DESIGN, ART, GADGETS, FASHION, AND SAFEWAY

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Captain Hook

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Hooks, hooks, and more hooks. I'm on a hooks rampage and feelin' unstoppable!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Puur PBR-Inducing Music Weekend Mix

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A lot of sweet new bands catchin' my ears as of lately. Check them out!

Esben and the Witch – Lucia at the Precipice (MP3)
Club 8 - Western Hospitality (MP3)
Rihanna - Rude Boy (Vodka & Milk Remix) (MP3)
Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks (MP3)
Florence And The Machine - Hurricane Drunk (MP3)
Digits - Monster (MP3)

Piano Table

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Now here's an interesting take on supper piano sessions. The Piano Table features some serious designerly-ness by Georg Bohle, packing a piano right inside a dining room table. If only it didn't cost a whoppin' $6000 and was made by Casio, I'd be droppin' tunes in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rhys Owen's Animal Superthugs

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Beautiful character design and illustration style from Rhys Owen's Behance Network page.

Madeo (Mother) Review

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Now that's what you call an insightful mystery. This emotional cornucopia follows the impressive work the director Bong has delivered a few years back with Memories of Murder. So you could say, expectations were rather high for this one. But even after taking a little break, Bong manages to deliver yet another breathtaking thriller that leaves you at the edge of your seat. My suggestion for those interested is to pay attention to the tiny little details. You'll be rewarded in strides by the end. Halfway through, I figured this film deserved at least an 8.0. However, this 8.0 eventually hit near 9.0 category, when I realized it was a low budget production. This is living proof that you don't need all the money in the world to deliver an excellent piece of cinema. 8.9/10.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dee Adams' Oakland Loft

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Hubba, hubba. Oakland-based artist, Dee Adams, shows is how contemporary modern is done the Californian way. Her biggest gripes with living in a huge rectangle? Privacy and keeping any form of collecting down to a minimum.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The iPad is for Porn

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After recent news of Apple's War on Porn, it finally hit me. Adobe and Apple's Flash debacle wasn't about anyone's laziness, ownership of digital rights, or restrictions on open-source. It was about keeping their little slate as clean as possible from the rarely talked about, but highly influential adult entertainment industry.

I remember it was a game-changer the day when we first heard the first Blu-ray disc was set to be released to the masses. At that point, I pictured someone in their office throwing their laptop to the floor and yelling, "There, it's done! Blu-ray wins!"

And while Apple's recent crackdown of "sexually explicit applications" may not come across as such a surprise, I'm personally convinced that they are on their way to killing off the ultimate adult entertainment device ever created by man. Allow me to name the top 5 reasons why:
  1. It has the sensual power of touch. Multi-touch, to be exact. If some creative developers could develop some highly addicting and entertaining games involving 3-D articles of clothing, the results could only be brilliant. Either that, or an army of perverted iPad gamers.
  2. It has tilt. Just more ingenious gaming possibilities.
  3. It's almost too conveniently sized. Bring it on the bus. A restroom. A funeral home. There is no place too inconvenient or too small. The iPad fits it all.
  4. It's the ultimate multimedia hub. The ability to emulate the reading experience of a magazine with the ability to display video and animation has been the dream for many adult media collectors for years.
  5. It's sexy by nature. Hey - that almost sounds like a rap song. Anyway, many industrial designers argue that the visual impression gained within the first few milliseconds and after 6 months is essential to a successful design (though don't quote me on that). Even though it's purely a subjective view that the iPad would be an aesthetically wonderful experience, I would like to certainly think so.
Though it may be a longshot, calling any form of adult media "aesthetic" may be pushing it, but if you're willing to accept it, the pieces fall right into place.

Now, my guess a jailbroken iPad would mean one of two things. Either one, it would mean porn would be the first for developers to go bananas and a bonanza of pornography games, magazines, and new experiences will be available for the masses. Or, Apple would finally acknowledge the mountain of gold they've been sitting on and open up the floodgates for the 18+. The Earth would probably stop moving for a while. The iPad would explode the following day in record-breaking hype and popularity that no one would be able to use a normal computer ever again.
That's what I call a game-changer, dude.

Image: Wired

More Reagan-Era Charm, Please

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Anyone else remember this Pizza Hut commercial? If not, you can check out College Humor's parody of Windows 7 commercials to see what would've happened if Microsoft really crowd-sourced their OS.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kee from London

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Yep, she's definitely hitting the minimalist spot with her quirky cute portraits. More of her work here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dieter Rams' 10 Principles for Good Design

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And it goes a little something like this...

  1. Good design is innovative.
  2. Good design makes a product useful.
  3. Good design is aesthetic.
  4. Good design helps us to understand a product.
  5. Good design is unobtrusive.
  6. Good design is honest.
  7. Good design is durable.
  8. Good design is consequent to the last detail.
  9. Good design is concerned with the environment.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible.
Good ol' Dieter. I need to get me an extra-large poster with some of his work blown up in great detail. Yeah, I'd like that.

Asian Garlic Pasta Recipe

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Mmmmm... time for some Asian fusion. This one serves 4-6.

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups green onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (can be found in the "Asian" section of the grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (Nama Shoyo works quite well since it's raw and fermented)
  • 1 tablespoon organic whole cane sugar or Sucanat (to read more click here)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Sesame Seeds (optional)
Bring water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package directions. Drain noodles and set aside.

Melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Stir in garlic and onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant and onions begin to soften. Stir in fish sauce, soy sauce, whole cane sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add noodles and toss until coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately.

Via Deliciously Organic.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oreos in Business

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I've noticed something crazy happening in the technology marketplace within the past few years. Things have started to change. It's no longer that whole conceptual notion of "form vs. function," but "form and function." Platforms, while still important, are less of a concern as to the way they're connecting with their users.

