event Archives

September 4, 2005

Protest at Union Square

These photos are dedicated to my political activist friend Gregory Lowe. He gave me an NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) bag that promotes saving whales. Anyway, I think he would really fit here in New York. Supposedly there's a protest at Union Square every weekend.

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 12, 2005

September 11, 2005

Twin Towers Light Memorial

October 22, 2005

Parade Photos

I was on my way to Fellissimo for the 3-D Authorship show. They were closed so instead I went to a parade on Fifth. Beautiful costumes.

Lost Bird in a Jewelry Store

Cute bird...and it's real. No joke.

November 1, 2005

Rock On!

For Halloween. I was a Beatnik musician. That's an E-major chord, and one of my groupies.

January 29, 2006

Soul Food and Sunday Gospel Brunch at the Cotton Club in Harlem

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.

November 1, 2006

New York City does Halloween well (Part I)...

The famous Trinity Church in the financial district had put these pumpkins on their grave site. Famous people buried here are Alexander Hamilton (on your $20 bill) and Robert Fulton, who designed the "first commercial steamboat (there's a street named after him)."

Anyway, this got me thinking... of combining Knott's Scary Farm with cemetaries. What if the Arlington National Cemetary had a haunted tour? I would be the first to admit my fear, but I would still participate for the experience.

Here's that cheesy laugh in text:

I stand corrected with the Alexander Hamilton fact. My friend, Ben Wilkes, emailed me the corrected information: "Hamilton was never President. Delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Secretary of the Treasury (I knew those). Wikipedia remind us he was lead author of the Federalist Papers, too.

Thanks, Ben.


New York City does Halloween well (Part II)...

Okay, went to a real parade with floats... On the way there, I saw some costumes that didn't make it to my list, but I'm going to give them some credit. Here goes:

The one in Los Angeles is equally fun, but this one has parades. Los Angeles' Halloween parade is structured more like a 2-mile street fair.parade.jpg

How many Freddy type monster masks have I seen? At least his eyes light up.

I'm not quite sure what these costumes are suppose to be, but I give them credit for having the courage to wear them.

At first, I wanted to take this photo because of the absurdity of a cow drinking Jamaican beer, but then his "udder" friend stepped in.

New York City does Halloween well (Part III)...

Popular themes this year include Ghostbusters, characters from the movie Vendetta, and the prom-queen from Stephen King's novel Carrie. The costume that I literally felt a physiological rise was from was a guy wearing a S.W.A.T. team uniform. Anyway, the costumes in Manhattan were pretty creative.

These costumes were the most original, home-spun, and creative costumes. They are in chron order, and I think all of these relate to objects:

Mike Buhkin is the Metro signage, which has a slight variation in destination -- The R train goes to hell.

This costume is a New York crime scene right before the cops get there.

While I saw several people wearing trash can outfits and ghostbuster outfits, this table at a restaurant was pretty unusual.

Maybe I've seen a toy robot costume in the past, but the design and details here are polished.

This guy was an enema machine, and was trying to offer free enemas. Bizarre.

These costumes must be relevant to their favorite drink, Jack and Coke. The Coke is wearing a Jack Daniel's tiara.

"Butta Face" is a Howard Stern term. Funny, if you listen to Howard Stern.

November 5, 2006

Come Out and Play Festival 2006, Part II

This is probably the best videogame I have ever experienced. The controllers are two accelerometers, one strapped close to your knee/thigh, and the other one on your arm. The accelerometer on your knee controls the direction and the one on your arm controls the speed (by tucking the arm in, you move faster, but lose control). It was pretty engaging physically and physiologically. I was perspiring a bit. This game was projected on a wall, so I'm not sure how immersive the game would be if you played this on a smaller screen (PSP, t.v., computer). Anyway, it was fun.

Come Out and Play Festival 2006, Part I

We participated in the Story Mashup game that had over 100 participants covering Midtown Manhattan. Nokia sponsored this game, and we used their new N80. A random word would appear on your phone, and you would take a photo about it. You gain more points if someone guesses it. These random words were pulled from a blog, and these photos would create a string of images that would visually tell a story. Great concept, but there were some problems with the server and cell reception that kind of slowed the game down.

November 7, 2006

Today is Election Day...

so go out and vote.

Also, Clay Shirky recommended this article re "Social Capital," which talks about the differenced between bonded versus bridged capital and what happens when civic responsibility declines.


What dictates our political involvement?

November 13, 2006

Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig

Last month, I signed up to see Lawrence Lessig and Chris Anderson talk about his new book The Long Tail. I haven't read the book yet, but "the long tail" represents the "power law distribution," a different way of reading statistical data. In Chris Anderson's book, it is used to analyze content on the web. In a class taught by Clay Shirky, he frequently uses this law to analyze social interactions and groups.
"RO" is defined as "Read Only" and "RW" is defined as "Read-Write." They also briefly covered their views about Net Neutrality.

November 20, 2006

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.



December 2, 2006

Shimon Peres...

came out of the NBC building (in Rockefeller Center) Thursday, November 30, 2006. I wonder if he was on the Today Show. There were only five cars escorting his car, and two armed men with high-tech rifles guarding his car.

December 8, 2006

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 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 14, 2006

Snowflakes falling down the side of a building

I think this building is on 51st and Avenue of the Americas. You could definitely see this if you're at the Rockefeller Center. The snowflakes fall at a pretty fast rate.

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 26, 2006

Wall Street and Christmas Tree

It's stunning at night.


Look what I found...

As I was taking photos of the Holiday decoration in Rockefeller Plaza, I found this bird nested on one of the angel's arms. So peaceful.

December 28, 2006

Calling all Linux/Unix geek and nerds...

Red Hat went public a couple of weeks ago (NYSE) on Wall Street...

December 31, 2006

More Holiday Decoration

At the Rockefeller Center...


January 5, 2007

A Real Rainbow

I just visited Jerseyville, Illinois, and saw this incredible rainbow. I've never seen one this big, and strong in intensity. Maybe I'll find a pot of gold at the end of it. I hope you find one too.

Happy New Year EVERYONE again!!!



February 17, 2007

Wikipedia Contribution

This is my first contribution to the Wikipedia. I was curious about this Danish licorice brand, which had a controversial name. I was also unfamiliar with the term. The term also has references to anarchy and revolutionary. Anyway, there's a hyperlink to the word "logo" to the image I submitted.

February 21, 2007

The 79th Academy Awards Exhibition in NYC

At the Good Morning America set in Time Square Studios, they are exhibiting all the Oscar award trophies. I am such a tourist.

