Thursday, April 24, 2008

French Toast Kabobs...

By Martha Stewart! What a fun little idea. Now what else can I kabob... waffles, eggs benedict, smores... O the possibilities. found via swissmiss.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pencil Sticks

Pencil sticks, by David Asher Wilson. Another simple product with a slightly clever take on the way people use and re-purpose objects. I don't think these need to be produced, in fact I rather they not, I do enjoy the idea. It's good that these things get out there as ideas, to share, so we can collectively move on to the next [fun] idea. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Chalkboard by Mary & Matt. I enjoy the play on words, inspires me to do my own design/poetry. 

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Soundball by Alek Stevens. I am continually impressed and awed by interactive objects such as this that encourage a playful attitude in users. I enjoy the simple rules it follows to create more interesting patterns of experience.

Play With Your Food

This cute plate design, by Jamie Wieck, made me smile. (On a food critique, I'm not a fan of the amount of sauce needed to make the smile appear. The concept is still fun though, I want to see the next step).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Google Earth + Google Maps

Google Earth is by no means a trend. The crazy things it affords are interesting and inspirational. 

Buying a tree and watching it grow at My Baby Tree.

Map Channels Hotel Directory searches for hotels for you, and shows you the location on google maps.

Using Google Earth to track Fair Trade Produce.

Using Google Maps to tell stories.

More as I come across them...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mind Maps

[image via]

There is an increasing amount of literature and how-to's going about on how to create effective mind maps. This thought was triggered by this article at Wisebread. I am reminded of a friend in business school who brought mind maps to my attention [though I can't remember who his inspiration was, will post it here once I find out, it might be Tony Buzan though].

Monday, April 7, 2008

Percy Schmeiser

On March 19, 2008, Monsanto settled with Saskatchewan Farmer, Percy Schmeiser [pictured above], for their contamination of his farm with their Round Up Ready Canola [found via Deconstructing Dinner].

What does this mean and why is it important? Monsanto is a large multinational corporation that is the leader in genetically engineered seeds. The US Environmental Agency has labeled Monsanto as a "potentially responsible party" for more than 56 Superfund Sites in the US. 

Monsanto has been very careful to control their seeds and how they are handled by farmers around the world. One argument against genetically modified crops is that there can be cross pollination between crops [ie some genetically modified crops might cross pollinate with the organic crops next door, negating the organic status of the crop]. This settlement with Percy by Monsanto is a step in linking liability of contamination to Monsanto.

From what I know so far, I believe companies like Monsanto threaten sustainability, by threatening small farmers, local community based farming, and contamination of organic farming. Their continued efforts towards genetic modification [with properties like terminator seeds] and seed patents are impediments to larger efforts towards a sounder ecologically responsible society.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Food as Creative Inspiration

Marilyn Friedman serves gourmet foods to simulate writing and creativity. She is founder of Writing Pad, which offers classes on writing [text via KCRW Good Food]. I love the idea of using food as a way to break the ice. The Good Food article talks about how the food can stimulate ones muse. And its in Silverlake, I should go.

Awareness Test

I'm a bicyclist, who's been hit twice, so I naturally appreciate the content and message. Once you see it, its always there.

Candy Fab

The Candy Fab Project is an off shoot of Evil Scientist Laboratories. In trying to find a low cost rapid prototyping method, they designed and built a 3D Printer, that uses sugar!!! They've had so much inquiry into it, that the Evil Scientist decided they needed to start a separate page for the printer. Best of all, they're inviting people to sign up and be part of their experiment. Which means they'll be offering the plans for you to make your own printer for free! I've already signed up. They say the candy isn't edible yet, the potential for sculptural food is there though. I wonder if you could layer ingredients to create odd recipes. As an industrial designer, I could print out model mock-ups and eat them for lunch when the presentation is over. This post ends here while I geek out.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wii Hack: Virtual Display

Someone in my Illumination class turned me onto  Johnny Lee. He is a genius, with fantastic ideas that are demonstrated through effective working prototypes and clear scenario videos.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Buzz Words: Blank Thinking

Disruptive Thinking - is going against the grain, and challenging the flow of thought. So, how does this differ from "playing devil's advocate?" Devil's advocate is challenging a particular idea, while disruptive thinking is more about timing, than a particular topic.

Systems Thinking - is thinking about how the interactions between multiple components work together. It is part of a holistic approach to problem solving. 

Design Think - is the creative process that designers use to come up with their crazy ideas. Where a regular person might see bubble gum and think about chewing, a design thinker will see a way to hold his pants up when he forgot his belt at home or a patch for a run in the stockings. This is pretty much what Macguyver did on a daily basis.

Adaptive Thinking - is teaching clients how to be creative, and use the design process.

assistance credits go to audrey

So, what do we do with this?

Innovation Not So Innovative

This image clip is from BusinessWeek Online's Innovation and Design section. What's so innovative about the Saab, I'm not seeing it. Sleek? Nothing here that other car companies haven't done a thousand times before. Car companies continue to be slow moving in design exploration. Sure, they have myriads of concept cars at various auto shows... that never get made. I'd rather have a bright green city thank you very much.