Show 2006, Monday, December 18, 2006


Chris and Juri's Mega Phone Game. This is fun and immersive. I can see it at a movie theater. You call a number and play these short games that are projected on a screen. The games are short and satisfying. One example is blowing into your cellphone to digitally blow a balloon fastest. Maybe the theater can give you a free tub of popcorn if you win. "Don't forget to turn off your cellphones for the movie!" itpwinter21.jpg
Andy, Kate and Che worked on this demo. You can turn off appliances and make your home smart using your cellphone. So if you forgot to turn off your light or forgot to turn on your air conditioner for your cat, this would be a great tool. itpwinter22.jpg
Christin Roman's Telebunny calls your child and comforts it when you're away. itpwinter23.jpg
Chris Parretti's car race allow you to control the speed of the car by yelling into your mobile phone. New game consoles a mobile device? Watch out Sony and Nintendo! itpwinter24.jpg
Preston Noon's Puzzle Poetryitpwinter25.jpg

Mike Bukhin and Michael DelGaudio's mobile phone is video tracking every second and minute of the wearer's day and meta tagging activities.

Ilteris Kaplan's Mood Box allows you to anonymously input your emotions in one space, which is processed and displayed in a different space. I see a lot of potential. It is beautiful as well. itpwinter28.jpgitpwinter29.jpgitpwinter30.jpg
Fun cell phone game with archaic cell/cordless phone controller>itpwinter31.jpg
Judson's video tracking flea simulation. What a hoot!itpwinter32.jpg
Jeff LeBlanc's art works. itpwinter34.jpg
Che's tree personality test translated to music using Max/MSP and Jitter. itpwinter35.jpg
Jenny Chowdhury's email art. itpwinter36.jpg
Animalia Chordata. Gabe's humorous exploration of personal space. He puts people in bottles. Okay, this project was in one of those blogs I listed above. itpwinter37.jpgitpwinter37a.jpg
Tales of Grim. While you read this book, the rooms in the play house interact. itpwinter38.jpg
Low tech art by Heather, Charles and Tristan. It's pretty satisfying swaying these blocks itpwinter39.jpg
I didn't get to interact with this project, but it looks engaging. itpwinter40.jpg
Tikva's Sonic Body Pong. This was on the Make blog too. itpwinter41.jpg
Steve Jackson's project allows you to channel surf YouTube according to subject matter. If you type in "basketball," it mine all videos related to this sport for the day and play it for you. I'm not even a big YouTube fan, but I found this project pretty cool. itpwinter42.jpg
Fantastic Piano


December 23, 2006

Macy's Interactive Window, Holiday 2006

I am amazed that this department store is one block long and has eight floors. The shoe department is pretty exhausting. I believe theres a couple of fast food places and Starbucks or some coffee shop inside. What even is more amazing is that they are going to be open 24 hours two or three days before Christmas, so if you're a procrastinator, run there!

Also, check out the wooden escalators. I am amazed by the carpentry and it's smoothness.

The windows of all department stores is always dressed up. Macy's went all the way with this one bringing Disneyland to NYC. I think they used a proximity sensor for the button and four LED lights (to indicate that a switch has been set off) on the window. When you press the button, the characters react. Each window has a theme/story.

But first, the tree-light that adorns the entrance.
If you press this tree, the boy waves that candy cane around.
Press the owl, and he turns.
Look carefully at this dragon's eyes. He's watching you.
And here's the whole scene...
This one has a "sea" theme. The octopus frames the window.
When you press this shell-shaped button and the oyster behind it opens to reveal a mermaid offering a pearl.
Here's my favorite window of the series. When you look at this window, it looks like you are flying.

December 25, 2006

Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller with Swarovski Star

But if you go inside to see the "Top of the Rock," there is an amazing Swarovski crystal installation that is suspended from the ceiling, it looks like the Rockefeller center upside down. I will take a photo and upload it later. It's free to see.

December 29, 2006

Cool Halls Ad Campaign

These caught my eye...


December 30, 2006

St. Patrick's Church

Beautiful architecture. These are for the McCoys.

When I was taking a photograph of this church, I kind of tripped, but didn't drop my camera. Thank, God, really.

Anyway, even all the people milling around, it's still peaceful.


January 1, 2007

Vintage/Thrift Stores on 17th Street, NYC

I found these gifts from Housing Works. They have auctions that raise money for people who have HIV/AIDS. I went in yesterday, and saw a nice leather sofa, with the highest bid at around $500.

Angel Street Thrift Store is another store that raises money for causes, such as Substance Abuse, HIV, AIDS and Mental Illness. I found a lot of cool books, and furniture (if I only had room for it). Both of these stores sometimes have a sample sale on items, and they sell a lot of trendy items. I found designer bags, and shoes, rarely worn, HERE, at these stores.

Housing Works Thrift Stores
143 West 17th Street
Phone: 212.366.0820
Hours: Monday-Friday 10AM-7PM, Saturday 10AM-6PM, Sunday Noon-5PM

Angel Street Thrift Store
118 West 17th Street
Chelsea, New York 10011
Phone: 212.229.0546
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-5.

I found this beautiful Italian perfume bottle at Housing Works for a steal (there were at least a dozen left), and this cute kitten-vase for my sister, who has a collection of kitty figurines.


By the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

January 18, 2007

Another Halls Ad

Another ad that I spotted on the train. I still like the "school bus" the most.


January 19, 2007

Placebo, 2004

Artist Roxy Paine, born 1966 Commissioned by the St. Louis Art Museum

This is a stainless steel tree outside of the museum.


January 28, 2007

Wing Power, Landing


January 29, 2007

Wings II


January 30, 2007

Humorous Subway Art

On the 1 or 2 line (Red).












February 1, 2007

Good Design

Eliot Fette Noyes


February 2, 2007

Swarovski Crystals

The Parrot is to die for, flutes (with tiny loose crystals in the stem), the chess set are worth taking a look at in the store.

I went back to get photos:





Beautiful Vase.

February 4, 2007

Santa Monica Art Tool: "Walk on LA"

Sculpture by Carl Cheng, 1988

Made of concrete and steel.


Arlington West Santa Monica

Every Sunday since February 2004, Veterans For Peace (an organization) build this memorial. This memorial reminded me of Christian Croft's Redial project.


February 6, 2007

Class Ring for ITP

Originally, I designed these rings with voice recognition chips (concept) for Amit Pitaru's class Designing For Constraints, but I think they may work better as the design for ITP class rings.

Concept for Pimp'd-Out-Braille Ring:


February 7, 2007

Anthropologie Window with Semi-Sustainable Theme

The Anthropologie store in Rockefeller Center always has some of the best windows. Playful, fun-narrative, and very detailed.

March 5, 2007

CNC Fabrication, Part 01

Mark and Toru, our profs, arranged this field trip to visit 4-pli (a studio) that has a 3-axis CNC milling machine. Basically it can mill just about anything.



The smallest drill-bit used on this machine.milling_03.jpg

Serious vaccuums to suck excess dust and debris from this machine.

This is Mastercam, an application, that simulates the machine milling your 3-D design before it mills. I wish this was a screensaver.

The blue material on the bed is styrofoam. When the milling machine is turned on, the bed sucks the air out so that the styrofoam can not move during the process.


Drill bits that are primarily used for undercutting.

This is the interface for this machine. You can see the X, Y, and Z values on this screen.

It goes through two passes. The first pass is rough because it uses a larger drill bit. The second pass is smoother because if uses a smaller drill bit. This is the finished design. If you look at the Mastercam photo, you will see this design on the screen.


Our assignment is to create a surface that can be milled in Maya using dynamics and applying different force fields to manipulate the plane.

CNC Fabrication, Part 02

72 North 15th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Here are some surfaces that were milled. It mills masonite, wood, Plexiglas, and lighter metals, like aluminum (it takes longer).


March 10, 2007

TED Conference

Last year, my friend Jay Moorthy told me about TED, and I've heard about it here and there. Lisa Strausfeld also mentioned TED when she lectured about Richard Saul Wurman (known for his book Understanding USA, where famous designers created information graphics about statistical data in the U.S.). For those of you who don't know about it, TED is the acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Some notable speakers and performers have been Al Gore, Malcolm Gladwell, Cameron Sinclair, Nicholas Negroponte, Jeff Han, Tracy Chapman, Sirena Huang, an 11-year-old concert violinist, and even our own ZeFrank (who taught Creative Acts at ITP). It costs about 5g's to go, and you have to be invited, but all of the money goes to charitable organizations. Anyway, they have free podcasts of past speakers, under TED TALKS, which I try to listen to.

This year, I was really interested in Theo Jansen's works (I first heard about him in Living Art). He does these amazing kinetic sculptures, and he's one of the speakers at TED this year. Also, Hod Lipson, who is doing some work in robotics. His robot like of looks like a starfish, which can be seen in the BusinessWeek slide show about TED. I think he's also created a DIY Desktop fabricator for less than 2g's. And also, Nick Sears, from ITP, will be talking about his thesis, the newer 3D orb, and presenting the initial iteration (shown at the 2006 ITP Winter Show).

Bill Clinton, Lawrence Lessig, Paola Antonelli, Zaha Hadid, Richard Branson, and They Might Be Giants will also speak and perform this year.

Here are some recommended links, some are repeated from above:

Podcasts of TEDTalks


BusinessWeek's Slide Show on some speakers [which include Theo Jansen, Hod Lipson, and Nick Sears]

BusinessWeek's story about TED

March 14, 2007


How cool is this site? I was just complaining about how printed birthday cards and e-cards are so cheesy. Cliff Hahn, my cool friend (I swear he should start a magazine), recommended this site. This is for the geeks at heart.

GeoGreeting will allow you to send a personal message/e-card, but what is unique about this site is that the font are photos from satellite images of the top of buildings.

Here are some examples:




March 15, 2007

More Glamorous Lighting the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea, right across the street from the Chelsea market.


March 27, 2007

Rapid Prototyping Fabrication - Fabricating Information


Rapid Prototyping Fabrication is a process that prints resin on x, y, and z axes. So from this video (screenshots below), each shot is a cross section of the artifact.

Here is the process:




Here are some colleagues pieces:

James N. Sears [derived from Mathematica]



Che Mangat


Stefan Hechenberger [derived using motion capture]


March 29, 2007

Chandelier Store

I always pass by this lighting store that sells a variety of chandeliers when I go to the Dumpling House on Elderidge and Grand. This photo is for Jane, who is designing a modular chandelier that would be affordable for all people.


April 10, 2007

Danny Rozin

Production process and first peek of his new Pixel Mirror.


April 12, 2007

Brain Food by David Sleight

Pretty cool links on interactive design. I'm adding them to my delicious account. Last year, I went to a great talk by Khoi Vinh, who helped redesign the New York Times web site. Since then, a host of magazine publications redesigned their site. One of my favorites is New York Magazine. I love their top nav bar. I thought Khoi Vinh presented the New York Times site with top nav bar as well, but now it has a typical left nav bar like the Los Angeles Times site (which is in serious need of a redesign). Anyway, I subscribe to the New York Times Urbanite email newsletter, which is pretty stylistic. Also, Andrew Famiano pointed out to me the redesign of The New Yorker site, which looks fabulous as well.

Some great recent presentations from the Web design community. These are all definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

Slides from last week's An Event Apart Boston.
The presentations by Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, Dan Cederholm and

After the Brief: A Field Guide to Deign Inspiration.
Inspiring (and darn funny) talk by Jason Santa Maria and Rob Weychert
at the recent South by Southwest Interactive Festival.

Full audio:

Video clips:

Khoi Vinh's "Grids are Good" presentation, also from SxSWi:

***Also, check out these podcasts of Bill Clinton , James Nachtwey, and E.O. Wilson, TED prize winners of 2007. All three are pretty awesome and inspiring. I must have watched them two or three times each. These presentations are truly food for the brain.

April 14, 2007

Design Life Now, National Design Triennial 2006

I just went to this exhibit yesterday at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. This was amazing. Works from these disciplines [product design, architecture, furniture, film, graphics, new technologies, animation, science, medicine, fashion and sustainability] were shown. Ellen Lupton was one of the curators (a fan of her many design books).

Don't miss (no photos because it's not permitted):

1] J. Meejin Yoon, MY Studio/Höweler + Yoon Architecture Low Rez HI FI, (2006) interactive installation.
2] Suzanne Tick, Crossform light, (2004), (double woven fiber optics)
3] Lia Cook, Binary Traces, (2005), (this looks like a print of a [photograph until you get very close, it's all woven)
4] Joseph Ayers, Biomimetic Underwater Ambulatory Robot (Robolobster), (2005)
5] James Carpenter, Landscape/ Light Threshold
6] Chandelier made from VOS water bottles, Readymade Magazine [I need to buy this book, lots of great ideas in it, including, a shoe rack made by recycling shoe boxes, a messenger bag made from recycled plastics (also part of the exhibit). Really simple ideas that look good using recycled materials
7] Google's data visualization map of languages spoken.

A lot of big names, like Greg Lynn FORM, OMA/Rem Koolhaas, someone from Droog Design, Santiago Calatrava, Acconci Studio, and Natalie Jeremijenko.

I ended up buying the catalog for $40.00, no tax.

April 16, 2007

Retainer Necklace

This post is for anyone who wears retainers or ever had to wear retainers. I almost bought this, but I wish it were my own retainers. I remember so many times when I took my retainers out, wrapped them in a napkin, placed them on the tray, forgot to put them in my mouth, and threw them away. I had to replace them at least twice $300 or $400 apiece. It sucks because by the time you make an appointment to see a dentist, make the cast for your retainer, and pick them up, your teeth have moved.

I remembered one time I was at Rubio's and accidentally threw them away. The lady who was straightening the trays helped me dig throught the trash. She found them. I tipped her $20, and she didn't take the cash.

I found this super cool necklace at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum store for $300.00. It's 14k and designed by Kiel Mead. It brought back a lot of memories.



April 22, 2007

More Swarovski Crystal Birds

I've been fascinated by Swarovski crystals since moving to New York. First the "Top of the Rock Observation Deck" at the Rockefeller Center, and then a series of Ron Arad chandeliers. I love the cut on these birds. I posted another one earlier this year of a parrot. I really like the colors (strong primary).



April 29, 2007

Designing For Constraints, some projects

PopTop Portfolio

Designey by Tim McNerney. "PopTop Portfolio (PTP) is a digital showcase of an artist's work." It's like a real photographer's book because there's no keyboard or mouse.



Camera for K

"‘Camera for K’ is a photographic interface that maximizes independency of a physically handicapped person who uses a wheelchair and cannot operate the interface of a camera." This is one of the most moving projects, as well as Pollie Barden's iN-BaGs. There's a better photo demonstrating this project in the link I provided. I really like how this project gives such creative freedom to this individual who is physically constrained. Younghyun Chung's presentation is really good because you get a sense how successful this project is by just looking at the results of his user testing.


Happy Feedback Machine

This device was designed by Anh Nguyen. It really, really works. My favorite of the switches is the set of bumper ones. It kind of feels like a cross between sending a morse-code message (speed) and pushing an elevator button several times. I came out of one of my classes feeling like a zombie, and this machine was a tactile paradise.


Catch a glimpse of the bumper switches in the right hand corner of this image:


Other super cool projects:

Social Bomb, a game that teaches you how to gain social capital.

Pollie Barden's iN-BaGs, "an exploration of personal expression through assistive technology."

May 6, 2007


Here's a preview of the ultraORB by James N. Sears and his father Ron Sears. It's a dual-axis rotating display creates color visualizations of models in 3D space, using persistence of vision.


A rotating 320 tri-color LEDs about two axes simultaneously under the control of sixteen microcontrollers, creates a fully volumetric display that can display arbitrary models within the three dimensional volume of an 11" sphere.

It will be at the ITP Spring Show, this Tuesday and Wednesday night at 721 Broadway.


May 20, 2007

The BlinkCam

at the MakerFaire sponsored by Makezine.

Andrew Schneider (creator of Solar Bikini) created the The BlinkCam as an experimental device for performance, which was the topic of his thesis at ITP. The idea is that you blink (consider it a switch), and this device takes the shot.

The eyelashes are conductive, which...

snap into this helmet, which...

is connected to Polaroid camera...

Also at MakerFaire are The Orb, The UltraOrb, and Botanicalls, which were at the ITP shows.

May 21, 2007

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

I just attended the third annual MatterX, hosted by Material Connexion, and saw some amazing works. More to follow later...

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is a fine artist and professor who teaches at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Motto: “Not utility bur futility.”

Translated X, Y coordinates of a glacier in Ottawa to recreate a mesh iteration of an iceberg (Buckminster Fuller inspired). Some of these sculptures scrape weather data and broadcast it online.


3D data of clouds to create cloud sculpture, Cloud Prototype #1
Digital fabrication prototyped in 11 separate pieces and then assembled.




Other Projects: DNA fingerprint in New Bronx Library, Cryogenics sperm bank, El Nino Effect, Bullfight ring with IR sensors that look for aliens, Nocturn/white poppy sculpture/surveillance, bullet-proof umbrella (made of kevlar), Robert Oppenheimer media installation in purgatory, Colin Powell/sand toilets/misinformation of biological and chemical weapons

Keywords: information, science, arts, sculpture, media, McArthur fellow, fabrication, abs rapid prototyping

May 23, 2007

Kennedy & Violich Architecture

Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich
Architecture, Boston

I saw their presentation at the Material Connexion awards. I was really interested in their "Portable Light Project." Energy efficient light for Huichol Tribe in Mexico, and it helps sustain their weaving culture. Over 100 design iterations to comply with regulation of mailing lithium batteries (3.7V), and has social implications (these lights charge faster when a community of these modular pieces charge together.

Gives off 100 lumens of light (40 lumens is average), uses 3.7 V (1,800 mAmps), charges for 3 hours, and runs for 10 hours.

Other Projects: Electroluminescent Plywood Desk, Sever Hall (Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, skylight in the middle level of the building that simulates natural environmental conditions), Pillow/Cloud-like structure canopy on pier of 34th Street in New York (lighting and projection).

MoMA Spring 2007

I saw these pieces awhile back at MoMA's collection from Out of Time: A Contemporary View. I'm due for another visit.