Here's the info:
February 12-24
11am to 7pm





The actual award ceremony is on the 25th and starts at 5pm. I skipped it last year, but just watched Good Night and Good Luck, which was about a journalist, Edward Morrow, covering McCarthyism, and Capote, which was pretty heavy and well-acted. This year I want to watch Babel, Volver, and Notes on a Scandal, Little Miss Sunshine, The Departed, and An Inconvenient Truth. In Los Angeles, people would have Oscar parties and hold pools on the nominees.

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 12, 2007

Urban Polo Game

An innovative way of playing polo without horses. In a park near Chinatown on Broome and Forsythe, groups gather to play polo. Pretty cool.


March 13, 2007

Colbert Show

After waiting three months, we finally got tickets to the Colbert Show. We went and waited in line, and still didn't get in. They emailed us VIP tickets, which means we don't have to wait in line. We'll see...


March 25, 2007

Blow Darts & Marshmallow Peeps

I went to this party in Chelsea, and they had the most innovative party game, which was pretty intimidating and addicting simultaneously. So the hosts made these darts with nails and paper cones that you put into this metal rod, and blow. On the target side, they rounded up several yellow marshmallow peeps, which was later replaced by a lit candle (you have to put out the flame), and finally an M&M, to provide challenges for the more advanced player.

At first it seems pretty intimidating because of the "what if you miss?" factor. But after you blow, you and the dart hits the cardboard/particle board area, you start getting the hang of it. After about 5 times, you start getting addicted.

Here's a tip from Rives :
Hold the rod like a cue stick.

Let Veronica distract you with weird sounds, produced from her native Mexican tongue, and you will hit one of those bunnies.






April 7, 2007

Madam Butterfly at the Lincoln Center

NY City Opera

Just saw this last week, for $16.00 (front row, right side). You must see it. There's just 4 more shows. I didn't fall asleep, and the production/set design was incredible, not to mention the soprano heroine, and live orchestra. I didn't need binoculars either.

Click to see the trailer.

Liked this ad for Sirius radio, which was in the program.

Snow in April?

It snowed like a blizzard yesterday afternoon for 5 minutes. I feel like global warming has really affected our seasons. It was hot like the summer in November and December, and freezing cold in April. I'm finally watching Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. We are seeing the effects now, but in 50 years, the summer looks like it's going to be hella-hot!


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.

Earth Day New York 2007, April 16th - April 21st

On the way back from the New York Public Library, I passed by the EarthFair festivities. "EarthFair Inside," is actually Grand Central (April 14-15). EarthFair Outside (April 20-21) on Vanderbilt Avenue, which I believe will have free music (Green Apple Music Festival). I tried Sahaja yoga meditation, and had a free glass of vodka (I'm still not really sure how that's related to Earth day but Elle was sponsoring it), picked up a publication to O2 (magazine that promotes organic/sustainable luxurious lifestyle), and this magnet that informs you of what is recyclable, and what's not (e.g. plastic rings, caps and lids, deli and salad bar containers, plastic bags, plastic hangers, plastic toys, and yogurt containers)--oops to the caps and lids, and watched the trailer for the documentary movie The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which is about sustainable agriculture, coming out in June (I believe in the Lincoln Center theaters).

"The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer, The Real Dirt on Farmer John documents the dramatic failure of Farmer John's conventional farming operation and its resurrection into a thriving, organic Community Supported Agriculture farm. By melding the traditions of family farming with the power of art and free expression, this quintessentially American story heralds a resurrection of farming in America."

May 20, 2007

New York University Graduation

Here are some memorable photos of Rocio, Gilad and Karl in the fountain.

At the Tisch Salute, Laurie Anderson and Clive Davis were speakers. At the main ceremony, Wynton Marsalis (received and Honorary Doctorates in Fine Arts) played a tune (Listen Here), and I was impressed with another recipient's amazing bio, Cathleen Synge Morawetz (Doctor of Science).

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).

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

June 2, 2007

Karaoke and No-re-bang

About a couple of weeks, we went to a Karaoke/No-re-bang place in Koreatown on 32nd street. Somewhere, up two flights of stairs after we ate dinner at a Korean B.B.Q. place that uses wood charcoal on their table ovens. It's on the North side of 32nd Street. Some tips: take blk/wht photos so you look like rock stars in Rolling Stones magazine, and have a list of songs ready.

What's a No-re-bang? In Korean, it means "singing room." You can rent a private room, order food and drinks and sing your hearts out. These photos were taken by David Sleight.





The videos sometime tell a different story.

By the way, fans of Cher, we couldn't find any songs by her in their book.

June 4, 2007

South Street Seaport, Downtown NY

Just went to South Street Seaport Saturday night. Lots of shopping during the day, and a couple of museums, plus TKTS is there if you want to buy Broadway tickets. Bodies: The Exhibition is on. On Saturday nights, there is Salsa dancing. I'm not sure if it's every Saturday night (during the summer), but it's definitely free.


June 6, 2007

A Street Block Line of Waiters

...wait to serve at the Webbie's Awards ceremony at the Cipriani on Wall Street.



June 9, 2007

Boxing Match at Madison Square Garden today

I keep seeing people take photos, fans posing like they're fighting Miguel Cotto. Lots of ambient buzz around this venue. Ever since I watched Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, I was alway interested in a boxing match at Madison Square Garden (historical). Anyway, as CNN reports "Miguel Cotto retained his WBA welterweight championship with an 11th-round stoppage of Zab Judah." What does welterweight mean?


June 11, 2007

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2007

Madison Square Park

Just went to this event, and hit three places before closing. I had some Brunswick Stew (by Proclamation Stew Crew, recipe below), Babyback ribs, and a pulled-pork sandwich. I wanted to try the deep fried pie, but they closed.


More of the stainless steel trees that I saw in St. Louis.

Could this be the secret to good smoked barbecue?

Here's their recipe for the Brunswick Stew (10 quart recipe, make it for a party)...

5.5 lbs. deboned chicken(thighs are better)
6 oz. white meat (fatback), ground or chopped
4 lbs. white potatoes, cut up french fry size is OK
2.5 lbs. yellow onions, chopped
1.5 qts. cruched tomatoes
2.5 qts. small green butterbeans (limas), drained
1.5 qts. white shoe peg corn, drained
1 stick of margarine
1/4 oz. black pepper (season to taste)
1/4 oz. red pepper (season to taste)
1.5 oz. salt (season to taste)
1.5 oz. sugar (season to taste)

Prepare your potatoes and onions ahead of starting the stew so that you can stir continuously. Continuous stirring is necessary for the this consistency to call it a stew and not a soup.

Put the chicken and white meat in the pot; cover with water; bring to a boil and cook until chicken starts coming apart; add potatoes, onions and 1/4 of seasonings; bring back to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft; add tomatoes and 1/4 seasonings; bring back to a boil and cook 5 minutes; add drained butterbeans and 1/4 seasonings; bring back to a boil and cook until butterbeans are soft; add drained corn, margarine and balance of seasonings; cook about 10 to 15 minutes and then enjoy your stew.


Anyway it was good, and it was better with hot sauce!!!

June 13, 2007

Facebook Meetup in New York

Facebook Meetup was organized by Amit Gupta, who wrote the Amazin' Wishlist application, and is founder of the startup Photojojo. Also a special guest showed up at the first NY meetup.

Recognize this face?

Mark Zuckerberg showed up in New York because of his sister's graduation.

I saw a couple of ITPers there. A holler out to Jadie and Cat! Two out of 4 females including myself. More about what I thought at this link:

I'm very proud of our Kermit Soufflé.

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.



July 7, 2007

Kwik-E-Mart replaces 7-Eleven for a month...

I'm back in New York.

Anyway, I spotted this brilliant marketing campaign, probably for The Simpson's movie coming out this summer. The 7-Eleven store on 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) has undergone a transformation for this month. Kwik-E-Mart is the fictional convenience store of The Simpsons. The ads in the store are mostly of fictional products in The Simpson's and the characters look like they're shopping. Needless to say, this store was crowded! So many people buying Slurpees.


They're selling collector type bobble heads and t-shirts, so if you're a fan, run to the store. If not, maybe you could sell them on Ebay.











July 14, 2007

What to do this weekend? City Sol Festival in New York

Check out Citysol festival, a festival about green energy, art, music, and education. My friends Angela Pablo (seen below in the photo, demonstrating the Electric Garden) and Megan MacMurray, former ITPers, have a project called Garden Electric that they created in a Tom Igoe's Sustainable Practices class.



You can learn more about solar and biodiesel power. If you bring your electric bill and switch to a green energy package with ConEdison Solutions, you can "receive free Brooklyn Brewery beer! ++ Bring your own reusable mug/glass and receive $1 off Brooklyn Brewery beer!"

Located along the FDR between 18 & 23rd streets - stuyvesant cove park (sat + sun will be better, as there's more programming on those days like music and workshops)

July 17, 2007

Dunkin' Donuts in the loop...

So if you go to Dunkin' Donuts, they are heavily promoting the Simpsons Movie by selling these donuts, the same donut that Homer poses with in this movie poster.



And if you get a case of them, you can get these ringtones with Homer crying, "D'Oh!"

July 21, 2007

Declaration of Independence at NYPL

Thomas Jefferson made several copies of the Declaration of Independence, and one of these copies is on exhibition at the New York Public Library. And it's free to see it (I ♥ NY). It will be on exhibition to the 5th of August. I might go today.

About three months ago, I watched a special on PBS about the preservation of the original because it was written on pig skin, which is not archival at all. The government spent approximately $5 million on the design and construction of the vault for this document (the show covers this process). There's even some humor. At one point, someone suggested to put tiny silicon pebbles to in several cavities of the case to secure it from moisture, but that notion was rejected over and over again. Anyway, it's worth watching.

August 14, 2007

VMware Goes Public

EMC's spinoff VMware [VMW] went public today in the NYSE. Said to have opened at $29 and closed at $51.


August 24, 2007

Intermix Sample Sale


This is my first time at this sample sale, and I saw a lot of good stuff. Some examples, Michael Kors brown leather boots (originally in the 400's for $59), Diane von Furstenberg swimsuit (was $165, now $29), and necklace from Lee Angel (was $130, sold for $5).

Here's the info:

Metropolitan Pavillion
125 West 18th street
Close to the 1 train

August 24, 2007, Friday 9-8pm
August 25, 2007, Saturday 9-8pm
August 26, 2007, Sunday 10-6pm

Next door was the Hermes sample sale where they were selling an umbrella for $300, unbelievable!

August 26, 2007

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Marcus Garvey Park

It continues today (August 25, 2007) in Thompson Square Park at 3pm, more info. It's free and the jazz music is great performed by talented jazz musicians. Yesterday, Lezlie Harrison, Marc Cary, Chico Hamilton and Cassandra Wilson performed. Cassandra Wilson was a surprise guest at the last minute, and substituted Abbey Lincoln. Today, Todd Williams and Maurice Brown perform instead of Marc Cary and Lezlie Harrison. Listening to hamiltonia by Chico Hamilton (track 8, "arroyo"). I was disappointed that I didn't have a chance to buy Marc Cary's CD. :(

Lezlie Harrison, Roy Hargrove plays the trumpet

Marc Cary

Chico Hamilton

Cassandra Wilson, Jonathan Batiste on the piano (up and coming, he's going to Julliard)

September 12, 2007

Following the Blue Lights...


to the Ground Zero site. I just watched "Building on Ground Zero" on Nova, and then visited the site. For more photos, please visit my flickr site. If you need higher resolution version of any of the photos, don't hesitate to email me through my flickr account.




September 15, 2007


Only in New York will sell every seat to the movie Helvetica. There was an ITP "designers" reunion at 8:20 pm last night. The movie was great in exhibiting pro-Helvetica and anti-Helvetica sentiments. Liked how the movie presented the historical and cultural contexts of helvetica and graphic design in general. Super designers from the older and current generations gave their two cents. In the end, the director, Gary Hustwit and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones made a special appearance. The director was down-to-earth and honest. He admitted that he was approached to direct a movie on the font Times New Roman. I really liked the movie, and would probably watch it again to see David Carson, who will make a special appearance today. I was a big fan of his work in Ray Gun magazine.

If you go, do pick up an "I hate Helvetica" or "I love Helvetica" pin.

Gary Hustwit and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones
Photo Credit: Lia Bulaong

Jane and Tim in this photo, among other ITPers that went, Pollie, Dmitri, Dan, Ahn (Mang), and Lia. It was really great to see them.

October 1, 2007

Digital Life 2007

I just went to Digital Life on Saturday. There are some cool new products, and "wait until they come up with the next model" products. Btw, if you are going to buy and M-Audio product, you could receive 20% of all their products if you buy through using this discount code: MAUDIO20 by October 5th.


I really don't understand the appeal to these digital frames, and it just isn't environmentally sensitive to the use of power. I wasn't to impressed with the resolution and color of these photos. I would stick to print photographs.



