Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Robitussin, Strepsils, and National Geographic?

So, being sick stinks and I've been sick for the past 4 days. The one good thing about it though is getting to watch as many reruns on TV as I please without getting any grief about it. One of the reruns I caught the other day on the National Geographic Channel was on a project called Scrap House. It's an old project from 2005's Earth Day but I thought it worth mentioning because it brings up a lot of important issues which still loom over our heads today -- reusing our existing resources (like TrunkSale!). Every bit of the house was made from scrap found at the dump or donated by builders. Some of the more interesting bits include a traffic lens chandelier, door floor, and phone books used for insulation and acoustics. Here's a great video on the project.

Aside from the project itself, the National Geographic documentary also brought to light some interesting social dynamics. There were the designers and the contractors and everyone in between. Everything was strained from the get go. There was a lack of communication but most of all, respect between the designers and the contractors. As a designer, I wonder if we will ever be able to break the stereotypes and biases create chasms between different working classes.

Old street signs and scrap sheeting make up the exterior panels of the house.

The traffic light chandelier from above with a leather scrap floor below.

The door floor filled with concrete and the phone book wall.

Glass and metal sheeting donated by Building REsource.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Geo-Bio & Memory Bank

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After my entry on We Tell Stories, I wanted to see how I could use Google Maps in a new way. (I don't know if this is actually new or not but it's new for me ;) So, I talked to my friend Nathan (who gets cred for the name 'Geo-Biography') and decided to make a map of my life. As I placed the markers on the map, I realized that some of the most important markers were not placed to mark chronological milestones but ones revolving around fond memories. Since I have the memory of a small bat, I decided to recruit some friends to help turn my map into a memory bank. (If you have any memories to add, just message me and I'll add you as a collaborator.)

My hope is that not only can Google Maps be used to tell stories, it may also become the next social networking tool. If you start your Geo-Bios and layer them we may find that at one point in our lives we were in the same city or lived across the street from one another. Mine is still evolving but I wanted to post it up there just to inspire some other thoughts.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

La La Land Art Land

Looking for inspiration in La La Land? For Your Art is a neato site dedicated to the LA art scene. It includes a downloadable pdf map of all of the art venues (galleries, museums, schools, etc) broken down by neighborhood.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Redefining a Medium

Ever look at the variety of internet tools we have -- Google, Picasa, Facebook, Blogger, etc, etc -- and wonder how else we could apply them? Well, there's a great project being initiated by Penguin Books called We Tell Stories. They have asked 6 authors to write 6 short digital fictions. Each of the authors uses the internet to redefine classic stories and more importantly the medium of 'The Book.' For example, the first is called The 21 Steps by Charles Cumming and is a story based on the classic The 39 Steps by John Buchan. It's told entirely using Google Maps! The bubbles and landmark function are used to show the text of the work in direct association with a specific location (here's an interview with Cumming on Cool Hunting).

It really makes you think about all of the uses that can be applied to the various internet tools at our very fingertips. In fact, I'm going to engage in some medium redefinition right now!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sharing the Knowledge

I just stumbled across Slideshare and it's incredible. It's like flickr for presentations and covers a huge range of topics from design to drunken philosophy. You can view slide shows and even download the files. Knowledge sharing at its best! Just check it out and love it.

Feast for the Eyes

[continuing themes from our India trip 2008, here are some photos that don't fit into any other category or theme other than 'beautiful.' enjoy.]

Great colors and textures of this beautifully tattered and worn building facade.

The misty woods of Kumily.

Colors everywhere. Why don't we wear more colors?

The juxtaposition of the ancient architecture and the fluorescent lights above is intriguing.

From the houseboat we rented in Allepey, it's hard to tell the sky from the river water and the trees from the floating plants.

Just one of the many Ganesh's we saw during our trip.

The view from the river boat at Periyar wildlife sanctuary. So vivid and crisp.

I had to add this one! From virtual feast to actual feast...

Entrepreneurship + Push Carts = Youthepreneurship?

Ok, the name needs a little help, but this is a pretty great collaboration between the National Library of Singapore and Republic Polytechnic here in Singapore. I happened upon it as I stumbled out of the library with Craig the other night and noticed a bunch of pushcarts in the middle of the library plaza. I checked out the URL when I got home and found out that it's a program that teaches students the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and outfits them with some basic business management skills. Before you know it, they have the chance to rent a pushcart for only 20$ a day. (Actually, that's kind of pricey if all you happen to be selling are 50 cent hair pins or something...hmm.) Anyhoo, the aspect of the pushcarts is fun. I wish that Paseo would do something useful with theirs for a change. Perhaps there needs to be a little collab between Art Center and Paseo? nudge nudge (not sure who I'm nudging here, but I'm nudging all the same).