Mona Hatoum. (British of Palestinian origin, born in Beirut, Lebanon, 1952). + and -. 1994-2004. Sand , steel, aluminum, and electric motor.


There's something really zen about this piece, and I had to tear myself away from it.


Rachel Whiteread. (British, born 1963). Untitled (Paperbacks). 1997. Plaster and steel, Overall 14' 9 1/8" x 15' 9" x 20' 8 3/4" (450 x 480 x 632 cm).



Josiah McElheny (American, b. 1966). Projects 84. Crystalline glass, colored electric lights, metal, and painted wood.

May 24, 2007

Material Connexion Symposium



Kennedy & Violich Architecture
Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich
Architecture, Boston
Portable Light Project

Energy efficient light for Huichol Tribe in Mexico, and it helps sustain their weaving culture. Over 100 design iterations to comply with regulation of mailing lithium batteries (3.7V), and has social implications (these lights charge faster when a community of these modular pieces charge together.

Gives off 100 lumens of light (40 lumens is average), uses 3.7 V (1,800 mAmps), charges for 3 hours, and runs for 10 hours.

Other Projects: Electroluminescent Plywood Desk, Sever Hall (Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, skylight in the middle level of the building that simulates natural environmental conditions), Pillow/Cloud-like structure canopy on pier of 34th Street in New York (lighting and projection)


David Gibson
Two Twelve Associates
Environmental Graphic Design

Other Projects: Signage for Central Park Zoo, other commercial buildings, Chicago Streetscape signage, Radio City Music Hall, MoMA in Queens, Children’s Hospital in Boston, signage in scenic Hudson

Ecofab (fabric/solvents)
Windsor Fireform, LLC


Interior Design

Other Projects: uses materials like fiber optics, LEDs, bamboo, washi paper (for walls), recycled materials, biophilia (plants), solar panels, “Sumac” (weaving culture in Armenia), went to Africa to employ and sustain beading culture

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,
LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability)


Sam Hecht & Kim Colin
Industrial Facility
Industrial Design, London

Sam Hecht use to work for IDEO, but left to start this company, which design primarily for Muji. They pride themselves on building working prototypes rather than digital prototypes.

Current projects include networked objects, like: Mixi (camera cellphone enclosure that uploads photos easily to Japanese Social software using stickers/physical tags), more info on Mixi (,, Cellphone with LED light display that could also be used as an alarm clock.

Other Projects:, Muji coffee maker, Muji fan, Magnetic knife rack, and knife for Taylor’s Eye Witness, Flex Lamp for Droog

LuckyBite (electronics design, more info here:


Cao Perrot Studio
Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot
Landscape Design

They use recycled materials in their design. Glass Garden and Lullabye garden uses 9 to 9.5 ton of recycled crushed glass to create texture.

Other Projects:, Bill Massey for public art titled Cocoons, 100 Hearts (made with the scarcity of deaf coconuts due to genetically engineered foods), Medici Fountain, Nantucket Rose, Jardin des Hespérides (lantern/perfume garden)


Sandy Chilewich
Textile Design, New York

Created “plynyl,” innovative processes of woven vinyl to make placemats, tableware, floor mats, car mats, carpeting and bags.

Other Projects: She’s famous for “Ray bowls” and “Ray trays,” and “Harry-Carry” named after her two sons.


Patrick Jouin
Product designer, France

Designs experimental chairs using ABS rapid prototyping.


Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
Fine Artist and Professor at Art Institute of Chicago

Motto: “Not utility bur futility.”

Keywords: information, science, arts, sculpture, media, McArthur fellow, fabrication, abs rapid prototyping

Translated X, Y coordinates of a glacier in Ottawa to recreate a mesh iteration of an iceberg (Buckminster Fuller inspired). Some of these sculptures scrape weather data and broadcast it online. 3D data of clouds to create cloud sculpture (“Cloud Prototype #1”)

Other Projects: DNA fingerprint in New Bronx Library, Cryogenics sperm bank, El Nino Effect, Bullfight ring with IR sensors that look for aliens, Nocturn/white poppy sculpture/surveillance, bullet-proof umbrella (made of kevlar), Robert Oppenheimer media installation in purgatory, Colin Powell/sand toilets/misinformation of biological and chemical weapons


Franz von Holzhausen
Mazda, Orange County

Rebranding of Mazda using Japanese terminology like “nagare,” which means “flow.” They use single-side hydro fluid stamping to form hoods.

Other Projects: taking scraps of leather and stamping them to create a larger swatch of materials, single-side hydro fluid stamping used to create automobile hoods, working with Nike to redesign material


DDCLAB (acronym for design, development and concepts)
Robert Crivello and Savania Davies-Keiller

Appareil Design, New York

They try to use high-tech and eco-friendly textiles to create appareil. They use some materials made out of soy and corn, organic cottons, dye fabrics with fermented persimmons, pomegrante and other fruits. David Bowie, Lauren Hiill and Lenny Kravitz are some clients. Materials are natural fibers, man-made fibers, and fusion of natural and man-mad fabrics. They use Tyvek (lycra-fused recycled paper, material like FEDEX envelopes). Some polyester and polyethylene materials help keep body temperature, resists abrasion, and not crushable. Use metal-woven fabrics, called “enox,” to resist electromagnetic waves. They line all the pockets of their appareil with enox so that as you pass and RFID tracker, it can’t take your personal information, also resists cell phone waves. Other materials used are Abacca (Japanese Tyvek, extremely thin and light in weight), bamboo fabric (has texture of linen), silks dyed in mud, spider silk, solar panels, and leather fused with lycra to give leather elasticity.

Thery’re experimenting with making “liquid cocktails” that have aromatherapy and antibacterial properties (like aloe, mint and sage), and they are trying to fuse this into cotton (not sure what their process is about).

Other Projects: Dupont (sponsors their research), Nike, Gap, Reebok

May 26, 2007

Great Anthropologie Window Theme

How fun, and what a great idea.

My favorite is this one...
The dress that takes a group of balloon dogs out.

But there's one sick balloon dog...


The vintage sofa supported by white balloons.


This one is a little too abstract for me, but nevertheless engaging.

The yellow shapes on the floor are tacks.

May 30, 2007

Wearables and Soft Materials, Process and Materials

Many of you asked for my research in wearables and soft materials...


Some Links:

Material Connexion,
Material Research Society,
NY Times on Chalayan,
Swift Textile Metalizing LLC, tel. 860 243 1122
Sauquoit Industries, tel. 800 858 5552,
Shieldex, tel. 315 597 6687,
Lumitex, fiber optic textiles that are woven,
Electric Plaid,
Emfit, Plastic film that converts motion into electricity,
Flexinol, with shape memory material,
Integrated Circuit, metal yarns and woven circuits, Sensitive Carpet, multilayer conductive fabric,
Softswitch, flexible fabrics,
Blowprint, relief printing,

Other materials to explore: Tyvek (the stuff the FEDEX envelopes are made of), conductive velcro, metal snaps, magnets, reed switches, conductive fabric, conductive ink (looks like nail polish), different folds, conductive film



Blushing Dress – Phillips

Ames laboratory research on metamaterial and magnesium-diboride wire segments

Electronic paper or E-paper, I saw this at Wired Nextfest. On the sleeve of a military uniform is a screen made out of this paper. To navigate between interfaces, you press soft switches, which are located in the sleeve of the uniform. Conductive ink is printed on paper.

Conductive Film, produced by General Electric

Suzanne Tick, Inc.

Kennedy & Violich Architecture
Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich

DDCLAB (acronym for design, development and concepts)
Robert Crivello and Savania Davies-Keiller


NYU PROJECTS on Wearables [All of these prototypes work]:

1) Andrew Schneider – Solar Cell Bikini

2) Terence Arjo -
YoTaxi! Video -
[By waving your arm vigorously via persistence of vision, you can hail a taxi visually]

Personal Space Suit - [coat that has porcupine-like quills embedded]

3) Carolina Pino – This is a wearable for kids, a kind of musical instrument jacket. When a child presses buttons on the jacket, it plays the sound of an animal or music]

4) Doria Fan - [I really liked the RFID medical alert bracelets and the inflatables breasts dress [low-tech]

5) Jenny Chowdhury – intimate controllers
[] –The user plays pong with intimate wearables.

6) Grace Kim's The Soft Electric --

7) Joshua Dickens – - Glowscarf – a scarf that lets you know when your cellphone rings

8) Britta Riley - Rapid prototyping fabric sculpture usin MAYA

9) Fiona Carswell, Nanna Halinen, Kate Hartman, Kati London, Megan MacMurray, and Alice Tseng-Planas

10) Joo Youn Paek, Zoonori, origami musical instruments using Tyvek

11) My own experimentations with soft circuits using conductive thread and conductive fabric (bluetooth bracelet with phototransmitter), [1], [2]


Other Links:

Signal Propagation and Multiplexing Challenges in Electronic Textiles


Material World 2
Folding Architecture: Spatial, Structural And Organization Diagrams
Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006 (catalog), Suzanne Tick
Spoon, Issey Miyake, A-POC, process of fabrication
Paper Fashions (from More Paperwork) – paper as textiles
Rei Kawakubo, Kyote Costume Institute (exhibition), Japanese stencil paper
Rachel Sleight, The Sun, News Group Newspapers, beautiful dress made out of recycled paper, and skirt for Fabriano Spa, Hussein Chalayan – dress made of Tyvek, look like air mail stationary, Kei Ito – vest made of handmade linen paper, and dress made of Tyvek, performance costume

Hella Jongerius

June 11, 2007


Quite high tech in those days. There's even a bat-shaped rotary telephone in the car.




Anthropologie Window with Balloon Theme, part deux

More Anthropologie balloon-themed windows (playful, colorful like a carnival in the summer).



June 16, 2007

Architecture in Film: Celluloid Skyline: New York & Movies

Grand Central Terminal

Seven decades of films use New York City backdrops. You can watch the movies on the Turner channel. This exhibit is based on the book Celluloid Skyline.



Graffiti and Priority Mail Labels

Angelos told me that a lot of graffiti artists use Priority Mail labels as free stickers to promote their craft. Maybe that's why I have to wait in line at the post office twice.

Photo taken close to Plan B bar in East Village.

June 25, 2007

Setting Up Andrew Schneider's Solar Bikini at Material Connexion

Michael thought it would be more proper if a girl dressed another girl.

Material ConneXion
127 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, New York 10001
Phone: 212-842-2050
Fax: 212-842-1090
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday

July 7, 2007

Engaging Interactive Game for Kids, Los Angeles

Of course I couldn't resist a nerdy observation. These kids seem pretty engaged in this interactive, video-sensing game. There are a couple of lines of instruction, but they seem to get how to earn points. I think this game in particular was sponsored by Outback restaurants, but I could be wrong. I think there is some marketing going on.




July 11, 2007

Solar Bikini Strikes in L.A.

The solar bikini, which was featured at the Winter 2007 ITP Show, was on KTLA [Channel 5] in Los Angeles. My sister who recognized Preston, did a double-take. She called me right away, and sent me this link. Preston, you're such a ladykiller.

Personally, I think Donald Trump should pay Andrew Schneider to make one for all the contestants of the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants. That would prevent the models from wearing their suits in the water. The theme of both pageants could be "sustainable energy."


August 5, 2007

Hagedorn and Company Building

Found this building walking towards the South Ferry. They're probably going to convert this building into condos or rentals. Hagedorn and Company is an insurance company. I just looked them up, and they still exist, call me nosey. Judging by the art on the door, they probably insured ships, trains, carriages, airplanes, and balloons. I'm not sure about the symbolic meaning for the pelican, swan and squirrel (which look like like Egyptian art).











August 10, 2007


ITP Press

Jenny Chowdhury's Intimate Controllers, allows game players to get intimate with their opponent/loved ones. LOVE/HATE, hmmmmmm. Anyway, this was Jenny's thesis project. I think you could play Pong with these controllers.

Joo Youn Paek's concept piece of shoes has air pumps that connect to a wearable chair. In this case, you can sit on your efforts. Very cute.

and of course, Andrew Schneider's Solar Bikini, which has received so much press. A bikini that converts solar energy to power for your ipod.

All of these were on exhibition at SIGGRAPH just a week ago in San Diego. BBC link here. CONGRATS guys!

ITP on Good Morning America

Botanicalls aired on Good Morning America (Channel 7) Thursday, August 9.


Link to video, here. Diane Sawyer rocks! Her laugh is so contagious.

Congrats to Kati London, Rob Faludi, Kate Harman and Rebecca Bray for Botanicalls. Plants that call you when they need water or need to be moved to a sunnier location. Now that's news that really matters.

ITP on the cover of Craft Magazine

Knitted crime scene tape on the cover of Craft Magazine. Very funny. Text is so straight.


August 11, 2007

Meta-Market Game

So lately, I've been playing a lot of games set in the social networking stratosphere. I just added the app, Scrabulous, which is the Scrabble game designed digitally. Prior to this, I've never played Scrabble before, so I'm learning the strategy of placing the most valued letters that pays off double or triple.



Then, Ilteris and Nick just got me into this game called Meta-Markets. The point of this game is to gain the market by trading shares and IPOs. Nick is so nerdy that he even created a script so you can aggregate the delicious links that follow the IPO rules (will publish this link soon, so stay tuned).

How to play:
1) You select a market (Flickr, Delicious, Facebook, etc.)
2) You buy low, sell high.
3) You can offer IPOs but there are certain restrictions (e.g. bookmarks that you post first on delicious that have to be posted at least by 10 other people)
4) You could set the price you want to sell them at, and set the amount you want to sell as well

It's kind of a strange market (social capital as a commodity), but interesting approach to learning economics. It really forces you to be proactive with posting news of photos first, and then sharing them, which promotes it virally. If you collaborate with enough investors, you could raise the prices (insider trading). The publishing markets will get a hoot.

As you can see Ilteris and Nick (relevante) are doing very well. They rank in the top 10 in 3 or the positive categories. This is a true time-sucker, and they're servers are really slow, but I think worth the wait. Designed by MIT students.

Sidewalk Art

Beautiful sidewalk art on 5th Avenue and 8th Street in Manhattan, close to Washington Square Park.

Contact information:





And this is why I ♥ NY.

August 12, 2007

What happened to the status section on LinkedIn?

I used to rave about LinkedIn because of that feature, and now I don't see it. It used to give you information like how many people are checking out your profile, what industry they're in, and how many times your name or your site has been pinged in the world wide of web. And now nothing! That was one of the features that made me visit LinkedIn often and become more proactive about my account. They recently did some updates on Friday night. Hope they're going to bring that feature back.

August 17, 2007

Last Night at Material Connexion

Benjamin Rosenthal of Material Connexion had coordinated this warm reception and exhibition. They have a great materials library!







September 30, 2007

Our rock sculpture in Pololu Valley


October 7, 2007

Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York Exhibition

The Municipal Art Soviet of New York
457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street
September 25, 2007 - January 5, 2008

October 8, 2007

Idea 2007 Conference in New York

Even though the Idea 2007 conference was sponsored by The Information Architecture Institute, the speakers were really diverse, ranging from artists/designers to developers/engineers, and public agencies, such as hospitals and New York City's non-emergency number, 311. A lot of the speakers were ITP alums or teaching at ITP. I'm working on a wiki with my extensive notes, and will publish the link here (TK TK TK). Missed some really good presentations, but for the entire list, please visit

Here were some of the speakers:

Rachel Abrams (who currently teaches a mapping class at ITP) - I just caught the end of her presentation on taxis.

Frank Lantz, area/code (also teaches at ITP)

Brad Paley, Information Esthetics

Hasan Elahi, artist (he was a guest speaker at one of ITP's Friday seminars)
He's working on a pretty cool project titled Tracking Transcience (will have more of the backstory in my notes.

Chenda Frutcher, The City of New York's 311 line, (alum of ITP)
Couldn't take photos of her presentation, sorry (will have a section of her presentation in my notes). I enjoyed her presentation because she works and designs around real-world problems.

Fernanda Viegas & Martin Wattenberg, Many Eyes, open source data visualization site

David Rose, Ambient Devices, founder of the Ambient Orb

Mike Kuniavsky, Founder of ThingM and Co-founder of Adaptive Path
RFID Wine Rack

Jake Barton, Local Projects (teaches thesis at ITP)

October 21, 2007

Rooftop at The Met

Before it gets cold (October 28th was the date they listed on their site), check out the scene on the rooftop at The Met. They have a bar, and some art that make you wonder how they were transported to the rooftop.


They are also having an amazing exhibition on tapestries, Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor In some of the pieces, you can see the process of sketch paintings to these enormous tapestries. This exhibition ends on January 6, 2008.





Ingo Maurer

Attention, all ITPers, you must see this exhibit if you like electronics, lighting, and/or physical computing. Ingo Maurer uses some new materials that have been exhibited at the Material Connexion. Two of my favorite pieces are his uses of conductive film to create an LED light table/bench and flexible circuit board to create light patterns on wall paper.


If you like designing or using solderless breadboards, go to this exhibit, it'll give you many ideas on how to layout your electronic components. If you like industrial design, go to this exhibit to be inspired by his use of materials and play with physics (specifically the tornado piece that has a magnet) and optical illusions (love the hologram light bulbs).

The printed and digital materials about this exhibit doesn't even convey the fraction of this experience. If you like magic, go to this exhibit.



October 28, 2007

Close To Midnight

I went to the screening of Close to Midnight, a movie that Rob Ryan from ITP produced. There were a lot of good shots, the story was based on actual events, and the music was pretty cool. The theater was pretty packed. Congrats Rob!

For more info, click here.



Creative Time Installation

Only in New York...


My friends, Cliff and Ziggy called me up early this afternoon to tell me to go to this installation. They wouldn't tell me anymore details but that it's on the corner of Delancey and Essex, in Lower East Side... 117 Delancey

So Cliff and Ziggy met me, and decided to go through this installation a second time. First of all, it looked like part of the regular market scene, but there's a line that you have to wait to sign a release before getting a ticket to go in.

Found out from what of the staff members that it took 10 people in three weeks to set it up, and that everything after the Chinese restaurant is fake.

Tomorrow is the last day. Cliff and Ziggy advise to see it early before there are crowds of people.

