Feb 27 2013

paper plotter

simply wonderful – an ink-pen plotter made entirely out of cardboard and glue…and it works!
check out the artists site, Niklas Roy for more cardboard projects

love his info:
Hello! I’m Niklas Roy, an inventor of useless things
As you can find a lot of information about what I do on the left –
I think I don’t need to write too much about myself here.



Feb 13 2013

makerbot replicator 2

my birthday gift – ordered 2 months ago finally arrived from sunny brooklyn, nyc. the dream of a home 3d printer is now on our worktable in my studio. some of the initial tests are shown below – the unit works amazingly well and I am slowly learning how to simplify and make the right design decisions to get the most out of the printer. the network of shared 3d models gives you an idea of the possibilities on thingiverse



Sep 16 2012

hyper matrix wall

this automated cubic art wall installation by Jonpasang for the Hyundai Motor Group looks like something many of us have drawn at one time or another…as a concept. they have successfully brought the wall to life through a well choreographed series of cube elements that pulsate in and out of the flat wall plane. it is gorgeous and mesmerizing to watch. the process photos are even more impressive…

check out the video below to see it in action…



Feb 25 2012

google goggles is the future

wow!  I just downloaded and tested out the new google goggle app tonight. the basic idea is instead of searching with text or words – you simply take a picture of something that you want to search. in their introductory video they say you can try landmarks, places, products, images. so to put the app to the test – I first took a picture from a book on florence – of S. Maria Novella. within seconds the app scanned the image and told me the name of the church and the address on a google map. next up was a random oswald spengler book from my shelf – written in german. again the app scanned the book, found the author and book name and offered the text online as it had already been translated. I next tried a few non-book items – I took an image of a bottle of peroni beer and it found the logo and peroni website. I scanned a picasso image and it told me the name of the painting and the book in which I had scanned it from – additionally it offered images of the work online. again and again it worked perfectly. a friend had posted an image of jupiter on her Facebook page – last week I looked and looked online to find the name of the piece and now with this app in hand I took one photo and it told me the name of the piece, the origins of it’s mythological origins and even the mozart piece written about this deity…the future is finally here

download it here


Feb 19 2012

paradoxical gear

I just came across the lovely and unreal set of gear constructions – that seem to work when you watch the videos. At first I thought this was a one-off project by a student but there seems to be more science behind the geometries of these paradoxical gear sets.

From Jacques Maurel’s explanation on his website:

“…This gear pair has been invented by Mr. Mercier of Renault automobile company, and has been patented in 1988 – it was to be used in a special differential providing “torque transfer” This model below shows 2 pulleys with a crossed belt – a knot giving a point on the belt. With a felt pen, it is possible to point out the trajectory of this point on a disc locked by a pin to the left pulley (red spots) and afterward, on a disc locked to the right pulley (green spots). These spotted lines are the involute curves, which will give the profile of the teeth. The pulleys are turning in opposite directions. But look at photo 4, showing a straight (non-crossed) pulleys and belt mechanism, the 2 same involute curves are still meshing together, but the pulleys are now turning in the same direction – This gives the paradoxical gear pair.”

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Nov 15 2011

two new technology apps

Last week Apple announced a new Apple Store App

The Apple Store App is a free download from the App Store and allows users to use their iPhone or iPad to scan a UPC barcode in any Apple Store using EasyPay, log on with their user ID and use the credit card on file to pay for the item. Receipts are then available on the device and can be emailed to you as well.

What this means for the consumer is the option to learn a little something about a product at the store, test it out on display and when they are ready to purchase – they no longer need to find a T-shirted salesperson but can do the entire transaction themselves. In the testing of similar technologies – losses did not increases dramatically and the potential is of course that it can increase sales of individuals who might leave due to long lines or lack of service.

The other feature of the App is to find the item online at home then order for pickup in the Apple Store. This is not a new trend and the tested turnaround times are bit higher than the norm – at 12 minutes. This feature of ordering has been pretty standard for many retailers the past 2 years or so but with Apple – they will most likely strive to differentiate their offering with greater customer service and speed of delivery.

Starbucks Cup Magic App

In a similar vain to owning the retail experience and making it immensely personal is the new Starbucks Cup Magic App that was released today. The free App for iPhone and Android devices utilizes the phone’s camera to immerse the user into an augmented reality world. Anyone can us the App to scan  a typical Starbucks Holiday cup and the 2D printed characters come to life on one’s desk or other environment. Some screen shots I took at the Gensler LA office of two discarded cups I tried the App on. Visitors can collect the characters in a virtual world on their smartphones and share photos and FB updates of their experiences with the playful animated scenes.

