Looking Into the Past

25 Feb

Looking Into The Past

Looking Into the Past is a Flickr pool that lays two picture of the same location, but from different times, over each other. It’s a fun and creative way to see how scenery has changed over time. You can see how structures have been built, modified and demolished.

Looking Into The Past

Looking Into The Past

Jasonepowel, the group admin, has this note about the group:
This group is for images you make where some part of a modern day scene is overlapped by an old photograph. For example, you hold up an old photo so that you can see its place in the modern context.

Check out the whole Flickr pool here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/lookingintothepast/pool/

Wireframes vs No Wireframes

16 Feb

I recently read an article in UX Magazine of all places, questioning the need for presenting wireframes to clients. This article seems to take the stance that wireframes are the blue-print for visual designs and can have negative repercussions when they are discussed with the client.

The author states that: [Wireframes] provide guidance for the rest of the design process …for the designer. They can, however, be problematic or useless for the client and in some cases they’re simply a waste of time…..Put another way, many designers generate and present wireframes to clients not because they know it’s a good idea in a specific case, but because they’ve seen or heard of others doing so and they therefore think they’re supposed to as well.

In my professional experience wireframes should not be treated as blueprints for designs. Project managers or project leads that treat wireframes like this will get uninspired, over engineered designs.

Wireframes are a granular way for developers to see the functionality and interactions that need to be developed. If they have any questions, they should be able to refer to an annotated wire frame to get their answer. Wireframes are crucial to designers, to educate us to what needs to be on the page but even more crucial to the developers that are building the page.

From a visual standpoint, wireframes are just a guide. As I design a site I ask myself questions, “Does this have to be a traditional tab or could it be a pill-slider? Could this text be represented by an icon? ”

The wireframes serve my purpose as a list of what has to be on the page and give me contextual hierarchy. The interpretation of what is on the page is (usually) left open to the designer. When it comes time to go through a review process, I try to show an early take on the design next to the related wireframe. This educates the client to that fact that there is still a design process remaining after the wireframes are finished. They can see, and approve, a wireframe and then see the evolution of that wire into design. They realize that wireframes are not visual design.

Educating your client about the process is cricual to getting successful results and a happy client. The article is interesting mostly because of the conversations that it sparked within the user comments: http://www.uxmag.com/design/where-wireframes-are-concerned.

Artwork of Simon Schubert

19 Jan

Simon Schubert

Simon Schubert

Somewhere in the course of my internet travels I wandered across the work of a German artist Simon Schubert. Schubert is a mixed media artist whose paper-fold artwork originally caught my eye but whose work covers a wide range of installations and sculptures. Trying to find more information about him is difficult as his website is, understandably, entirely in German.

Simon Schubert

Simon Schubert

Google delivers this confusing translation of his biography:

Simon Schubert decorated rooms of paper, to entire living space from wrapping paper. Simon Schubert decorated rooms of paper, to entire living space from wrapping paper. Complete with a deranged, indicated in his form only a few residents and real light is everything in these rooms made of folded paper jacket on a hanger on the wall, a bed, a picture. Complete with a deranged, indicated in his form only a few residents and real light is everything in these rooms made of folded paper jacket on a hanger on the wall, a bed, a picture.
In a subtle shift in the real Schubert questioned levels of transience, disappearance and vulnerability and translates them into a physically perceivable reality. In a subtle shift in the real Schubert questioned levels of transience, disappearance and vulnerability, and translates them into a physically perceivable reality. Beyond this, he negotiated the idea of a consciousness in the crisis of modernity has become brittle consistency of identity and the world. Beyond this, he negotiated the idea of a consciousness in the crisis of modernity has become brittle consistency of identity and the world.

It about a portrait of Samuel Beckett showed the Schubert, also on paper as a vehicle by filigreed foldings drew. It about a portrait of Samuel Beckett showed the Schubert, in other words on paper as a vehicle by filigreed Foldings drew. In the folding takes place some form of physical registration, which also threatened the image carrier and forms. In the folding takes place some form of physical registration, which also threatened the image carrier and forms.

In almost imperceptible interplay of positive and Negativfaltung created here, depending on the viewing direction, a vivid portrait that the next moment, however, can again become invisible. In almost imperceptible interplay of positive and Negativfaltung created here, depending on the viewing direction, a vivid portrait that the next moment, however, can again become invisible. This portrait, shifting between two-and three-dimensional, drawing and relief, object and image is characterized mainly by the reduction of design elements. Again and again, it seems to tip over into nothing, it shows variable in the change of light or the viewer’s position. This portrait, shifting between two-and three-dimensionality, drawing and relief object and image is characterized mainly by the reduction of design elements. Again and again, it seems to tip over into nothing, it shows variable changes in the light or the viewer’s position.

If you have the time, click around and explore his site and beautiful work: http://www.simonschubert.de/papierarbeiten.html

Motivation 3 Mixtape

12 Jan

Motivation 3 Mixtape by DJ Benzi, DJ DStar and Mick Boogie

DJ Benzi teams up with DJ Dstar and Mick Boogie for the third installment of the Motivation Series. Keeping in line with the previous Motivation series this dance club friendly mixtape is filled with electro/bmore remixes, and coming in at 53 tracks it is a beast. You can download it either as one big MP3 or individual tracks (each only like a minute). Good for a preparty or long busy day at work.

TRACKLISTING:
001. Mike Posner “Introduction”
002. Birdman & Drake “Money To Blow (Classy Hand Favors Remix)”
003. David Guetta & Novel “Missing You (Stefan Ponce Remix)”
004. Drake “Forever (DJ Dru Remix)”
005. David Guetta “One Love (Chuckie & Fatman Scoop Remix)”
006. Trey Songz & Gucci Mane “LOL (Logan De Gaulle Remix)”
007. Kesha “Tik Tok (Skeet Skeet Remix)”
008. Gantman “Juke Dat Girl (Benzi Refix)”
009. La Roux “Bulletproof (DJ Zinc Remix)”
010. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Heads will Roll (A-Trak Remix)”
011. Kid Cudi “Memories”
012. Free School & Kelis “Grey Goose”
013. David Guetta & Wynter Gordon “Toyfriend”
014. Pitbull & Afrojack “Maldito Alcohol”
015. Amanda Blank “Something Bigger (Major Lazer Remix)”
016. Donnis “Go Home (Prod. Chaise Marcel)”
017. Mic Terror & Mano “Get Down”
018. Green Velvet & Kid Sister “Everybody Wants”
019. Geeneus & Katy B “Good Life”
020. Rihanna “Bubble Pop”
021. Beyonce & Jay-Z “Sweet Dreams (Diggz Remix)”
022. Lil Jon “Machuka”
023. Black Eyed Peas “Meet Me Halfway (Will.I.Am Remix)
024. Kid Sister “Let Me Bang (Benzi Refix)”
025. Shakira & Kid Cudi “Did It Again (Gingy & Johnny Remix)”
026. Wiley “Never Be You Woman (Solo Remix)”
027. Mike Posner “Cooler Than Me (Gigamesh Remix)”
028. DJ Zinc “Wile Out”
029. Honorebel & Pitbull “Now You See It (Afrojack Remix)”
030. Crookers & Kelis “No Security (Bart B More Remix)”
031. Laidback Luke & Lee Mortimer “Blau (LA Riots Remix)”
032. Passion Pit “Little Secrets (Jack Beats Remix)”
033. Avicii “My Feeling For You”
034. Simian Mobile Disco “Cruel Intentions (Joker Remix)”
035. Rusko “Da Cali Anthem”
036. Donnis “Gone” (DJ Craze Remix)”
037. Drake “Houstatlantavegas (Stefan Ponce Remix)”
038. KP & Envy “Swing My Way (Solly Remix)”
039. Kid Sister “Right Hand Hi (Caspa Remix)”
040. Busta Rhymes “World Go Round (Good Life Mike Remix)
041. Miami Horror “Don’t Be On With Her (Treasure Fingers Remix)”
042. Luciana “I Like That (Meterhead Remix)”
043. Mick Boogie & Talib Kweli “Want You (William Russell Remix)”
044. Esser & Rye Rye “Bang It Out (Giovanny Remix)”
045. Ali Love “Diminshing Returns (Eli Escobar Remix)”
046. The Kickdrums “Fading In And Out (Enrico De Luca Remix)”
047. Royksopp “The Girl And The Robot (Jean Elan Remix)”
048. AutoErotique “Gladiator (Steve Aoki/DJ AM Remix)”
049. Colin Munroe “Piano Lessons (Felix Cartal Remix)”
050. Designer Drugs “Drop Down”
051. DJ Eleven “Anson Danza”
052. Snoop Dogg “I Wanna Rock”
053. Mike Posner “Outroduction”

Listen to it online or download it here.

Graffiti Markup Language

8 Jan

GML = Graffiti Markup Language from Evan Roth on Vimeo.

Awhile back my good friend @kapuaonalani send me a link to Evan Roth’s latest project, Graffiti Analysis.

Graffiti Analysis is an extensive ongoing study into the motion of graffiti. Custom software designed for graffiti writers creates visualizations of the often unseen motion involved in the creation of a tag. Motion data is recorded, analyzed and archived in a free and open database.

That last sentence is really the most interesting. A new format has been created to record and store the motion data. This new format is called Graffiti Markup Language (GML) and has so far been used for some other projects by Roth and his pals over at the Graffiti Research Lab. The largest repository of this data is at http://000000book.com/ (that’s the hex code for “black”book). GML is the results of collaborative efforts between computer hackers and graffiti writers.

Graffiti writers are invited to capture and share their own tags, and computer programmers are invited to create new applications and visualizations of the resulting data. The project aims to bring together two seemingly disparate communities that share an interest hacking systems, whether found in code or in the city.

Graffiti Analysis iPhone App Screenshot
Graffiti Analysis iPhone App Screenshot
Graffiti Analysis iPhone App Screenshot

Developers can use GML to prove the visiualization data for their own tools. They can also capture their own data and share it with the rest of the community. So far some really cool applications have been made including EyeWriter, DustTag, L.A.S.E.R. and Graffiti Analysis. Each of the them capturing their movements from a different medium (eyes, finger, laser pointer and a marker, respectively).


Movements captured from my iPhone and uploaded to the Blackbook database.

GML captures x,y and time data and can be drawn using Javascript (HTML 5), Flash, Processing, C++ (OpenFrameworks). For more technical information and the API documentation, you can go here.

Ross Racine

5 Jan

Artist Ross Racine is an artist who does freehand drawings of fictional, planned communities from an aerial perspective. I like his work because all of the pieces are photo-real yet contain patterns and an level of symmetry that wouldn’t be found in the real world.

I am reminded of various data visualization techniques when I see Racine’s execution of the work and think about each item being a household with living, breathing families.

Investigating the relation between design and actual lived experience, the works subvert the apparent rationality of urban design, exposing conflicts that lie beneath the surface. These digital drawings are a comment on the fears as well as the dreams of suburban culture.

You can see more of his work and get info about the artist here.

Burton Web Presents

22 Dec

I just bolted up out of my office chair and ran 6 blocks, down crowded Manhattan streets, to a store I rarely go to for a brand whose products I’ve never owned. I did this all because a recent online campaign and if that is not successful marketing, then I’m not sure what is.

Burton WebPresents

Last week Burton Snowboards launched an interesting social campaign. For 10 days straight they will broadcast 24 hours a day from their Vermont headquarters. The hook is that randomly, over the web-cast, they will be giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizes.

Burton WebPresents

Come for the webcast, but stay for the prizes. Giveaways will range from t-shirts and stickers to custom Series 13 boards, season passes, shopping sprees, and special trips—this is one webcast that you won’t want to miss.

From prizes, team interviews, and haircuts, to challenges ranging from sending faxes and searching your local shop for hidden treasure, the entire webcast is sure to insight a riot. The exact details concerning size and scale of giveaways and promotions are still secret at this point, but all clues lead to big doings.

What I find successful about this marketing campaign is the level of activity that the consumers are participating in. I found out about it because my friend, psychosaif had been following them on twitter for the past 3 days. The moment they announced the location of the NYC giveaway he instant messaged me and told me what to do and where to go. After running to the store (and finding out I was the 2nd person) I got back to the office and looked them up on twitter.

Burton is maintaining conversations with consumer all across the US/CA in real time. Winners of the contests are interviewed via the web cam and broadcast to all of the viewers. Chat rooms, available on their website, are full of consumers talking about the interviews and begging for clues to the next giveaway. The dedication of their fan-base is astounding. Whatever the total cost of the giveaways, having your target audience be glued to your website 24/7 and still remain captivated is priceless.

The Burton Web Presents ends on December 25, so check it out while you can.

Turn any webcam into 3D Scanner

15 Dec

The Cambridge University Engineering Department developed ProForma. ProFORMA (which stands for ‘Probabilistic Feature-based On-line Rapid Model Acquisition’) turns any ordinary webcam into a powerful 3D scanning tool.

3D models easily with your webcam

Users can rotate an object in front of the camera and have it construct a 3D model. This reconstruction is displayed in real-time to the user so that they can make adjustments and focus on trouble spots.

3D models easily with your webcam

Off-line model reconstruction relies on an image collection phase and a slow reconstruction phase, requiring a long time to verify a model obtained from an image sequence is acceptable. We propose a new model acquisition system, called ProFORMA, which generates a 3D model on-line as the input sequence is being collected. As the user rotates the object in front of a stationary camera, a partial model is reconstructed and displayed to the user to assist view planning. The model is also used by the system to robustly track the pose of the object. Models are rapidly produced through a Delaunay tetrahedralisation of points obtained from on-line structure from motion estimation, followed by a probabilistic tetrahedron carving step to obtain a textured surface mesh of the object.

Read the academic paper here: http://mi.eng.cam.ac.uk/~qp202/my_papers/BMVC09/

Graffiti Over Time

8 Dec

Wooster Collective is always a huge source of inspiration for me. While my personal tastes tend to steer away from high concept street art, there are always gems to be found. One such gem is this post about the evolution of graffiti on a wall outside the home of Serge Gainsbourg.

Serge Gainsbourg – animation des graffitis sur 5 ans du mur rue de Verneuil from Arnaud Jourdain on Vimeo.

Using After Effects and Lightwave 3D, animator Arnaud Jourdain composited thousands of photos taken over a 5 year period into a beautiful animation showcasing the evolution of the art on the wall over time.

Graffiti Archeology

The moment I saw this piece I was reminded of another similar undertaking, Graffiti Archeology, a project of Cassidy Curtis that also attempts to capture the evolution of graffiti. Curtis describes his project as:

Graffiti Archaeology is a project devoted to the study of graffiti-covered walls as they change over time. The core of the project is a timelapse collage, made of photos of graffiti taken at the same location by many different photographers over a span of several years. The photos were taken in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other cities, over a timespan from the late 1990′s to the present.

While both of these projects share a similar concept, they are unique in execution and purpose. Jourdain’s execution is his artistic interpretation of the wall. His camera movements and angles do not showcase each individual art piece in the way that Curtis does. Graffiti Archeology is more of an academic approach to cataloging the art pieces, though his shapes and cropping are very graffiti inspired (especially for the 90s!). I think that using motion, rather than clicking through images creates a more seamless experience of time lapse, but the dramatic camera movements adds personality to the artwork that might not have been there previously.

Both projects are fantastic ideas and are definitely worth checking out.

Gordon Gartrell Radio

3 Dec

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Usually when I write a music post I link to a specific mix I like that people can download. I listen to a wide variety of music and I try to reflect that in my posts and the variety of mixes I link. Today I’m posting not to a specific mix but about a podcast that I enjoy. Lots and lots of great music is archived on here and new shows are consistently coming out. Rather than downloading a specific mix, if you subscribe to this podcast you’ll get new, fresh music to listen to and download indefinitely.

Gordon Gartrell Radio

Gordon Gartrell Radio is the semi-demi-quasi-almost bi-weekly radio show hosted by MC/singer Phonte (of Little Brother/Foreign Exchange) and DJ/music collector/tastemaker extraordinaire Brainchild.

DJ Brainchild provides a sophisticated mix of hip-hop, soul, R&B, house and downtempo, while Phonte waxes poetic about relationships, current events, and just about everything else in between. The radio show, as any Cosby Show aficionado can tell you, gets its name from a fictional designer taken from this episode. One of the best episodes of all time.

While I might not always agree with Phonte’s stance on politics and issues, he is usually clever and humorous with his commentary. DJ Brainchild consistently plays a good mix of new and old jams, from all sorts of music genres with a R&B/hip-hop lean. Each podcast is also tagged with the artists that are played, which makes looking up an artist that you’ve never heard before easy. I credit this podcast for introducing me to a slew of new artists that I can’t get enough of now, but have never heard anywhere else.

Check out the show here.