Autobahn by Kraftwerk on Grooveshark

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

words for motion pictures / words for picture motion

Looking at John Pavlus‘ post, hashtaged #WesAlgorithm, as in Wes Anderson, I’m reminded how putting the camera motion into words helps me see it better. Especially with this shot, it’s really the movement of one person through the scene. Putting the non-word-stuff into word-stuff — “wide/medium wide, wobbly whip pan 90°/whip back, dolly parallel to screen plane” — helps me improve non-wordstuff storytelling — video.

How crucial is putting things into words to understand them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Research Process / Browsing History Map

For the Library Test Kitchen, the assignment this week was to document your research process.  As it only seemed fair in a way, I did the homework too.  As large swathes of my research happened online, I wondered how I could map that.  How do I capture the path I’ve been on.

I saw evidence of this anonymous process in Loeb Library at Harvard, in the loose stuff left around on the tables. The books taken off the shelves, but not taken out. Especially when there’s a stack of them, all presumably pulled by the same person.  At times, they begin to look like cairns along individual research paths.

What is the virtual corollary? Could online searching/browsing be sharable?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If I were getting *into* books

If I were setting out to evolve the browsing experience inside a book, I’d start with this foundation…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Soft Sketches

Prior to the Library Test Kitchen starting, I was trying to think of projects — some examples of what you could do in this seminar. More like provocations than anything else.

The earliest one that stuck as a project in this context was the cellphone booth. I blogged the stub idea a couple months back. I found myself in the library getting calls, and I’d have to leave and go upstairs and outside to take it. No fun. So began thinking how this undesirable behavior could be comfortably absorbed by the library itself.

This was the initial sketch of library cellphone boothsSo I did a cushion model as an iterationBack in that original "context"

The above was the orignal provocation used to describe the seminar.  I’ve been waiting for some time to pursue it, and found a little last night.  I made a soft sketch with some cotton cloth, and a nice old sewing machine that’s served me well for years and years.

So I did a cushion model as an iteration


The thinking with the soft structure was that when located inside, the booth doesn’t have all the environmental forces weighing on it.  It can lean on the library for the stiff envelope.  So then it became primarily about acoustic dampening.  Fabric seemed a place to start.

However, scaling this fabrication style doesn’t scale easily.  I huge zipper?  Sewing burlier fabrics?  Complexity.  But it does suggest a direction.

Back in that original "context"

Notes to elaborate on/designed out:

Is it a little too private?

How do you get people to not take calls for too long?  Or know if someone’s waiting?

Could/should there be windows?


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I have not been able to shake this image

Doug Wheeler, “DW 68 VEN MCASD 11” (1968-2011)", photo: Doug Gates/Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Read More Here


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Explainer Articles: stories that sit outside of time

Mandy Brown has a great piece in Contents #1 titled Babies and the Bathwater.

It’s about “explainer articles”, stories from news outlets that are maintained and updated so they sit outside the flow of a story.  It’s a persistant on-ramp to a topic, like Wikipedia, but created by a news outlet.

This seems like a really interesting direction.  I’d love to see primers on rapidly changing topics or concepts, perhaps not just news, take this form.

As an example, Mother Jones has taken to publishing explainer articles that, well, explain a particular news story; the articles are continuously updated while the story progresses—so that a reader can enter at any point in the traditional news cycle and still understand what’s going on. The articles are crudely integrated—they don’t neatly fit into the editorial or design systems in place around them—but their value to the reader even in this early form is clear.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What would github for graphics look like?

Go ahead, take it! A recent uncompressed mockup. Save and open in Adobe Fireworks for the complete layers, etc.

Github is great for code. It’s shared, tweaked, evolving into libraries and projects.  The contributors have embraced open.  What would a github for graphics and media production look like?  A place where designers would share all their raw files and catalog their process.

Github works because git is so useful.  A version of git could be optimized for media and it’d probably be useful (if not already done), as version control/naming conventions for media files often leave much to be desired.

Then there’s the social dimension.  I know there’s dribbble (which I have no experience with). But I don’t believe people are sharing the full files, the unflattened, fully layered stuff.  What would an open platform to deposit, host and fork graphics look like?  Could be still images, eg photoshop .psd’s, illustrator .ai files, or final cut for motion, etc.

Stuff would be made openly available, tracked, forked, pulled.  Etc.

Would a large population of designers be willing to fully embrace open sourcing their work?  Would I even be?

Instead of  ”show and tell”, “show and take”?


**just read about this, funny how ideas are in the air….

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Make online reading easier, more “universal”

Reading on the internet is hard.  I’m not that great at it.  The distance between my eyes and the screen is several inches greater than the distance between my eyes and a printed page.

As a workaround, a way to make it easier to read online, I tend to highlight the section I’m currently reading with a mouse click-and-drag.  This helps me keep my place and pull forward the relevant section.


Here’s what it looks like on a dark background…:

There must be a way we could make this a little smoother, more effective — universal.  Perhaps it could locally magnify the text?

(Haven’t scoured the web for this reading aid yet).


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Learning to write how Hunter S. Thompson did

I was combing through some Hunter S. Thompson videos last week and came across this segment  (up to 9:45)  that really struck me.  That written text is like sheet music.  And it can be “performed” not only by reading to yourself or aloud, but by typing it out as well.

I’m definitely a learn-from-experience type of person.  This seemed like such a good idea.  I tried to get myself to do it, but I couldn’t.   I didn’t have the discipline to just sit myself down and type out a book that I loved.

I was wondering if making some sort of fun web app would get me over the hump to do it. Was thinking:

  1. Modify a typing program so you can insert preferred text
  2. Show five or ten words ahead of where you are
  3. You chase down the sentence
  4. Perhaps you could also have an accuracy slider, so that, say, you don’t need to type in the grammar if you don’t want to.  Or multiple spelling errors are acceptable  (instead of just a few)….


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment