Monday, September 29, 2008

3D body scans used to create 2D sewing patterns

posted by squee.gee

The T-shirt Issue is an experimental project by Berlin designer's Mashallah Design and Linda Kostowski who converted the 3D files of 3 digitally scanned bodies into simple polygon forms that were used to generate unique 2D patterns for the garments.

The 3d data is turned into 2d sewing patterns by the use of the unfolding function which is a common tool in industrial design process to make paper models with, the single fabric pieces and the inner interface which defines the edges are cut out by the help of a laser cutter.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The secret of the web (hint: it's a virtue)
posted by Seth Godin


Google was a very good search engine for two years before you started using it.

The iPod was a dud.

I wrote Unleashing the Ideavirus 8 years ago. A few authors tried similar ideas but it didn't work right away. So they gave up. Boingboing is one of the most popular blogs in the world because they never gave up.

The irony of the web is that the tactics work really quickly. You friend someone on Facebook and two minutes later, they friend you back. Bang.

But the strategy still takes forever. The strategy is the hard part, not the tactics.

I discovered a lucky secret the hard way about thirty years ago: you can outlast the other guys if you try. If you stick at stuff
posted by Seth Godin

that bores them, it accrues. Drip, drip, drip you win.

It still takes ten years to become a success, web or no web. The frustrating part is that you see your tactics fail right away. The good news is that over time, you get the satisfaction of watching those tactics succeed right away.

The trap: Show up at a new social network, invest two hours, be really aggressive with people, make some noise and then leave in disgust.

The trap: Use all your money to build a fancy website and leave no money or patience for the hundred revisions you'll need to do.

The trap: read the tech blogs and fall in love with the bleeding-edge hip sites and lose focus on the long-term players that deliver real value.

The trap: sprint all day and run out of energy before the marathon even starts.

The media wants overnight successes (so they have someone to tear down). Ignore them. Ignore the early adopter critics that never have enough to play with. Ignore your investors that want proven tactics and predictable instant results. Listen instead to your real customers, to your vision and make something for the long haul. Because that's how long it's going to take, guys.

Is Apple Innovative or Just Adaptive?
posted by: Bruce Nussbaum

There is an interesting thread of a conversation about Apple’s innovation going on among those commenting on The Most Innovative Companies lead story for this issue of IN-Inside Innovation.

Andre started it off by saying that Apple was not innovative—it didn’t invent anything. It only adapted things others invented. That generated a storm of discussion about just what innovation really means. My take on “innovation” is that it is not invention. That’s a classic mistake people make. Innovation is creating something new of value. In the business world, that means creating something new of value that generates revenue and profits. Disruptive innovations that change the game are often business model innovations that integrate five or six or eight different types of innovation.

That's what Apple is so good at these days. In its earliest incarnation, Apple was great as user-friendly innovation. Apple is now in a second, more sophisticated and impactful stage of generating platform innovation. Both the iPod and iPhone are platform innovations that incorporate many kinds of innovation. There were lots of MP3 players around before the iPod, a few of them quite beautiful. But Steve Jobs brought together a legal/business innovation (getting the heads of music studios to agree on 99 cent downloads), a software innovation (the iTunes store) and a great industrial design--the iPod. That's what makes for powerful disruptive innovation.

The iPhone is similar--it's a platform that thousands of developers are building new products for.

Life and the Big Screen: Media, Design, and the Apocalypse

posted by William Bostwick

For weeks, Iron Man has had the design world convulsing with what can only be called a grand maul geek-out. The lead character, Tony Stark, represents the tech-happy dad in all of us. A billionaire industrialist/master engineer, he builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero and all-around bad-ass, Iron Man. The cars, the girls, the computers: he's like Inspector Gadget in a mid-life crisis.

But the future hasn't always been so pretty. Let's rewind, way back, to 1996, when high-tech gadgetry wasn't a blessing, but a curse, when the blue glow of Stark's mechanical heart heralded nothing less than the end of the world. I'm talking about Independence Day.

Here, Jeff Goldblum's computer scientist is a straight-up nerd and the world's armies use old-school Morse code to coordinate their attacks. The blue light that pours out of the alien spaceships is deadly and depressing, like the TV glow from suburban windows. Independence Day didn't come up with this idea—here's Jack Kerouac almost 50 years earlier describing the lone poet in a wasteland world: "I see him in future years stalking along with full rucksack, in suburban streets, passing the blue television windows of homes, alone, his thoughts the only thoughts not electrified to the Master Switch." Will Smith's Capt. Steven Hiller sees that switch flipped on, full blast, and watches the White House go up in electric flames.

Brainwashed or blown apart, it's a tough way to go, but we're welcoming the end with open arms. Media technology courses through our veins, and we love it. We're tapped in, turned on, Iron Man-style by its cerulean glow. We bask in it like tourists at "Take Your Time." And instead of designing the architecture of our lives to shield us from it, we're doing the opposite. From bookcases to billboards, design has gone media crazy.

