Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mortal Engine by Chunky Move

I spotted this via random, I just liked the organic looking linework. Once I read the title and sub heading I was really hooked. I watched the clip above and it moved me to tears. This needs some explanation...

About 12 years ago I filled a sketchbook with concepts for interactive staging environments for contemporary dance. This was followed up with a chance to experiment with interaction design for a space (it was the Hoxton Cinema in London, a collaboration with Greyworld which was kindly funded by the Arts Council).

Well, it turns out that Chunky Move have created exactly the kind of thing I had in mind all those years ago! It's magical, ethereal...seemingly liquid reactive space where the dancers are authors of the visual dynamics of the lighting and atmospheric staging. The interactive environment is at one with the performance.

Perfect. And so incredibly frustrating that I had nothing to do with producing it. I want to dig up my sketchbooks and wave it at the guys who produced this...look, look I have twenty more ideas where this came from!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

IDEO - Future of the book

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

A beautifully produced, thoughtfully designed set of three concepts for the future of the book. 'Nelson', which is all about context and verification of knowledge. Coupland which is about knowledge sharing within the context of social groups. And finally, playful 'Alice' which ties in geolocation and collaborative and interactive narratives. Masterful.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Bandwagon of Uncertainty

"What has happened to our conviction?" A great poem by Taylor Mali, set as a typographic animation. "It's not enough to question authority, you've got to speak with it too."

Friday, October 08, 2010

Red Bull - Brand as Theatre

This is an excellent example of experiential branding and reactive graphics on a big scale. I seriously would have loved working on this one! I'll be keeping my roving eye-ball on any other examples of great brand experiences like this one...thanks Digitalbuzz this is food for thought.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Emotiv Headset

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves | Video on

Okay - this is Science fiction..moving right to Science fact. Tan Le presents Emotiv's headset at TED in the UK last July...

"Tan Le's astonishing new computer interface reads its user's brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

History Pin

Now this is a beautiful thing. I've just been thinking about recording stories from my father's life which ties neatly into this beautiful production by a company in the UK called "We are what we do". I wish I'd worked on this project and brought it to the's a gorgeous thing!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wayfinding and Mobile Applications

I'm spending a bit of time contemplating wayfinding systems and various geolocating mobile applications.

I found this a fascinating read 'Wayfinding through Technology 'by Cennydd Bowles. Well, okay it's over a year old but thought provoking none the less.

We've all been intrigued by Augmented reality but imagine if it gave you realtime data about the world around you. For anyone with an iPhone there is possibly nothing more magical than holding up your phone and sharing the constellations of the night sky with your young children. Consumer software is adding poetry to our daily lives, not just being purely utilitarian.

Personally, I have to confess, I'm holding out for an Android phone...or possibly an Apad (Android pad), or should I say 'iRobot' Droid iPad knockoff looks fairly tempting but still does not support Flash(!)

I haven't tried out Gowalla or Foursquare but I have read up about the Major battles and general geeky jousting about which is better. If this kind of location based consumer behaviour and data was available to marketers, it would send them wild.

However, Layar technology has fired up my imagination. Layar is based in the Netherlands and their geolocation mobile applications run on iPhone and Android phones...check the Layar demo - it's inspiring stuff. Despite the fatuous marketing - 'now you can decide how you want your world to be augmented'. Hmm ...the corny presentation aside, the gist of it is amazing really. The Droid phones with Layar actually integrate with Facebook places...(a fascinating evolution of Facebook, although the big brother/stalker potential isn't very attractive.)

It's all getting very interesting out I'm off to read more about the term 'Spime' (thanks to Bruce Stirling.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Digital Citizens Social Media Meetup

I attended the Digital Citizens social media meetup last night and it was a bit of a blast from the past. That past being the one where people were honestly fired up about all things digital and there was an actual sense of passion and enthusiasm in the air from a refreshingly non-suited crowd.

There were some Nathan Barley moments and also some genuinely articulate interesting people too... an interesting mix, all up.

I got on the mike for my 20 seconds of point, if I remember correctly, was that companies will be necessarily changed by the advent of social media in two ways - altruism and honesty. Altruism due to things like crowdsourced design and code (like joomla) eclipsing CRMs that used to cost a fortune and also by customer 'honesty'. Brands don't belong to companies now, they belong to the world at large, and the results can be seen in places like Brandkarma amongst others.

