Three iPhone apps for the toolbox


Here are three iPhone apps specifically of use to environments designers:

The $0.99 Converter lets you quickly convert metric to Imperial, and vice versa. The $1.99 Dimensions gives you a series of on-screen measuring devices, like a ruler, tape measure, calipers, and a level. Lastly, the more full-featured $9.99 Mark on Call lets you lay out floorplans, measure distances, and handily uses the iPhone’s camera to let you photograph a texture/pattern that you can “skin” objects with on-screen.


Local Motors Chicago design comp, and a rendering vid


Results are in for the latest Local Motors design competition, this one Chicago-themed. Need some inspiration to convince you to enter the next one? Check out this Photoshop speedpainting job, by Luciano Bove. We like watching rendering footage because you can see people’s techniques; observe how Bove continually mirror-flips the canvas, presumably to make it easier to draw curves with whichever his dominant hand is.


GarageBand rocks more with less

I still remember my first electric guitar. I’d plug that shiny black Strat knockoff into my little red single-channel amp, crank that sucker to eleven, and let her rip. Jamming along with songs on the radio or my favorite tapes and CDs was fun, but it wasn’t long before I was disappointed with the sounds I got out of that amp.

For the next decade, I battled an affliction that plagues many hobbyists known as G.A.S. — Gear Acquisition Syndrome — a compulsive pursuit of the shiny brand new. Amps, guitars, pedals, effects boards, speaker cabinets. I wanted anything that I thought might help me find that perfect tone to let me rip like Slash or groove like Stone. I don’t even dare to think about how much time and money I must have spent buying all that stuff, lugging it around and storing it over all those years.

Thankfully, most of that stuff is gone now. When I record at home, I use Apple’s Logic Studio which does a reasonable job of replacing all of that equipment I bought, sold, and lost over the years. It’s a pro software bundle at an amateur price, though there’s definitely a learning curve. Logic Studio may be for the advanced user, but Apple hasn’t forgotten about the beginners.

By now, most Mac users know about GarageBand. Apple has included it as standard software on every new Mac since 2004, and each year it gets better. The new iLife ‘09 suite updates GarageBand with several exciting new features that will help beginner, and even advanced, guitarists keep their hobby clutter-free.

Apple added more guitar sounds and effects, and an intuitive new interface that lets you visually tweak your “rig” without the cost and clutter of buying tons of equipment. Add pedals or switch out entire amps with a click of the mouse.

“Basic Lessons” help you learn new songs at your own pace, complete with a backing band, while “Artist Lessons” let you learn your favorites from the original artist. Pretty cool.


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alt= //ppi live in LA and the number one excuse I hear (and claim myself) for not riding bikes more often is that it’s darn dangerous with our traffic. This vest not only increases visibility it also displays the speed of the rider so that cars can have a better sense of how to drive in cooperation with the cyclist. Other uses have been suggested, such as using it in sporting events to provide spectators with accurate speed measurements of athletes. Perfect for futbol, Football, and track and field. The a href= isn’t available yet but its day is //p

Small speaker that seems to float


They look like microphones, but they’re actually speakers: The Music Balloon is a USB-chargeable portable speaker that plugs into any headphone jack. We like the minimal form-follows-function factor. And though this playful take on speakers may look like a toy, they’ll run you $76.

via geek alerts



Deidre and I both agree that there are moments on this blog that we wish we could freeze and admire for a while. Some of my favourite posts have just looked so pretty, or they had lovely flow from one to the next, or they were personally important (such as this week’s announcement of UPPERCASE magazine.) However, the attraction and strength of a blog is its steady stream of updates: it lives in the moment. And so we’ll continue to splash inspirations on these scrolling, virtual pages.

Within the magazine, I aspire to create moments of perfection, preserved in print. Each issue will be a beautiful object, representing months of heartfelt, earnest work. We hope that our magazine will become a tangible part of your lives.

And now, here’s some inspiration for this Thursday morning:

Michael Bierut (Design Observer) has been capturing moments of thought part of his daily routine: sketching ideas and taking notes faithfully since 1982. “Together, these well-worn books create a history of my working life that spans three decades.”

Satilde;o Paulo Fashion Week Winter 2009 Highlights

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Brasileirismos, or Brazil-isms, is admittedly a redundant theme for the already distinctly Brazilian collections at the Winter 2009 edition of São Paulo Fashion Week, which ended last Friday. The biggest change, compared to past seasons, was the massive influx of international journalists flown in (including our own Ami Kealoha and Greg Mitnick; video forthcoming) to provide coverage of an event whose organizers are pushing for it to stay on the fashion map.

2nd Floor was strong all around (above). Taking inspiration from the 40’s and 50’s era of aviation, the result as a romantic collection of skirts with plane appliques, bomber jackets and schoolboy looks.

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Do Estilista bounced back to form after last season’s fantasy-fueled outfits. This year designer Marcelo Sommer used prints taken off tiles and dishrags from Holland (above).

The Cavalera show took on a mysticism and folklorism inspired by an annual festival that takes place on the Brazilian Amazonian island of Paratins. Animal prints appeared among colorful, saturated pieces (below left).

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Oestudio came through again with their expected element of surprise, integrating social commentary into fashion. This year they seemed to criticize society’s tendency to turn a blind eye to serious issues (above right).

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Always intriguing and fascinating, Osklen‘s collection used cotton sweatsuit material to create rather conceptual pieces. Playing with volume and unexpected pinnings created interesting silhouettes. Proving that function need not come at the cost of appeal, I especially enjoyed their rubber items (above).

Also on Cool Hunting SPFW Summer 2009 and SPFW Winter 2008.

Lucy Activewear is seeking a Graphic Designer in Oregon


Graphic Designer
lucy activewear

Portland, Oregon

Lead all graphic design efforts, working under the direction of the Creative Director. In close coordination with the Marketing, Merchandising & Apparel Design teams, create a cohesive branding message. Direct graphics and visuals, as they relate to stores, marketing collateral, and lucy label product.

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The best design jobs and portfolios hang out at Coroflot.


New Amsterdam Plein Pavilion by UNStudio


Amsterdam architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio has designed a pavilion for The Battery park in New York City, USA. (more…)

Crisis Shelf

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alt= //pppThis shelf from a href=;nelson/a is intended as a reminder to us of the times we’re living in. I’m not sure I understand completely what that reminder is supposed to be of but I think it’s pretty useful for those of us who don’t have enough interesting things to put on the shelves. The Crisis Shelf provides some starter bits for you. |via a href=|br //p/p