I also wasn't impressed with the Nokia knock-off of the iPhone. The N95 is still bulky, but has a 5 megapixel camera and free GPS. But don't most phones have free GPS. I think I'm going to hold on to my Blackberry Pearl for another year. And the o/s interface wasn't impressive either.




Microsoft has a new mobile phone, which has a touch interface, but it's not as smooth as the iPhone. The os might appease PC users though. One model is quite bulky, but it is still lighter than the Nokia.


This camera seemed to impress everyone. The size of it is similar to a mobile phone, but it takes digital video, takes 12 megapixel photos, and plays mp3's with a 3 hour battery. If only they could stick mobile capabilities. Manufactured by Panasonic. Uses interchangeable SD cards, and works on both MAC/PC os systems for a reasonable $328.


The new SIMS game looks a bit like Second Life (3D graphics):

This is called Headplay, and it's basically a visor that you wear that plays movies from a compact flash card. Pretty pricey, $500. It is more immersive than most players, but the quality of the movie looks less stellar than iPod quality. Difficulty with focus features. It's funny when people where this, it looks like they look up. Not sure about audio, if you have to wear that separately.




I was really excited about playing Ms. Pacman, but became quickly disenchanted playing this game on an iPod. Maybe I'm old school, and used to a joystick controller, but I couldn't get into this game. The circular sensor gives this game an awkward feel. Even up, down, right, left arrows would have given a lot more satisfying experience. Maybe it's better on a mobile phone, like Nokia.



I was pretty impressed with the hardware design of "Xyber Technologies Fan-less Cooling System." The electrical components are embedded in a gigantic heat sink, and there are metal tubes to carry the heat away from hotter chips. The only thing is, will users get used to leaving their computer or stereo systems on, using more energy? The rep did say they left all four demos on since Thursday to prove their point. I can imagine several ways of carrying heat away from high-powered LED lights.



Novint Falcon is a 3D console joystick. The x and z-axis movement was pretty impressive. Slightly uncomfortable, but Nick really liked it. Maybe it's a girl/boy difference.


WowWee robot moves pretty smoothly, and the controls are just as smooth. Was going to take video of it, but I ran out memory. I could see how kids could get engaged with technology playing with this bot.

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 12, 2007

Blade Runner at Ziegfeld

Digitally mastered and playing at the theater. This movie was one of my favorite science fiction films. This theater is super cool. Each stall of the bathroom has it's own sink (Ladies' room). I am tempted to see "Enchanted," the 3D and live action version of Snow White. Okay, maybe not, I just watched the previews.

Theater is packed, if you like complete silence, watch it on a weekday. Pretty awesome in the theater. They probably had to fix this movie to renew their copyright.

October 19, 2007

Mayor Bloomberg, Donald and Ivanka Trump et. al.

Selling hot dogs for charity (not sure what charity). Couldn't really find the line to buy a hot dog, but if you want to go, they're on the corner of 6th Avenue and 48th Street, right in front of the Fox Building. Other celebrities include Gene Simmons, Tito Ortiz, Lennox Lewis, and Vincent Pastore (Sal from The Sopranos).

All photo taken by Andrew Famiano with his iPhone.



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 6, 2007

Dragon's Den

Move over The Big Idea and The Apprentice...

Nick's dad, Ron, just recommended this fabulous venture show, called Dragon's Den on Fox. Of course, it takes place in the U.K. and everything is in pounds. But it's interesting to see what products make it, and how people pitch their ideas. One American sits on the panel, and seems to be the techie.

Like this show that most other business shows because you can get an idea of how and if an idea is creative or not based on if the vc's put there money where there mouth is. Also, you can learn some business strategies, such as using figures when you pitch (e.g. Peter gave one of the examples). So far, from the two episodes that I've watched, I noticed that NYU Stern's lectures are right on target, especially professor Glen Okun's suggestions on what pages are most important in a business plan. Most of these vc's really invest in passionate people (vc's taking the role of mentors) or the innovative product (making sure the logic is there). Ron also told us this advice, but it's more prevalent in the actions in this show.

November 9, 2007

There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America


I was able to attend this (part I) forum on Propaganda Then and Now: What Orwell Did and Didn't Know at the New York Public Library. Among the panelists were Konstanty Gerbert, Masha Gessen, Jack Miles and George Soros. Orville Schell was the moderator, who authored What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics (released November 5, 2007). I was a little disappointed that George Soros didn't sign my book. However, I enjoyed his presentation on cognition, perception in periphery versus subconscious, and the danger of "News-speak," a term that Orwell uses, and bringing truth back to the news. There were some interesting questions were asked like "thoughts on strategizing propaganda used in financial markets." I often wonder about that when I read news stories about "the price of oil barrels." Anyway, I wish I went to the other talks forums: "deceiving images, the science of manipulation (part 2)" and "solutions, the future of political landscape (part 3). Will post my notes on my wiki.

Kind of a peculiar note, they were broadcasting this on Second Life.

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:


January 7, 2008

Facebook and New Hampshire Debates


I was pretty impressed with how progressive ABC network was with their broadcast of the New Hampshire Debates. In an effort to get the youth involved, they integrated Facebook into their program. At first, I thought it was because Microsoft owned NBC that they were involved with Facebook, but I don't think they own ABC. Nevertheless, I watched both parties address issues. My only criticism was that the moderators should have asked the same questions to all candidates of both parties, even though their intention was to bring up questions that posed weaknesses to each of the parties. Anyway, it was interesting to watch the Facebook polls on television, a convergence with traditional media with the web.



For some reason, I thought Ron Paul presented the strongest arguments, and I thought Mitt Romney appeared superficial. I agreed with Bill Richardson's strong stance on Pakistan, and second Hillary Clinton's views on foreign policy. In any case, my vote will probably go to the candidate who best addresses the national health care issue, and issues that affect aging Baby Boomers. That's because my mom is paying ~$800.00 per month for insurance, which seems pretty excessive.

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.



March 2, 2008

Clay Shirky's book

If you are interested in social computing, collective action by groups, sociology of groups, and group dynamic, then this is the book for you. Download his podcast from


This book is clearly written, succinct, and relevant and current of the technologies we use today. Each chapter is composed of a story to demonstrate the psychological theories, but the difference, these aren't controlled experiments from the 60's (residue from my undergrad studies in psychology). Reading the first chapter reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, basically comprehendable to lay people like me.

Anyway, I'm a little biased because I had Clay Shirky as a professor twice.

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...