Interesting times. I should get out more, clearly...!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Introducing Google TV

I want my, I want my Google TV (to the tune of the famous Police song). Finally, a good reason to actually own something resembling a TV. We've had a home baked media centre for years. Maybe it's time to trade up. I'd love to get my mitts on a trial and have a good look at the interface and functionality. It all looks very tasty.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Blue Carpet

One more masterpiece to capture from Heatherwick Studios...the'Blue Carpet' town square in Newcastle. A breathtakingly elegant and sensitive approach to urban planning and the first town square commission for the UK in a century.

"The space was unified with a single surface using tiles, developed for the project over four years, consisting of blue glass from recycled Harvey's Bristol Cream bottles set in white resin. The surface articulates around trees and distorts as it meets buildings, and is perforated around bollards and peeled back to form benches." [quote from the Heatherwick Studio website]

The Seed Cathedral

I've just been marvelling at the beautiful, inspiring work of Thomas Heatherwick. I would love to visit the British Pavillion or 'Seed Cathedral' at the Shanghai Expo.

"The studio’s concept is an enclosure that throws out from all faces a mass of long, radiating cilia. Their length means they gently sway in response to any wind movement. It rests on its soft forest in an urban field, surrounded by a concrete canopy that resembles unfolded wrapping paper."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ant Hayes Illustration

I am loving the work of Ant Hayes I just wish I had a pair of those beautifully embellished custom shoes. The cushions and shoes I've customised are in a similar vein, but Ant's style is wierd and fun.

I found his work at Finders Keepers and it makes a really refreshing change to see an edgy, personal style shine out amongst the onslaught of Nordic Kitsch. I'm hatching a theory that IKEA has infected the culture and all the local indie makers are onto the same vibe. Maybe it could be called the IKEA School or perhaps, Scando Tragic...(if I see another twee owl, wonky felt toy, or cute little birdy...)

I admire the whole hand made movement (still want to watch Handmade Nation) and had a crack at it myself with Ponoko. On the flipside, there's a heap of junk out there which Regretsy hilariously showcases.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vooky Wook

Ah yes this little innovation brings back memories. A retro futuristic moment...I can just hear Peter Kindersley saying, the book is dead, long live CDROMs. That dates me, but I am old school!

Now, post Kindle, we have yet another stab at slaying the book as we know it. The 'Vook' evidently championed by Seth Godin, allows you to read, watch awe inspiring video and and also connect with your friends. It's just like multimedia with a bit of social media chucked in.

Sometimes I just think I'm being April fooled.

Doo Gooders

I'm really enjoying the Brandkarma site. Cute promotional video too. Now we can all compare different corporations and watch their 'karmic stocks and shares' rise and fall. Beautiful concept and a great execution too.

Delicious. Buuut...yet more jargon is we have 'doos' to contend with, (a bit too cute me thinkst.) Doo or doo not, there is no try according to Yoda.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Interactive Lobby Installation

I wish I could have designed this! I've got a square tonne of concepts mapped out for applications that do just this kind of thing: demonstrate a company's brand and global presence using a dynamic interactive display located in their lobby.

I want in! I want to design the next one to be installed soonest...

I wonder if Envis Precisely is planning on a move to Sydney?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sixth Sense an MIT Project

MIT's Pranav Mistry is a genius. This short video demonstrates his way of thinking and outlines the uses for Sixth Sense technology. The most inspiring thing is that his invention is so cheap and accessible - this really will be one to watch. His work combines the best of natural interaction, gestural navigation's poetry in motion.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Joshua Allen Harris' Inflatable Bag Monsters

This is so inspiring and so beautiful on many levels. Love the fact that social media / video web posting of one of his works got him some well deserved publicity.

When will we see this in Sydney?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Google Shopper for Android

If only Google would stop doing such smart, interesting things, I could post about something else in my blog! Just watched this demo of Google Shopper and would love to try it out. Many years ago Justin Moodie from labs came up with an impressive concept using SMS for shared shopping lists etc - this is the natural and full-blown extension of that. I can't get over the smarts of the book cover being the handset will be able to take a photo of a person and all their personal details, taste in music, last blog post and photos will flick up on your screen.

Hmmm...Google will hopefully learn from the law suits about Buzz and it won't herald a difficult era for Google where they'll have to struggle with lawyers every time they try and innovate.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Liquid Galaxy

My blog's turning into a list of 'look what Google's come up with now' moments. I love this example of 20% time where 8 Linux machines have been networked to run an enhanced version of Google Earth and Mars...displayed in an immersive kiosk across multiple screens. It's called Liquid Galaxy...I had no idea you could travel through the ocean and look at the topography of the sea bed. The demo video shows voice activated control - it's all getting very Star Trek out there!