Mike Nelson
A Psychic Vacuum



November 7, 2007

Jeff Koons at Christie’s on Sale


For $12 million. There are five: blue, green, red, pink, and yellow (this one is currently being processed). The green, red and pink belong to private collectors. The blue diamond is currently on exhibit in front of the Christie's building.




NOTE: Buyer of (blue) diamond, please contact me if you would like to purchase the hi-res versions of these photos. I can give you a deal ;) (cheaper than $13 million).

November 21, 2007


with interesting forms. These images are for Ron Sears, who is an artist in Jerseyville Illinois, and works with metal. The first sculpture reminds me of David Smith's works.



November 22, 2007

Design Bookstore in NYC

Urban Center Books, The Municipal Art Society of New York


I found this design bookstore that covers just about every design book or magazine, even if you're searching for something so obscure. This reminds me of Hennessy and Ingalls (design/architecture/art/photography bookstore in Los Angeles, located at one of the cross streets of Third Street Promenade). I stumbled upon this bookstore, while I visited the Jane Jacobs exhibition (457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street). Clay Shirky's Network Effects class introduced Jane Jacob's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The exhibit is amazing, which I'll probably post later, but to give you a hint, Jane Jacobs is the New York version of Eleanor Roosevelt.

This store has books on different materials (glass, metal, concrete, building structure, lightweight/mobile), typologies (medical, offices, healthcare, restaurants, retail, pools/spas, sports/leisure, high rise), construction (concrete, wood, facades), sustainability, architecture, photography, typography, urban planning, foreign (books from Japan, Germany, etc). I asked if this store is permanent, and it is. They just have longer hours during the Jane Jacobs exhibition.

Here are some sample books:









December 10, 2007

Penny Harvest at Rockefeller Center

Common Cents


Common Cents Penny Harvest grew from one child’s desire to feed the homeless...

Reminds me of the movie, Pay It Forward. This is probably the most successful installation I've seen, where people collectively donate to the pool. Every person that walked by must have thrown change into this pool of pennies. Since 1991, this organization has raised at least $5.9 million since 1991. 71 million pennies weigh at least 2 tons and is worth at least $711,000.00. There are some prized if you can guess how many pennies are in the pool.


So far Penny Harvests have hit 5 states, including NY, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, and Washington.

You can even vote on which cause you want the Penny Harvest to donate to:


December 12, 2007

Electronic Jewelry...

This electronic necklace is composed of one surface mount white LED light and a Swarovski crystal. The clasps are switches and have a coin cell battery. I find it funny that the display needs to DD batteries.




This bracelet is funny, get it? Slightly on the pricey-side.

Anthropologie Window

They are so good and designing there windows. I believe part of the reason is because of they integrate a narrative in their display (e.g. santa letters in the pocket of the sweater), and the other reason is their unique (e.g. balls of yarn) and resourceful use of materials (e.g. straws and empty, plastic, water jugs).









Flavia Sparacino, Founding Principal, Sensing Places

I saw a lecture by Ms Sparacino at the Center for Architecture. Her presentation, ‘Interactive Media Environments & Architectural Machines’ uses sensors and camera-tracking to make physical spaces interactive.




She worked with a lot of famous architects, and was responsible for creating the technology infamous in the scene from Minority Report. More about her work on my design conferences wiki/notes and my Flick'r account.

Center for Architecture

Pretty cool fabricated form...




Nice information graphics:

January 2, 2008

Virgin America Geekiness


I just flew on Virgin America, and was pretty impressed with their cool technology. They have a new media system catered to the youth and the hipsters.

1. There safety video is an amusing animation, which is slightly sarcastic in humor, fun to watch, even twice (JFK<>LAX).virginamerica01.jpg

2. While some airlines have customizable screens, what is really refreshing is that you're not limited to the conventional channels like CNN, which is also offered. You can watch some indie shows, like Current TV, clips from Boing Boing or cable shows Dexter and The Tudors.

3. Another option is to buy a movie. You have a choice from the new releases, indie and foreign films. I didn't see a lot of people use this feature because they were either watching a movie on their laptops or iPods. The people sitting next to me brought their own portable DVD player and headphone jack splitter.

4. Not that I'm a parent or anything, but if you are, and you're worried about your kids watching violent or explicitly sexual content (e.g. while watching Top Model, VH1 broadcasted some lengthy ads that may be sexually explicit, Rock of Love), you can control that here.

5. You can order food with your credit card. While some airlines encourage their passengers to bring exact change or have their passengers wait while the flight attendants find change, Virgin America has a system where you can order food and pay with your credit card. This is such a convenience. The other nice thing about this display is that you can watch continue to watch your show, while you select your food. I would say to order early because when I tried to order potato chips during the latter half of the flight, they were all out (dynamic/real-time tracking). I watched a lot of people use this feature.


6. This system records what shows and songs you listen to, so let's say if you dozed, and wanted to continue watching the shows, you can easily find them here.

7. Interesting controller. One side has the controllers, similar to a remote, just in case people are timid with the touch screen interface. The side of the controller has a magnetic scanner for your credit card, and the back is a full key pad to facilitate chatting between seats, and browsing the internet (not yet working). The keypad feels slightly awkward to type on because of it's elongated shape, and you have to hold down the blue button while simultaneously typing the symbol (I wasn't used to this because my BlackBerry shift button stays put).




8. Another cool feature is the chat between seats. At first, I really didn't understand why anyone would use this because one of the journalist on Current TV boast about meeting that cute dude in aisle 8. And actually the journalist tried several times getting people to chat with her. When I tried the chat room, and I was the only one there. On the flight back, I happen to bump into a friend of mine who was sitting in a different row, and we chatted for awhile. I don't think there is a way of chatting while simultaneously watching a show, but anyway it's a novel feature.

9. I'm not sure if this is a feature yet (multi-player), but it would've been cool to be able to play a game with my friend. I tried playing the clown game three times, but then had to reboot it 3x as well (at least they use Linux). The only thing that I thought was awkward about the game controller is the way you have to press the red button to "start" and the green button to "escape." Other than that, it looks pretty slick.


10. Last but not least, Virgin America promoting cool brands like Google, and Method soap (found in the bathroom). Also, their design of icons have that "web 2.0" aesthetic.


For more larger resolution pix, checkout my Flickr site later. Btw, you can only check in one bag, any additional bags cost $10, which is still relatively cheap, even for an oversized weirdly-shape package.

January 7, 2008

Barney's Sustainable Display

Aluminum cans, bottle caps, and cardboard are materials that Barney's Department Store used in their display to encourage people to recycle.







An elegant play with balance...





Bookends with a simple and elegant design

Made of acrylic...



Bowling Interface


No more tracking scores with paper, this interface keeps track of all the scores of all players and shows a 3-dimensional replay with even a humorous graphic if you knock all the pins down.




January 23, 2008

Public Trash to motivate recycling...

Found these in San Francisco, and I wish New York public waste baskets looked like this. This was in a residential neighborhood, so the recycle cavity probably wouldn't overfill as it would in New York. Anyway, I really liked the design of it, function and form.




When I was in San Francisco, I just wanted to do the offbeat and non-conventional tourist activities like visit the fortune cookie factory, the Exploratorium, and Audium (found in Fodor's under off-beat activities).

Audium is a theatre of sound-sculptured space.

I'm going to attempt to describe this experience. You walk into this space and take a seat with 40 other people. And the light dims to complete darkness, and Stan Shaff, who is the composer, plays random sounds of various objects and environment, and electronic sounds that scatter throughout the space through 136 speakers. It reminds me of when you're laying on the beach, and you can hear the sounds of the surroundings around you (i.e. kids playing, conversations, crashing waves, the water guy selling water, etc.)

Anyway, it was a one of a kind experience, and I would recommend it to anyone. Also after, check out the Stan's setup. They look analog with a lot of knobs, which is pretty cool for any electronics guru or techie. Also, after the performance, there's a Q&A session with Stan.

1616 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Friday and Saturday, starts at 8:30pm
BUT get there at 8:00pm (there's free coffee in the lounge so you can chat with your friends), they don't take anyone who's late.
Admission: $15

Compositions and Performace by Stan Shaff
Equipment Design by Doug McEachern

February 26, 2008

Kshitij, IIT Kharagpur, India, Part III

Also at Kshitij, Nick Sears exhibited UltraOrb, which was his thesis project:




Globe4D exhibited was this globe where you can move through a fourth dimension, time. Makes learning about climate change engaging.





Pyromania is a really amazing Israeli dancing team that uses fire in their acts.




Jimmy Wales (one of the most influential people) of Wikipedia introduced the Wikia.



Magician Jason Latimer performed some unique tricks using laser technology.





Astrophysicist, Professor and Author of The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss. Interesting theories that challenge some of Einstein's theories.



Dr. Eric Drexler, an expert in the field of nanotechnology, encourage the use of sensors and computing in materials (i.e. roads that are composed of solar panels).



Robogarage exhibited robots that move almost as smooth as humans.



February 27, 2008

Designs from India

Textile design in India is pretty beautiful. Most of the pashmina scarves were woven with a loom, and which had a lot of intricate details and complex color schemes. You can also see this in traditional saris. This vendor was gracious enough to wait for us to finish our tour of the museum.




Jewerly design

I was really impressed with this bracelet, which I couldn't zoom in close enough. The bracelets are made of interlocking miniature U-shaped gold rings that have ruby gems embedded on the ends. When looking at it, you're not sure where the designer started. Also, the bracelet looks hand-crafted.


These are pear-shaped, multi-faceted cut, Indian topaz earrings.


Loved the motif on this silver box.



Engraved sculptures made out of precious woods and stones. One of these sculptures had a heavy sandalwood scent because it was carved out of sandalwood. Some are carved crystals, ivory and jade.



This Is The Most Beautiful Hotel I

I've ever stayed at. The Hyatt Hotel in Kolkata/Calcutta offers excellent service, but the interior design and design is beautiful. Integrates many materials and textures in one space, which is so seamless. Everything works. Found out that this hotel was designed by a firm in Florida.

This were elegant lanterns. Light emits through the carved wood.

Ambient lighting changes from day to night. During the day, soft light illuminates to emulate sunlight. At night, the soft light changes color to blue. Recessed blue LED's in the floor.



Also recessed wall lighting...

Texture using layers of glass...

This Is The Most Beautiful Hotel II

I like the stainless steel, transparent bowls holding the colorful fruit, which is used for decorative purposes.

This a display for a bar, which has may wines and books backlit.

Landscape architecture and pools design.

Textured walls with abstract art.

and hotel lobby...


This might be cheesy, but I may take this idea and line the inside walls of my vase with tropical leaves.

March 2, 2008

This Is The Most Beautiful Hotel III

Love the different materials and textures used here:


Layered glass to hold this sculpture.

Elevator door used this hammered texture.


The door is composed of this chaotic wire mesh.




This sculpture is composed of layered glass pieces with gold in it.


And this last piece looked like an ancient artifact, but worked in a contemporary setting.

IXDA Conference in Savannah, GA

I attended this conference because of Bill Buxton and Sigi Moeslinger, and was amazed with their presentations. I was also impressed with Malcolm McCullough, who teaches at the University of Michigan, and spoke of his research with culture and ubiquitous computing.

I also enjoyed a presentation on "fieldwork and sketching" from a Ph.D. candidate, who interned at Intel, Matt Jones who founded Dopplr, Regine DeBatty from "We Make Money Not Art," Alan Cooper ("An Insurgency of Quality") as well as another one of his rep who talked about his processes in design, and Dan Brown, who lectured on Concept Models. I hope to put my notes, but it might take a long time to transcribe. In the meantime, please check out my flickr photos.


Design and the Elastic Mind, MoMA



This was a phenomenal exhibition. I'm going to it a third time, and even bought the catalog, which is beautifully designed by Irma Boom (if you like typography, check out the cover and title page).

Lots of ITP alumni and adjunct faculty, and a lot of current information visualization designers like Brad Paley, Sep Kamvar, Jonathan Harris and Jason Wishnow.

Lisa Strausfeld and James N. Sears, NY Times cover
Dimitri Tyler, Hypothetical Drawings
Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv's pcomp project: Atlas Gloves
Christian Schmidt (ITP adjunct faculty) and Lisa Strausfeld's OLPC's operating system, "Sugar"

Probably more ITPers' works that are not mentioned here.

Artists/Designers (left to right): Sep Kamvar, Jonathan Harris and James N. Sears

March 21, 2008 Bracket Manager

Yesterday, a friend of mine invited me to join a pool for March Madness. I've never heard of March Madness, let alone ever watched a basketball game, so I decided to check this event out.


To begin with, CBS's Bracket Manager allows you to feel confident in making your decisions. When you mouse over each school, there is a call-out box that gives you odds and a little blurb-summary about the team (e.g. all team members are freshmen or the team has a new coach). And you just pick for each region, until you get down to 4, then 2, then 1.


So when I logged in to my fb account, CBS already asked if I wanted to add their app. The primary profile page (i.e. first image below) lists the top 5 favorite and despised teams. Fortunately, you can see how many fans, but the flip-side is that 3 out of the 6 schools are on both lists: favorite and despised. They are named by the team and not school, but the brackets are by state, not team, so you do have to click on the link, which takes you to the school/team's page. Each team/school has their own page (i.e. second image below), which lists all team members, stats, scoreboard, schedule, trash talk, etc. Unfortunately I wasn't able to brag about my brackets because of technological difficulties (maybe a broken link between CBS brackets with fb account?)

This page updates dynamically to tell you which schools played, which schools won, and even a photo of some plays.

I found out that Barack Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship on this page.

If you're involved in a pool, you can see dynamic updates as to who is in the lead, the estimated best score, etc.


How has this changed my behavior? Well, I spent about a half an hour trying to transfer my brackets from my account in CBS to my fb account. Then I was simultaneously watching two or three games at a time, and refreshing my brackets and standings page. I've been looking up how I could HAVE increased my odds (Vegas bets--this is too late, of course because these brackets closed at noon Thursday).

And LAST, more importantly, I am engaged. This photo is just...

March 30, 2008



Go see it, it's probably one of the best Broadway shows. I love the production design and more importantly the story (a prequel to the Wizard of Oz). I only wish I thought of the story first. It's about the good and bad witches, but there is an interesting spin on who is the heroine.

My only caveat is to buy tickets that cost a little more. We sat in the balcony, so I can see the tape and markings of where the actresses/actors have to stand.

The Armory Show, New York City, Pier 94

March 27-30, 2008

Pier 94...
12th avenue + 55th street
E+C, 1 or 9 subway
Noon to 8 pm

Today is the last day.



These are the lines, but to bypass the first one, buy the tickets online. There are two separate lines, but the other one is much shorter. I say it's worth the money and the time (waiting in line) if you're an aspiring artist.

Really wanted these pieces by Robert Crumb, one of my favorite illustrators. I can't afford them, but if you can, I think they're a steal. It would be a great investment because he has a lot of history, and there's even a museum of his works. There's a great documentary about him titled Crumb. I just love the cross-hatching and detail of these illustrations.

Price: $22,000.00

Price: $22,000.00

Price: $18,000.00 [This is the one I would have purchased. I love his daughter's work too, which I think was featured in Ghost World.]

Price: $18,000.00

I will post up links to my Flickr set here later today.

April 7, 2008

The Best Cirque Du Soleil Show...

I've seen so far is . One of Nick's clients recommended this show, and it is fantastic. I've seen Mystère, which was impressive, but KÀ is probably the best I've seen so far. The stage rotates, so the dancers look like they are climbing a wall while dancing at the same time. The set design, and tech is amazing (which took approximately 2 years to develop), but what makes KÀ better that some of the other shows is the story. It kind of has a manga look, and it's a story about a brother and sister who are separated. This is the newest of the Cirque Du Soleil shows, and is playing at the MGM Grand. I also recommend getting the documentary, which isn't sol on Amazon. It's about the making and production of this show.

This will probably be the next one I see. I hear it's in water. Btw, we saw poker pros Daniel Negreanu (@ Bellagio) and Phil Ivy (@ The Mirage).

April 8, 2008

Armory Show Favorites, Part I

Here are the pieces that caught my eye. My friend made an observation that I like the technology and process of art, which is somewhat true.

For LED light lovers, I like this for it's optical illusion appeal. Although it's art, I imagined as a cool floor for a shower, so when you step in the depth of the floor is infinite.


More LED art. This is a man that is more than life-size. You can see lots of processors and components on the peg-board like background, all painted black.

Walked by this, and liked the texture that these layers create.

I like the construction of this sculpture...

I like that this is silkscreen and acrylic on canvas, and both media using black...
By Elaine Sturtevant, Warhol Black Marilyn

Armory Show Favorites, Part II

This set was all from the same gallery. These first two pieces use yarn and thread to create art.


Entire painting:


Entire painting:

This piece looked ephemeral. I was really interested in the media, which is Plexiglas, acrylic, and mixed media. Artist name is Kibong Rhee, and the piece is titled Wet Psyche.

This piece looked effortless (made out of nails):


Armory Show Favorites, Part III

I took a ceramics for two years, and was amazed with the different techniques used on this vase:




This was my absolute favorite painting by Jason Martin, titled N-Bulu, oil on aluminum. I took three photos that don't really give it justice...



Interactive Musical Installation in 34th Street

At 34th Street where the N train runs, there is an interactive musical installation (green). If you wave your hands over certain parts, it plays music.


Cai Guo-Qiang at the Guggenheim


This is a pretty amazing exhibition, just by sheer scale of each piece was a delight to walk around and experience. My favorite piece(s) were the clay figures of peasants during Communist China. I also liked all the gunpowder drawings. I wonder how long it took to perfect.

Art Forum Magazine

My photo was one of three selected to appear in this month's Art Forum magazine. I think think this is the photo they used :)


The photo is of Jeff Koon's Diamond (Blue) in front of Christies, and is on page ~310. The cover of the mag is of Damien Hirst's Diamond Skull.

April 19, 2008

Wonder Woman...

merits her own post.


I'm not sure who the artist is of this painting, but it's probably one of my favorite illustrations of her. Found in Comicon at Javitz this year.

She was my favorite character while growing up. I think every girl wanted to be her. They marketed Wonder Woman underoos when I was in grade school, which was the tank and bikini underwear that made you feel like a super hero, or Diana Prince. Anyway, a movie is in production, and slated to be released in 2009, but I wonder, who will play Wonder Woman? Lynda Carter played her in the 70's. Heard through the grapevine that either Catherine Zeta-Jones or Angelina Jolie would play her. I don't think Angelina Jolie should play her, since she's already Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. And Catherine Zeta-Jones should've played Elektra instead of Jennifer Garner. Anyway, we're do for a heroine blockbuster movie soon! Crossing my fingers.

April 20, 2008

Character facelifts, manga style

DC Comics and other publishing companies want to tap into the manga market. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Vertigo all have th manga look now.


So do Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.


June 29, 2008

Eames Stamps

I just received this as a gift, and am planning to buy more. Aside from designing chairs, one of my favorite designs is an animation titled The Power of Tens.

Love these:


June 30, 2008

Nice video on Paper Prototyping

I've always been a big fan of starting with paper.

Although it's hard to tell what the content is, it gives you a good sense of timing of a user interacting with a site. Amit Pitaru demonstrated and assigned paper prototyping when we had to design clocks for people with low-vision or blindness. This was mine my design.

This site shows sketches of very popular sites like Twitter.

August 6, 2008

Signage and Typography...


This treatment is not new, but I'm just noting it on my blog. Experiment with repetition. Play with just one letter.

Street Art...

Not quite graffiti. These works remind me of Nagel, very 80's.



Ruffles: Interesting Technique

Found this in the store window of Hugo Boss. I also like the play in patterns: the soft ruffles of the dress with the sharp asymmetrical pattern of the purse.



Lighting and Color Design

What an interesting way to introduce bright colors to a monochromatic palette. The display looks dynamic because the silhouettes and light give a scaled-up version of a lenticular pattern.This is the storefront of Louis Vuitton on 5th Avenues. I swear I saw this artists work at LACMA last year.




Top of the Rock Swarovski Crystal Installation

This is probably one of my favorite installations. I walk by it and never get tired of it. It mimics and inverted Rockefeller Center. It is relevant to the subject, timeless, beautiful, and doesn't require technology/computer/power to run it. My photos don't do it justice.



August 23, 2008

Switching back to the old Facebook design...


After stumbling through the new design interface for two weeks, I finally lost patience, and switched back to the old design (maybe it was too much for me to adopt new designs of both Facebook and Delicious at the same time). Over the two-and-a-half-weeks, I noticed that my visits to Facebook were diminishing, but maybe that's a good thing. Actually, if it weren't for Facebook, I wouldn't have planned to meet my friend for a reunion. The last time we saw each other was May 2007, so Facebook does have some utility in my life.

It is different because the new design has a wider palette, however I couldn't find my favorite new apps, or figure out how to post on someone's wall. When you change your template, it automatically changes the template for all your friends' pages that you visit. But recently, I was trying to figure out how to write on someone's wall, and wasn't even sure if the message was posted. And they've managed to stick one more ad on the right side (2 ads total).

When I reverted back to the old design, there was a warning that I would probably loose all my new friends that were added to my network while using the new design, but I don't think I lost them because their messages on my wall were still posted.

It may look better, but I liked the old interface better because I could navigate through my ritual of checking messages, keeping up with games, poking and posting messages. Maybe this new design is suited to new users. The new one sort of reminds me of FriendFeed and a little bit of Twitter sans the neat boxes.

August 27, 2008

Dahon Folding Bike...

For the past week, I've been contemplating buying a bike, but I didn't because of space (my building charges for bike storage—$25/month). I found this bike that folds up to the size of a small carry-on. The seat and handle bar are adjustable to fit people with bigger and/or smaller frames. The design of this bike really impressed me. I really couldn't believe that folding bikes have been around since 1982 because they seem so innovative now (back then, space wasn't an issue because I lived in LA).

When I went to the bike shop, I wanted to approximately spend $100 on a used bike, but they laughed at me. They told me that the cost of bikes have gone up, since gas prices have gone up. Bikes are in demand. My friend told me that he sees a lot of people with folding bikes riding the LIRR. Anyway, I justified this purchase by subtracting the cost of storage for one year ($300) from the cost of the bike ($430), which came close to my budget.

On the first day, I took it out for a ride, and noticed fellow folding-bike riders on the path. One fellow-rider rang his bell, and rhetorically shouted "Look, another folding bike!"

(This image shows the scale of bike in comparison to the helmets)

(I find the rack with bungee cord extremely useful)

Jewelry Design, Week 1

I've been working on a project, and came to a plateau in my design process. I just recently enrolled in a jewelry design class to help me solve some of those problems. Anyway, in the first week, we learned about the properties of gold, and made an ingot. The first day was like a high school chemistry class: measuring metal components on a scale, lighting up a Bunsen-Burner-like-torch, learning what alloys are about. Depending on the properties of metals, some are softer, and some are more brittle, but one thing the professors reiterated was to be mindful of purity (we use a charcoal brick to hold the molten metal while it cools). Some jewelry designs require the brittle properties of copper, while some designs prioritize color, which also affect alloys. Some metal properties facilitate conductivity better than others. It's all terribly fascinating.

Here is the ingot I made.


The flux used is Borax, but it looks like silicone at high temperatures, and glass after it cools.


August 30, 2008

Jewelry Design, Week 2

Photograph taken by Raphael Martin

I learned about the process of rolling and annealing (def: reducing stress within metal by heating to a prescribed temperature).

Whenever you want to melt scraps, you use a higher temperature. However in annealing, you want to use a "feather flame" (please see diagram below), and when the medal reaches a certain glow, you cool it and pickle it. After the pickling process, the metal has to be completely dry and free from oxidation, you roll it.

Most designs either require a flat shape or cylindrical shape in order to form wire. Always roll in one direction, and about five times. If you're working with purer or softer metals, you can stretch it a little. Find the "dead pass" (just a little resistance), and adjust metal through teeth of the rolling machine. In keeping the electrons even within the metal, you have to be mindful of rolling in one direction. Watch out for cracks, but don't confuse them with air bubbles.



October 3, 2008

Jewelry Design, Week 3


The process of rolling wire. That chunk of gold that looked like stone awhile back, now looks like this. For the past 3 weeks, I've been rolling wire, but getting the hang of knowing when to spot trouble (like cracks or splinters or warping), and fixing them. So after you roll, your wire, you have to convert the ring size in to the circumference (in mm) with some basic math, but add some wiggle room to the diameter. Then file the ends so that they are flat, and wrap it around a ring mandrel, according to size. The ends have to be flush before you solder it, and there are different techniques, but the most speedy way to get it flush is using your saw blade, not file. If there's space, you might have to use solder, but try not to use it because of slight differing color variations.

October 11, 2008

Jewelry Design, Weeks 4 and 5

The progress of rolling more wire to make rings is a bit tedious, however, the finished design doesn't look machine-made. It almost looks like archaic Greek jewelry with less bells and whistles. Measurements for each piece has to be predetermined (i.e. you want to set a gem, and what type of setting: gypsy, bezel or pave) and exact (i.e. sizing). I measured for a size 7, but was two sizes short because I used a different ruler that didn't have millimeters, so I had to start all over again. Some people who were creating bezels went too thin (e.g. like paper), and had to start over again as well. After taking this class, I really appreciate wire, lol.

Week 4:

Week 5:


October 13, 2008

Jewelry Design, Week 6

I just had to buy more gold because I didn't have enough for the bezel settings. The recent calamity of the stock market drove the price of gold up. I ended up calculating that 6 weeks ago, 1 dwt equaled $42.50 and now 1 dwt equals $46.33, which was the price I purchased on Tuesday, October 7. I went to one gold place, which only sold 1 ounce of 24kt for $950.00 and 5 dwt 22kt for $190, yikes! Anyway, Myron Toback is the place to buy gold at reasonable prices.



November 22, 2008

Other Folding Bike

Found another folding bike at Design Within Reach in Soho. It appears to fold vertically whereas the Dahon folds horizontally. I'm not sure the DWR bike is the same one that MoMA sells (i.e. brand is Strida), but if it is, then it looks like the orange bike below. With the Strida bike, there is no metal chain. My friend, Angelos who builds mountain bikes told me, that this type of chain requires little maintenance.

Design Within Reach:




Google New Themes and Personalization

I'm loving these new Google themes for personalizing your email interface. You can choose from a variety, kind of like what you can do with Twitter and MySpace pages without having to code. I chose the artsy-sketch theme. The art switches randomly from a giraffe to a tall ice-cream cone... Very cute. It's also useful if you have multiple Gmail addresses to distinguish from opened on several browsers.


Speaking of personalization, I thought this was neat: Personalize the Flip Cam. The Flip Cam is a compact video camcorder that can take HD as well. It's compact, and around $220, and easy to upload. They give you the specs, and you can upload your design, which will be printed on your camcorder. Once you design the template, you can upload it onto Cafepress site, and if your design sells, you earn $10 per camcorder. They have a whole section of bestsellers and top designers, which are other options than using they're Pattern Generator.


I forgot to mention that a couple of the themes change according to weather information.

Jewelry Design, Wax Class

Recently, I was watching this PBS special on architecture, and one of the architects that was interviewed mentioned that architecture was moving towards an "organic aesthetic," which inspired the design on of this ring.



November 27, 2008

Banksy was here...


Banksy, the artist/graffiti artist just had an exhibition at a pet store in Greenwich Village, which closed on Halloween. I stumbled upon it with Giana and Joo Yon, ITP Alums, who knew about it. We couldn't get in, but at least we were able to see the window displays.

This looks like a leopard resting with its chest heaving and tail moving, but it's actually a fur coat.

A hen with her chicks, except they were chicken nuggets instead.

A mother surveillance camera, with little ones in the nest.

Rabbit wearing cosmetic products that are typically tested with. The twitching rabbit's movement looked pretty smooth. Check out this video of the monkey, it looks so real.

There was a squirmy hot dog in a bun, but I wasn't close enough to take that photo. To see video, check out this site.

December 5, 2008

Nick Sears Orb Video on TED 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.

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 ( 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: (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...

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

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.

January 2, 2009

Catherine Opie at the Guggenheim

I just went to her exhibition at the Guggenheim yesterday, and was pretty impressed overall with her body of work. There were a couple of series: ice houses, surfers. skyscrapers/architecture, portraits, doors of Beverly Hills homes, media, performer/artist, and life in Los Angeles. I would highly recommend getting the free audio tour gadget, to which helped explain one of my favorite pieces about a girl who stole a pair of red converses. I also liked the photo of mural of Monica Lewinsky too, and the black and white series on architecture. It was fun guessing some of the neighborhoods of the mini-mall series, after all some of those locations don't exist anymore, but used to in my hood (because there is no such thing as preservation in Los Angeles—the demolition of the Ambassador Hotel, a historical landmark where Bobby Kennedy was assassinated {not in Opie's collection]). I love all the photos taken in Los Angeles too because of the story and historical perspective behind most of them.

There is probably something for anybody interested in photography. But if you're going to go, you better hurry. The exhibition closes on January 7th. I'm probably going to see it again with another group of friends this Saturday.

January 4, 2009

David Fincher in New York City...


I can't wait to see David Fincher tonight at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of at Jazz at Lincoln Center (I've been wanting to check out this venue for awhile), hosted by Film Society of Lincoln Center. He's going to speak about his new movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I've already read up on the production which affected his decision of writing a second screenplay, and making of the movie from articles in the New York Times [You can find the links through Delicious I'm sure]. More about this event, here.

Btw, that photo above was one of my favorite scenes in the movie.


They also showed Zodiac, which I'm going to have to rent via Netfix. That movie went under my radar. Just from the thumbnail on this page, it looks like some 70's movies like Network.

January 16, 2009

After DC next Tuesday, what next?

Well, there's a really cool exhibition, titled "CAN & DID - Graphics, Art, and Photography from the Obama Campaign," coming up featuring the works from:

Michael Bierut
Shepard Fairey
Robert Indiana
Annie Leibovitz
Mr. Brainwash
Michael Murphy
Paula Scher
Sol Sender, Andy Keene, and Amanda Gentry
Mickalene Thomas
David Turnley
Lance Wyman
Jim Young
& work from the Design for Obama website

Danziger Projects
521 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
Telephone 212.629.6778

For a preview, visit

January 19, 2009

Robert Frank Exhibition at the Smithsonian

Awesome Robert Frank Exhibition at the Smithsonian. It is pretty comprehensive with prints from The Americans and Black, White And Things. Not only do they exhibit prints, but his test prints, contact sheets, application for the Guggenheim Fellowship, Jack Kerouac's drafts and letters to Walker Evans. This is probably the best photography exhibition I've been to, along with another one, a few years back at LACMA on some experimental Japanese photographs.

This is one of my favorite photographs of all time. Mr. Frank took this in New Orleans in 1955. After coming out of jail, he was shooting a parade, and then quickly captured this photo. There are racial and gender tones [Caucasian male, Caucasian female, Caucasian boy, etc.]. Obviously, this photo was taken during segregation. A couple of weeks after Frank took this photo, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. You should be familiar with Robert Frank's works if you're a photographer.



It ends in April. Also, they have a smaller Ansel Adams exhibition close by, which ends in March. I am definitely coming back. Last, I saw ads 2-for-1 tickets for an exhibition for Richard Avedon's works (also in DC as well).

January 24, 2009

Beautiful LED light installation in at the National Gallery of Arts in DC

I didn't get to visit this, but plan to on my next trip to DC. This LED installation was designed by Leo Villareal, an ITP Alumni, and is located at the National Gallery of Arts. I'm not sure if it's interactive, but anyway, it's a sight.



Please credit Min Batstone.

Always finding treasures on Flickr...

I found out so many and learned how to do so many things on Flickr. It is truly one of the most successful social software. So far, one of my photos have been published in foreign newsletters, domestic music videos, Art Forum magazine (Print edition) and BBC (digital edition). I learned how to take a screenshot of my iPhone app, and meet great photographers and artists, who tell me about new interesting exhibitions or advise me on camera purchases.

Please credit Lia Bulaong.

Just recently, on Lia Bulaong's page, I found the above photo with a lot of people commenting about this newspaper/newsletter on select internet writings from techno-artists-designers, such as "Michael Beirut, Matt Jones, Michal Migurski and the Mars Phoenix probe" (Lia Bulaong). Lia also included a link where you can order this paper, which is pretty cool. It's published by Ben Terrett and Russell Davies of Really Interesting Group. I just ordered one. You can read more about their project here.

Lia is definitely a cool hunter.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part I


I went in with the mind set of not taking notes for all four speakers, which is why I just brought my iPhone and no tablet.

But at the end of Rachel Abram's talk, and in the middle of Soo-in Yang's talk, I decided to not be lazy, and start taking notes. I've seen Rachel speak at an IDEA event in 2007 and an AIGA/Apple event last year [a link to my notes last year]. She spoke about how her many diciplines have added to her interaction design, and showed some of her research of the taxi system. Soo-in Yang is an architect who created this physical interactive sculpture that reacts to information about air quality via mobile phones. It was a public art piece in South Korea (look at photos below). He also collaborated with Rob Faludi and Terence Arjo on another project.


Last, was this music composer, Phil Kline, who started Unsilent Night, an event that happens on Christmas Eve, and started with a couple of people in NYC, but has grown to thousands in many other cities. You can see his video on YouTube.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part II

A slide from Adam Greenfield's Presentation

Adam Greenfield, who taught at ITP, and wrote the book titled Everyware also spoke at Dot Dot Dot, and now head of design direction at Nokia. He researches many ubiquitous computing systems. I can't cover everything he spoke about, but if you want to see some of his presentation slides, visit my Flickr set. Here are some of the highlights that you can look up or read about in his new book The City Is Here For You To Use:

UNStudio with Arup Engineering: Galleria West, Apgujeongdong in S. Korea

u-Cheonggyecheong: Instead of cleaning the stream, they wrapped it in media.

Tom Armitage, Making Bridges Talk: What if the London Bridge could Twitter?

u-City New Songdo: totally networked, and can track everything down to tagging soda bottles with RFID tags that can automatically credit your account even if you throw it in trash. Every action is recorded and mediated. This project is still a work-in-progress.

Massive simultaneity: The 1K Project

MITsenseable city lab/New York Talk Exchange (NYTE)

Mosaic of Singapore mall: A photo that shows a lady moving through a mall physically, but this mosaic also shows a layer of secondary information--who is on the other end of her mobile phone. We should think about cyberspace (Being on phone is like being in cyberspace) when we think about designing the physical space.

Stamen Design: Oakland Crimespotting
Think about constraints in analysis (e.g. Taxonomy of police department is already a constraint (e.g. categorizing rape).

iPhone/Flickr: Geotagging/Search urbanism, browse urbanism, make urban API. If we check the weather before we go out, we are conditioned to that networked information, hence Adam calls this a "network overlay." Contemplate how this "overlay" reflects every decision we make (i.e. real-time info).

I've also added Adam Greenfield's blog to my RSS Feeds and Google Reader.

Lightwave '09, Part I

I'm in Dublin, Ireland to document some work at the Lightwave Exhibition in the Science Gallery at Trinity College. This exhibition is trying to bridge science and art. Already, there a couple of ITPers showing their works: James N. Sears, Nurit Bar-Shai, and Lori Napolean.

Nick is showing his second design of The Orb, which now plays videos and Processing apps, and still images. Right now, Jonathan Cousin's data visualization is currently on The Orb.

Nurit Bar-Shai collaborated with other artists and MIT to show live video feeds of cellular interactions and the Northern Lights, of course separately.

Lori Napoleon created an interactive sculpture called "Scintillator." The sculpture is composed of tetrahedral shapes, and changes color when you touch it.

Later, I will try to post photos on Flickr. Feel free to ping me if I forget.

Lightwave '09, Part II


I just went to a laser performance by Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch. This was pretty amazing, but unfortunately I couldn't take photos. Here's a link to a video...

