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Showing posts from June, 2012

new age spider silk

Spider silk is turning out to be a remarkably versatile material. Aside from having ahigher heat conductivity than any other organic matter and proteins for inserting genes into cells, strings from a spider have also been found to have a very high tensile strength. One researcher in Japan has studied this property of spider silk for decades, and recently unveiled a new application for it by weaving together thousands of strands of spider filaments and using them as violin strings. It's not very often that a spider researcher and violinist finds a way to combine the two passions - in fact Dr. Shigeyoshi Osaki of Japan's Nara Medical University is most likely the first. Osaki has studied spider silk for 35 years and has spent the past ten developing a method to create violin strings from the unique material. Specifically, the violin strings were created using dragline silk, which spiders use to dangle from hanging objects (as opposed to the silk they use to construct webs). Fir…

Pop-Up Books for Grown Ups

When we saw Portland-based designer and art director Mengyu Chen’s paper pop-up books on Booooooom, we instantly fell in love. The minimal design and simplicity of action recalled our childhood, when craftily constructed stories sprung to life. It was a magical first encounter with animation and one we can happily relive until we’re old and gray. Lucky for us, playful pop-ups are being marketed for adult readers more frequently, and we’ve chosen a few incredibly designed books to share with you past the break. Some can be purchased and others simply admired — the handiwork of artists who similarly view the 3D books with childlike wonder. See more amazing pop-ups below. ABC3D Designer Marion Bataille created a pop-up book for typography nuts. “Each of the 26 dimensional letters move and change before your eyes. C turns into D with a snap. M stands at attention. X becomes Y with a flick of the wrist. And then there’s U… ” Preview ABC3D (complete with lenticular cover) in the video above…

Are you adapting or resisting?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin hit it right on the nose.  We see this all the time in business, nature, and during New York City’s Fashion Week!  Product life cycles, advertising campaigns, and achieving profitability all encompass the nature of adaptation.  The strategy of adaptation helps us understand how to utilize the changing elements of design, function, or packaging to acclimate to the conditions in particular markets.  Darwin’s views of evolution also encompassed adaptation and drew attention to the Galapagos Islands, and at the time, the best kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. What is important to outline today is that these very diverse, colorful, and stimulating groups of islands have managed to become just like every other tropical getaway.  What can they do to differentiate themselves again and prove to be the ‘hidden gem’ of the pacific?  Th…

All Apple Laptops Shown at Exact Same Angle

The Screen of Each Laptop in the Apple Store Is Set to the Exact Same AngleBy Megan Garber Jun 17 2012
It takes a lot of work to be this relaxed.
Apple In the sea of horror and despair that is the American shopping mall, the Apple Store is often a singular source of refuge. Check your email -- for as long as you want! Play a game of Angry Birds -- on the iPad of your choice! Ask a bearded blue-shirt named Jon anything at all about about the new MacBook Pro -- he'd be totally happy to talk about whatever!

Beneath all the chillness and chirpiness, though, is a consumer destination whose whimsy is the result of painstaking calibration. Think Disney World's underground tunnels, except with all the draconianism out on display and integral to the whole aesthetic. The products placed on blond-wood tables at precisely measured intervals.

 The reservations-only appointment system at the Genius Bar. The Five Steps of Service. The fact that Jon's beard is trimmed to a uniform three inc…

The Web Gets Smarter

The Web Gets Smarter
Last Wednesday, with relatively little fanfare, Google introduced a new technology called Google Knowledge Graph. Type in “Fran├žois Hollande,” and you are offered a capsule history (with links) to his children, partner, birthday, education, and so forth. In the short-term, Knowledge Graph will not make a big difference in your world—you might get much the same information by visiting Hollande’s Wikipedia page, and a lot of people might still prefer to ask their friends. But what’s under the hood represents a significant change in engineering for the world’s largest search-engine company. And more than that, in a decade or two, scientists and journalists may well look back at this moment as the dividing line between machines that dredged massive amounts of data—with no clue what that data meant—and machines that started to think, just a little bit, like people.

