Innovation

Designing in 3D. Helen Yentus Book Cover for “On Such a Full Sea”.

One thing I love about being a designer is the endless creative possibilities that emerging technologies provide. Case in point, Helen Yentus cover design for the limited edition run of  Chang-rae Lee’s new novel, On Such a Full Sea for Riverhead Books.

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Working with MakerBot and their 3D printing technology Yentus designed and developed a book cover that captures the futuristic setting of the novel. The slip cover was designed using the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, and video below shows the collaborative process that took place between Yentus, MakerBot, and the author to produce the final result. After watching the video, I’m now thinking of all sorts of new and unique ways to use 3D printing. If you want your own copy of On Such a Full Sea, you can order it here.

Henry Wang and Chris Curro Reinvent the Cardboard Box.

This is probably old news, although I just came across this today. I say old news because the YouTube video already has 3.5 million views, none the less this is a great idea from two students at Cooper Union’s Invention Factory. The premise is quite simple, build a better shipping box that uses less paper, recycles easier, and can be assembled and shipped without tape. The video below shows it in action. Deceptively simple, simply ingenious. I hope these two land their patent, license this out to USPS, FedEx, and UPS, and get rich so they can invent more stuff.

Razorfish Emerging Experiences’ “Flight Deck” for SFO.

Last week I was traveling through San Francisco International airport so I had the privilege of seeing this first hand. It’s pretty amazing in person and the photos do not do it justice. Razorfish has created an immersive experience that tries to recapture the golden age of travel, before jetliners became the Greyhound busses of the skies.

There are three total components to the entire experience; an interactive and real time large scale projection, the multi-touch kiosks, and the mobile  component. “Flight Deck” Featuring massive digital displays customers can see real-time flight information and updates, and interact with 6 touchscreen kiosks that feature interactive content about the San Francisco bay area, and the destinations the airport serves world wide.The entire service is connected to a mobile service allowing travelers to be connected even on the go.

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While the primary experience lives at Terminal 3, with the projected visualization functioning as a beacon calling on all SFO guests to contribute to the global SFO travel story, the total experience extends beyond SFO in the end. If you are traveling through San Francisco and have the time, I highly recommend stoping by to see this. For more info on Flight Deck, click here.

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Frameri Plans to Change Your Eyeglasses Experience.

As a designer that wears glasses I have always liked the idea of being able to switch my frames out depending on my mood. I have never understood why manufacturers and designers of frames have never done a modular design that allows you to quickly and easily update your frames. Actually I do get it, frames are expensive and they’d prefer you to spend loads of money on multiple pairs. That doesn’t mean I have to like the idea, or the business model.

Frameri is a start up that launched on indigogo earlier this week that plans to stand the whole glasses industry on it’s head. Their concept is simple, one set of lenses, many frames, loads of looks. They havecreated he world’s first interchangeable prescription frame and lens system. Based on the video below it looks like they have a winning idea, and one that could be just as lucrative as the current eyeglasses world. Frameri knows all too well how limiting one single pair of glasses can be to an ever evolving wardrobe, so they decided to give us options. The frames are hand made in Italy from Zyl acetates, and will be offered in a variety of colors, styles and patterns. In just 3 days, they have raised just under $18,000 of their $30,000 goal. Based on that I think Frameri is going to be a success.

Mike Friton, The Innovator.

It’s Monday, and as I wait for the next snowstorm that is going to dump two years worth of snow on Kansas City in 24 hours, I need a little inspirational pick me up. The video below from  is a 5 minute documentary about Mike Friton, freelance shoe designer and innovator. Founding member of Nike’s “Innovation Kitchen”.

 

The reason I am posting this is Mike’s story is great. What he says in the short film should inspire anyone to be more creative, innovative and push the boundaries of their craft. The film itself is edited so well with cuts hitting on audio beats that help set up a visual rhythm that compliments the story so well. Nice camera work, and audio design help make the film the great little piece that it is.

Director: Tristan Stoch
Director of Photography: Sean Grasso
Sound: David Panton

Music by Kevin MaCleod

Autodesk 123D Creature.

God I love living in an age when advances in technology are completely reshaping the way we create. As little as five years ago people would have laughed if you had told them you were going to create a 3D model on a hand held computer. They would have laughed more if you told them you were going to print a physical 3D object from the same device. Thanks to Autodesk you can actually do this.

I am completely blown away by 123 Creature, and just how powerful this tool is. Seriously, this software is pretty damn amazing. The results it produces are very good, and the fact that you can send your creations to a 3D printer… amazing.

“Now, for the first time, 123D Creature makes it easy for anyone to create a sophisticated creature on an iPad, and then have a 3D print delivered to their doorstep with a few swipes of their finger,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products at Autodesk. “With our 123D family of apps, we strive to put powerful 3D technology into the hands of anyone who wants to be creative, and we look forward to seeing the original creatures people will create and share with the community.”

Going Analog with My new/Old Olympus OM-2.

A couple of weeks ago I bought an Olympus OM 2, and slew of lenses on eBay for less than 200 dollars. I bought the camera kit for a couple of reasons. First the lens selection, while all manual was pretty outstanding. Second, those lenses will work on my OMD EM-5 with an adapter, and I’ve been interested fin trying that for sometime. Third, the OM2 was a top of the line 35mm camera in its day back in the mid 1970’s. Then there was the design and nostalgia thing pulling at my heart.

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This camera really is a beautiful piece of design and innovation. The OM2, like the all manual OM1 featured a shutter setting ring right behind the lens mount. This allows the photographer to focus, set the f-stop, and shutter speed with one hand. At the time, this was the only camera on the market that allowed you to do that. Compared to my 2012 OMD, this camera is a tank, but in 1975 it was small, and light compared to most other models.

After getting the camera late last week I installed new batteries, bought some film, and did some test shooting to make sure everything works. The camera and lenses look almost mint for something that is 37 years old. That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues with the shutter, or seals, or any number of things that can leak light or hose your analog experience. I haven’t gotten my film back yet, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. While shooting with the OM2 I was struck by how quiet the experience was. Not the sound of the camera, but the experience.

The OM2 like so many cameras of the day, doesn’t offer the instant tech feedback that even the simplest of digital cameras give you. When you look through the viewfinder all you see is the split focus ring, and rudimentary light meter. Your in focus or not. Your exposure is right or not. ISO is set by the film you installed, and you can’t change it. By using a camera that has none of the digital feedback, no histogram, levels, exposure compensation, iso settings etc. my shooting experience became very quiet and focused. I wasn’t interrupted by all the instant feedback the LED screen on my OMD offers. Instead I focused more, got in the zone, and hopefully produced some decent images.

After using it for a week now, I probably won’t be dropping my digital cameras anytime soon. The OM2 is a blast to shoot with, and the lenses it came with are great. But, 37 years of ever improving technology has me sold on digital imaging. I’m in love with the OMD and what it can do. I’m sure I’ll use the OM2. I know I’ll use the lenses. I probably won’t use them as my daily gear though.