Studies in Mesh/net

Iggy’s Revenge

Norman Cook’s latest venture, Brighton Port Authority, has Iggy Pop providing guest vocals on the track, He’s Frank. Directed by Nick Ball at Draw Pictures, the promo for the song features a well-worn Iggy puppet, in his traditional “top off” mode. The twist is that as the track progresses Iggy begins to turn on his “bunraku” puppet masters. But what’s got Iggy so annoyed? Maybe he’s finally seen those Swiftcover ads he did not so long ago…

Watch the promo at Draw Pictures’ site, here.

Director: Nick Ball. Producer: Camila Klich. Production Company: Draw Pictures. DoP: Daniel Bronks. Editor: Marek Budzynski. Grade: Kenny Gibb.

Wicked problems


The Rotman School of Management dedicates its winter issue (pdf) to wicked problems, a concept not unknown to futuregazers. Jeff Conklin of the CogNexus Institute once characterized wicked problems as follows:

The problem is not understood until after formulation of a solution.
Stakeholders have radically different world views and different frames for understanding the problem.
Constraints and resources to solve the problem change over time.
The problem is never solved.


Rose Art Museum Surprises All By Closing Doors, Planning to Sell Off Its Entire Collection


As the museum world continues to struggle to keep afloat with lower attendance and much fewer endowments, we’ve seen the idea of selling pieces from collections become a more appealing idea within museum administrations, much to the disdain of many. But sometimes the whole thing happens much more quickly than just flirting with the idea or selling off a piece here and there for a little extra working capital. Such is the case at Brandeis University‘s Rose Art Museum who surprised nearly everyone by suddenly deciding to close their doors and sell off their entire collection immediately. The university’s president and its trustees were the only ones who knew about the closure and sale, which shocked the museum’s board, its director, and the staff, who are all now furious about the decision. And now, due to outcry and the unprecedented action taken by the university’s leadership, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office has decided to investigate:

Emily LaGrassa, director of communications for the state attorney general, Martha Coakley, said that Brandeis had informed the office on Monday of its decision, but had not consulted with the attorney general in advance. The attorney general has approval powers over certain actions of nonprofit institutions in the state.

Ms. LaGrassa said that in the case of Brandeis, the attorney general would review wills and agreements made between the museum and the estates of donors to determine if selling artworks violated the terms of donations. “We have not yet offered any opinion on any aspect of the proposed sales,” she said, adding, “We do expect this to be a lengthy process.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media

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.”