DESIGN, ART, GADGETS, FASHION, AND SAFEWAY

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Than a Paint Job: A Musical Framework

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Even if "the inclusion of high-quality components does not always imply a design is likely to become ensouled; the way the components of a design form its whole is similarly important" (Odom, et. al, 2008, PDF). Last week, I asked not only why was vinyl do important (on a material, sensorial, and functional levels), but also more importantly, "How do people view music?" I found different people saw music as different things. They saw music as:

  1. Something to simply fill up their iPod
  2. Something you grow in and out of
  3. Entertainment
  4. Single experiences
These are all different audiences.

For children, you can create collectibles for them. Kids collect. They share. They start young. "Let's start my _____ collection." Older people hold onto music as memories - a catalyst for nostalgia.

For millenials or Generation "Y," they fall into both camps. Both their memories and means for expression are plural, consuming music at an unprecedented rate and in turn, changing the way they view the world. For them, music can and will change, as they are free-floating on the internet like ideas you stumble upon in a book. The only difference is these resources are readily available, fast-fed, and infinitely remixable.

It is this act and view of remixing that plays a vital role into the self-expression of youth today. To create, play, and share is to not be forgotten. In other words, music is still a collectible, but not in the traditional sense of ownership, but as a medium for self-fulfillment. A small piece that plays a large role in defining identity. A catalyst for expression.

Hence the design of any music delivery system requires certain values to take priority over others. One of them being the embodied experience of creating value within the domestic space. The other being designing a network of technologies that merge together as a cohesive whole. Understanding these values allows us to create experiences that are natural, seamless, and fun. Best of all, it helps further bridge the gap between multiple generations, providing more insight and understanding about one another than ever before.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Streetview Class

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There's something undeniably elegant about floor to ceiling windows. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one to realize this.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Experiencist Shopping Guide

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Here's just a bunch of crap I'd like to eventually contribute to my new apartment is wherever-town. Preferably gifted to myself soon so I can break them in. Yes, those clocks are $380.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Geometrical!

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Man, Illustrator's such a badass weapon. I don't think I've had this much fun in a long time with a computer tool. This one is numero 6/20 and 7/20 of my limited edition Pog prints that I'll be printing on my newly acquired Pog Maker from the 90's.

Sunsets are Wonderful

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And I think I've finally found something to love about my capstone project. It's time to celebrate with some new wave disco. Slam!

Strange Talk - Climbing Walls (MP3)
Strange Talk - Eskimo Boy (MP3)

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Ghost Writer Review

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I'll be honest. I'm a big fan of political thrillers. Just not slow ones like Capote or Downfall (though they were both good in their own right). I'm more of a Munich or Spy Game sorta guy. The Ghost Writer kinda fits in between the two, but adds a fat layer of suspense and mystery on top of it all. The composition of it all reads like a good book, with a firm grip on proper pacing and no false moves or unnecessary distractions. That also means no over-dramaticized special effects/explosions (which I love) and more Shakespearean drama than what I'd deem as "thriller." It's a movie that pulls old fashioned stunts and is probably why it feels slightly dated. but for those who eat up that sorta thing, I say it's a sweet rarity that deserves an old-fashioned applause. 8.2/10.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No Business Like Fun Business

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Woot. Near final production quality! Did I mention my business card will be in the form of pogs/milkcaps?
Oh... hell... yes. 90's, here I come!!!

Update: ROFL! Did anyone know they had a Beer Pogz game out? I bet a bunch of college students made it a single night of drunken madness. But man, what an ingenious invention.

I Know, Right?

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Funny times we live in these days. And I just blogged to say, "I love you."

Experiencist Redesign Underway

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Taking some inspiration from one of my biggest typographic stars, Oliver Munday, I spent about 3 hours exploring designs/sharpening my Illustrator skills. Fonts used: Adobe Caslon and Knockout.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sentinels Playing Cards

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I think I've found the ultimate playing cards. Who wants to bring poker back from the year 2000? Available for a mere $6 a pop, it's a steal, really.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Girl Talk's All Day Review

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What can I say? I love this guy. People have tried to bite off his style for years now, but none can execute it with such finesse as the maker himself. All Day brings you back to the days of Black Sabbath, Ludacris, The Ramones, California Swag District, Missy Elliot, Dorrough, and more. It's undoubtedly the best workout music out there. 8.3/10.

Girl Talk - All Day (FREE 256kbps MP3 Album)

Future Studios of the Experiencist

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The countdown starts today. T-minus 210 days. Ready up.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How To Process Digital Photos in High Fashion

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That's right. Not talkin' high resolution or definition, but high fashion. Why? Because I'm serious about this shit, dammit!

Peep these tutorials to achieve the look you see above. Just invest 20 minutes of your time and you'll have skills for years to come!