They have three colored high-powered lasers in red, green and blue, which is refracted and projected over a circular flat tray with soapy solution. When they manipulate the solution, beautiful textures are projected. There was a grainy texture, so I had to ask how they achieved that. They told me that they just densely packed the bubbles together, playing with the surface tension and properties, such as hydrophilic/hydrophobic surfaces of the bubble. What is seen is a visual and elegant light show, sometimes the light bubble film looked like peacock feathers. If you have an opportunity to see this show live, I highly recommend it.

The artists (from left to right) Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand.

January 31, 2009

Lightwave '09, Part III

Lêbonê Project: Lighting Africa with Off-Grid Energy
In partnership with Harvard University/Lêbonê Solutions, Professor David Edwards, Huga Van Vuuren, Ralph Borland & Richard Kirk

They can produce electricity from soil, using microbial fuel cell technology. Overnight, they were able to produce at least 5V.

This project would complement the Kennedy Violich Portable Light Project (more info here).

February 18, 2009

Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey and Steven Johnson at NYPL next Thursday...

I am so lucky that I got tickets for this event. I have probably seen Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons) talk twice before. Steven Johnson spoke in Red Burn's class at ITP in 2005, and co-founded the community site []. Also, he is coming out with a new book titled The Invention of Air. Just from the title, I can see how it's relevant to Lessig and Fairey. Here is the video of him talking about his new book. I've also been a big fan of Shepard Fairey's works since Obey. All three will be at this event, hosted by NYPL, and co-sponsored by Wired magazine.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Shepard Fairey (known for the popular Hope posters depicting Barack Obama and Obey). Apparently Fairey is being sued by AP Reuters for referencing a photo he used for the Hope poster. Read the article from Wired magazine.

Photo Credit: Boing Boing

Milton Glaser writes his point of view on this matter in Boing Boing. Milton Glaser designed the Bob Dylan album cover, and was popular for his "I ♥ NY" identity.

What I think is interesting is all these remixes of Fairey's works. You can see people using Fairey's style and aesthetic for the Hope poster on their Facebook profile, but instead of Obama, it's them. Here is an article from Wired magazine of fans of the movie Dark Knight using Fairey's style on a photo Heath Ledger's Joker.


If you like Shepard Fairey's works from Obey. You may like Robbie Canal as well. He did a lot of posters of political figures.

Lightwave '09, Part IV

I'm back from Ireland, but wanted to complete blogging about these other projects:

Cell Phone Disco
By Ursula Lavrencic & Auke Touslager, Netherlands
There's a grid of red LED lights. When you use your cellphone, this grid senses the electromagnetic waves of your phone, which randomly blinks.

Laser Theremin
By Bálint Bolygó, UK
The interactive laser projector acts like a musical theremin.

By Chris O'Shea & Cinimod Studio
Investigates machine surveillance. As you walk through this maze, beacons light up and follow you.

The Magic Torch
By Alberto Garcia Saenz & Julio Obelleiro, Spain
Use a flashlight to play games projected onto a wall.

By Andrew Bucksbarg, USA
Polyphonic "mobispheres" which also light as the user interacts with them.

EOD04: Probing the Intangible Inaudible Invisible

By Frederik De Wilde, Belgium
Using LED lights to tracks the electric waves of a fish.

The Neuron Chamber
By Aan Rorie, Ben Carpenter, Jo Slota & David Shulman
A sculpture that acts like your brain, which shows the process of synapses.

By Tim Redfern, Ireland
Giant kaleidoscope projecting tectonic recordings into fractals.

March 6, 2009

‘GE Plugin for’

Found this on Twitter from @matthewburton. Permalink is It makes me reconsider Flash applications. Lot of potential for games.

March 27, 2009

American Design Club @ The Future Perfect...

Last Friday, I visited The Future Perfect for an exhibition, "Hue Are You" (open until April 30th) that curates up-and-coming American designers. It was an opening for a show, and some of the designers were there. The store sells a lot of eclectic collectibles. They are located in Williamsburg.

Some links:

All photos taken by Tim McNerney...
For more visuals, visit this set on Flickr.

Adidas 6-piece Shoe...

I'm not sure if I buy the "green-cause" marketing of this shoe, but if you're at all interested in fabrication, I thought this was kind of cool. It's a 6-piece shoe assembled with little-to-no-glue. So the 6 pieces are sewn, and the 7th piece is glued, so it's actually the 7-piece shoe. The "green theory" is that because the cuts are so calculated that Adidas wastes less material. Anyway, I thought the fabrication part was fascinating. It isn't seamless, but the seams are pretty clean.

This shoe reminds me of Heather Dewey-Hagborg's shoe design in Tucker's Industrial Design class at ITP.


Also, I thought this chair was cool. You can flip the swatches of upholstery to change the pattern and design.

Interesting Exhibition at Center For Architecture...


Saw this ad in the subway, which peaked my interest. The exhibition end in late April. The Center For Architecture is located at La Guardia Place:

536 La Guardia Place,
New York, NY 10012

More about it here:

April 4, 2009

Simultaneously Beautiful and Scary...


Photo Credit: Extreme Ice Survey

I just watched this documentary on NOVA that was pretty effective in convincing me that our source of water is endanger. This group EIS, Extreme Ice Survey is surveying and documenting how fast ice is melting in Greenland, Alaska, the Alps, etc. which is our source of drinkable water. EIS plants cameras to document the ice and glacial activites. They build these shells for cameras that I think operate using power generated from solar panels to power these cameras for one year. The photography is amazing and beautiful, but the video is scary.

Visit this link, and click on "Videos" to see time-lapsed documentation.

April 19, 2009

Arduino now has 3.3V

My friend and colleague Tim McNerney pointed this out to me the other day. I just bought the Arduino Duemilanove, and now you don't have to worry about toggling the jumper, and it has 3.3 and 5 Volts. With the other Arduino, I always had to scour around for a 3.3 voltage regulator, but now I won't have to with Arduino Duemilanove.

There's also a cool print of Italy on the back of it. I think it is approximately $30-$35 still.

The image cuts off, so click here to see it on my Flickr. Or feel free to drag this image to your desktop:

June 18, 2009

Leandro Erlich: Swimming Pool

I really love this piece at PS1. It was my first visit there, and I must say that the art work seems to be more experimental. I was especially drawn to this installation. He thought of every detail, the construction of the deck and evoking curiosity to visit the pool space area.

Afterward, you can venture out to Jackson Heights for some delicious Indian food.

July 16, 2009

Cheonggyecheon has had positive environmental impact

I first heard about Cheonggyecheon from Adam Greenfield's presentation at Dot Dot Dot. I didn't know that this project had an environmental impact. This project was called "Daylight" and costed $384 million to recover and filter streams. Since the completion of this project in 2005, "Daylight" has reduced temperature and air pollution.

Small-particle air pollution dropped to 48 micrograms per cubic meter from 74 along the corridor, and summer temperatures are now often five degrees cooler than those of nearby areas, according to data cited by city officials.

To read more about this, visit NYTimes site here.

September 26, 2009

Vermeer's Masterpiece: The Milkmaid

This painting is on loan at the Met until November 29th. The artist, Johannes Vermeer, is the same painter who was known for "Girl with a Pearl Earring," which was also made into a movie with Scarlett Johansson.


More about it here on NY 400 Week and the Economist.

Ron Arad at MoMA

This exhibition is a must see for any creative. I love all the pieces that play with light. And he will stump you with some of the pieces (inverted projector). I didn't see Ms. Haze (led light chandelier shaped in heart) though.


To see more photos, check out my Flickr set:

October 26, 2009

National Design Week at the Cooper Hewitt

I went to the Cooper Hewitt on Saturday because it was free (Thanks Target for sponsoring). Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed with the exhibition (Design USA) as I was 2 years ago (Design Life Now). It wasn't as comprehensive, and they didn't feature anyone new. Also, I felt like most of the work that was exhibited, I've seen before (e.g. IDEO, Google, etc.), and that maybe they were selected because they were "donors." Maybe the participatory aspect produced the very pedestrian results (I hope not).

I thought it was interesting because they offered the ipod touch tour. It is free, and you exchange your ID card with an iPod touch. You can view a slide show, listen to the designers talk about their work and process, watch videos and comment on each piece. I thought it was organized digitally, but I wasn't engaged. I was more interested in the items displayed in the store. If you do go, I highly recommend the Eva Ziesel video. She is definitely a master. Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and Milton Glaser Bob Dylan poster are design classics.





I did like the Design for a Living World exhibit. I thought the photographs printed on aluminum was unique, and the lighting on that medium made the images look dynamic. Some of the tiled photos made an interesting collage.

Cool Stuff at the Cooper Hewitt store

This bag reminds me of Jaewook Shin's ITP sculpture project. The triangulated patterns were controlled by motors and moved. Here is a bag with the same pattern.



I almost bought this pen and stamp...


This might be a great gift to a college kid studying biology or veterinary science...

November 7, 2009

Phenomenal Robotic Arm (and experiments with phantom limbs)


So quite awhile back when I went to Wired Nextfest, I saw a robotic arm with 33 pneumatic pumps. I thought it was amazing because it could pick an object as fragile as an egg, but I couldn't visualize how this could be translated to helping amputees.

But recently on a 60 Minutes program, DARPA is funding this amazing project. You can control the arm connected to sensors with your foot. In this clip, you can see a user pick up a bottle of soda, open it, and drink from it. Also in the last portion of the clip, this company experiments with brain waves by connecting sensors to the limb (not sure, but could be related to phantom limbs). Anyway, I was blown away by this technology. If you have any insight, and ping me links to other scientific research (address is posted in the footer--Thx).

Watch CBS News Videos Online

You can read more about this story, here.

November 27, 2009

Tim Burton

First of all, MoMA is exhibiting Tim Burton's work.

Aside from that, if you don't live in New York, check out this site I found:

It features episodes of Stain Boy, and some characters from the Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. There is an edition where the cover is black and purple (beautiful cloth bound). Most of the animations are done in Flash and are beautiful (they are funny, ridden with sarcasm). Tim Burton is a creative genius.

Also, check out his free fonts (which are cool, and not as cheesy as most free fonts):

November 28, 2009

Esquire's Augmented Reality Issue (December 2009)


In an effort to push publishing forward, Esquire magazine experiments with augmented reality. Last year, it was eInk, this year, AR. Now, I'm just going to guess that the creators used Adobe Air and/or Flash for this? Or do they use Open GL. In any case, the quest to push the digital realm of 3D to our physical spaces is hot right now. Other uses of AR is Yelp's "Monocle" feature of the iPhone app. Esquire's and Yelp's foray into AR is still premature, but nevertheless, it's definitely worth the experience (Esquire: $3.95/Yelp: free). I can really see AR in gaming or educational applications, but as Esquire demonstrates, AR can be used for advertisements as well (see Lexus AR - reappropriating infrared tech). There were some fullscreen issues with this ad (see photo below-looks like non-HD footage on HD screen). Any HD consumer of media would think this was a mistake rather than intentional.

If you are strapped for cash, just check out my screenshots, but the relevant ones are embedded in this blog post.

To begin with, Barbarian and Psyop worked on the tech and design of the AR for Esquire. You download the software onto your computer, and hold up the magazine's semicode to a web cam. I really enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.'s monologue and the fashion bit. I phased out on Jillian (maybe because of her story didn't interest me), except for the last part, which she says, visit her past midnight, and she'll tell you another joke. I am definitely going to try it after midnight to see if her content varies. You can change the direction of semicode to activate different 3D video clips.

The scattered letters for Robert Downey Jr.'s would appeal to any student of typography. The illustrations for the fashion exhibition (not really a slide show, more animation) were definitely really cool. All in all, the AR experience was beautiful and hip.

The slide show exhibiting "jr's" work was probably the most frustrating experience. Partially because jr's photographs are so compelling, but navigating through the media was très difficile. I spent a good 20 minutes flipping directions of semi-code, since the slide show player was too speedy. The photography looked better on my screen than the magazine, but navigating through print pages was definitely more convenient.

Last, was a jazz sample from an artist. An experience you can't get from print. But aside from the great music, it was a pretty flat experience. Maybe AR will help save the cost of print for publishers, but readers will pay with their time. Consider this: Would you want to download a piece of software to access to experience another dimension of your magazine? Would you do this for every magazine you have? Is this AR experience immersive enough to repeat weekly or monthly?

In any case, I was narcissistic enough to get a cool profile photo out of this experience ;)

Full-screen warning by Esquire and app confirmation.

Lexus Ad

Fashion Animation/Exhibition

Slide show of jr's compelling photography.

Music AR experience.

December 22, 2009

Bruce Mao's Manifesto for Growth

Maybe this is why I am strangely attracted to process. Here is the original link. #33 (e.g. recreate an experience with the constraints of the current environment) and #42 are what often goes through my mind.

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good.
Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you'll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome.
When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to
be there.

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

5. Go deep.
The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.

6. Capture accidents.
The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

7. Study.
A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.

8. Drift.
Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

9. Begin anywhere.
John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

January 2, 2010

Internet Archaeology

This is a seed to an interesting project.

I remembered growing up through junior high and high school, history was so mundane. I felt like I was reading irrelevant content, which sounds so sacrilegious. I do remember some blitzes here and there, and I was interested in McCarthyism, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Thurgood Marshall, and Brown vs. Board of Education, but everything else is a bit of a blur (and I took AP History, lol).

Anyway, later on through travel and practicing design, I grew to love history. Last year, when I visited Ireland, I borrowed a couple of travel books that explained the whole history of Ireland within a chapter or two. And about 10 years ago, I took a class on the history of graphic design (taught by Carl Heinz), and we had to read The History of Graphic Design. I didn't buy the book because it costed $80 at the time. Instead, I borrowed it from a friend. I believe with the exception of a couple of chapters, I read that whole textbook, and was fascinated how history was perceived by creatives. Anyway, I recently checked the price online, and I snatched one for around $3.00. I really can't believe my luck. In retrospect, I think history should have been taught with this book first, or any history relating to the arts. Cultural and art events that relate to the era (e.g. Bauhaus movement in relation to the war), or Paul Rand's controversy (with this magazine cover for Direction) can be of interest because of the artifacts produced in that era.

Anyway, Amazon is offering a Kindle version (sigh), which I highly don't recommend because there are lush visuals to accompany the text. It almost costs the same amount for the hardback version.

For more about Paul Rand, this article was recommended by Nick Sears and Jonathan Cousins (who have stronger "developer" skills) -- a good read for the geeks out there.

February 1, 2010

Hallmark and technology...

Just saw two projects that I thought were really interesting with Hallmark. The first is a printed book with a recorder (google: Hallmark recordable book), so the small device captures you reading a story to your kids. Below, if you click on the link, you can watch a video of how this works. I find this a very engaging experience.


The second is a voice-recognition stuffed animal. I remembered while I was attending ITP, several students experimented with this type of interaction. There are several types of interactions that are described here:

September 10, 2010

Convert your iPod Nano to a watch...

I found these two sites that referenced 3rd party vendors selling watchbands for the new iPod Nano. The advantages of using this as a watch: rechargeable and you can listen to your music. It would be nice if this device could make and take calls...

Read more about it here:

October 2, 2010

My iTunes Experience

I am seriously disappointed with the way iTunes Support handles problems. It reminds me of the way eBay/PayPal handled problems, where the user fills out a email form, and you get a response in 48 hours. Sometimes the email responses are written in a form letter, and are unclear, therefore, I have to log back unto iTunes Support, and fill out another email form.... which is tedious. I ended up killing my accounts on eBay and PayPal, and that was back in the 90's.

I somewhat understand these cost-cutting issues because of our economy. However, there are more current ways to address these customer support. I like the way Amazon and Overstock deal with troubleshooting some of these problems. Both of these sites handle pure online transactions, and I have been a longstanding customer with both (at least 9 years).

Amazon takes the user to a page and allows the user to enter their telephone number into a form box. This is such a nice feature:

Overstock offers chat help. I've only had to use this option once. It made such a difference with customer support:

In any case, I have relegated to uninstall iTunes on my work computer and not buy iTunes cards because of this experience, which is sad. Are there any other iPad book/music stores out there? Or maybe that is what the Android tablet will offer (supposedly coming out in November).

CFDA Fashion Book

I was happy to see my work in this book. It was published two years ago, but nevertheless, I am happy and thankful that it lives in print and that Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) was involved. I thought Art Tavee did an amazing job photographing the bracelets.

Candy Pratts Price, Jessica Glasscock, Art Tavee, American Fashion Accessories CFDA (Assouline, 2008) 260-269.





November 5, 2010

Tufte Conference...

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Edward Tufte speak. I highly recommend anyone who is a designer, developer, business/product manager, education, information services, and/or IT to go his event. It is a one day course that costs $400, and you receive all 4 books.

He opens with this animation:

InfoViz that displays all these bits of information: past, future, present (in white), visual music interface, pure information/content.

Please feel free to download my notes, but you will need his books as a reference. Please excuse any grammatical errors since I was typing on my iPad:
Download file

Also, below the fold of his site, there are a list of links to discussion topics:


December 29, 2010

MoMA Fan Installation

This art installation is so simple and beautiful. There is a magnetic ribbon floating between two fans blowing.


MoMA Video

March 16, 2011

Data Visualization Event at The New York Academy of Sciences

Mark Hansen, a professor at the D|MA in UCLA will be presenting The New York Academy of Sciences on May 19, 2011. For more information, please visit this link.

September 8, 2011

Most Innovative and Beautiful Websites by ITP (2011)

These sites are not in any particular order, and fresh off of the Interactive Telecommunications Program Alumni list. (examples of html5 sites) (more demos)
-- (like the pagination on the side) (job site) (no ad banners, only in-house promotions) (flash site) (View in Firefox) (View in Firefox) (View in Firefox) (nice flexible layout)
Funniest site that break rules:

November 18, 2011

Interesting Use of Semicodes

Recommended by Michael Voelker via Juan-Carlos Sobrino.

March 23, 2012

This is so amazing...

An elephant paints better than some people. In fact, I can't believe this elephant's painting (AMAZING):

April 3, 2012

Warby Parker's April Fool's Day Joke

And website:


Warby Parker sells affordable and stylish eyeglasses. For each pair of glasses you purchase, Warby Parker donates a pair.