Since its beginning, Google has used brute force as its main strategy to organize the Internet’s knowled…

Denim Details - Retail Summary June 2012

What Doesn't Motivate Creativity Can Kill It

via Carlin Felder
What Doesn't Motivate Creativity Can Kill It by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer  |   9:49 AM April 25, 2012 Comments (12)Management is widely viewed as a foe of innovation. The thinking goes that too much management strangles innovation (just let a thousand flowers bloom!). But we have found a much more nuanced picture. You really can manage for innovation, but it starts by knowing what drives creativity in the people who generate and develop the new ideas that, when implemented, will become tomorrow's innovations. Unfortunately, too many managers unintentionally kill innovation because they rely too heavily on carrots and sticks to motivate employees. More than three decades of research have shown that people are most likely to be creative when they're intrinsically motivatedby the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself. But motivation inside organ…

Alternatives to green design
via Tatiana Garcia our sustainably thinking Nautica luggage designer.

In celebration of Earth Day, Nautica, Kipling, Timberland and The North Face employees gathered in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn to convert a vacant lot and an area of the schoolyard at Abraham Lincoln Primary School into neighborhood gardens. We also pitched in at Gregory’s Garden and Floral Vineyard Community Garden. Over 100 volunteers built planter boxes and benches, weeded, shoveled, raked mulch and soil, cleaned up garden beds, moved rocks, planted flowers and more. Multiple members of the community passed by during the day, commenting on our impressive progress and thanking us for our work. Due to our efforts in the various gardens, members of this community will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and the kids will be able to learn about science and nutrition by experiencing it firsthand. Thank you to GrowNYC, Paragon Sports, the Cypress Hills Development Corporation, The People’s…

Power of the Interface A unique crowd-sourced music video project honoring the legacy of Johnny Cash

Cheeky Fun (pun intended)

Fashion Week Street Scenes - Accessories F/W 12

Non-Tie Neckwear - Bandana

With non-tie neckwear exploding for Men and Young Men, we can’t help but love ASOS new line of neckerchiefs. ASOS’ in-house design team does a masterful job of updating this classic multi-use item, with prints that stay true to the bandanas rugged roots, while updating it with au courant favorites like florals and Mod polka dots.

Steve Jobs - "Great Meetings"

Meetings Are A Skill You Can Master, And Steve Jobs Taught Me How Written by: Ken Segall

More brains don’t necessarily lead to better ideas. When it came to leading meetings, Jobs had no qualms about tossing the least necessary person out of the room.
Apple encourages big thinking but small everything else. That is, if you feel the urge to speak or act in a manner reminiscent of anything you learned in a big company, it’s best that you do that in the privacy of your own home. Meeting size is a good example. Once Chiat/Day was installed as Apple’s agency of record and we’d settled into our work, we would meet with Steve Jobs every other Monday.
Typically there would be no formal agenda. We’d share our work in progress with Steve and he’d share whatever news he had. This was how we all stayed up to date. The invitee list for these meetings was small. On the agency side were the creative people, account director, and media director. On the Apple side there were Steve, Phil Schiller (prod…

Wallet of the Future?

Wallet of the Future - Click for Article from Co.Design

The Wallet Of The Future Is The Wallet Of The PastMAKING IT AS CELL PHONES TAKE OVER PAYMENTS, WHAT WILL OUR WALLETS LOOK LIKE? ASTRO STUDIOS HAS A PROPOSAL. Dig through any man’s pockets, and you’re sure to find a wallet--a trifold chunk of leather that’s gone mostly unchanged since the rise of credit cards in the 1950s. Yet as NFC invades our phones to take over the payment industry, we’ll have less and less scraps of plastic to carry around. Will the wallet die? Not quickly. But it will certainly transform. Astro Studios spent a year rethinking the next generation of wallet--one that’s beyond the credit card, but still holds an ID, cash, business card, and, sure, any last looming credit cards in your pocket, too. What they came up with is , a multi-tiered wallet hand-stitched from a single piece of leather. It’s thin in the pocket but heirloom-quality in the hand; the vegetable tanned leather options invoke a grandfather-approv…