Think of these projects as psychics, moving their divining rods to map the space we can't see, channeling the spirits of our geekdom.
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, industrial design provocateurs, call this glow Hertzian space. The idea is that our media gadgets—phones, radios, TVs—leak out a sea of electromagnetic waves. We can't see it, but it's there, as powerful and intangible as Eliasson's light. Don't believe it? Try reading this post near Petra Farinha's Jealous Furniture. Farinha, a student in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, designed furniture that spies on you. Click through a couple links, fire up a few videos, and the lamp, hooked up via Bluetooth to your computer's internet connection, will start to flicker and shake and books will jump off their shelves as they sense how much bandwidth you're using.

Then there's fellow ITP-er Andrew Doro's Table for Electronic Dreams (the name references Dunne: "Electronic objects are not only 'smart,' they 'dream,' in the sense that they leak radiation into the space and objects surrounding them"). Drop your iPhone on the table, and its leaky radiation—its dreams—trigger an LED web that makes the table glow. Get a call, and the lights get brighter. "The electromagnetic spectrum has become increasingly noisy and dense," Doro says. "But we do not have direct access to this medium or an awareness of its invisible contours." Think of these projects as psychics, moving their divining rods to map the space we can't see, channeling the spirits of our geekdom.

Our cars are plugged in too, with navigation screens taking up more and more of the dashboard and Bluetooth connectivity an increasingly standard option. They don't just light up when we get a call, they feed it through the stereo system, giving hi-fi, immersive surround-sound urgency to "don't forget to buy milk."

Check out Apartment Therapy's Unplggd blog for homes that are wired (or de-wired) for media technology. Their motto, "smarter homes, fewer wires," says it all. You can take drool-worthy slideshow tours of digitized digs where AirPorts replace Aalto vases and big screens seem to grow right out of the exposed brick.

But what about the houses themselves? Media technology is here too, in the literal nuts and bolts of building construction. Last month, the The New York Times ran an article about Los Angeles developer/Blade Runner buff Sonny Astani. Astani wants to rig up 10-story-tall LED video screens on the sides of two of his downtown towers to flood the skyline with ads and art. Anyone who has looked up New York's Seventh Avenue at night and seen the glow of Times Square bubbling up over the rooftops knows this isn't a new idea, but the sheer scale of Astani's vision makes it understandably head-turning. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, GreenPix, the largest color LED screen ever, opened last month on the side of a building in Beijing. It's just plain massive: a 24,000 square-foot 2-D museum showing digital media art.

You can't talk about signs and buildings without talking about Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. In Learning From Las Vegas, they lay out a manifesto for post-modern, symbolist architecture by contrasting ducks and decorated sheds. A decorated shed is a building wrapped in signs, literal or metaphoric (a firehouse that says "firehouse" or a bank with Greek columns, signs for classical power and stability). A duck is a building that is itself a sign, like the Big Duck on Long Island: a duck-shaped building that sells, you guessed it, ducks.

What better way to push L.A. into the future than with a sci-fi-grade media project? That glow Kerouac feared isn't a sign of society's decay; it's the pulsing blue heart of modern life.
The screens in L.A. and Beijing are signs—ads for art projects, cars, and clothes—but they're not just decoration, they're identity-changers, not make-up but plastic surgery. Tony Stark in his armor suit isn't Tony Stark in an armor suit; he's Iron Man, a transformation powered by the ark reactor's cool blue glow. The GreenPix wall is built into the building's structure, an integral part of the design, turning the whole thing into a giant TV. The building isn't a shed; it's a duck, a literal embodiment of the modern, media-soaked world.

These giant screens—and the media glow they pump out—are symbols of a modern city. We know Blade Runner takes place in the future because of the building-sized billboards (OK, and because of the flying cars). We know we're in New York when we see Times Square. "Everyone wants downtown [L.A.] to happen," Astani told the Times, and what better way to push it into the future than with a sci-fi-grade media project? That glow Kerouac feared isn't a sign of society's decay; it's the pulsing blue heart of modern life.

In fact, you can even buy an LED box for your house that sends would-be burglars scurrying by mimicking the glow of a TV—a sure sign that someone is home. But in case you want to give criminals a real light show, there's Philips's Ambilight TV. It leaks out the energy of the show you're watching in the form of color-coordinated light, immersing you in a media glow.

The same idea extends to audio. Most hotels have iPod docking stations, some hooked up to a room's built-in speaker system. (The Tribeca Grand, admittedly not like most hotels, has the "iStudio," a room fully stocked with Apple gear. You know it's a hotel party when someone chucks a G5 out the window, right?) Hotels are pros at the immersive experience, from lobby pianos to elevator music, and now even your room can be bathed in media.

Back home, you can build speakers into your walls, of course, but lately you've been able to design the walls themselves to capture and channel sound. Arup (the engineering rock stars who brought us GreenPix) are on top of this with SoundLab, a computer program that maps buildings' sonic spaces. Even houseware designers like Mio are releasing acoustic wallpaper that, Mio says, "gives individuals the ability to customize and re-define space on a budget" by manipulating sound.