September 15, 2012

"Fireflies On The Water" by Yayoi Kusama

If you are in New York and you like contemporary art, please see this exhibit at the Whitney until October 28, 2012. If you do plan on going, go early, to get tickets. If you have to wait, trek up to the Met and see the "Cloud City" exhibit.

More about the piece here.


"Cloud City" by Tomás Saraceno

As I mentioned earlier, there are a couple of temporary art exhibitions in New York city. Cloud City is an architectural sculpture piece at the Met. You can get tickets to tour inside the piece.


"Murder of the Crows" by Janet Cardiff

I was lucky enough to attend this exhibition by Janet Cardiff titled "Murder of the Crows" at the Park Avenue Armory. This is a multi-channel sound experience utilizing 98 speakers strategically scattered around the large space. You can either sit or walk around the dark space. A more detailed description about the piece is here.


Ingo Maurer's new piece

I am such a fan of this artist/designer's works. Awhile ago, there was an exhibition of his works at Cooper Hewitt, displaying a glass bench and tables with LED lights mounted on conductive film, DIY LED wall paper, and so forth (see some photos here).


I just visited his store in SoHO, and saw this latest work. It is so simple, beautiful and elegant. The concept is a black PCB mounted with a grid of RGB LED lights that play different animations of a flickering flame.

There is also a chandelier piece that mounts 100 of these PCB's

Apology for the blurry image:

October 21, 2012

Bonnie John's presentation of UX Cognitive Modeling Methods

October 27, 2012

Surface tablet

I was lucky to attend the Surface event at Pier 57 via ITP. Update posted below.

Despite the reviews, I wanted to see and interact with this product and software. The one thing I really think is notable is how the software responds to the hardware. There is an accelerometer in the keyboard cover and one in the tablet, so based on the interaction of the keyboard cover, the software in the interface responds. For instance, if the keyboard is connected to the tablet, and you are trying to type in the address bar; as soon as I click on a key, the web browser form and "pinned" items (global bookmarks) are automatically prompted. In contrast, if the keyboard is folded under to support the tablet as a stand, then as a soon as the user taps on the screen, the digital keyboard slides up (see photos). These are subtle details that mesh hardware and software and keep the user flows continuous.




Strangely enough, I really liked the UI, and even better than some of the other operating systems out there. There are similar components and patterns, but the interface is so different. I could tell Microsoft invested a lot of their budget to UI design because the feel of it is so different from some of their desktop applications (compared to using Office software on a mac or IE browsers on a PC). The flow and feedback were strangely meditative (more explained below). There are a lot of little details that were carefully crafted to add up to this experience I am talking about.

Here are my notes not in any particular order (please refer to this set of photos):

• Seamless integration between hardware and software making ixd's intuitive

• Thoughtful design considerations to keys in keyboard (i.e. if the user's finger is perpendicular to the key, the device recognizes that the user wants to click on a button versus if the user's fingers are angled on a particular key, the device interprets that as a separate interaction)

• Careful considerations regarding implementing a touchpad and the placement of the touchpad is closer to the space bar (reminding me of those eraser nubs in IBM laptops). A colleague of mine asked whether the touchpad in the cover was gratuitous to the ixd of the touchscreen. I thought it was a fair question, and this colleague of mine worked at IDEO. The response given is that the touchpad offers "precision." The designer/developer explained the experience of writing and editing an email on a mobile screen was a disjointed experience and flow: user types, user makes a mistake, user interrupts her train of thought to touch the screen and place the cursor, user edits email, user continues to write email. With a touchpad, the user can quickly navigate to the cursor area, and edit the email without fussing with where the cursor is before or after the edit, saving valuable seconds and less grief. The surface team member framed it in the context of testing the product quickly at the airport. I wanted to know what his participant's occupation was... I only assumed that their target users are male business executives, which brings me to my next point.

• Careful consideration to gender dynamics. I decided to try to type some terms or addresses, but had trouble typing. I felt that the individual keys were wide and made for fingers that were wider than my own (probably male hands). And the keys were raised a little higher than expected. When I typed, I was mistyping, or some of the keys were sticky or weren't sticky enough. A staff member noticed that I was having trouble, and swapped the cover. There are two versions (e.g. one designed for people used to typing on flat surfaces, and one for people interested in receiving tactile feedback). I guess the beauty is the modularity of these keypads, though with the second keypad, keys were sticking or not registering with the tablet. I was told to re-seat the keyboard. I think this could probably be fixed digitally.

• Global navigation appears on the right and over a scrolling content interface, which was kind of peculiar to me at first. I was having trouble trying to swipe in the global navigation. To me it seemed buggy because at times it appeared, and at times it disappeared. Then a staff member alerted me that I had to swipe from the beveled area, so basically the black frame around the screen is touch-sensitive. All four sides can prompt up a chrome emerging from the side you are swiping. This was not intuitive or apparent at first because I had to unlearn some of these metaphors learned from ipad behavior. One thing that kind of bothered me that an app developer can incorporate 1 or all sides of the chrome. So if you are in an app, would you have to swipe all four sides to see if a chrome appears? This may not be a problem if the user frequents this app.

• Search panel slides from right. The one thing I think looks odd is the back button placed on the left side, even though the modules is sliding from the right. I see why they did that (global behavior in all the other apps), but I think this ok for users of android interfaces. There is back button on many android devices. Having used iOS interfaces, I can see where my opinion is probably an edge-case.

• Search panel, is so easy. There are filters at the top: apps, settings, files, store, etc. Then everything below the rule are results. There is no advanced search. Within apps, there is a contextual search (at least I can say that for 1 of the apps, though I can't confirm b/c I thought I took a photo of it). Let's say you search for "cookie," the search results might display "settings" and "Martha Stewart," and if you tap on "Martha Stewart," the result will lead you to a cookie recipe in an issue of "Martha Stewart." I think it is almost similar to ios global search, but I don't think there are filters above the results.

• Because the search panel features Bing search, will google users be annoyed if they have to take an extra step to open up chrome or link to google search? I did not check to see if there were google apps on this device. I did see amazon and kindle apps.

• Careful consideration to ad placement. I opened up Bing Finance, and I really couldn't believe my eyes. As I was scrolling through the different sections of articles, an ad appeared at the very end. No ads littered through the content, just at the very end. And every 5 seconds or so, it is animated with a different ad. I think this works because, the user can't really ignore the ad, since the global nav and search panels are in the right chrome. What a nice solution to an annoying problem of scattered ads littering content in web sites. I am not sure if the ad used is of IAB standards. When I clicked on the ad, it opened a full screen ad in modal view, then it stops there. No you can't click on it, and it will not displace you to the "Citibank" website. You just close it.

• Love, love, love the progress dots that animate in different patterns over search form box (catch a glimpse of it in IMG_6874). Maybe it's because it doesn't look like a spinning hour glass, spinning beach ball, or just a solid bar. It almost looks like an animation of a river current, which is why waiting doesn't seem urgent.

• Messaging is more subtle. Usually error messages are flashy... Just the text "No internet connection detected." I emphasize the use of period because it looks like a statement. Some of the typical error messages feel like they are yelling at you (see this brief video).

• Love, love, love that the cursor is more visible. There is a circle attached to the bottom of the cursor (see IMG_6913).

• Like the idea of pinned, though I think it will take some time to learn the color schemes of brands, apps, and icons.

• Multiple ways to prop the tablet, via cover, without cover, cover folded under the tablet, tablet with kickstand AND no cover, etc. Many options were considered. Power usage was a consideration, so if you had 20% power left, you could remove the cover so it doesn't drain your battery.

• I think it might be too late for this, but the power port and keyboard-cover port are so similar in shape and size, and differ by just one lead. I almost short-circuited it by plugging in the power adapter into the keyboard-port of the tablet. Maybe the magnet functionality of the keyboard port acts like an additional switch and safety precaution (similar to a reed switch).

• There is balance of browse and search. Obviously browsing through content is easy and continuous horizontal scrolling (in comparison to ios paginated menus). Everything is so visual, even the filters are visual (they appear in a carousel). See "Pinned" example.

• One thing that I didn't play around with but the staff member mentioned is a global share tool. You can share within an app to a different app. For example, I am in the Martha Stewart app, and I want to share this cookie recipe, I would click on the global nav, click share, and I think post it to, let's say a recipes app(?) Not sure, but if this is possible, I think it's cool.

• In the global nav, there is a way to link to other devices (Kinect? XBox?)

• For publishers, they won't take a cut if you have your own purchasing system. If you use their store, it's the typical 70/30.

• Forgot to check if there was a camera for video conferencing, but specs say there is/are.

• This was probably my favorite app. You can choose a type of liquor or a branded liquor, and find special recipes. I believe there are 350 drink recipes in this app. Just imagine propping this tablet on your bar table, and making this drink.

Here is a demo of it:

Was it worth the wait? I think so. Before I attended the demo, I was really skeptical of the product because of my past experiences with other Microsoft software, albeit web app, Xbox, etc. I think if the interface design was a half measure, people would discount the product. In this day and age, users just don't have the patience to test a product out, especially if the cost is competitive with current existing products (i.e. ios, android).

Would I use the this tablet? Currently, I am married to ios because I've bought a lot of apps that wouldn't be transferable. However, I can see my sister, who is a small business owner and PC user migrate to this product. Currently, she has an ipad1, but does not own any apps, but a lot of music. Music is find to leave to your iphone, however, and since she uses only free apps, I could see her experiment with a Surface tablet. As for my mom, she had such terrible experiences with the Windows desktop interfaces and internet explorer, that I got her the iPad3, and now she can't part without it. And my mom can't even understand the chrome interface at all (too complex!) I think if Microsoft can offer as many apps as ios, then I think there will be hope. Also, if Microsoft can offer a lot of partnerships with third party designer/developers, I think users from other operating systems could migrate. For instance, current styluses for iOS are awkward to use because users can't rest their hands comfortably on the tablet. But, I recently saw this "Active Stylus" by Perceptive Pixel that allows users to rest their hands comfortably on the surface tablet. Not that I am knocking Google Goggles, but for me, I would like more conventional products. Maybe the surface keyboard connection could be used to design and develop really nice speakers. Last, XBox and Kinect really has a huge cut in gaming. Will they incorporate games into Surface? Will that drive their business?

FWIW, my rankings for holidays gifts are: (1) mobile ios, (2) surface products, (3) android (tablet). Though I wouldn't mind an android for myself to hack things.


Update (November 4, 2012):

I just found out from a colleague, Thomas Feliciano, who went to see the Surface tablets in the Times Square pop-up shop. He said that the current tablets, Surface RT will not run legacy apps, however Microsoft will release the Surface Pro in Q1 of 2013, which will be able to run legacy applications as well as new apps from store. I believe he said you would be able to side load Windows 7/8 (potential for a USB). It will be for users who want the power of a laptop. It will also come with a stylus (that hopefully allows people to rest their hands on the screen).

October 31, 2012

Seth Godin and Fred Wilson on education

Some of his philosophies parallel ITP's curriculum. We also learned the Arduino there. I am learning Python so I can try to hack a raspberry pi... Wish me luck.


Fred Wilson on MOOCs (just a warning that this video is ~1 hr):

Nice article about MOOCs from the Nytimes:

Found this article about George Lucas donating $4 billion (sale of Lucasfilms to Disney) to education (Edutopia):

Harvard on "Active Learning" methodologies:

November 10, 2012

Great presentation from Donald Norman, Interaction South America 2012

Donald Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things presents this comprehensive overview of interaction/experience design, which cover his 6 design principles as well as visceral, behavior, and reflective states of the user:

Aside from that, he is coming out with a new book that will possibly cover projected designs of the future from now until year 2037. Here are some of my notes:

• Example of Windows mobile phone interface
• Apple volume button in earbud cord (I had no idea until watching this presentation there was a middle button)
• Brain interaction (reminds me of phantom limbs) - DARPA (this video covers research in this area)
• DIY markets (INMO: I am bracing myself for this revolution, as I hope it changes mass production, not proliferate more unnecessary products for our environment's sake)
• BMW iDrive
• Future of subscriptions
• Interesting analysis on who are Google's customers? And what are their products?
Google customers: Advertising agencies
Google's products: Us
• Great attention to accessibility (displaying text on slides when signing wasn't appropriate)
If you are interested in more ixd/hci principles, check out Jakob Nielsen:

November 11, 2012

New type of browsing...

Found about this via Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. Check out this browser from Ishac and Marco and Jay Melican at CIID (formerly from IVREA, found out from Tom Igoe):

Flaps from Ishac Bertran on Vimeo.

More information here:

November 18, 2012

Interesting Navigation and Site Design

Found this great education startup on linkedin via an ITP connection.

All section pages are pieced together in a continuous flow. There is a persistent nav that vanishes and appears in the top of the sections. Blog is placed last because I imagine that this is dynamic, and adding posts will not disrupt the navigation between other sections.

Taking some screenshots, just in case they revert to something more traditional:



November 21, 2012

Medical apps and how users use them...

Great article on medical apps, which may not be related to science, but reveal insight to two different sets of audience for potential persona creation. For example, Dr. Alvin Rajkomar does not come from a traditional life science background, but he was a programmer/physicist.




Medcalc - clinical note application
Evernote - notes app used as a "second brain"
Epocrates - drug dosages and interactions
QXcalculate - create risk profiles for his patients
Electronic health record (iPad) - compares this experience to manually writing notes; writing by hand on a Samsung mini-tablet

Electronic stethoscope - amplifies heart sounds while canceling out ambient noise

Problems with digital records - formulaic approach that does not translate to main goal (how patients fare)

Tablet computers are given or reimbursed to medical trainees (eg residents at Univ of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford)

Research published in "Archives of Internal Medicine" found increased and improved efficiency among residents.

UCSF Medical physicians use iPads and mobile computers (the big kind on wheels)

-research: social and psychological complexities of patients

Love the reference to Vladimir Horowitz for classical music connoisseurs - can keep eyes on patient while typing.

December 16, 2012

2012 ITP Winter Show, Day 1

ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) at NYU has a show twice a year. It always amazes me how creative and ambitious students are... They complete digital and physical prototypes using sensors, screen/optic/camera -- technology within a span of a semester, often working in groups, and some work individually. Nevertheless, they finish their projects on time. I was only able to attend one of the days, and could not cover all the projects. I highly recommend going. Below is the address and some of the projects I was able to engage with.

721 Broadway, 4th Floor
Tisch Building (Take the N/R to 8th street)
Sunday, December 16th, 2-6pm
Monday, December 17th, 4-8pm

List of projects:


These aren't in any particular order...

Sonified Data (Text is analyzed and assigned notes, which is played by the app that Hannah Davis created -- music is pretty soothing, sounds like Radiohead)

American Rubs []
This project analyzes the ethnic-neighborhood data taken from the U.S. Census Bureau, which is then used to create flavors of dry rubs for meats. I really got a kick out of this, and even tasted a couple of these spices... I particularly liked NYC, which is spicy, and Manhattan. Brooklyn kind of had a patchouli essence, which reminded me of uber hipsters.

Puppet and Performing Objects
Apparently, this was an entire class that explored interactive puppetry. Some puppets were high tech, like robotic, and some were low tech, like shadow puppetry. All in all, very cool.

Voodoo Bear []
This project was really funny. You enter your Twitter information and interact with the voodoo bear by pinching or poking it. The bear reacts with audio output and a tweet.

Bashtray []
It is an ashtray, but you put out your cigarette on the candidate you don't like.

So You Say []
This is a low-tech visualization that displays feedback for projects in the ITP show mapped geographically and demographically (age is represented in color of string).

The Buddhist arcade game []
I came by twice, but both times there were a ton of people playing this game (sigh). Hopefully, it makes it to an arcade so I can test my meditative abilities (been practicing lately with Deepak's 21-day meditation challenge).

The Collective DJ []
Ok, I am going to try to explain this, but it may be better to see it in person or watch the above video url. Your friend places her hand on one of those hand-cutouts. You place your hand on one of those hand-cutouts. Then you and your friend touch each other, and it plays a beat. If you touch your friends hand again, the beat switches off. Basically, humans are conductive switches. I can totally see this in a children's museum or a club/party. Very fun.

Random Story Generator
I came by a couple of times, and once again this spot was crowded so I couldn't get information about it. It intrigued me because it looked like a ouija board. Here are a couple of photos, which look like they play with a narrative story line. If you find out, please contact me with the details. I will give you credit.

Fly Guardian []
This is funny. Every time your fly is down, this device sends you a message-warning to your mobile device.

Water Cooler TV []
You can embed messages within a moment of the television show, so when others watch the same show, those messages will be displayed.

Octojam []
This is an instrument in the form of an octopus. As you pull the limbs of the octopus, a sound or beat is played.

Lego Builder []
Using gestures, you can construct buildings out of legos -- augmented reality.

Hamlet Simulator []
This is a pretty cool project. You select from several filter-ranges, which abridge a version of Hamlet according to the filters the user selects.

FreezeFrames []
This app captures your reaction after you watch a youtube video. I caught the tail end of the video where some kids knock down a shelf... I look surprised.

Bouncy Irises []
Bouncy Irises is sort of an innovative digital version of plinko. When the digital particles triggers a physical gear below (by pressing a button), the gears open up.



Cat Car []
This project makes me want to own a cat and this harness. You put this harness on a cat, and this harness has a wireless sensor talking to the the steering wheel, and lasers. Depending on where you want to drive your cat, it points lasers, so that your cat follows the lasers. The video is so funny because Sam Brenner tested this device on a couple of cats. He is going to document this online, and I will post his url here when he does. If he sold this on Kickstarter, I would consider getting this for my sister and her cat.

Laser Cat []
A robotic arduino car that follows laser beams, similar to that of a cat.

ITP Pcomp Mid-term FINAL from Max Ma on Vimeo.

January 8, 2013

Kickstarter stats and best projects of 2012


Ever thought of being a VC or Angel Investor, but couldn't afford to invest or commit? Well, Kickstarter is the platform for you to become an investor on some very cool projects. A group of friends that periodically invest in some interesting projects end up in my feed, which end up becoming a social way to invest. It is empowering and fun!


This comes out to $606.76 per minute.

Just like an annual report (but more interactive and engaging), Kickstarter publishes some stats and some projects for the public, [Just click here to visit]. But I will summarize some of the numbers below. All art belongs to Kickstarter, but I had to modify the screens so they fit in my blog.