Lomo effect:
Cross processing effect:
High fashion dodge/burn process:
High contrast B/W layer effect:
Easy high pass trick:

8 of My Favorite Things

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1) Customizing my GF-1. 2) Backlighting in my closet. 3) Leather bike seats. 4) White floors with warm decor. 5) The recent Nike Stadium marketing campaign. 6) Takashi Murakami. 7) Fitted wool sweaters. 8) Slim profile bookshelves.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Can I Bring It On Back

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Baby, I wanna bring it on back.
Back to the time where we used to rhyme -
Times, you used to notice the subtle signs
Back, back in the time where we used to rhyme.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ass Kickin' Now Limited to Weekends

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I never thought I'd say this, but I've suddenly found myself falling into the realm of (borderline) responsibility of adulthood. This doesn't mean my passions are placed aside by any means. Hell, no. That'll never be the case. But it does mean I'm running out of hours during the day to dedicate to my everly insightful contributions to the blogosphere.

This also is indicative of how my current thoughts are on Blogger as a platform for self-expression and life-logging. Other options: While I personally hate Tumblr and feel Wordpress is a bit too uptight for my standards, I believe I'll eventually transition this 7-year project into something like a hybrid form of memory hoarding. Not too sure if there's a service like that just yet.

But, for now, blogging on the Ekoshyun Blog will be limited only to the weekends. If you're looking for some of my other work, you can connect with me on Flickr, Vimeo, or follow my fellow team of talented tech geeks and designers over at Unplggd. Otherwise, just stalk me on the Twitters if you need me.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Andy's Leather Wrist Strap for GF-1

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I've been hunting around for a brown leather strap for my Panasonic Lumix GF-1 for a while now, but there's just so many knock offs out there that it's really hard to find something you really love. Luckily, I've stumbled upon a fabulous set from seems to be a very popular strap by a guy named Andy. He hand crafts them all and they look pretty damn spiffy. Photos by Johnny. Straps starting at $20.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Lofts Lofts Lofts

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In Chicago, in 5 year's time. That is the goal. If it's too clean for you, stay out of the kitchen!

Collective Passions

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Here are a few excerpts from the past few months of brainstorming, interviews, and focus groups in regards to the topic of "collections" and its implications on the design of digital music information architecture and organization:
"I'm proud of the skills that have lead me up to this moment. These particular weapons showcase my practical and usable skills that makes me feel like I have more than other people. It's not even something I display. I would never in my life build a gun cabinet nor collect antique guns. I sell them because they're cheap or rusting and doesn't meet my personal quality standards."

"I started collecting very slowly. I like each one for its intrinsic formal quality and the different characteristics of the photos they take. The camera is a tool, but some of them have very unique features that make it worth it. I display my stuff because I like looking at them, knowing that they are there, and it's fun to talk about with other people who know about cameras."

"I collect important books because they are all displayed and I am proud of them because I've spent time and money acquiring them. I'm proud to say I've invested significant chunks of time into them. It's more for myself and as a self-reflection exercise. If it becomes a conversation piece, great. It's nice."
People, it seems, do share a common view on how they value their personal inventory, especially when it comes to collections of items they particularly care about. I believe this is built upon the idea of "ensoulment," defined by Blevis and Stolerman as "putting our souls" into something, and [in effect] the "user" or owner will recognize it and see the artifact as more valuable (Blevis and Stolterman, 2007, PDF).

During my focus group covering the topics of physical vs. digital media, I also received some interesting insights:
"There is no reason for a PC user to use iTunes. Maybe I'll lose my tech cred over this, but iTunes is the single worst thing to happen to media since someone called 128k "CD quality."

"Collections spark conversations. Online and off." 

"Digital is a completely different realm than tangible real-world items."

"People should stop trying to re-create the page flip in digital readers. It's stupid. It's not a page."
I found this to be an interesting divide in the perspective of digital interfaces. Some found the new digital media paradigm to be a negative thing, while others simply considered it different. I believe the difference is not being able to interact with our media the same way as before. Digital organization has become dependent on a keyboard and click interface.

Moreover, many have stated idea of manually organizing digital music or renaming files as worse than "mowing the lawn" or even "doing laundry." Some let iTunes take care of it, but still complain about the lack of an "embodied experience." Perhaps if digital music organization were more natural and intuitive, like the way we picked up and collected vinyl in the past, stored on our shelves, and selected when needed, it'd feel less like a chore and more like an exercise of showcasing items that define and validate our connoisseurship (some might even say, existence).
Csikszentmihalyi and Rochberg-Halton describes human relationships with such objects in the home: "...those [objects] were selected by the person to attend to regularly or to have close at hand, that create permanence in the intimate life of a person, and therefore that are most involved in making up his or her identity" (From The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self, 1981). Can digital collections embedded in hard drives and computers still manage to create identity? I certainly believe so.

An aside - one nice thing about digital collections is the tried and true sustainability argument. Data takes up space, but not as much as space as vinyl or compact discs. That's pretty sweet. But like its physical media counterparts, however, digital formats still manage to face impending death whenever a new, widely accepted commercial format is introduced.

Such situations places us in the position we are today. The reason why we discard and keep certain items relies on a system that is under constant flux. But was it vinyl's tangible fragility that made it such a joy to hold and collect in the first place? Or was there something more to the experience? Can an interactive experience be designed to provide those similar sentiments and lasting impressions over time?

I plan to conduct a survey to discover just that. More to come in the upcoming weeks.

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