If you want to see the immersive audio media space taken to its extreme (and seriously, who doesn't?), check out David Byrne's "Playing the Building", up through August 10th at the Battery Maritime Building. Byrne hooked up an old organ to motors that he connected to the structural elements of the room—pillars, beams, water pipes. Hit a key, and the whole place vibrates with sound. The building is one, giant speaker, coursing with energy, and the organ just plugs into it.

That idea—using design to tap into the media sea—made one of the smallest pieces at ICFF this year also the most intriguing. The Bocci 22 outlet sits flush with your wall—no more face plates—giving you the feeling that you're plugging your TV (real or fake) right into your house. It's a small detail, but one Tony Stark would love.

Project Theme

"Genetic industry is a newborn infant. barely christened, fawned over by anxious venture capitalists and medical ethicists, it's mewling there in its crib, trying to find its toes. When it gets bigger, genetic engineering will radically expand our knowledge-especially our medical knowledge."

Theme: Genetic engineering will contribute to improve people‘s lives in the future.

genetic industry


From: alanmiao, 1 minute ago

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

optimistic future

posted by pantopiconon Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Doom is so passé … and essentially does not get you anywhere. User experience evangelist Richard Anderson gave ACM’s Interactions an overhaul. The latest issue offers a fascinating read, including an article by UK designer Richard Seymour bearing the title “Optimistic futures”. In it he points to the potential, the role, the necessity and the responsibility of designers to dream and design bright, positive futures.

“Designers cannot be, by definition, pessimists. It just doesn’t go with the job. We’re supposed to be defining the future, aren’t we? [...] If we can’t see the world as a better place to live in, than what chance does anyone else have?”

“History tells us that before great business can happen, it first has to be a mission. And a mission starts with a dream. As designers, we potentially hold enormous power. And with it comes responsibility. Wield it imaginatively and wisely. And optimistically. Or f@#k off and do something less dangerous.”

Richard is not alone in his crying out for positivism in imagining and designing the future. We already wrote about Peter
Lunenfeld’s notes on ‘the vision deficit’ (see here). Also, most of you are familiar with Alan Kay’s well known “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. Yet the much needed optimism to design our way out of dystopia goes far beyond the designer. We seem indeed increasingly unable to draw up optimistic stories of bright futures in which it will be better to live and engage people en masse. Have Hollywoodian apocalyptic disaster movies numbed us that much?

The past years have shown many examples of how fear, doom-scenarios, dystopia, bad news, are powerful tools to move the crowds (see also Michael Crichton’s “State of fear”). The negative has a strong impact on the way we act and react. It must be that through times the growl of the bear left a deeper engraving in our brain to make us run, than that of the beautifully colored flower.

Also Alex over at Worldchanging notes the necessity and the difficulties of creating positive narratives of the future with the same impact as their dystopian brothers. He asked Bladerunner futurist Syd Mead what it would take?

“He paused for a second and said he thought it’d be very difficult, that catharsis is so important to people, and people are so terrified of the future, that you’d need some completely new vision of what the future will look like to even set the scene for a new narrative… and that is obviously no mean feat.”

Alex Steffen calls optimism a political act. Sir Karl Popper called it a moral duty. Yes, it is a must, because it gives that much more in return.

device manners policy

posted by pantopicon on Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Microsoft moves to patent technological means to enhance or enforce good manners on people with respect to their ways of using technological devices. Think of it as the digital ’service’ equivalent of the no-smoking sign.

First it was the family, the home where children received their basic education in terms of norms, values, good and bad manners. Then it became the school’s job. Now technology steps into the equation as well …

Let us hope that people find more poetic ways and means of getting the message of good manners across than showing a dialog box message on the screen of your electronic gadget. Will your cell phone whisper to you “don’t shout”? or increase the volume on the other end so you don’t start screaming in the first place? Context awareness of technology is one of the - if not the - primary prerequisite for smart behaviour. Linking social values to the concept of smart is one way to enhance user experience not merely for the user but also his/her surroundings (human/natural/physical. It is important to note however that these values are often culturally defined or biased.

For those interested in more experimental/poetic ways to influence people’s behaviour when using for example mobile phones, check out IDEO’s Social Mobile Phones ’shock-therapy’ project by Crispin Jones & Graham Pullin.

The first law of mass media

Posted by Seth Godin on August 27, 2008

Organizations will work tirelessly to de-personalize every communication medium they encounter.

Radio ads used to be live, personal and spoken by an individual.
TV ads used to feature actual people, demonstrating something, usually live.
Phone calls involved a live speaker, talking, with permission, to another person.
Email used to be honest interactions between consenting adults.
Facebook pages (and Wikipedia, too) were built by people, not staffs.
Twits came from real people, and so did instant messages.

One by one, the mass marketers have insisted on robocalling, spamming, jingling and lying their way into our lives. The pronoun morphs from "you" to "me" to "us" to "the corporation" ...

The public works tirelessly to flee to actual interactions between real people, and our organizations work even more diligently (and with more leverage) to corporatize and anonymize the interactions.

The irony, of course, is that an organization with guts can go in the opposite direction and win.

My name is Seth Godin and I approved this message.