New Lil' Project

Rethinking the Mixtape

So my friends and I have this music group devoted to creating and sending mix tapes to each other every month (with mixed success). I, however, didn't want to do a physical mixtape and decided to do something different, rethinking the purpose of the mixtape (of course I would over think this).

In my eyes, the mixtape is supposed to be this personal artifact of you share with others no matter where they are. An intangible tangible that speaks at an emotional level about your mood. Almost like an emotion journal. What I wanted to try to do was to see if I could take this personal insight one step further.

Anyways, I am designing a website, incidentally my first ever website, to not only substitute the physical audio mixtape, but to add a video component. Every song is preceded by a video snapshot of an event in my recent past. I wanted to give a more personal context to why I chose the songs. In a way it's kind of like a mashup of Vine and Spotify. Kinda.

The site is still under construction as I haven't generated the best content yet, however the framework of the HTML, CSS, and Javascript is there (granted with some tweaks).  Nevertheless, check out the work in progress here!


Let's be clear. This is not the best way of doing this.

Let's be clear. This is not the best way of doing this.

First foray using Origami, a plugin for Quartz Composer. It's really interesting so far. I'll admit I underestimated the complexity of the logic that this would require so far. I wish there was a bit more to the definition of the blocks, such as what kinds of data they can receive and what they can output. I guess it's just trial and error.

Anyways, the design goal for the app is to create a quick dashboard for the status of the wheel lights while also providing a two way portal for information to flow between the sensors on the units to information on the web.

Design #1.jpg


Despite the sensationalist title of this article by FastCo Design, I agree with the core of the article: product design will not be the future of value for businesses or its users, rather it will be the creation of experiences. Experiences, I believe, that will be physical.

A recurring thought of mine has been the celebration of minimal design like the iPhone. I've always wondered, what happens when all unnecessary elements are stripped away? Will the headlining features remain touting inconsequential features like being ".1mm thinner" or made of "CNC'd aluminum"? Perhaps the only option will be to start adding elements back. Or perhaps we should focus on something else.

Personally, that's where I'm excited. I'm excited to see an emergence of design being treated as a multi-disciplined field where people collaborate to create layered and immersive experiences instead of one guy/gal is wireframing stuff on his/her computer screen. I'm excited for UX to enter the physical world, the reimagining of spaces, of product families.

Made by Hand

I was super pumped to put together this film for my friend Justin Lacey, a designer and maker in Pittsburgh. I think his story, who he is, and the unique circumstances in which he has been operating for the last 4 years are worth documenting and sharing. I really wanted to highlight the tension of being a creative while juggling the responsibilities of running a business and, as Justin says, "operating in a Capitalist society where money changes hands for goods and all that". Hopefully I did :)

Also, this is really my first time putting together such a sophisticated video with multiple layers of audio and color grading (bout' time). I'm glad no one is looking at my timelines...

Spike Jonze Interview on "Her"

I absolutely loved "Her". No necessarily for the technology aspects of it, but the sheer magic of the layered storytelling. It is a brilliantly written, directed, and shot movie that everybody should see.

Though no interview I have found really captures the elegant complexity of the film, this particular interview by Nicole Holofcener definitely is one of the best. My favorite movie of the year that definitely had me thinking about it long after the final credits.

AVRDude y u so hard

Been struggling trying to burn a fresh bootloader onto some ATtiny's with Adafruits USBtinyISP so I can upload our Arduino stuff onto the bare bones low power boards we're getting back for Aura. I think finally have figured out where all my issues are coming from: and outdated version of avrdude.

From what I gather, the most recent version of avrdude (5.5) has native support for the USBtinyISP. However, I cannot find the most recent download and  it doesn't look like  AVRMacPack installed it for me automatically. This means I have to find a fresh copy of avrdude 5.5 and use terminal (which I'm not very familiar with) to install it in the correct directories. 

Even after this struggle, I'm still getting a weirdo error whenever I try to launch avrdude 5.4 in terminal:  "Bad CPU type in executable"... Da fu?? Am I using a PPC binary instead of the intel version? But I swear I clicked the download link for the Intel version! Y u so hard.... 

It's the Golden Age of Design. So Why Aren't More Designers Starting Companies? | Wired Opinion |

Oh rly.