Longboarding!

March 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Spring is in the air and the snow is melting, making fantastic lakes out of the roads. I took the board out yesterday and enjoyed the sun, although the paths aren’t in perfect shape just yet (mud!) it was still really refreshing to go out and be cruising.

Right now I’m riding a Sector 9 Burleigh deck (with custom hardware) which is a drop through speed / carving deck and I love it to death, but I saw a few pintails the other day and I keep thinking about something shorter and quick (like the Ala Moana pictured above) for shorter carving. The Ala Moana is bamboo like the Burleigh which has a fantastic ride and the perfect amount of flex for my casual ride style.

I might also like something with some space on the back for dropping curbs and things (which the dropthrough Burleigh doesn’t like at all) so I’m keeping my eyes open.

The Race Forms I’m riding now seem like perfect wheels, so I’ll probably pick up another pair of those or maybe a little softer (the red ones pictured above are S9’s cheap nineballs @ 80A so that might work) than my 82A yellows.

In any event, I declare riding season officially on!

CMYK Pen First Renders

March 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some sample renders for the first revision process that we’re doing in class right now. If you didn’t see the first sketches it would probably explain more about the project. Essentially, the sliders (which are now radial and not linear down the pen) control the flow of the CMYK tanks to form the final colour which is used as ink so you could draw or write in virtually any colour you can imagine -simply dial it in with the CMYK sliders.

Just the basics for now.

I disagree with the class’ approach to design process: figuring out aesthetics before you go about practical process? I understand that we have to be open minded, and of course I am, but you could come up with the most beautiful idea and it would be an utterly pointless exercise if it isn’t physically possible. It’s simply poor to try and slot reality in afterwards. Form follows function. Although design involves art, design is not art. If you want to make things with a specific art style be a sculptor. Fashion ruins design. Good design is long lasting (-Massimo Vignelli) and fashion is never long lasting.

So, I might not show my practical process right now (because apparently that’s a bad thing…?) but it’s in my mind from step one. It has to work. Working is beautiful. The form of a working item is beautiful. Everything extraneous is fashion and bad design.

OCDesktop?

March 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

When I’m working I spend more time than I’d like to admit arranging my application windows into the perfect workflow. Divvy looks like it will make satisfying that OCD a little faster…

Basically, it allows you to set window size and position based on a handy popup grid, and allows shortcuts for often-used designations etc. Looks to be pretty customizable, although I haven’t tried it as of this writing. It mentions in the FAQ that it supports multiple monitors so that’s a big deal for me since the also super handy Windows 7 snap edges doesn’t work on the inside crease of two monitors.

You can watch the introduction video here as narrated by a man who’s voice I would describe as a smooth mix between gentle, encouraging therapist and jazz cellist who is sometimes the background tenor vocalist.

You can also download a demo and /or buy the full thing ($14) at the official site here. Supports both Mac and PC.

Via Unplggd

Semantics!

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m not sure who 9GAG is, but the article came up as a related link somewhere.

There have been a couple prototypes for such devices and this one is titled “Turn Your iPhone 4 into a DSLR” which I had to laugh at. Let’s review: DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex (as opposed to the old dual lens reflex cameras) which basically implies there is a mirror flipping up somewhere to take a photo (be it sensor or film in old SLR fashion) and the iPhone definitely doesn’t have a mirror.

Also, the general advantage of a DSLR vs. a point and shoot camera is the much larger physical size of the sensor, which the iPhone is severely lacking.

My ultimate point: Buy a real camera, it’ll be way better.

In other news:

Only in Montana… (Via Gizmodo)

Happy Monday, everyone!

Rough Concept Development: CMYK pen

March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

We’re working on a project in class making a pen for a specific demographic. I chose the artsy character designer profile we made up, and so far the design involves some sort of black-box mechanism for mixing CMYK ink (controlled by sliders) so you can draw in any colour. Other ideas include Wacom pen / capacitive touch screen stylus (iPad etc) integration. It’s a lot to fit in a small package, so I might have to leave those. You can’t have it all, I suppose. Well, the stylus would just be the pen nib without any ink, but the Wacom part requires actual electronics inside which might be a tight fit.

Anyway, sketch page 01, the very first and very roughest of drafts.

That claw-hand is kind of creepy. Maybe it’s designed for witch ergonomics as well?

Sony TR-1825

March 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it until people understand: good design is invisible until you need it.

Like Rams’ butler metaphor, when not in use it should melt into the background, and, in this case, into a smooth, clean plastic rounded cube.

As Sony says, it was designed in 1970 and it’s featureless until you slide it to expose the speakers and the tuning controls. When you’re done, slide it closed and those unnecessary bits simply disappear.

Moral of the story: when it doesn’t interfere with function, hide as much as you can. (and I don’t mean those ridiculous flaps some electronics have, where each button is hidden under it’s own little lid. That’s horribly in the way of function. Like the above, good design is elegantly simple.)

Photos via the blog formerly known as Kitsune Noir

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