MakerHaus

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Love love love this concept.  Further proof that indie capitalism is alive and well.  What is Maker Haus? I’ll let them explain…

Frustrated by the lack of access to tools and prototyping equipment in Seattle, we decided to establish a place that allowed our community of creative minds to learn, discover, create, and collaborate all under one roof. We are an incubator and facilitator for those creative minds who need access to professional tools and prototyping equipment to support their businesses and bring their own design ideas to life.

MakerHaus is a studio environment with a professional staff from diverse backgrounds in design, manufacturing, creative strategy, and business. Napkin sketches, Kickstarter dreams, and design challenges of all kinds welcome!

It’s basically a space that provides entrepreneurs with resources like a metal and wood shop, 3D printers, laser cutting, classrooms, conference rooms, and event space, a material library and more, all accessed through a membership-based system.  Here’s a video of two aspiring guitar makers talking about how Maker Haus is helping them to scale their business:

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The Underground Library

The Underground Library from Keri Tan on Vimeo.

[via Miami Ad School blog]

If you were tasked to redesign the human body, what would you change?

Another amazing thread from Reddit.  The snapshot of responses below perfectly encapsulates the vulgar, brilliance and wit living within this space.  Check it out here.

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NYT: Why We Love Beautiful Things

An eloquent foray into the science and ecology behind great design by Lance Hosey in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times.

…Simple geometry is leading to similar revelations. For more than 2,000 years, philosophers, mathematicians and artists have marveled at the unique properties of the “golden rectangle”: subtract a square from a golden rectangle, and what remains is another golden rectangle, and so on and so on — an infinite spiral. These so-called magical proportions (about 5 by 8) are common in the shapes of books, television sets and credit cards, and they provide the underlying structure for some of the most beloved designs in history: the facades of the Parthenon and Notre Dame, the face of the “Mona Lisa,” the Stradivarius violin and the original iPod.

Experiments going back to the 19th century repeatedly show that people invariably prefer images in these proportions, but no one has known why.

Then, in 2009, a Duke University professor demonstrated that our eyes can scan an image fastest when its shape is a golden rectangle. For instance, it’s the ideal layout of a paragraph of text, the one most conducive to reading and retention. This simple shape speeds up our ability to perceive the world, and without realizing it, we employ it wherever we can.

Certain patterns also have universal appeal. Natural fractals — irregular, self-similar geometry — occur virtually everywhere in nature: in coastlines and riverways, in snowflakes and leaf veins, even in our own lungs. In recent years, physicists have found that people invariably prefer a certain mathematical density of fractals — not too thick, not too sparse. The theory is that this particular pattern echoes the shapes of trees, specifically the acacia, on the African savanna, the place stored in our genetic memory from the cradle of the human race. To paraphrase one biologist, beauty is in the genes of the beholder — home is where the genome is.

LIFE magazine named Jackson Pollock “the greatest living painter in the United States” in 1949, when he was creating canvases now known to conform to the optimal fractal density (about 1.3 on a scale of 1 to 2 from void to solid). Could Pollock’s late paintings result from his lifelong effort to excavate an image buried in all of our brains?

We respond so dramatically to this pattern that it can reduce stress levels by as much as 60 percent — just by being in our field of vision. One researcher has calculated that since Americans spend $300 billion a year dealing with stress-related illness, the economic benefits of these shapes, widely applied, could be in the billions.

[Original: Why We Love Beautiful Things]

Stardust

Stardust from PostPanic on Vimeo.

Killer new short film from the folks at PostPanic that explores the journey of Voyager 1, the furthest traveling man-made spacecraft (that we know of). It evokes feelings of grandiosity and insignificance, while gently reminding us that eventually we all return to dust.

For best results, watch on fullscreen with your volume turned up.

Submergence

I felt like the blog needed a little splash of color. So, here we are. Submergence is an art installation comprised of 8,064 suspended LED lights designed and built by a collection of international artists known as Squidsoap.  The piece contains motion sensors that respond to your movements as you explore it. It’s currently on display at Gallery ROM for Art & Architecture in Oslo, Norway.

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Submergence01 from squidsoup on Vimeo.

[via Colossal]

The DDC 50 Point Plan to Ruin Your Career

Portland/CreativeMornings – Aaron James Draplin from CreativeMornings/Portland on Vimeo.

Aaron James Draplin, founder of the Draplin Design Company in Portland, as well as Field Notes, gave a kick ass presentation a number of months back called “The DDC 50 Point Plan to Ruin Your Career.” Aaron and the talk are amazing. Definitely worth the 45 minutes.

It’s really a list of 50 points to live and work by, some directed specifically at artists and designers, but most are universal. Some of my favorites: enjoy the goddamned moment, love where you’re from, work with yer friends, lose the crutch, exhibit a little humility, pay off those fucking school loans now, etc., etc.

Watch the talk and be humorously inspired.

Thanks for sharing Chad!

The NY Times and The Future of Digital Storytelling

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I came across this about a week ago and have been meaning to share it. The New York Times released a story by John Branch entitled Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. It’s essentially a recounting of an avalanche that took place in the backcountry behind the Stevens Pass ski area in Washington.

The story, released in a series of parts is gripping in and of itself, but what makes it so special is how The Times integrated media to further bring it to life. Rich animations, photo galleries, and embedded videos triggered to play in accordance with the readers’ scrolling on the page take this piece to an entirely new level.

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Experiencing it made me realize just how archaic and unimaginative digital storytelling has been up to this point. Reading an article from any major online publisher is barely different than if it had been written in a book 50 years ago, save for some links and the occasional piece of media.

What The Times has done, and I’m sure they’re not the first, is show us how artfully integrated media can bring a story to life for the reader. A tremendous amount of reporting went into this, so I won’t spoil the ending but definitely take some time to give it a look.

[via Lean Back 2.0]

ThePresent, by: m ss ng p eces

Super excited to be working with the folks at m ss ng p eces on some upcoming client work.  Below is a video summarizing one of their side projects, a seasonal clock, that strives to assist us in capturing and crystallizing the many beautiful moments that make up our lives.  Thanks for the share Christian.

The Google Image Dictionary

Sometimes my teammates and I spend hours combing through the archives of imagery made available by Google.  So, you could say we have a special appreciation for what it means to find an image that perfectly conveys a given thought or idea.

So, needless to say, I was excited by this side project by London-based designers Ben West and Felix Hayes, that created a 1240-page visual dictionary for the English language.  The trick?  For each word, they used the first image that appeared using Google’s image search.  From what I can tell, no words were included, allowing the reader to summarize what each image is referring to.

Ben describes the project, “Conceptually it’s whatever you make of it…It’s really an unfiltered, uncritical record of the state of human culture in 2012…I would estimate about half of the book is revolting medical photos, porn, racism or bad cartoons.”  So there you have it…same as always.

[via Creative Applications]

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