Interesting list of categories and how much they made as a group. I believe games win at ~$83 million:

Here is a stat for those in music:

Here are a couple of music projects look pretty interesting (a movement to bring classical or new classical music back):

Now for funny projects that I have to revisit:



Other projects for me to revisit:


Design/Environmental Design/Architecture/Urban Planning

Design/Graphic Design/Urban Planning/Legal (offering "public domain" fonts)

A former colleague of mine, Britta Riley at NYU/ITP grad program founded this project:
Design/Environment/Interior Design/Nutrition/Education


Even Stanford University is teaching Kickstarter for college credit:

And Kickstarter is parodied by major publications like The New Yorker:
The caption reads: "Thanks to Kickstarter, we're buidling a tunnel." Click here to view original.

More funny links: [The Daily Show]

The Onion:,28655/

IFC (Portlandia):


Funny or Die [Rated PG-13]:

January 12, 2013

"Ten Reasons to Teach Our Children Music" by Alla Aranovskaya (St. Petersburg String Quartet)

By Alla Aranovskaya (St. Petersburg String Quartet); The quartet's performance of "The Following."

A girl is singing “Jingle Bells” out of tune. She clearly does not have a musical ear! And there’s no room for a piano. Grandma lives too far and can’t take the boy “to the music” (a Russian idiom). Moreover, the child simply has no time and is fully scheduled with French classes, Spanish classes, swimming classes, ballet, gymnastics, yoga, chess club, math tutoring…

There’s no way to add music lessons to these children’s schedules!
But there are good reasons to overcome all those obstacles and still teach children music. These reasons should be made clear to today's parents!

1. To play music is to follow tradition. All aristocrats, Russian as well as European, were taught music. To play music is glossy, shiny, and chic. The study of music builds one’s character, stimulates the intelligence, and stirs the soul. Music is the apotheosis of civilization.

Duke Ellington started to play the piano because girls always gather around a guy who plays music. And how about a girl who plays Scott Joplin’s ragtime music?
Attention, parents of brides!

2. Music exercises develop willpower and discipline: one must practice the instrument constantly and regularly—in winter and summer, on weekdays and holidays—almost with the same persistence with which champions train in the gym and at the rink. But, in contrast to sports heroes, piano playing won’t lead to a broken neck or leg, or even a hand.

Attention, strict parents! Music builds character without risk of injury. How great that it’s possible!

3. While making music, children develop mathematical abilities. They think spatially while fingering the right keys. They manipulate abstract musical figures that represent sounds. They memorize musical texts. And they learn that a piece of music is similar to a mathematical theorem in that you cannot subtract anything from it or add anything to it.

It is not a coincidence that Albert Einstein played the violin, and that professors of physics and mathematics at Oxford University comprise 70% of the members of the University music club.

Attention, parents of future mathematicians and engineers! To make music is more pleasant than to solve difficult science problems under the supervision of a tutoring stick.

4. Music and language are twin brothers. They were born one after the other: first, the elder—music, and then, the younger—verbal speech. And they continue to live together in our brains.

Phrases and sentences, commas and periods, question and exclamation points, exist in both music and speech.

People who play and sing also speak and write better, they memorize foreign words more easily, and they learn grammar more quickly. Many famous writers were also music lovers, including Stendhal, Turgenev, Pasternak, Leo Tolstoy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Romain Rolland, all of whom spoke more than one foreign language; and all of these writers recommended the study of music to future polyglots.
Attention, wise parents of future journalists and translators! In the beginning was the Word, but before that was the Sound.

5. Music is structural and hierarchical: major works are divided into smaller parts, which in their turn are divided into smaller themes and fragments consisting of tiny phrases and motifs. Spontaneous understanding of musical hierarchy facilitates understanding computers, which are entirely hierarchical and structured as well.

Psychologists have proved that young musicians who studied with the famous Shinichi Suzuki, even if they were not very successful in developing a musical ear and memory, nevertheless easily surpassed their peers in development of structural thinking.

Attention, pragmatic parents of future IT engineers, systems administrators, and programmers! Music leads straight to the top of computer science careers, and that’s why the Microsoft Corporation prefers workers with musical backgrounds.

6. Music lessons develop social and communication skills. After years of study, a child will become acquainted with the gallant and friendly Mozart, the energetic and athletic Prokofiev, the sophisticated and philosophical Bach, and other very different musical personalities. While playing, a child has to portray these composers and bring to the audience their character, style, emotions, voice, and gestures.

Such children are only one step away from the talent of manager! That’s because for a musician, perhaps the most important skill is to understand people and to use this understanding to manage them.

Attention, ambitious parents of future founders of business empires! Music goes from heart to heart, and the most powerful weapon of a top manager is the disarming smile of a “good guy.”

7. Musicians are tenderhearted and courageous at the same time. According to psychologists, male musicians are as sensual as women, and female musicians are as firm in spirit as men. Music softens manners, but to succeed in music, one must be brave.

Attention, sagacious parents who expect help and support in old age! Children who are involved in music are both sympathetic and patient, and will therefore be more willing to care for their elderly parents when the time comes.

8. Music lessons teach children to turn upon a signal immediately. Musicians are less afraid of that terrible word, “deadline.” In a music school, you can’t postpone an audition or a concert to the next day or week. A musician, like an actor on a stage, learns to be ready, no matter what. A child with such experience won’t fail an important test, won’t fumble an employment interview, and won’t delay preparing an important report.

Attention, anxious parents! Music lessons in childhood mean responsibility and artistry in life.

9. Music classes bring up small “Caesars” who can do many things at once. Music teaches children to navigate in multiple concurrent processes; for example, a sight-reading pianist remembers the past, looks to the future, and controls the present, all at the same time.

Music flows at its own pace, and a sight-reading person can’t be interrupted; he can’t relax or take a break. Similarly, the air-traffic controller, computer operator, or stock broker watches multiple screens, listens to many commands, and communicates via multiple phones simultaneously. Music teaches children to think and live in several directions.

Attention, overworked and tired parents! It will be easier for a child-musician to run on multiple life paths and come in first than it is for you.

10. And finally, music is the best way to succeed in life. Why? See paragraphs 1-9.

No wonder that the musical past is shared by many celebrities:
The first story that Agatha Christie wrote was about why it is difficult to play the piano onstage.

In contrast, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice loves most of all to play in public in her dazzling concert dress.

Bill Clinton is sure that if he had never played saxophone, he would never have become president.

Take a look at successful people in any professional field and ask them whether they were engaged in music as a child, even if it was not for long and without much enthusiasm. Of course they were. And we have given you ten good reasons to follow their inspirational example.

If that’s not enough, perhaps our little closing poem will inspire you to offer your children a musical education:

“You make me work so hard,” he said,
“You’re stuffing music in my head.”
“It’s good for you,” his mom replied.
“I hate to practice!” the young boy cried.
The years went by; the young boy played.
His pastimes changed; the piano stayed.
He went along with mother’s plan,
Until that boy became a man:
A man with music in his heart,
Who learned to love a living art.
~ Lilian Duval

January 21, 2013

Very cool startup in charity

Just found this url on the ITP list. This is a great idea. In short, donate your items, sell, and receive a tax receipt.

Also, check out Housingworks and Angel Thrift Shop if in NYC, or Housingworks digital space.


Having trouble holding onto stuff you don't need?

"Do you have a closet full of clothes just taking up valuable real estate that are so old you can't even remember where you got them?"

Maybe this post can help you from one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy. I love this competition on designing "Small," "Little," "Tiny," and the most challenging "Teeny-tiny" spaces:

Referencing Doria Fan and Hilary Spencer for introduction to "Apartment Therapy."

January 25, 2013

Google Finance does it again...

Is it me, or did I just notice this new module regarding trends on Google Finance?! Amazing, yet again! From an IA/UX point of view, their display of information is so simple and comprehensible (which one would imagine is an easy task to take on, but not so at all!) I love the wealth of information in just 6 screens.





Thought this graph was interesting because it reveals a lot of activity with Halliburton, though I don't know if traders are buying or selling.

I've always reviewed this graph, since I took an Investools tutorial with TD Ameritrade:


Of course the interactive graphic of equity prices are useful, but I am only blogging about these newer features or older features that I just noticed. Enjoy!

January 26, 2013

Free UX ebook resource...

One of my co-workers, Glynn Phillips (btw, an awesome front-end-developer with a keen sense of ux) shared this resource with me:


Amazon lockers

Great design solution for shipping. Lately, I am having to send stuff to my mom's work, though she is semi-retired. She recently told me that the company is not happy with being the mailroom, understandable (though her office has her own personal equipment).

This is fantastic solution. Amazon has a list of lockers that you can mail your parcel/products/gifts too. I can almost see creating a surprise with a scavenger element with a bunch of $3.00 gifts. Maybe if this project is successful, they can help reorganize the post offices.



Thanks to Loida Valentin for the reference.

Laptop Case Prototype

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, I went to ITP's Women Entrepreneurs Festival, and met amazing and inspirational people. This week, I decided to "make" again. That's what we do at ITP.

For the past couple of weeks, I have not found a decent laptop case that I liked. I tried Ted Baker (which resulted in a store credit), Amazon, B&H, Apple, Etsy, etc. They were either to bulky, not protective enough, not constructed well, etc. I am very picky when it comes to these details. So, I decided to create my own prototype with some leftover material I purchased at ITP for this project . In fact, I don't even know where that fabric went. Not having a sewing machine was a big damper, but I am doing this project the Agile way. I basically cut material, and marked it with green thread (because I don't have chalk), and since I can't find my spool of black thread, I decided to pass the project onto a "developer" so to say, lol. That developer being Jeanne Dry Cleaners. I have been going to the tailor there for a couple of years, and she does an awesome job with construction. This developer doesn't speak any English, all Korean (and she kind of reminds me of my mom).

In any case, I showed the owner what I wanted, and he actually had a couple of ideas of his own. The tailor was starting to get nervous that she kept saying in Korean, that she won't work on this project... Typical Korean culture (if they can't do it perfectly, then they won't take the project on). But in Agile methodology, you're suppose to produce and throw a prototype, and it's okay to make mistakes (at least I told her).

I just told the owner that I just want the thread to act like glue so she doesn't have to sew the edges. He offered, but asking the cost, he said it was the same price, so I agreed. In fact, the folds were messed up, that he suggested to fold the batting into thirds. I just agreed, and told him that I wanted it in exact measurements, to which the tailor came over with her ruler. I will see the results of this Agile-physical-project on Tuesday evening.

When the owner asked the cost, I was able to barter the cost from $28 to $23 because it "didn't have to be perfect." So I guess Agile saved me $5.



If this comes out, I might make some cases for my other devices:


This diagram illustrates Agile Methodology:
Credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Last, if you are interested in taking Agile/UX classes, I found one $20 (original price is $100 on Skillshare), but it starts tomorrow. Even $100 is a good deal because I have seen costs anywhere between $150-$1300 (for full certification).

Here is a glimpse of the class (~ 1882 students):

January 27, 2013

Graffiti Art

Just found this cool video on MoMA in regards to graffiti (some research I was doing for an artist):

I <3 Banksy:

Love this series in Israel, just do a googleSearch for Banksy and Israel.

These works remind me of one of my favorite photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Here is a clip from a documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, that captures a Banksy project (Lady Diana Pounds):

Here are some other funny Banksy pieces:


Mobile Apps Review

Unblock Me
I saw this teenager play this engaging game of blocks on the N-train bound for Queens. I had to ask her what she was playing, and found out it was a game titled "Unblock Me." Let me say that this game was really addicting. I played a few rounds, requesting help, but then started over again. The objective of the game is clear a horizontal path so that the red block can exit the screen.

After I completed the 22nd round, there was still very cool interstitial promo that appeared from Red Envelope.

Then at the 42nd round, I received another interstitial promo. At this moment, I decided to play until round 66 to see if I can see another promo. I was also feeling pretty comfortable with the game, and trying to master each puzzle round in less than a minute. When I came to round 66, there was no interstitial promo, so I kept playing several rounds until 106th, and still there wasn't any interstitial promo. Then I scanned through my screenshots, and discovered I played for approximately 70 minutes.

The second app I found was on Facebook, and it is titled Poshmark. Basically, it is an app where people can sell their trendy couture fashion, but it has an Instagram and eBay/Craigslist flair, but is a much nicer experience. The other great thing is that there are curated "parties." I posted a couple of items, and today, I received an invite to a party tomorrow night via the app. Very cool. Also, prices are much cheaper than Gilt. And most of the items are one-of-a-kind since they are second-hand.

I am adding that at one of the parties, I read a comment about the insecure financial transactions. I am wondering if they something secure, such as or


A not so nice experience. From a recommendation from a friend, I tried this app. I had problems with login, similar to the NBC Olympics app. In the NBC Olympics app, I tried to watch the opening ceremonies, and then when they asked for my cable provider, I deleted and gave it a 1-star rating because this should be free. For example, if I owned a tv, I would be able to watch the ceremonies on one of the free channels. However, asking for information about my cable provider is none of their business.

At first, I saw the Colbert and The Daily Show Network, which prompted me to sign into Facebook. But I could not access any shows and didn't know what this app was about. I then tried signing in by selecting Time Warner, and the same thing happened. So, I am going to delete this and give it a 1-star rating because I couldn't get through login/registration (very annoying). It is unfortunate because I really like Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show, but I can always access their content directly through the web — much bigger screen too!

I am surprised that Apple approved this app.


Great recommendation for InfoVis book by ITP List

I <3 the ITP Alumni list. There was a thread of reading material for information visualization. Of course, various people recommended the Tufte books. But there were 2 books that I purchased. Here is the title of the first one: Now You See It. I tried looking for information but only found the Table of Contents (TOC). Based on the TOC, I purchased it, and was pleasantly surprised.

pg 41 lists attributes of data
• length
• width
• orientation
• size
• shape
• curvature
• enclosure
• spatial grouping
• blur
• hue
• color intensity
• 2-D position
• direction of motion
Here are some photos:

Part-to-Whole and Ranking Patterns

This surprised me because the Part-to-Whole ratio has a visual definition.

Anyway, buy the book if you are interested.

January 29, 2013

Laptop Case Prototype2

So my little experiment incorporating the Agile methodology of designing a partial prototype of a laptop case worked, yay!


The actual designer/seamstress did a great job. She actually went above and beyond. All I asked was to just sew a row in two spots, but she created a cushion using a large stitch width minus the zig zag, seen here. If you have a sewing machine and are capable of making a straight stitch, I say go for it. And if it is not straight or perfect, all the more better. I have no patience so I let an expert handle my work plus I didn't have a measuring tape or ruler, lol.

The two pads fit perfectly. Here is the total cost breakdown:

1 yard of micro suede, which I purchased back in 2005 for my industrial design class costs $36.00. I only use a quarter or a third of the material, so estimating the higher cost comes out to be $18.00.

Batting was only $10.00, which I bought at a cool knitting store in Soho. And it was 100% cotton... amazing. I only used a third, which comes out to $3.50.

Designer/seamstress work: $23.00

I got the case from the Japanese bookstore next to Bryant Park ~$30.00. You don't need a case, just fold the batting in to thirds, and add a zipper. I think my case is as secure as one of those neoprene covers, but I take pride in customizing my work.

They have very cool pens, and I even saw a cork case for an iPad.

Here is the earlier post:

January 30, 2013

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" & How to Master Your Domain

One of my favorite documentary movies:

He has a strong work ethic.

Rules from Jeff Weiner's article "From Seinfeld to Sushi: How to Master Your Domain:"

1. Never stop practicing (there is no perfect)
2. Sweat the details
3. Keep chipping away
4. Work clean
5. Be passionate
For more inspiration, please read the chapter from Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers on "10,000 hours." Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend Tipping Point.
From Jiro on ageism:

There, in the last paragraph of an article announcing the Yankees had re-signed baseball great Ichiro Suzuki, was a quote from Ichiro that read, "I believe the Yankees organization appreciates that there is a difference between a 39-year-old who has played relying only on talent, and a 39-year-old who has prepared, practiced, and thought thoroughly through many experiences for their craft."

Ben Horowitz of a16z just invested in Rap Genius

a16z is cool venture capital company that invests in 150 portfolio companies. They had invested in a couple of my favorite sites, such as Pinterest, Quirky and Fab also invested in this site as well). But the latest site, Rap Genius, is what I am interested in. I am interested in two folds, partly for the feature of annotations, and relations to law studies (statute and case law):

Check out this Yale University Press published book, The Anthology of Rap. I just bought a copy myself for an awesome project.

I picked up this book at the NYPL Live event when I was fortunate enough to see Def Jam present this book. I even had it autographed... Woot! Woot! If you like Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, read this book. Check out some of the cover albums and screenshots of videos:

Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label
by Def Jam, Bill Adler, Dan Charnas and Rick Rubin (Oct 11, 2011)

One of my favorite rap artists is Eminem, check him out on VEVO:

This video is cute, Eminem is going back to high school:

Check out this cool song by Taylor Swift reappropriate Eminem's "Lose Yourself:"

If you like a jazzier rap, check out: Kendrick Lamar - Poetic Justice (Live on SNL). This looks pretty interesting, anything with Saturday Night Live (SNL) is awesome, also on VEVO:

February 27, 2013

UX Resource: Yahoo! Design Pattern Library

Lately, I have found this url very helpful for UX/Interaction Design. If you navigate to this url [], in the right rail at the top, you will see a vertical accordion that expands to reveal categorized patterns. See image below, which is what I pasted together as an index. It is laid out in a 1-column layout.


March 11, 2013

[Great Design]: Artsy

Over the weekend, I visited The Armory Show, and found some new artists to follow. The Armory Show features most galleries here in New York City as well as ones abroad. Currently, I found an artist Alyson Shotz of Berlin (beautiful works in innovative mediums — i.e. string, pins and paper, or Mirror Plexiglass). The two pieces are not on the website, but ones I would have purchased if I had funds. I did also post my photos on Facebook of other artists I am following. So if you are interested, ping me/friend me or I can post photos on Picassa.