April 11, 2008



Lately I have been trying to find new ways for finding books that aren't mainstream or related to "how to do... design" books, and I think I may have found my answer. Typically, I've use Amazon's "Friends that like this book may also like this book..." but it's great for books about technology (i.e. you're friend might recommend a book about that type of technology you're looking for). I read in Utne that people tend to search for new books by attending readings at indie book stores, but how to get onto a mailing list of that sort is always skeptical. I found a solution, which is attending some events to NYPL LIVE. I've been to three so far, and they've always been excellent. The first event I attended presented Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig, which featured Anderson's book The Long Tail: Future. Last year, I attended "Part 1: Propaganda Then and Now: What Orwell did and didn't know" which featured George Soros and Orville Schell. In both cases, I knew at least one of the speakers (Lessig and Soros), which drew me in. Yesterday, I signed up to attend event based on the title of the program, Against The Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob(which is the title of the book being promoted) and really didn't know what to expect. The speakers were Lee Siegel (the author of the book and former journalist), Nicholson Baker (author of various books about libraries), and Heidi Julavits (editor of Believer magazine). All three had great points on the differences between bloggers and journalists, user-created/user-generated media, echo effect and internet culture. I wondered where Mr. Baker was when I was doing my thesis last year. Mr. Siegel also mentioned futurists Stephen Johnson (seen him speak in Red Burn's class) and Malcolm Gladwell (author of Tipping Point and Blink). I ended up picking two books from this talk.

The next event I bought tickets for is in June, where Salman Rushdie is going to promote his new book The Enchantress of Florence. NYPL LIVE sells tickets first-come-first-serve basis, so I was able to get a ticket today.

April 19, 2008



I just recently watched Spamalot. I think I probably watched a couple of Monty Python movies in my life, and wasn't privvy to the storyline. Anyway, this was okay. Clay Aiken plays Sir Robin, and there were some lines relevant to American Idol and ex-governor Spitzer to make it more current. The set design wasn't as sophisticated as some of the other musicals and Broadway shows I've watched, and the atmosphere was like watching a high-school play because the humor appealed to a grand group of high schoolers (sitting next to us) that were hee-hawing at every boob and camel-toe joke.

But in the end, my overall opinion was that I like it, probably because of the "Find Your Grail" medley, some snarky bits, and it's originality. I would definitely watch this before seeing Wicked, and/or KA. I watched this after, so my expectations were higher.

Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 1


This is the first time I have ever been to Comicon. It was crowded and pretty fun. There are a lot of kids dressed in character, you get to see the latest games, and see how marketers promote these blockbuster movies coming out this summer (will talk about these later). I even saw a Christie's booth (?!?), but most of the exhibitors are from publishing, gaming, toy, and film industries.



Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 2


Speaking of blockbusters... all the film and gaming people came out to promote they're movies. Let's see... Robert Downey Jr. is going to be Iron Man, Edward Norton plays the Incredible Hulk, Star Wars and Indiana Jones sequels will be coming out this year.



Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 3


So in November, a group of us were playing poker in the lobby of our building. Along came this 16-year old who asked to join us. He was playing very aggressively, and beat out all of us. Later that evening, he claimed that playing Magic was the reason why, since all the "battles" he was involved in forced him to read the state of the opponent with speed. Of course we had no idea what this game was, and what it entailed. It's beyond trading pogs or baseball games. There are a complex set of rules with characters, and you go to these underground places (think Rounders), and play real people with real cards a game similar to the card game "war." So this kid went upstairs to retrieve his duffle bag of card characters, protected in vinyl, organized neatly in a binder. As he gave us a demo and explained the cost of each card, I could make the connection of him playing poker to Magic. Some cards are word $150, and can range into the thousands. When I asked him about the honor system of purchasing some cards online, like Ebay, he said he never bought any counterfeit cards. Some cards, like the older edition which prove to be more valuable, can look Photoshopped, since they don't have a special seal or watermark on it. Interesting... maybe this community believes in integrity, which is what he mentioned several times throughout the night. These cards are made out of paper, but I think the value of the card is determined by the illustrator and character.

Anyway, I saw this game again at Comicon, and other copycats, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft are following suit.



April 20, 2008

Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 4

There were some people who dressed like their favorite characters. I guess everyone wants to be a super hero/heroine. Anime costumes were more popular. Some of these I know, but some of these I don't know.









A couple of Japanese companies were promoting Victorian fashion.




Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 5

Interesting exhibitors at Comicon...

Record/audition your scream at the Spiderman booth.


Get an autograph by your favorite comic illustrator at DC Comics (though I saw a guy bring in a case of comic books to sign, so the line may take awhile).

Try out My Beating Heart at Android8, which is designed by ITP alum Yury Gitman. It is strangely meditative. I ended up buying one to test. Reminds me of MIT robotic seals. Android8 has other cool toys and characters that are new.


So many people visiting this booth selling LED-lit samurai swords and ninja stars.

Play video games.

Win prizes (there was a really long line for this).

Find a job at TokyoPop. They were interviewing and reviewing portfolios of illustrators and writers.

Watch this guy finish this illustration.

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.


April 27, 2008

Amy Tan on Creativity

June 1, 2008

Sex And The City... in New York


Loved it!!!

Anyway, it was crazy here in New York opening weekend for the movie Sex And The City. I was buying several tickets for a group viewing for Saturday night on Friday night, and when I called each theater for a 7:30-8:30pm showing, every show was sold out in almost every theater in New York City. Finally, I found a theater with tickets for 5:30pm, and when I stood in this long line, it seemed like everyone was buying tickets for the next day as well, since every show was closed, even the midnight ones.

It seemed like every girl was decked out in designer labels and stilettos. I have to say it was definitely an event. Lots of product placement in the movie. I am curious as to what the sales numbers are. Could it be the equivalent to Grand Theft Auto for girls? I hope so because women do have purchasing power.

There was one discrepancy (with the hair) that made it look like the script supervisor made a tiny faux pas, but whatever, I'm probably watching it again anyway. :)

June 15, 2008



For jazz lovers, check out Birdland this month. Last night, Saxophone Summit [Ravi Coltrane/Dave Liebman/Joe Lavano/all sax players, Cecil McBee/bass, Phil Markowitz/piano, and Billy Hart/drums] played some songs from their new album Seraphic Light and some work from the late John Coltrane. As a novice to jazz music, I recommend seeing live performances, especially with more of the experimental genre.



Tickets are $40 for orchestra seats and there is a $10 minimum purchase for drinks/dinner. I was impressed with the food too (had the scallops plate and stuffed pepper with mushroom risotto).


Reasons To Be Pretty -- MCC Theater at The Lucille Lortel Theatre


I was fortunate enough to find this indie theater through NYU Ticket Central. I watched Reasons To Be Pretty by Neil LaBute. I've been following his works via film and theater for approximately one decade now (In The Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors, The Shape of Things). Most of his works are a little dark, but his new play that just came out actually has a sliver of a silver lining, which is a "coming of age" tale. Love his note in the program, which he expresses that he wishes he was a "braver person," and continues to sympathize and admire the protagonist, Greg. I was impressed with the cast (i.e. Piper Perabo, Thomas Sadoski, Alison Pill, Pablo Schreiber). Subscription prices are reasonable, click here for more information.

MCC Theater at
The Lucille Lortel Theatre
121 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014


Fifty Words
By Michael Weller
Sept 10-Oct 25, 2008

The Break of Noon
by Neil LaBute
Jan 14-Feb 28, 2009

Based on the Novel by Neil Gaiman
May 6-June 20, 2009


Other recommended theater picks from my friends include: Xanadu (within 2 weeks) and 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock).

August 8, 2008



Finally... I get to see Radiohead at All Points West, which is a music festival on the East Coast, comparable to Coachella in California. I had an opportunity to go to a Radiohead concert at the Hollywood Bowl 5 years ago (box/front row), but because I had AT&T (and the service was spotty) that I never received the calls (4x) from my friend (it was a last minute thing). Hence, I don't have an iPhone or use AT&T.

Anyway, this should be good because this May at Coachella, Prince reappropriated Radiohead's song "Creep," and some listeners took video of him, and uploaded it on YouTube. And then Prince told them to take the video down. Then Radiohead got involved, and said it was there song, and to leave it up. Well they're playing tonight and tomorrow night. Also Ben Harper is playing there as well.

September 25, 2008

Anti-Bailout Rally on Wall Street

It's 11:45pm, and I can still hear people protesting on Wall Street. Earlier today, there was a rally of people not supporting this almost $1 trillion bailout. If you want to see photos, check out my Flickr account. James Nicholas Sears took these photographs. Tim McNerney was also present at this demonstration.



November 4, 2008

Voting, Elections 2008 in New York

Back half of line:

Front half of line:

There was a long line, but it moved fairly quickly. We met some new acquaintances. Lots of press were down on Wall Street interviewing voters (NY TImes/various foreign television networks).

BTW, if you vote, you can get a free tall coffee at Starbucks!

November 22, 2008

Citigroup share prices as low as $3.16

Ever since Citibank announced their plan to layoff 53k people earlier this week, the price of Citibank fell as low as $3.16. I don't know if this is a fire sale, but if you have a couple of hundred dollars, you can buy 100 shares. At one point, this stock was valued at $40. But if you're thinking about buying, I would read some of the discussions here. If you're thinking of making a quick profit, they're talking about the short sellers ban.



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.

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 9, 2009

Center For Communication...

I'm not really sure how I got on their mailing list, but I'm thankful that I'm on it. A couple of years ago, I went to several events hosted by CIC and saw Khoi Vinh from the NYTimes and Avenue A Razorfish (in 2006?)

Now that I have more time, I plan on going to more of these events. Here is one coming up. I'm not sure if it's free or if there's a nominal fee. Actually I double-checked and it is free ("FREE PANEL OF LEADING DESIGNERS OFFERED THIS MONTH!!"):

Presented with the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Don't miss this outstanding panel featuring the creative design team behind the award-winning ABC hit series "Ugly Betty."

DATE: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

LOCATION: The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre at The Fashion Institute of Technology, D Building (corner of 27th & 7th Avenue).

SILVIO HORTA - Executive Producer/Creator
PATRICIA FIELD - Costume Designer
MOLLY ROGERS - Associate Costume Designer
MARK WORTHINGTON - Production Designer
ROBERT BERNARD - Graphics Designer
RICH DEVINE - Set Decorator


Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
RSVP to by Monday, January 26.

For more information about these programs, visit


Here are other events, but I'm not sure if these are free:

Magazines: Survival of the Fittest
Learn from leading editors and publishers what the future holds for the magazine industry, why fitness magazines continue to thrive in a down market, and tips for getting your foot in the door.

Election Coverage 2008
To learn what went wrong and what went right during the 2008 presidential election year, tune in to hear from leading political journalists, including Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone, Hendrik Hertzberg from The New Yorker and Rachel Sklar from The Huffington Post. Get an insider's perspective on the ups and downs of what became one of the most exciting and unpredictable political contests, maybe ever!

Richard Price: From Novel to Screen
Famous for his gritty and realistic exploration of urban life in America, Price's work attracts comparisons to Saul Bellow, Tom Wolfe and David Mamet, and his recently published novel, Lush Life, has been widely praised for its realistic dialogue, sharp and witty observations and keen eye for social detail. Price joined us last October for a frank and hilarious talk about his amazing career writing for the movies. He also gave lots of valuable advice and moral support to the aspiring writers in the audience. Price's screenwriting credits include: The Color of Money, Sea of Love, Clockers, Mad Dog and Glory, Ransom, Shaft and HBO's The Wire.

January 11, 2009

Random Generator of Bush Quotes...

Wow, as we inch closer to the presidential inauguration on January 20th, I'm seeing more and more comical "Bushisms," from art exhibitions and Facebook pages to random generators on a major publication site. This is probably one of the funniest links, published in the Guardian. I found it in the ITP mailing list posted by a politically savvy alum.

I think it's brilliant because I've already clicked it like 7x (i.e. It's probably more lucrative than a slide show/photo gallery or video, and cheaper to produce), and they're business side is probably counting how many clicks for future ad sales. I can visualize the editor asking writers to come up with 3-5 Bushism quotes at the editorial meeting, the producers entering quotes into an automated database, and the photo/video departments completely uninvolved. What's even funnier is the Google ads below in the lower right module, however, I'm not sure if it's real, since it stayed static through 2 clicks. But maybe it's real?


We'll see how long his legacy will last when his brother, Jeb Bush, runs for President in year 2016. Fox News is already starting his PR. Hopefully people will remember then, the ailing economy and corrupt-corporate-mess this Bush is leaving behind, but I doubt that.

January 14, 2009

Random Generator of Bush Quotes... Part Deux

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post if the Google ads in the lower right module were real (i.e. because the links stayed static for two clicks) in the Guardian's Random Generator Tool of President Bush's quotes. And someone from the Guardian emailed me this:

They were real (the reason they didn't change with each click was because it was javascript within the webpage that changed - not the webpage itself).


This post is for all the geeks and nameless bloggers that people do read your blog, ha!

January 15, 2009

New York City and Heroes...

I <3 FDNY, NYPD, Coast Guards, Paramedics, et. al.


Need I say more? As a NYC-transplant, I love watching everyone pulling together collaboratively to remedy the situation. Photo above was taken by James Nicholas Sears at Battery Park, NYC. And yes, that's the tail.

At first I thought the story about birds sounded ludicrous, but when we went out there, we saw a flock of them flying around the area.

If you want to see more photos, check out my Flickr photos, we took the D700 out for a run with a Nikon 70-300m, 5.6 lens. I'm satisfied the D700 is great with low light. All photos taken by James Nicholas Sears...


Google Maps

Google Earth

January 24, 2009

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.

April 2, 2009

First Korean Astronaut, So-yeon Yi, at event this Saturday

Open event and I think it is free. The Korean-American Scientists Association is sponsoring. Found this on the ITP list.

Date: April 4, 2009
Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Davis Auditorium
4th Flr. Schapiro Center (CEPSR), Columbia University

June 21, 2009

Ignite Videos are up, here are some of them...

till parsing through all these videos, but if you want to watch more videos, visit IgniteNYC on YouTube, click here:

Matthew Burton's Presentation "Hacking with Spooks: How to Code For the CIA From Your Basement"

Perry Chen's site Kickstarter (pretty awesome site)

Luke Dubois' "A More Perfect Union"

Baratunde Thurston's "...I Learned From Being @the_swine_flu"

Andy Maskin's "Bring On The Dancing Horses"

Rachel Sklar's "How I Learned to Love Giving Away My Money Online"

Kevin Slavin's "Dollhouse Earth"

October 10, 2009

Center For Communication Seminars

Please register ASAP, by logging on to, e-mailing, OR calling (212) 686-5005.

Video Technology: Eye on the Future
Tuesday, October 13
6:30 to 8:00 pm

With advanced technologies changing the rules at mind-boggling speed, how do chief technology officers keep up with the ever-evolving landscape? Leading technology pros reveal how they select new formats and platforms in an effort to stay ahead of the game.

Michael Dunn, Chief Technology Officer, Hearst Interactive Media
Rajiv Pant, Vice President, Technology, Condé Nast Digital
Evan Schectman, Chief Technology Officer, @Radical Media

Sponsored by Microsoft

Presented w/ NYU's Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture and Communication

NYU, Kimmel Student Center
Silver Board Room, 914
60 Washington Square South

Advertising: Branded Content
Tuesday, October 20
6:30 to 8:00 pm

With advertisers being forced to adapt to digital and social media, the emphasis shifts to branded content. Learn how TV everywhere is the new reality and which new technologies the networks are using to involve the audience.

Jack Myers, Editor and Publisher, Jack Myers Media Business Report and
Aimee Duell, Director of Activation, PHD
Guy McCarter, Managing Director, Green Room Entertainment
Kurt Brokaw, Professor of Advertising, The New School
Moderator: Christopher Vollmer, Partner, Booz & Company; author, Always On: Advertising, Marketing, and Media in an Era of Consumer Control

Sponsored by Microsoft

Presented w/ The New School's Department of Media Studies and Film

The New School
Theresa Lang Student Center
Arnhold Hall, 2nd Floor
55 West 13th Street

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.

October 2, 2010

Bryant Park Concert Series, New York

For most of August and September, Bryant Park and PBS hosted classical concert series. I hope they do it again next year.


In this video, I think the quartet is from the Orchestra of St. Luke:

More music in parks... Please :)

This past June, NYC installed pianos is parks (Play Me I'm Yours and Sing For Hope). I visited several parks, and had lunch everyday at one. It was great seeing talented people collaborate. I discovered that there are so many talented musicians in New York City (more than average).



This young lady improvised to classical music (left) and to jazz music (right).

Experimental Architecture in Union Square

In September, Union Square hosted an experimental architecture exhibition. One of the structures used cardboard signs from the homeless.





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 6, 2010

New York City at Night Book

Nice work by photographer Evan Joseph Uhlfelder, an ITP alum.


Book signing event:
December 8th, at the rooftop lounge of 75 Wall Street, at 6:30pm

If you're not around, check out his site here:

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.

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).

November 6, 2012

Surface store in Times Square, New York

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).
Outside the Surface store in Times Square, New York:
Credit: Thomas Feliciano

Inside the Surface store in Times Square, New York:
Credit: Thomas Feliciano

Related: Surface RT tablet

Adding this article I found today about Microsoft adding HTML5 and javascript in Windows 8:

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.

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:


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.

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 15, 2013

Webtrends Slideshare urls

Webtrends is an analytics company providing many tools. Many enterprises use it and it is competitive with Google Analytics and Adobe's Omniture. They also offer AB and MV testing.

Driving Actionable Data
by Jeff Seacrist, VP Product Strategy

Multi-Channel Measurement : Removing the blind spots
by Steve Earl, Director of Product Strategy

Measurement Strategies and KPIs: Best Practice
by Conrad Bennett, VP EMEA Technical Services

Turbocharge Your Email Marketing

EU Privacy
by Conrad Bennett, VP EMEA Technical Services

Multi-Channel Optimization
by Marc Thomas, Solutions Engineering Director

Contextual Personalization: Impact the User Experience
by Tom Waterfall, Director of Optimization Services

How to Cultivate an Optimization Program
by Hugh Kimber, UK Sales Director

How to Test Your Website for Cultural, Language and Behavioral Differences
by Peter Daly, Head of Website Effectiveness; Axa Insurance

Expert Workshop: Analytics
by Samuel Williams, Principle Consultant

Expert Workshop: Streams
by Marc Thomas, Solutions Engineering Director

Measuring Your Mobile Channel
by Paul Lawbaugh, Program Manager

Creating a Culture of Analytics
by @KellyMcClean @NBardram

Integrations Through Webtrends API
by Paul Lawbaugh, Program Manager

Global Technology Trends Changing Marketing
by Kyle Lacy, Senior Manager of Content Marketing

Measuring Social: Fact or Fiction?
by Ryan Holey, EMEA Partner Manager; Hootsuite

Pulling Together Cross-Channel Marketing Pieces Via Advanced Attribution
by Casey K. Carey, Chief Marketing Officer; Adometry

Re-marketing: Cart Abandonment and Beyond
by Loren McDonald, Vice President of Industry Relations; Silverpop

Testing & Analytics for the Relationship Era: Build Your Plan & Generate Results
by Kim Barlow, Senior Strategic Consultant - Responsys

December 11, 2013

Genspace Event: A New Strategy Against Blood Cancers

Dr. Julian Adams on "A New Strategy Against Blood Cancers"

Friday, December 13, 2013 from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us at Genspace for a presentation by Dr. Julian Adams, the President of research and development at Infinty Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Adams’s work has led to the development of a new class of anti-cancer drugs, proteosome inhibitors, that target multiple myelomas. Find out how rapid progress being made in the field of anti-cancer drug development is hoped to lead to the eventual eradication of all forms of cancer.

Dr. Adams has been recently honored by The Mass General Cancer Center for his efforts and success in leading the way towards curing cancer:

July 21, 2014

[EVENT/IXDA]: A Day in the Life of a UX Designer

IXDA: Interaction Design Association

Ever wonder what UX designers do day to day? From user research at Starbucks and client meetings, to wire-framing with Axure and usability testing, the responsibilities of UX designers are ever changing.

Join IxDA and General Assembly at the Apple store in SoHo as we host a panel of talented designers to unlock the box of what exactly a career in User Experience Design entails and how you can get your foot in the door!

Discussion Topics Include:

Beyond Wire-framing: Top 10 skills every UX designer needs to have
Owning Your Role: How to collaborate with graphic designers, developers, and product managers
Don't Make Me Think: How to continuously keep the user top of mind
Breaking Down Doors: How to kick-off your career in UX Design

Apple Store SoHo
103 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

Thursday, July 24th
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

To Register: Visit the Apple Store Soho website, scroll down to the "Upcoming Store Events and Workshops" section to Thursday the 24th, find the event "A Day in the Life of a UX Designer" and click on the "Reserve" button. You have to keep hitting "next" until you click find the date.


Chris Pallé Executive Director of User Experience,
Wisdom & Craft, Inc.

With over 18 years of strategic, creative, and analytical User Experience-related practice, Chris Pallé has served in a variety of institutions ranging from small boutiques and startups to the enterprise such as Merck, McGraw-Hill, EMC, Merrill Lynch, CBS, TribalDDB, and GeometryGlobal – he gets the Bootstrappers and The Powers the Be.

Chris is the founder of Wisdom + Craft which is a UX agency that has a focus on serving organizations with social causes. They’re a for-profit company – for the profit of many.

Chris’ ideation techniques drive collaboration and alignment between cross-functional teams to extract, explore and uncover innovative solutions to his clients’ toughest Customer Experience problems. In addition to his UX work, Chris has taught and lectured on UX best practices, Strategic Design and Social Media to various audience levels including and graduate students at NYU.

Mona Patel CEO,
UXHires and Motivate Design

Mona combines positivity, timeless wisdom, sharp design thinking and a little bit of magic glitter with her 15 years of experience in design and research to help you see around corners and realize a kind of success you didn’t necessarily expect. She started Motivate Design in 2009 to create a place where clients could get what they want, rather than what an agency needs to sell. She teaches design research and strategy at Parsons The New School for Design and balances her hypersonic speed by being a certified yoga instructor. She holds a M.S. in Marketing Communications from Boston University and a B.S. in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University. You can catch Mona on LinkedIn or Twitter and say “hello” to the Motivate Design team at @Motivate_Design.

Abby Covert Independent Information Architect

Abby Covert is an information architect in New York City. She has a proven track record in managing user-centric practices in a variety of creative environments. In 2009, she started on a journey to help create a user-experience planning practice for Draftfcb Chicago, a global integrated advertising agency. During her time as Director of Strategic Planning in User Experience she was able to instill into the organization a user-focused directive and process across channels including mobile, social and eCommerce. Her clients included among others Nike, IHOP, Sharpie, JELL-O, Prismacolor, Expo Markers, Valspar, KMART, Taco Bell, KFC, State Farm and The United States Postal Service. For her efforts she was listed on the Direct Marketing Associations list of 30 under 30 in 2011.

Tina Israni Co-founder,

Tina Israni is an entrepreneur and UX Designer as well as Co-Founder of, a men's accessories ecommerce company focused on subscription, retail and wholesale. With 5 years of experience in Financial services, Tina is both versatile and creative. She is passionate about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone.

General Assembly transforms thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in technology, business, and design. Join us for an engaging conversation with a panel of talented UX designers as they talk about their day-to-day work lives, explain what a career in user experience design entails, and give tips for getting your foot in the door

May 17, 2016

Good to see you Duane Holmes!

It was a great but brief reunion at Columbus Circle. Several years back I would take the "A" train to Varick Street, and listen to this talented musician. His music engaged little kids.
These photos were taken in 2014, (view playlist)

And here we are in 2016

Duane is playing in a jazz band that experiments with fashion and supports a mental health organization June 4, 2016, 419 W. 150th Street, on St. Nicholas.

If you're interested in learning more about the event, please contact him:
youtube: duaneholmes "as" Duke Ellington


I was so lucky to have found this event. I was visiting my old hood, and had to make a pit stop for free WIFI at the Atrium. They have free and discounted concert tickets and lecture talks:
61 W 62nd St, New York, NY 10023

I was able to attend the first NY PHIL BIENNIAL: A Player's Guide, where Alan Gilbert hosted conversations with Jennifer Koh, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Hilary Purrington, Christopher Theofanidis, Jay Campbell, Dianne Berkun Menaker, Lisa Bielawa, Colin Jacobsen, John Corigliano

Alan Gilbert is a conductor and violinist. He was in season 9 of Mozart in the Jungle
I just wish my nephew was with me because at 18 months, he loves to conduct. And as a novice conductor, he loves to hear me play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on my violin even though it sounds like fingernails scratching a chalkboard. I guess he's a Mozart fan.

Jennifer Koh shared her experience about a community acquiring a violin for her. She was so thankful. I was grateful to take a photo with her:

STEAM Event in NYC

I was lucky to get tickets from NYU to a STEAM event at a public school in Brooklyn.

I gravitated away from the new technologies like Arduino and LittleBits, and found this booth. I was able to experience some of these tools that people used in early 19th and 20th Century. It was a like a tangible museum.

This device reminds me of Google Cardboard:

This is what I see in the viewer:

Here's a microscope:

Here's what someone joked as a Ouija board.

But it looks like a mini-printing press or type-plate. It reminds me of a Letterpress class I took at Art Center:

See in context:

They use these tools for teaching. If interested, here's more information:
The Museum of Interesting Things
Denny Daniel


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