The brand has also placed key seasonal ads in all the location which can be activated by the AR App – which allows consumers to get the added bonus for visiting a brick-and-mortar location. What I like about the app is the cup is a still a good coffee cup and if you want the primary experience of consuming a Starbucks beverage – this App only adds to the experience but does not diminish it or make you do extra work just to get your caffeine fix.

Both Apps make it more apparent that the ‘novelty’ of interactive digital media such as phone apps are no longer an added treat for the consumer but they are real tools of the retail shopping experience. The Starbucks App may be lighthearted in this incarnation but imagine when your phone App can see how that item will look in your home, how that shirt will look on you, how that picture will look when placed on your wall or which Ikea cabinet actually fits into that space. Some of these applications are occurring in limited release but the very near future has technology like this affecting not only the way we shop but how we interact daily and live.

Mar 30 2011

adidas mapping projection

I have seen some recent 3D projections onto buildings from ralph lauren and others over the past year – but this one is really spectacular. it deconstructs what we think we know and re-presents it to the viewers in a totally new way. the performance plays with the viewers sense of what is real and what is illusion. I ended up watching it again since it was that compelling…

Mar 9 2011

mit media lab logo

the new MIT Media Lab logo based on an algorithm that produces 40,000 distinct symbols. the video is worth watching as it shows the dynamic movement and intersection of the 3 spotlights into the various, seemingly random, forms. Says the Media Lab logo designer, Richard The, “Whatever ‘media’ means, it has been and will be defined at this place, in the next 5, 10, 20 years. The algorithmic logo is an effort to capture this dynamism.”

more from fast company’s article:
It’s darn clever stuff. As The tells Co.Design, the Media Lab never really had its own logo. “There were identity components designed by Jaqueline Casey [in 1984] referencing the original [Media Lab] building by I.M. Pei,” he says. “It features a nice colorful mural by Kenneth Noland. But there never was an actual logo per se.” The algorithmic design represents the Media Lab’s first official stab at a coherent identity, and it’s high time. The Lab has transformed from a scruffy operation focused on quaintly enhancing the “digital revolution” into a full-blown brand synonymous with wild experimentation, collaboration, and big-time math geeks. Now, it’s got the graphic design to match…”

“….The basic idea here is that the logo has three intersecting spotlights that can be organized in any of 40,000 shapes and 12 color combinations using a custom algorithm. That’s enough to supply each and every new card-carrying Media Labber with his very own logo for a whopping 25 years.”

“The spotlights tip a hat to the Media Lab’s rakish spirit of cross-pollination, with each spotlight symbolizing a single individual. “People come from many different backgrounds — they’re engineers, scientists, artists, designers — and have very different ways of thinking, seeing, and working,” The says. “At the lab these people cross paths, collaborate, and inspire each other, and that’s the magic of this place.”

Mar 7 2011

tactile twitter

just heard about this event at the V&A in London that captured and printed out the visitors twitter messages as large-scale posters, which were distributed to as the individuals left the show…

from their website:
“By implementing their own system of communication, what they ended up with was both a live archive and real time feed of what was being said in different rooms of the museum, with one visitor describing it as a tactile twitter.”

the decorators via mocoloco

Mar 1 2011

painting with wifi

A group of artists and designers from Oslo created a device to map the wifi signals throughout city. by the placement of an array of these LED measuring sticks – wave patterns are formed and inform the viewer of the hidden signals of energy that are around us all the time these days.

from their website:
“We built the WiFi measuring rod, a 4-metre tall probe containing 80 lights that respond to the Received Signal Strength (RSSI) of a particular WiFi network. When we walk through architectural, urban spaces with this probe, while taking long-exposure photographs, we visualise the cross-sections, or strata, of WiFi signal strength, situated within photographic urban scenes. The cross-sections are an abstraction of WiFi signal strength, a line graph of RSSI across physical space. Although it can be used to determine actual signal strength at a given point, it is much more interesting as a way of seeing the overall pattern, the relative peaks and the troughs situated in the surrounding physical space…This project explores the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs. A four-metre tall measuring rod with 80 points of light reveals cross-sections through WiFi networks using a photographic technique called light-painting.” read more