So, you can say, in many ways this new approach is more design-centric than ever before. Though we're not to abandon our scientific roots - that would be just absurd. But more often than not, the process of creating a memorable experience requires far more than a purely quantitative approach; businesses not only need to create service that's profitable in the long run, but also an aesthetic experience that generates value, engagement, and purpose for the user.

From the internal development of in-house works as well as designing boundary-less solutions to wicked problems in my Human Computer Interaction Design graduate program at Indiana University, I've learned to ask the following questions whenever designing anything:

Who’s the audience?
While it seems dead-simple, every audience has a different need and if you don’t understand your audience, you can’t accurately invite them into a story that makes sense to them.

How can we use current technologies in a better way?
If you look at it from a development perspective, you can easily breakdown the ways to enhance the user experience by telling it like a story: by keeping things hidden from the user, keeping things revealed, and using transitional elements that help move the user through the story.

How can new technology be a bad thing?

Typographers always say, "Use the white space to your advantage." The same holds true for technology as well. Just because there's a new product out there, you shouldn't rush to use it as a solution in a project. It's all contextual, which you can discover by asking...

What's the users end-goal?
Understanding the users' priorities and what needs to be accomplished is the quickest way to begin uncovering the story that needs to be told.

Lastly, are you delivering a complete experience?
In a world designed by external influencers from cultural to business, one needs to truly understand that, generally speaking, most consumers and people don't understand the specialized world to which we are submersed within. And for the most part, they don't care. They just want "the cupcake."

The "cupcake" is the experience as a whole. Completely finished. Bugs squashed into eternity. They don't care to know all the blood, sweat, time, cost, and energy that went into a good design, but they can certainly tell you if it's a good experience or a bad one. When compromises have been made, the story ceases to exist and loyalty of brand, product, and services slowly begin to deteriorate. Be it a consumer, financial analyst, teenager, or business owner, Experience certainly matters.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Man, I Love Archer

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Cindy: What's with you an cartoons?
Me: Dammit, I love them!
Cindy: So what's your favorite as of the moment?
Me: Archer, goddammit that show is so f#&king awesome.
Cindy: What the hell is Archer?
Me: ...
Me: ...
Me: ...
Cindy: What?
Me: Can't you see that I'm restraining myself from saying something completely hilarious that'll make completely no sense to you?!

Archer, Episode 1. 8.8/10.

It's Like Tetris... for Typographers

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Kern is an iPhone app game where the object is to match the kerning on individual words. Pretty damn awesome.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project No. 8 Deck of Cards

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Actual cost: $175. What it should cost: $30. Definitely looks cool, though.

All You Need

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Another brilliant minimal piece by the mysterious Rafa Jenn. "All You Need" measures 16x16-inches and is part of a short run of 24 prints. $39.

NOOKA is the Wallet 2.0

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Nooka's new "organizer" is a vertically-opening carry-all that offers multiple interior compartments for holding cash, IDs, cards, and photos, and is made from silicone to offer water resistance and expandability. $35.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nikki Farquharson = Stimulus Maximus

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What can I say? Nikki Farquharson rules. One can get lost in her suggestive art for hours. Well, minutes for me since such images tend to evoke only a short of amount of instantaneous pleasure... then I keep looking for more.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

McCarthy & Wright's Threads of Experience

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While many critics argue M&W's pragmatic approach to experience design as too futuristic and ideal to be of any use today, their proposed four threads of experience can give us designers are framework to help capture experience from an inter-subjective perspective:

  • The Sensual Thread: Is concerned with our sensory engagement with a situation, which orients us to the concrete, palpable, and visceral character of the experience.
  • The Emotional Thread: Is concerned with an understanding or sense-making process (the sense or meaning ascribed to an object or person because of the values, goals, and desires we have).
  • The Compositional Thread: Is concerned with relationships between the parts and the whole of an experience.
  • The Spatio-Temporal Thread: Encompasses the spatio-temporal component of experience, particularly, how it is connected to our past and is related to our future, and, whether we experience life as emergent or as determined.
As we think of the experience technology as woven by threads, we can attempt to capture the multi-facetted, complex, and often interweaved nature of the human experience, which runs continually parallel in its constant, active interpretation.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Black Dynamite Review

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Black Dynamite is a wonderfully crafted parody of the blaxploitation films that were a ubiquitous action staple in the '70s and B-movies. As you may expect, it's straight up Grindhouse with a no-nonsense hero that gets the ladies and deals justice on the streets. Somehow, it manages to balance parody with the alternate universe without getting completely out of hand, but knowing that it's an intentionally bad film, you really cant take anything too seriously. Aside from the hilarious dialogue, there's obvious continuity errors all over the place, mics bumpin' into actors' heads, and reuse of film to "save money." Personally, I found it all just entertaining enough to watch it until the end, but like Tropic Thunder, I found it shamefully fell short trying to retain its raucous energy throughout. 7.4/10.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Kitchen Fantastica

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Here's some awe-inspiring kitchen shots courtesy of Danish photographer Stuart McIntyre to make your Friday afternoon a little brighter from all of these Winter storms that have decided to come a-knockin' on our doors today.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Aliens Review

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Sorry, Avatar. You'll need to move over since Ripley's about to blow you out of the water with some lyrical punishment. So grab your popcorn and cornflakes, folks. This... is gonna be awesome. But seriously, go see the full cinema experience that is Aliens if you haven't done so already. It obviously inspired someone to write a rap about it, so it has to be good. 9.0/10.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's Metrotaculous, Joanna

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What happens when Joanna Moorehouse takes photos? We get a showcase of beautiful photos from a photographer who obviously loves what she does. My favorites above; rooms that feel refreshing and bright, real and believable. One day...

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