I found this site:

Here are a couple of UI/UX stuff followed by screenshots (the ones italicized are displayed below):
Filters (Color, Price, Scale, A-Z)
• A-Z Directory []
• Browse
• Search
Follow/Share Tools
• Show More Text
• About (takes full screen) with urls to the right []

Color Wheel and Scrubber interfaces for Price/Scale:

Great use of Autofill and Feedback for Sharing and Following:


Download ZIP File with screenshots (reduced width from 1666 pt/px to 800).

September 8, 2013

My First Hackathon

Yesterday, I participated in my first hackathon at General Assembly hosted by Glamour Magazine and CFDA (one of my pieces from ITP is in this book):

Dressed to Code: Glamour's Fashion Hackathon

It was pretty fun, and the time went by very quickly. I wanted to meet new people and see what apps were floating around in fashion. I worked on an app called ShopBook, which allowed users to store size information, calendar of special occasions and a "Mood Mosaic" to replace entering a text field of favorite colors and styles (also this information would keep users' current trends up to date since fashion changes every season). There is more information here:

Our group:
Lisa Koscielski
Anne Hong
Richard Kuo
Sahat Yalkabov

Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

API Partners:
• Facebook []
• SendGrid []
• Aviary []
• Gilt []
• Tumblr []
• 72 Lux []
• Foursquare []
• Glamour Dressed Blog []

Deena Varshavskaya, Founder & CEO, Wanelo
Heather Marie, Founder, 72Lux
Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer
Rus Yusupov, Co-founder & Creative Director, Vine
Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

September 24, 2013

Projection Mapping by The Creators Project

September 28, 2013

Humor for Interaction Designers

Every designer strives to create simple interfaces...


October 13, 2013

People with vision problems turn to mobile devices

Just found this very informative article on how people with vision problems are using mobile devices more and more:

The takeaways are:
• mobile phones have an accessibility mode (i.e. gesture-based, vibration, voice commands, screen readers)
• the phone does what 6 devices use to do (e.g. "$150 money reader is now a $1.99 app;" vision magnifiers, or apps that detect light to help people navigate to exits or windows)
• for development, label all buttons their function/feature

October 15, 2013

New take on Gamification

Here is a new take on gamification by MTV and Intel. Users sign up and complete social tasks using to get a chance to win tickets to concerts (public or clandestine). The first concert is Arcade Fire in Los Angeles using Instagram. Other social media outlets include Pinterest, Vine, Shazam etc.

Below are screenshots. If you visit the site, they have some cool javascript ixd patterns:


October 17, 2013

A Network of Balloons Providing Internet Access

Google has launched a project called Loon, in which they create a network of balloons powered by solar panels and controlled using wind technology to provide Internet access (40th parallel south). I wish the success for this project, and the design is ingenious.

The technology:

It is project like these that make me wish I were a scientist :D


Promotional video:

October 29, 2013

User Testing Resources from the ITP list

I have not been involved in User Testing and the User Testing Process for about a year. I did find this interesting discussions on my alumni mailing list:

This may be of use: Erika Hall's Just Enough Research.

An excerpt is available here:

• Measuring Usability (
• FiveSecondTest (
• Chalkmark (
• Feedback Army (
• Loop11 (
• UserTesting (
• UserZoom (
• WhatUserDo (
• TryMyUI (
• Morae (

Ways to quantify your research:
1. Time on task
2. Success rates
3. Error rates

November 2, 2013

"Princess of China" by Rihanna and Coldplay

I just found this clip of "Princess of China," which was released in 2012. The video has a very cinematic with martial arts and manga-like style that packs a lot of visual detail in just over 3 minutes:

I found this about the composition (referenced by Wikipedia: []). I removed the footnotes, but if you navigate to the page, there are rollovers and bidirectional links. I had no idea there was a sample of Sigur Rós, which is pretty cool.

"Princess of China" draws influence from the music genres of Chinese music, electropop, and R&B. The song starts with a sample of Sigur Rós' "Takk...", which is also featured throughout the song. As noted by Amy Sciarretto of Popcrush, it features a "moody" and heavy synth throughout the duration of the song. The song also prominently features both Martin's and Rihanna's falsetto register, which was praised by multiple critics. Gil Kaufman of MTV News noted that both of the vocalists falsetto's matched each other perfectly, and that Martin's falsetto complimented Rihanna's higher register. Judah Joseph of The Huffington Post gave an explanation of the song's composition as part of his review, writing "The best way to describe the composition behind 'Princess of China' is to compare it to an old-school Zelda Gameboy game's sound effects – but in the best way. The song is epic, Asia-influenced, and it exemplifies the adventurous vibe that comes from an alternative-hip-hop combination." According to the sheet music published on by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is written in the time signature of common time, and is composed in the key of A minor with a tempo of 84 beats per minute. The song follows a basic sequence of Am7–C–Dm/F–G6 as its chord progression.

I like how Rihanna describes her look as a "gangsta goth geisha." Other visual references by Wikipedia:

Rihanna wearing two different costumes and golden nail guards as she performs a choreography with her arms in front of a background with colorful effects. It contains visual references to various Chinese wuxia films, including Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Zhang Yimou's Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower.

I would also add the book and movie, Memoirs of a Geisha.

More on the synopsis:

The video portrays Chris Martin and Rihanna as lovers with a complicated story. Rihanna is seen imitating a multi-armed goddess in the clip. In one of the scenes Martin and Rihanna are seen kneeling in a desert, with their foreheads touching each other, as they bemoan the loss of their love. The scene then proceeds to be violent as they engage in a sword-fight. The video closes on scenes of Chris Martin seated on a throne watching Rihanna dance with a red coloured drape surrounded by many female dancers kneeling down and men beating the drums. In the video, Rihanna's hair was pinned up with chopsticks and she described her look in the video as "gangsta goth geisha".

I also found this photo of a carved Buddha statue in Leshan, China (Sichuan Province). If you like spicy food, this is the province to discover it.

Photo by McKay Savage on this site []

November 6, 2013


I just found this website, where ITP just announced for calls of wearable tech demos on November 20, 2013 at Huge [45 Main St. Brooklyn, NY]. They are also going to stream the event here:


What is really cool about this site is that you can view other videos related to design. Huge is a successful design agency, and you can get an idea about its culture.

Colorscale Table in hex

Ok, I had some extra time this weekend because I was so mesmerized by Google's redesign (btw, the video is pretty cool):

At one point, they had 41 shades of blue. So I assumed that they must be doing a lot of research with colors (impressed with their gmail apps and responsive design sites), and probably thought about red/green/blue color-blindness, so I decided to document all the colors in hex (2nd tab), and omnigraffle's grayscale (I suspect that the nytimes uses a lot of the same shades here), and worked out grayscale shades from Google, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Omnigraffle (3rd tab).

If you want more colors, check out the 1st tab, or the site url. Or just duplicate this spreadsheet, and create one for whatever project you are working on.

Once you save this spreadsheet in your own google drive, you are free to pass it on, edit it, duplicate it (think Creative Commons). You can even export it as a .pdf or .xls file. If you don't know how to export, feel free to ping me at [].

I am also tracking to see how many people are interested in two blog posts (and not "tracking" in a creepy way).

November 8, 2013

Some Information Visualization url

Notable urls in italics.

Edward Tufte (Napoleon's march) :: Shows the size of the French Army in the 1812 War against Russia)

ibm: Many Eyes by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg
user generated content where people upload their data and choose what time of visualization they want to see the data in:

Hans Rosling, Gapminder

Casey Reas & Ben Fry, Processing
Java (loads a little slower, but many libraries) Cover of Nature

Amanda Cox (nytimes)

I love this:

UX Audit Template for Heuristic Analysis

Hello everyone,

Yes, I am having a blast with Google Drive, and came up with this template for Heuristic Analysis. There are several tabs, and they all have references and citations.

Please modify it as if it were a Creative Commons document. Also, I have also exported it as an Open Office document, Download file">here. Please use it freely.


November 13, 2013

Edtech Meetup

September 25, 2013, New York @ Microsoft

Here are my notes, but they look a bit cryptic, sorry (also typed with my thumbs on my iphone)... Basically, there are a lot of opportunities to create Edtech apps nationally and internationally. See photos below for more information.


Eric Goldberg
Schoolsearchnyc app (demographic and test)

Conversation - parents as stakeholders
- when should kids be able to interact/view screens
- learning through technology
- what are the skills to learning

- outcomes (there are fairs -- candy) eg edmoto; technology is not here yet

- parents in low income areas
- providing parents actionable and access to this information (eg parents may not have Internet access so they sent txt messages)
- access to hybrid learning models w/positive outcomes (only 1 program out there)
- individualized learning - tech pushing students at their own pace
- teachers are not familiar with these technologies juxtaposes how parents think their kids are learning

Kinvolved - providing information to families

I wish I had this when I was a kid:
-ten marks (keeps kids engaged in the summer); alerts to parents kids deficiencies
- push for apps to appeal to girls and STEM
- class dojo
- springboard collaborative
- mobile makes information more salient (SMS reminders to follow through the steps of enrolling in college)
- smart board technology (children can manipulate objects) -- allows students to be more engaged, allow children to move and engage in all senses (sensory interaction)
- parents would like information about test results and absentees
- parents have difficulty with interacting with teacher (bridging that divide)
- kids are spending 8, 10 hours on mobile device, should parents control access/duration of these devices
- parents should limit technology to kids even though they want to be bill gates, Steve jobs
- scripted app
- how do parents teach kids to use technology responsibly
- parents logging in and monitoring their kids (lots of usage by parents)

- facilitating relation between parents and school, administrators

- low-income students (Bill Deblasio), $13k a student
- teachers need more professional development
- challenges: parents work 2 or 3 jobs, there are language barriers
- navigation of resources, parents don't know about resources, prepToPrep
-family engagement will have a direct positive effect, direct impact regardless of socioeconomic -- how do we meet/connect parents (eg language)
- schools can be intimidating for parents with language or time availability, make that initial conversation available, make apps that allow parents to be more involved with schools
- 2 parent teacher conferences and 2 report cards
-partnership- parent, student, teacher
-community learning centers
-bring schools to parents not the other way around (bring parents to schools) more apps
-blog -- getting smart
-the DOE asks parents to fill survey at the end of the year; why can't parents give feedback throughout year (EASY TO MAKE); nothing is actionable until the end of the year
(Eg parents can tell teachers, "I am not sure if my gets get this.")

- experiment in Los Angeles, Spanish families; "no news is good news" ; they didn't know what a "D" meant - when they explained to parents, they were engaged and took away privileged for kids -- saw results on FB - students messaging about Peter
- parents thought they were not invited to schools (power dynamic was misunderstood)
- more math apps for girls (tenmarks), daughter didn't want to see video with male teachers
- airess (parent portal) - login issues, teacher making calls 5x a week is time consuming
-advice to talk to 100 parents before designing apps
- empirical questions / what works (engrade), teacher sends SMS to students
- parent logins levels out to 25%
- teacher speaks from her own experience - teacher preparation program - teachers are failing student observations, teacher doesn't know what is out there
-parents don't know what kids are suppose to know (requirements and standards - what is a third grader suppose to know)
-no consistencies, more events, more meetups to see what is out there
-amplify is building parent teacher portal
-success academy
- teachers need to ask parents what they need (community eg taxes)

- FB (on its way out)
- twitter (prof network community)
- how do students connect to financial aid
-how do low income students connect to people in university
-Malcolm Gladwell wrote something about Twitter -loose ties
- cyber bullying, teachers can cover some ground rules, teachers need to ownership not parents
-creating lifelong learners


Power my learning needs c# developers
Eye openers and mind openers (ADD), vision exercises, eye-yoga, no adults left behind
Knewton is looking for content makers
Hispanic market looking co-founder
VentureCow - digital interactive book, testers 10-18
New classrooms, envision partners
Startup - Ed(dot)co
EdText-child pedagogy-learning (sign up)
Edlab (teachers program)
October 1st, New Orleans Ed?
Challenge - eyezone


Kidzstop - autism
Golden seeds - women entrepreneurs
Education scrimmage
Startup weekend




Edtech Titans Meetup

October 15, 2013, New York @ Microsoft

Here are my notes, but they look a bit cryptic, sorry (also typed with my thumbs on my iphone)... Basically, there are a lot of opportunities to create Edtech apps nationally and internationally. See photos below for more information.

Edtech titans

Models - blending models of learning (both digital and home school)

Middle school is done really poorly because students struggle with their identity and teachers want to be high school teachers

Healthcare in India (hub and spokes model) - they train people to diagnose heart disease (spoke); they bring in the patients to the hub (specialists); high quality outcome of heart surgery > should think about this structure for k-12 school ; what course is online education solving, the hub or spoke?

Edify > provide loans/micro-finance for schools to provide computer labs and hardware; rates depend on performance

3 billion from poverty will move to middle class:: more appetite for people to deliver private education; eg provide education for $5/month for audience that can afford $2/month

What is the most over hyped trend this year (looking back @2013?
- tablets
- one-to-one learning
- hype around adaptive learning
(Lot of potential) for k12
- Moocs for higher Ed

Advice for EdTech startups (question comes from startup founder for k-12 curriculum)
-don't worry about revenue; just get 1 million users
- product / services generating data for schools; listing students not performing well
- badges rewarding informal learning

Do you see changes in procurement systems for k12 and higher Ed teachers?
- no disruptive business models happen in k12 schools bc there is no system; change procurement laws do not change

Student learning
-are supplemental products doom for failure if they are not integrated into the classroom?
-- user experience for teachers is where doom comes in; too much burden on the teacher if systems don't talk and the teacher has to manage tech systems
--solve teacher problem; open system; teachers don't have multiple logins; think of bundling devices (tablet, web app)

How to improve efficacy?
- services play with the special Ed space
- get research based; focus on particular research that is proven
- presence learning (SF startup) focused on reading specialization; and following requirements for each state (good; received another round of funding)

Who are the most interesting players?
Students, mayoral, parent, charter schools
-- **charter schools pushing
-parents not driving change
-google/amazon change price dynamics
- education superhighway (lookup)
- overseas
-google/FB push by making Internet accessible globally
- *where change should happen (great opportunity) > community colleges at the local level and partner with employers
- k12 now rate their teachers performance which influence teachers' pay


- knewton needs math teachers; create worksheets
- online degrees startup looking for developers
- inyourclass startup needs investment
- math startup seeking developers and project managers (indie Gogo?)
- for book about geeks
- Pearson looking for .net developers
- sesame workshop in India
- (math/phd) looking for a marketer
- lev Kay? Startup that assess skills--assessment design
- brazil education looking for partners
-edlab hiring a lot of people (from teachers college), name is Kate?
-screencasting app (b-casting?)




November 17, 2013

Post-it Notes are essential for Agile/Lean UX Methodology

In the last couple of years, I have been involved with "agile" and tried creating a Post-it note art project. The process is definitely not systematic enough to document yet. The first photo shows around 3 months. The second one shows a years' worth of multiple projects. I tried experimenting with different color pens, different color Post-it notes, and even different sizes. In addtion, my monitor, laptop, iPad and iPhone is littered with beards of Post-it notes, lol. They are essential, however, I am going to try Muji notes next.






November 19, 2013

Plone 3.0 and Thomas Deneuville

My colleague, Thomas Deneuville, portfolio, just introduced me to Plone Products [], an open source library of features and products. He is also founder of this site and mobile apps:

This calendar looks kind of cool []:
Look below the screenshot for a list of categories (stolen from the right rail).

He just redesigned Hunter College's new website:, which I am sure had many tough requirements, kudos! Below is the screenshot:


Plone Notes:
• Auth and User Management
• Basic content types
• Buildout
• Commerce
• Communication
• Calendars/Events
• Code Examples
• Database integration & external storage
• Development tools
• Documentation management
• Educational
• Fields and widgets
• Geospatial
• Internationalization
• Import/Export
• Layout and presentation
• Media
• Migration scripts
• Miscellaneous
• Polls/Surveys
• Portlets
• Project management
• Statistics & reporting
• Services
• Theming tools
• Themes
• Versioning, Staging and Deployment
• Weblogs Workflow

November 24, 2013

Synapse Lighting by Gomez Paz

While in Soho this week during lunch, I happen to find this lighting module that can be pieced together to customize a specific size or width.


Here are some examples of varying the number of lights pieced together:
[Photo Credit:]

Here is an example of the lighting in context with the environment:
[Photo Credit:]

Great Product Design by Muji & Sephora

Great designs by Muji an Sephora. One of my favorite stores is the Muji store.

If you love stationary, pens, erasers and assorted office supplies -- this is the store for you. I would describe Muji as an "Adult version of Hello Kitty," except instead of everything pink, everything is clear, simple and minimalist. One of my favorite items is their plastic business card case, which I thought was durable and you can put it in your back pocket without it flattening when you sit (see last screenshot of this post). My latest acquisition are these scissors:
Price: ~$7

You can read there book by Jasper Morris, Naoto Fukasawa, Kenya Hara


I typically do not shop at Sephora, but I found this retractable lip brush. I have owned many lip brushes -- ones that belong on the other tip of a lip liner (lost the cap) or a 2-piece version. This lip brush is a 1-piece that when pulled apart, the lip brush extends to a longer brush, and exposes the brush. When closed, everything is contained. The industrial designer even thought of the little cap protecting the brush from dust/remnants from your purse.
Price: $10


Muji Business Card Case

December 5, 2013

[For Designers]: Very cool icon font

Brian Hochhalter just showed me this url:

Check out the download and slider button at the top. You can download the font, and check out the spinning icons. Since it is a font, the icons are scalable. Very cool animated ones, see screenshots below.



To install this font, download the font (extension is .ttf). Open up finder, while clicking on Option key > click the Go (menu dropdown), which will display "Library" -- for Mountain Lion (otherwise you might have to access your Library folder using Terminal). Drop the font into your font folder.

Where was this site a couple of years ago, when I had to create my own icons in Adobe Illustrator, and worry about the scale and concept of each icon? (Sigh), now you have it :)

I believe you can take this font, and modify them using some open source software (exports true type - .vfb or .vfbak), but I have not researched this yet.

December 29, 2013

Khan Academy

Just found this great video on Kahn Academy.

Sometimes the founder, Salman Khan, will study up to 5 textbooks before he creates a video: