June 8, 2017
Terms of Use and Beyond

In corporate culture, the terms of service or use have been rapidly developing into manifestos. They blend moral and ethical beliefs that go much beyond their original purpose of legal protection between company and user.

Corporations have certainly taken on moral issues (Apple and privacy, Target and gender, Chik-fil-A and marriage, &c.) in part because of lax court rulings on their personhood and in part because of the strong political pull of the CEOs at those companies.

It only seems sensible that these rules become enshrined in the terms of service and other cultural documents. They’ve grown and so to has our appetite for moral guidance from for-profit entities. Airbnb and other companies have made anti-discrimination and gender policies not only an internal HR practice, but fully-public — and legally-binding? — rules that govern not only their own employees but now (and here’s what is so interesting) the behavior of their end users.

People and regular users are regulated by another set rules that govern their behavior on private platforms (mostly for better, maybe for worse), which adds another institution and layer of ethics to our everyday actions.

May 11, 2017
My work at Twice

Like many of my projects, I created the majority of messaging and writing as well as design. In my mind, the two are quite inseparable. Graphic design, after all, only develops in symbiosis with industrialism, consumerism, and modern marketing. Before then, no such profession exists. The closest we get to “graphic design&dquo; as a profession is in bookmaking. The closet we get to branding is in publishing once again and heralds and the use of emblems by the nobility.

Graphic design is part of the democratization of consumption engendered by the industrial revolution. At the core of it, it is the communication of availability to a market. Communication: spoken, written, heard, touched, or smelled is the core of good design. Without centralized bureaucracies of the nation-state, without mass-literacy, without consistent transportation networks, graphic design is not useful.

In Twice’s rebranding, my main goal was to embody the idea that “secondhand never looked so good.” Gone were the stigmas of used clothing and musty retail stores. In it’s place: I championed a clean style of bright colors, comfortable simplicity, and smiles. The strong operational backbone of Twice made this brand experience carry over literally into the fast shipping, easy checkout, and product-heavy focus of the application. Surrounded by some of the most talented people in the Bay Area, we created an experience that elevated and made accessible the secondhand marketplace to everyone.

As Creative Director, I worked alongside product, engineering, customer support, and marketing teams intimately. My colleagues consisted of designers eagerly improved themselves through continuing education and work. A strong mind produces a strong hand. Design education aided us when solutions weren’t obvious.

We faced many challenges: a lack of creative direction before, a large and fine-tuned product already in use, and a small team. But then again, most startups face very similar issues. I at first worked closely with leadership to develop a crisp plan to have every property re-branded and launched within six months. We did it in four.

Web and product were the primary concern, but my greatest pleasure at Twice was working on photography. We developed a completely in-house photography team: stylists, photographers, and creative were all handled by the very same people who worked at Twice. Our drive to present a new face to secondhand clothing blossomed in the photographic work.

May 9, 2017
Essentialism versus minimalism

Essentialism is not minimalism, though you can be both. I would say the work of Marie Kondo is mis-labeled as minimalist, when in fact it is “essentialist.” An essentialist is somebody who only holds onto those things and experiences that are most important to her or his identity and purpose. A person can indeed very easily cherish or value a great number of things. I often wonder if someone who has a cluttered home or does a great many number of things … are they living simply or minimally? Perhaps not in those terms, but they can certainly be living essentially.

April 19, 2017
One must choose between God and Man, and all “radicals” and “progressives,” from the mildest Liberal to the most extreme Anarchist, have in effect chosen Man.

“But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is ‘higher.’ The point is that they are incompatible.” George Orwell reflects on Ghandi, showing his political side along the way: “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals.”

He suggests being a saint is not an ideal to work towards and that the uneveness in life is valuable. The thoughts on Ghandi in 1949 are interesting because Orwell can look at Ghandi in a post world war world and also examine Ghandi’s beleifs that are often glossed over by popular accounts — beliefs Ghandi professed himself.

Orwell, George. “Reflections on Gandhi.” Partisan Review, London (January 1949). Accessed April 19, 2017.
February 22, 2017
Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the number of emails you write in a day.
January 24, 2017
Observed 011
  1. The erasure of Islam from mystic writings of Rumi
  2. Mental thoughts at the Symphony
  3. Tokyo “compression” photographic series
  4. The cracks in Silicon Valley’s culture
  5. The origami revolution
  6. $15,000 Apple sneakers
  7. XXX
  8. XXX
  9. XXX
  10. XXX
November 17, 2016
Music Reviews 001

Ave Maria

Search for Ave Maria, and you’ll encounter a sea of interpretations, but I keep coming back to Marian Anderson’s simple, piercing, and powerful rendition. The instrumentation is kept simple, allowing her impressive voice to ring clearly. The recording is old, but I haven’t found anyone yet that can top this recording.

iTunes and Spotify

Die Ruinen von Athen, Op. 113

Heifetz at his most romantic — quixotic cantabile, effortless transversing, and whimsy to the brim. A delightful rendition of a stout Beethoven march.

Spotify

Bach Partitas for Piano, BWV 825–830

I&rqsuo;ve been listening to many pre-Gould Bach recordings from the masters of piano playing, and I’ve really begun to appreciate what a profound effect he has had on the performance and understanding of Bach’s music. These older performers just treated all composers as if they should be played the same (and that “same” is usually whatever the pianist’s preferences were), but Gould did something with Bach that liberated it from this notion. And it hasn’t been the same since.

iTunes and Spotify

Mozart Piano Concerto, No. 24

This is one of Mozart’s darkest piano concertos but also mysterious and rich. The cadenzas are all over the map from pianist to pianist, and I couldn’t really find one that felt very Mozartian though Murray Perahia and Robert Casadesus introduce fine cadenzas.

iTunes and Spotify

Beethoven Piano Pieces on Fortepiano

You really forget how some famous classical music pieces sounded like until you hear them on period instruments that the composers actually used. The sound decay is so rapid on this Fortepiano that the texture of notes in this Beethoven sonata is much clearer than reditions played on modern pianos. For example, the bass line comes off as much more pulsating and urgent rather than thundering and washy in modern-piano recordings.

iTunes and Spotify

Leopold Godowsky Cadenzas for Mozart

The Godowsky cadenzas are marvelous interruptions of these Mozart piano concertos. While stylistically, they’re too dissimilar to feel integrated into the music, they are nonetheless beautiful and can be listened to over and over again to find new surprises and counterpoint; and you can see why even great pianists find Godowsky’s music to be almost unplayable in its sumptuous complexity.

iTunes and Spotify

November 17, 2016
Fancy clubs in San Francisco
  1. Villa Taverna
  2. Battery
  3. Bohemian
  4. The Pacific-Union
  5. Olympic
  6. The Family
  7. Concordia-Argonaut
  8. University Club
November 16, 2016
The proclaimed Death of Cash is thus an episode in the broader drama that is the Death of Privacy, the death of breathing room, and the death of informal, non-measured, unaccounted-for behaviour.

Marketing works to make us — “[u]nlike a battle fought using violence” — see change “as inevitable, unassailable and normal” when in fact it is being manufactured by those in power. There is nothing inevitable or natural about this kind of change.

Brett Scott The Long and Short and Nesta.
November 16, 2016
Observed 010
  1. The flag of the refuge nation
  2. Blackbeard and the early brand
  3. Design research at IBM
  4. Why a diamond is forever
  5. The newly renovated Beyazit State Library
  6. The original standing desk
  7. The Birdmen of Istanbul
  8. Cashless society
  9. Writing German like Arabic
  10. San Francisco’s first and only emperor
September 3, 2016
A Frisconaire is a millionaire made rich by the tech boom.
August 9, 2016
Yet while the capitalist class is doing very well, capitalism is doing rather badly. Profit rates have recovered but reinvestment rates are appallingly low, so a lot of money is not circulating back into production and is flowing into land-grabs and asset-procurement instead.

Further, “Here’s a proposition to think over. What if every dominant mode of production, with its particular political configuration, creates a mode of opposition as a mirror image to itself?”

David Harvey Jacobin Magazine.
August 9, 2016
Countries I’ve visited
  1. Cuba
  2. Mexico
  3. Germany
  4. Georgia
  5. Hungary
  6. Austria
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Switzerland
  9. Turkey
  10. Denmark
  11. France
  12. Thailand
  13. Japan
  14. Poland
  15. Italy
  16. Netherlands
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Costa Rica
  19. Canada
  20. Greece (Rhodes)
  21. Singapore
July 13, 2016
One response may be that the subject [math] … is so aloof from political and social reality that its discoveries give rulers no causes for concern. If mathematics had the power to move minds toward controversial terrain, it would be viewed as a threat by wary states.

A look at math from both the good and the bad sides.

Dana Goldstein Slate.
July 13, 2016
Improvisation in Mozart

More and more research is pointing to the varied and improvisatory performance style of classical music — especially that of Mozart. It helps to dismantle the urtext aura of the official, printed music. Robert Levin provides exemplary research on the playing style of Mozart. Mozart played freely, in part enabled by his tremendous genius, in part because of performance practices of the time. For example, at the time, singers were expected to improvise passages of music in a single breadth. Likewise, Mozart would improvise throughout his pieces in short quick passages. He was a lover of singers and took inspiration from them.

July 3, 2016
Closing LinkedIn

Today I closed my LinkedIn account after having it open since March 31, 2009. I already closed Twitter, 500px, Klout, About.me, Flickr, and other minor ones. In closing my account, I wrote this to LinkedIn:

“It’s been a good run, but the product is not high quality. LinkedIn has an experience you’d expect three engineers and a designer to slap together over a weekend and a case of red bulls. Except LinkedIn is over a decade old and employs thousands of very talented people. Which begs the question: where is this human capital being directed? Bottom line: does not spark joy.”

June 27, 2016
Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady [Hillary Clinton] — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.

Let us not forget The New York Time was not always a fan of Hillary Clinton.

Safire, William. “Blizzard of Lies.” The New York Times, January 8, 1996. Accessed June 27, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/08/opinion/essay-blizzard-of-lies.html.
June 27, 2016
Observed 009
  1. The UK government design blog
  2. Memory, food, and family: “Mom’s Last Luncheon”
  3. The rise of digital sheet music
  4. “Obituaries My Mother Wrote for Me While I Was Living in San Francisco in My Twenties”
  5. The 5-levels of user trust
  6. Questions to ask when reviewing a design (or anything for that matter)
  7. Strong artificial intelligence may create a suffering being (just like us). The parallels to Frankenstein are worth noting.
  8. The collapse of philosophy. Hopefully our era of specialization is coming to an end.
  9. Maya Angelou: be a rainbow (video)
  10. The modernist architectural “estates” of Paris
June 21, 2016
June 19, 2016
I’ve started to worry that I haven’t asked enough questions, that there will never again be enough time, and that my parents are bound to take a part of me with them when they go.

Sobering thoughts this Father’s day to remember to spend time with your parents. They are jewels.

June 17, 2016
Source
Self taken
June 17, 2016
Observed 008
  1. The restoration of the white house in the 1940s and 50s
  2. A visual look at Elephant abuse across the globe
  3. “In sector after sector, the set of all things that are profitable is much smaller than the set of all things that are useful.”
  4. Design in the 1970s
  5. Rescuing İstanbul
  6. A Turkish feminist
  7. Collecting İznik ceramics
  8. Design an eigtheenth century wig
  9. Why I’m not a Liberal
  10. Classical paintings re-labeled for modern programming
June 6, 2016
My worth is not determined by how quickly I respond back to emails.
May 5, 2016
Source
Kluczynski Federal Building, Chicago, Self taken
May 5, 2016
By liking everything, I turned Facebook into a place where there was nothing I liked. To be honest, I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like what I had done.
Mat Honan, Wired
April 3, 2016
In the 1970s and 1980s my name had a huge spike in popularity. And then crash.
April 1, 2016
Finding good fonts

Some of my favorite places to find good fonts are listed below. I have listed a few popular and storied foundries with a wide selection first, then listed more specific independant foundries second.

  1. FontFont, FontShop, MyFonts, Font Bureau, and Commercial Type

    These larger foundries offer fonts ranging from the classics to new work from many famous contemporaries in the field of type design today.

  2. Darden, Okay Type, House Industries, and Sudtipos

    Darden, Okay, House, and Sudtipos are great places to find display and specialty typefaces that are very extensive and well crafted. Don’t miss the cursive scripts from each of them. The ligatures and extended features are very exciting.

  3. Emigre

    Their Mrs. Eaves font has held up through fad and fashion very well.

  4. Storm Type

    This Czech foundry is a little under the radar, but their recuts of Baskerville and Walbaum are exquisite. They've done a fantastic job modernizing classic types like those and others. They also have a few in-house fonts they've designed based on Czech morphologies that I'm dying to use on a future project.

  5. The Foundry

    Foundry’s serif fonts are some of the best, and would be very well suited in editorial or print work.

  6. Frere-Jones

    After the messy split with Hoefler, Tobias launched his own foundry and offers one font currently. You’ll also find some of his pre-Hoefler work on Font Bureau.

  7. Playtype

    Based out of Copenhagen, these guys have fun and quirky type great for branding. I’ve used them on a few projects.

  8. Grilli Type and Nouvelle Noire

    These Swiss foundries have very clean and sophisticated fonts with flair and whimsy built at a very subtle (or not so subtle) level. I haven’t used any of their work yet, but I can see the potential.

  9. Milieu Groteseque

    A bit underrated compared to other small shops, I’ve found their type to be very well suited from pratical UI needs to distinct branding uses.

  10. Hoefler & Co.

    The fonts here are expertly crafted and you can almost never go wrong using them. Their attention to detail and the craft of creating type is very evident. They're a powerhouse for good fonts, as they cover every major category well.

  11. Klim

    The typefaces here are great. They’re boutique but very popular and also do commissioned type work quite frequently.

March 15, 2016
Source
March 7, 2016
Style is simply a framework for making decisions around aesthetics.
January 7, 2016
Observed 007
  1. The world’s most readable font, Sikta
  2. An ethical design manifesto
  3. The master of (art) reproduction
  4. Norman Rockwell and his fake Jackson Pollock
  5. The church of CrossFit
  6. The work of architect Shinichi Ogawa
  7. The Islamic concept of Irja and what it means to “postone” judgement
  8. Farting in Edo period Japan
  9. The world’s most expensive fabric, Vicuña
  10. Smashing a Han Dynasty urn
January 7, 2016
In this case, though, pups born to mice on American-type diets — no fiber, lots of sugar — failed to acquire the full endowment of their mothers’ microbes.

May 2016 update: there has been additional reporting on the gut by FiveThirtyEight.

There has been a rise in studies discussing the importance of the microbes that live in our gut and their primary food source: fiber. The “Burkina Faso microbiota produced about twice as much of these fermentation by-products, called short-chain fatty acids, as the Florentine [citizens]. That gave a strong indication that fiber, the raw material solely fermented by microbes, was somehow boosting microbial diversity in the Africans.”

This biodiversity of microbes in our gut can wax and wane depending on what we eat so that “[e]ven after weeks on this junk food-like diet, an animal’s microbial diversity would mostly recover if it began consuming fiber again.” That said, as quoted above, if a child does not eat the right diet at birth, she is at risk of never recovering the full biodiversity of her mother’s gut. Over generations, you have disparities in gut health from region to region across the globe that may not be recoverable.

Source
Velazquez-Manoff, Moises. “How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution.” Nautilus, no. 30 (November 2015). November 12, 2015. Accessed December 3, 2015.
December 26, 2015
Source
İznik blue and white dish (c. 1480–1500) sold by Christie’s to the Detroit Institue of Arts.
December 12, 2015
Sculpture

Sculpture caught in the setting sun at the Thorvaldsens Museum. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Source
Self taken
November 6, 2015
I am renaming the street I live on as ChiFi. The newest San Francisco micro-hood.
November 1, 2015
[The] hipster onslaught has now … been over-run by Ivy League business school marketing grads, violently jogging ex-cheerleaders from the Midwest, Bonobos-sporting former frat bros, and Baby Bjorned global arrivistes …

This Halloween in San Francisco has been by far the tamest and least quirky of all my years here, and after you read the piece above, you know the end is near for the wild days of yesteryear.

October 28, 2015
Source
Self taken. Cannon Building, Washington, D.C.
October 28, 2015
There is repetition everywhere, and nothing is found only once in the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Göthe
October 26, 2015
Source
Industrial Sewing Machine (1964) prototype by Richard Sapper (1932–).
October 26, 2015
Observed 006
  1. Regency-era dining practices
  2. An example of United States socialism: the curious case of the Alaska Permanent Fund
  3. The piano of Mozart
  4. Playing Mozart as Mozart did
  5. How “magic” will replaced “Normcore” in fashion trends
  6. Forever21 commissioned a gigantic machine composed of spools of thread that assembled Instagram photos on-the-fly
  7. The “Typologies“ of photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher
  8. San Francisco crime notes from the 1900s including the self-defense of a “stalwart young stenographer”
  9. The reveal of Obama’s secret drone program
  10. Untranslatable words like tartle and age-tori
October 18, 2015
Jade

A collection of sublime jade objects from the Freer & Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian. Jade — for all its popularity as a green stone — is strikingly colorful. Jade covers nearly every hue, and we would do well as artists to take advantage of these characteristics. Jade isn’t just green after all.

October 5, 2015
… art isn’t a phenomenon to be explained. Not by neuroscience, and not by philosophy. Art is itself a research practice, a way of investigating the world and ourselves.
Alva Noë, What Art Unveils, New York Times, October 5, 2015, accessed October 5, 2015.
September 27, 2015
Source
Transverse section at the auditorium and pavilions of the Paris Opera’s Palais Garnier. 1880. Wikipedia
September 20, 2015
Culture is the differentiation of things that are the same.
September 16, 2015
Er ist ein Prince … Mehr! Er ist ein Mensch.
Mozart, Die Zauberflöte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart 111 “O Isis und Osiris,” vol. 2, conducted by Karl Böhm, performed by Franz Crass and others, Berliner Philharmoniker, DDD GB55, CD, 2012.). Full Libreto. Also of superb quality is the 1964 recording under the baton of Karl Böhm and the Berlin Philharmonic.
September 7, 2015
Observed 005
  1. The true origins of Labor Day
  2. A Silicon Valley dictionary
  3. How to create an archive of your content on Google (and switch services!)
  4. Jennifer poops at parties (video)
  5. Alice in Wonderland from 1903 (video)
  6. Save the bros (video)
  7. The Vivian Leigh Interviews (video)
  8. The last living people with bound feet
  9. Timing interactive elements in your UI
  10. Pop-ups are not only annoying, they now humiliate you
September 6, 2015
Source
Adiantum pedatum, Maiden-hair fern (n.d., likely 1931) by Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932).
August 25, 2015
Hats
  1. Cap
  2. Baseball cap
  3. Straw hat
  4. Mortar board
  5. Top hat
  6. Sailor hat
  7. Bowler
  8. Cowboy hat
  9. Party hat
  10. Bearskin hat
  11. Dunce cap
  12. Fez
  13. Sombrero
  14. Makarapa
  15. Fedora
  16. Cloche hat
  17. Beanie Hat
  18. Chef’s hat
  19. Sun Hat
  20. Bonnet
  21. Phrygian cap
  22. Santa hat
  23. Tricornered hat
  24. Glengarry
  25. Rain hat
  26. Fur hat
  27. Aviation hat
  28. Knit hat
  29. Pillbox hat
  30. Propeller beanie
  31. Jester’s hat
  32. Tyrolean hat
  33. Fishing hat
  34. Riding hat
  35. Deerstalker hat
  36. Trappers hat
  37. Gaucho hat
  38. Bucket hat
  39. Henin
  40. Golf hat
  41. Amigasa
  42. Porkpie hat
  43. Witch’s hat
  44. Toque
  45. Alpaca hat
  46. African hat
  47. Bush hat
  48. Newsboy cap
  49. Tam O’Shanter
  50. Homburg Hat
  51. Dress hat
  52. Balmoral Cap
  53. Slouch hat
  54. Greek fisherman’s hat
  55. Tuque
  56. Ear flaps
  57. Brim
  58. Masonic fez
  59. Cheesehead hat
August 8, 2015
… because we often read Mozart’s music with lenses adjusted to Beethoven’s “heroic-style” … we sometimes overlook that Mozart’s slow movements are conceived as the gravity center [and] are indeed “central” in the most fundamental sense.
Maynard Soloman, Mozart: a Life (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 206.
August 7, 2015
Observed 004
  1. Kōshirō Onchi
  2. The British queen speaks to the Germans in 1965 (login required)
  3. Truly silent places in America
  4. “You” versus “me” in UI labels and interface design
  5. The deranged penguins of Werner Herzog (video)
  6. A fully-digitized, high-resolution copy of the Gutenberg Bible from the Polonsky Foundation. Refreshing to see that a non-commercial entity is digitizing these works rather than a Google or a Microsoft.
  7. Watchtower of Turkey (video)
  8. Six Sigma manufacturing
  9. The boring designer
  10. Why technology never moves fast enough
July 14, 2015
There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
July 13, 2015
Reading MTF charts

MTF charts help to objectively explain the quality and performance attributes of a lens. The charts plot the ability of the lens to distinguish between evenly spaced black lines in a one millimeter space. This resolving power is referred to as line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm).

10 line pairs per millimeter and 30 line pairs per millimeter are most commonly used. Some charts will show 40 lp/mm. The camera manufacturers will display these lines on the graph in various colors and thicknesses, so check the key to decipher their system.

Even so, you can read these charts fairly quickly from left to right and up to down. These charts are very helpful to see how your lens might perform and compare it against qualitative reviews from photographers. For example, the Canon 85mm prime lens performs exceptionally well at the widest aperture: it preserves high resolution from the absolute center of the lens all the way to the outer edge of the glass with excellent defocusing. You can see that in the MTF chart above in the top blue line. There is very little deviation of line resolution from center to outside. Both the latitudinal (lines parallel to the radius of the lens, shown as solid lines on the graph) and longitudinal (lines perpendicular to the radius of the lens, shown as dotted lines on the graph) lines on the graph match for the largest aperture opening. This lens is well known for it’s beautiful blur (bokeh) and extreme sharpness at wide apertures. However, the graph also reveals that the lens performs quite poorly when shot at an aperture of f/8. Even at the center of the lens, the resolving power for 30 lines per millimeter drops from around 82% to 48%, and continues losing resolution the farther from the center. What this means is that the lens is more a specialty piece than general purpose, and that you should not expect good performance from this lens at smaller apertures.

When looking at these charts quickly, keep these points in mind:

  1. MTF charts are useful when comparing lenses of the same focal length, for example, a 50mm Canon versus a 50mm Sigma.
  2. The higher any line is on the graph the better.
  3. Graphs with a lot of variability do not always mean a bad lens. In the case of the 85mm from Canon, it means that it excels within certain parameters.
  4. The straighter the line (i.e., it doesn’t drop down or wiggle up and down) the better and more consistently it performs from the center of the lens outward.
  5. The smaller the distance between the various lines are to each other, the more consistently the lens performs over a wide set of apertures.
  6. The pair of solid and dotted lines shows resolution between perpendicular (longitudinal) and parallel (latitudinal) lines to the radius of the lens. The closer these line pairs overlap, the better the defocusing will be.
Source
α Lenses. San Diego, California: Sony Electronics Digital Imaging Division, 2012.
July 9, 2015
July 9, 2015
Source
A flint striker in the form of a bird. Free & Sackler Galleries.
July 9, 2015
Observed 003
  1. The Freer & Sackler Galleries now offer their entire collections online
  2. Using lookup tables (LUTs) to improve your video footage coloring
  3. Bird being destroyed by a hurtling baseball (video)
  4. A modern mortar and nutcracker based off of primitive tool forms
  5. The National Recording Registry of culturally, historically, and aesthetically important works of music
  6. A new theory on how the pyramids were built
  7. “At least, no matter what new lows life has to offer, my coffee will always stay hot.”
  8. Crochet hats in the style of emoji
  9. A well timed and visually rich Hermes commercial (video)
  10. The secrets of effective airport design
July 2, 2015
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.
June 26, 2015
Source
Self taken
June 22, 2015

I was about 14 years old at the time, and I was coming along with my mother on our weekly visits to see Cicianne and Nasut Dede. I was excited for two reasons. The first one was that Cicianne would make her hallmark ice cream: huge mounds of chocolate ice cream covered in all sorts of wonderful toppings — almonds, cookies, bananas, cherries, raspberries form the garden, self-made jams and preserves. It was a treat every weak.

But secondly, I was eager to show Nasut Dede a painting I made. I bashfully opened up the watercolor book and showed him the still life of an eggplant. “Good,’ he said. Now being a teacher of gentle patience, Nasut Dede was also very economical with his words: “but your lines for the table are crooked. Draw a line for me.’

I drew a line for him across the page. It wasn’t straight, and I thought I could just use a ruler.

“You don’t need a ruler,’ he said. “When you draw a straight line, you always look to where the line is going to be. Not where your line currently is.’

So I took the pencil again and this time stared ahead of the line and let my hand lead itself in the right direction. The line was now straight.

There are a few people in my life that I will never forget and never wish to see leave this world. I miss both Nasut Dede and Cicianne dearly and am reminded of them nearly every day. Their impressions live on in my memories, as clear as when I was with them, and I have been forever grateful to have know them.

In memoriam
Zeyn Nasut Uzman (1927–2015)
June 3, 2015
Meanwhile the Queen …
May 22, 2015
May 22, 2015
Observed 003
  1. A visit to the Ottoman harem … in 1843
  2. History of Board Games
  3. “Kenekshens” in visual culture
  4. A fully digital rangefinder camera
  5. Redesign of Narita Terminal 3
  6. The deal with weird airport codes
  7. A side by side comparison of the last and first shots of famous Hollywood films
  8. What comes after religion? (Video)
  9. How Medium creates the perfect underline online
  10. John Varvatos invented the boxer brief (made famous by Calvin Klein’s ads featuring Mark Wahlberg)
May 21, 2015
Source
Marian Anderson (1955) by Richard Avedon (1923–2004). Metropolitan Museum of Art.
May 16, 2015
Rhetoric is a sword used by speakers to wound their opponents.
April 17, 2015
Skilled labor as a service

There is a deluge of “creative” free time most college-educated people have. If Uber and Postmates (and countless others) successfully captured the low-end extra work potential of unskilled labor, then there is still a huge potential to capture the high-end extra work potential of skilled labor. Enter in the need for services that let people get “on-demand” services or products from skilled people.

We are seeing it in services like EyeEm and Snapwire, aimed at photographers. And we will be seeing more of it in other skilled professions.

April 15, 2015
Machine learning

If you haven’t heard, a cooking robot and IBM’s Watson can now cook better than you.

This is interesting because we have to load machines with a basic set of assumptions, and because of the accuracy of machinery and their long-term memory, they essentially will never forget these assumptions.

For example, if you were teaching a robot how to write, you would teach it the difference between your and your’re. This is a pretty standard grammar rule that I very often forget or ignore, leaving my writing pot-marked with errors.

Though that example is banal, if we look at localization, evolution, and culture: most “innovations” or differences arise either from error, accident, or deliberate changes to a set of assumptions.

The problem is, do we risk freezing culture at a point in time when we load our assumptions into the robot’s machine learning? Or are the scientist clever enough to introduce randomization and evolution into the machine learning? The problem is, how do you teach a robot to be both accurate but also open to doing things “wrong?” — the hallmark of creativity and innovation.

April 11, 2015
When the prince and the pauper switch places, the reason why everyone is fooled is because the two are more similar than we think.
April 1, 2015
Spicy Thai chicken noodle soup

The thing about being sick and single is that you have no one to make chicken soup for you.

I had a Blue Apron recipe ready to make, fortunately. They portion and package all the ingredients I needed to make this soup. I still had to chop the vegetables, but it turned out wonderfully. In the future, I might find it hard to find Canton noodles or have chicken demi-glace (demi-glace au poulet) on hand. And they also forgot to include the red curry paste. Considering my throat was burning, I didn’t need extra spice anyways. Once finished, this soup really hit the spot and helped me feel much better.

Ingredients
8 ounceschopped chicken thighs
3½ ouncesCanton noodles
4 ounceswhite mushrooms
3 glovesgarlic
2scallions
1green bell pepper
1lime
1bunch cilantro
3 tablespoonschicken demi-glace
2 tablespoonsred curry paste
2 teaspoonsWorcestershire sauce
1 inchpiece of ginger

Wash and dry the vegetables. Slice or quarter the mushrooms. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Thinly slice the scallions, keeping the white and green parts separated. Slice the green bell pepper into long strips and discard the inside seeds and stem. Zest the lime to produce about 2 teaspoons of lime zest. Be careful not to get the bitter ring underneath the green flesh. Quarter the lime and save for garnish later. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a medium pot, heat about 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. The oil will be less viscous and shimmer when it is warm enough. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pot.

In the same pot, add 2 teaspoons of oil to the reserved fond. Briefly heat on medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Add the bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bell pepper has softened slightly, but isn’t completely cooked. Add the garlic, ginger, white bottoms of the scallions, and lime zest. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic during this process.

To the pot of vegetables, add as much of the curry paste as you’d like. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until toasted and fragrant. Add the chicken demi-glace, Worcestershire sauce, and 5 cups of water. Stir in the browned chicken (along with any juices from the plate). Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume.

Add the noodles to the pot of soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When finished cooking, serve and garnish with the green scalliong tops, cilantro, and lime wedges. If you hate cilantro, like I do, then just skip that part.

Source
March 22, 2015
Roy Lichtenstein, iPhone
An art historian would find plenty to work off of on this image: the penultimate visual form of today, the GIF file, co-opting the style of pop art and mass media of Lichtenstein, and a reference to the iPhone (and Tinder’s iconic swipe-to-like feature of dating) just to keep things interesting.
Source
March 14, 2015
What is a cultural engineer?

An engineer is a problem solver. A cultural engineer uses culture (philosophical, material, social, political, artistic) to solve problems. In that sense most humanities or “soft” fields of study can all be considered cultural engineers as they use do not use purely scientific or mathematic solutions to solving problems. They work inside other bodies of theory.

These “solutions” take their cues from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and aesthetics for the most part. Here are some rough examples:

  1. Aesthetic designers who use “good” design as a means of increasing product longevity (and slowing done consumerism) to help either benefit underprivileged communities or help the environment. The theory embraced here is that concerns of beauty, usefulness, and design create better solutions than merely solving for mechanical issues.
  2. Anthropological how airlines design status systems to increase customer spend taking cues from generally accepted ideas around status and gift giving. But human behavior or "cognitive biases" can also be used to promote better health and more just societies. Problem solving in this vein owes its theory from twentieth-century anthropologists.
  3. Sociological this is perhaps the easiest to pull from because essentially most policy makers, lobbyists, and governments use sociology — with its cherry-picking of mathematics and psychology — as the most “scientific” of the humanities to cull from. It is also a very popular field of study for liberal arts graduates, so many can relate to its vocabulary later on in life.
  4. Philosophical the work of Marx or Kant may be considered a systematic approach (like an engineer’s approach) to solving issues of the the present and future. Philosophy offers the most formalized system for the humanities, as it attempts to define semantics and the structure (of language) itself used by the discipline; concerns that also occupy many a computer engineer when dealing with computer languages.

These are merely top-of-the-head categories, which are useful insomuch as I jotted them down in this post. The more important point is that these fields of study borrow from mathematics and science but ultimately don’t need to obey their rules. They don’t need, for example:

  1. Empirical evidence
  2. Repeatability of findings
  3. Experiments
  4. Testable hypotheses
  5. Strong arguments
  6. Proofs necessary for validity

In fact, the idea of proving anything is debatable. Indeed, and especially, for aesthetics, proof is nearly a non-issue. Personal agency and force are more legitimate.

In anthropology and sociology, a single incident or case, or study, can pave way for validity and general acceptance, even without repeatability. By the very nature of the communities studied in anthropology, often repeatability of findings is impossible.

And in philosophy — a field I know little about — I will venture forward and say that many things have been argued quite elegantly in the course of time: from forgotten scrawls to major systems of thought like religion. These can range from highly systematic and “scientific” to requiring Kierkegaardian “leaps of faith” when some things are left unexplained. But all of which have seemed to find someplace in the philosophical canon as “legitimate” or “true.”

But rather than make this seem like I am pointing my finger at these broad fields of study to exclaim, “Look! Look at their fallacies, imprecisions, and false idols. Can they be trusted?” What I really mean to say is that their approach to problem solving is different from science and math (the original bastions of an engineer’s thought process), but not at all necessarily weaker or less valid.

And I cannot emphasize enough, these are certainly not a replacement or usurper to math or science.

In fact, that is why a cultural engineer is a particularly relevant position: they are poised to transform technology from a scientific and mathematic phenomena of problem solving into an uncharted world of culture and social significance only because they draw on the rules of those fields — and not math and science — as further areas of understanding for the engineer: as their points of departure, and as their tools to solving greater engineering problems than previously encountered.

And it is my hope, that by pulling from cultural systems of understanding that technology can be transformed in unforeseen ways but hopefully in ways that better humankind. I feel like the well of science has run dry in helping to guide technology to make us better, and perhaps we should feel free to take cues from elsewhere when solving issues of the engineer.

March 8, 2015
Plastic

I despise plastic.

And yet, plastic is the true technologist material. Like a stem cell, you feed instructions to the plastic: this is what you shall be and it is so. Plastic can be soft, hard, woven, carved, flexible, rigid, biodegradable, permanent. We will find “higher quality” materials like metal and glass increasingly anachronistic for the purposes of technology, especially advanced technology. And as technology will drive the fortunes of other disciplines, they will have to follow its march. Well, now is the time to begin to appreciate plastic aesthetically.

March 8, 2015
90% of Kinfolk purchases are used as props in Instagram photographs.
January 16, 2015
London’s taxi driver test enshrines knowledge as — to use the au courant term — an artisanal commodity, a thing that’s local and homespun, thriving ideally in the individual hippocampus, not the digital hivemind.
New York Times Magazine on London’s legendary Taxi-driver test.
January 11, 2015
Design versus engineering

Consider this scenario: a engineer is working on a project and finds another engineer has worked on something similar but has a better solution. This other engineer shared his solution on his blog. The code is open-sourced. The engineer grabs that code, and uses it. This is a fairly common, and not really falling under any scrutiny, as far as I am aware.

Now, a designer is working on a project and finds another designer has worked on something similar but has a better solution. This other designer shared his solution on his blog. The designer grabs the design and uses it.

Whereas for the engineer, this is common practice, for the designer it is not as reputable. If the designer were to share his work and let it be known that it is from someone else, his talent would diminish. My question is: do engineers ever feel similarly about this? I for one feel less authentic and less skilled if I use a template file. Even if I remake that template from scratch following the same steps I feel more satisfied: much like a musician playing Mozart or a chef using an established recipe: even when the steps are copied, variation and innovation seem to occur. When something is copied wholesale — even with tacit encouragement from the creator — the mutation of creativity does not seem to occur.

December 14, 2014
Observed 002
  1. The functional beauty of Plan drawers
  2. Creating a watercolor effect in Adobe Illustrator
  3. The irony of Google spearheading non-advertising-based monetization through Contributor
  4. The photography of Emily Blincoe
  5. IDEO spills the beans on their internal design process
  6. The continuing beauty and modernism of Ottoman silks
  7. Pithy humor and parody of Wikipedia articles
  8. An Chrome plugin to help people measure mock-ups in Google Chrome
  9. Vector UI kit for iOS 8
  10. A Jazz organization logo that changes shape based on music
December 14, 2014
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December 14, 2014
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December 14, 2014
Source
A view of Constantinople. Woodblock from the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel (1493)
December 7, 2014
Observed 001
  1. Makams used in Turkish classical music
  2. Pattern generator
  3. Clickbait generator
  4. List of classic, workhorse typefaces
  5. CSS site parser
  6. Glenn Gould performing Mozart
  7. Dragone website design (via typ.io)
  8. Hellstern and Sons shoes
  9. MoMA 3D printed dress
  10. The first programmer, Ada Lovelace
December 2, 2014
Agency is the primary force in aesthetics.
November 26, 2014
In artwork, symbolism maps meaning to unrelated things. In paintings of the Annunciation, white lilies are used to represent Mary’s virginity and purity. What can be so frustrating when viewing modern art, especially, is that the mappings are completely lost to me as a viewer. This is partly due to no set meanings for abstract forms: does a line signify separation, renewal, connectedness? Well of course, it can be all of those and more: symbolism is much less fixed (if at all). Almost in every instance, the symbolism must be explained by the artist or the museum, leaving the viewing of modern art to be both challenging and intellectually rewarding.
Source
Concetto spaziale, attesa (c. 1964) by Lucio Fontana (1899–1968)
November 23, 2014
Indigo is the best dye in use. The color varietals are dizzying and the applications are endless. It is a blue that captures nuances in nature that are hard to come by in dyes. For this reason, Indigo has had a long history of use. Its most popular form today is in blue jeans, which themselves are nearly universally appreciated the world over. Pictured above is a black and indigo textile used as a Japanese room divider, or noren, produced by Ricketts Indigo.
November 23, 2014
Black and red are both colors I dislike. Yet, I find the coloring on this Buffalo Plaid scarf from Rag & Bone quite pleasing.
Source
November 8, 2014
Shared profits from data sharing
If I were to make a site that earns money based on my users’ data (like Facebook or Google), I would just be upfront about it and pay my users a percentage of the profits. If you’re gonna sell their data, you might as well give them some of the money.
October 25, 2014
The world in general disapproves of creativity, and to be creative in public is particularly bad. Even to speculate in public is rather worrisome. The individuals must, therefore, have the feeling that the others won’t object.
Isaac Asimov discusses his opinions on creativity in a newly printed piece of his writings.
October 25, 2014
The patina of images

Online images seem to acquire a “patina” of sorts as they pass through the hands of many websites — each time being saved and re-compressed as a new image that is in fact very old. Indeed, JPEG compression is one of the few ways to tell that an image is old and circulated, without actually knowing the creation date of the image. JPEG compression enforces aging, since this compression is applied everytime an image is saved in that format.

We can appreciate the patina of modern materials like plastic, which now form a large part of the material culture in which we live. Now personally, I still find plastic and especially aged or old plastic to be nothing worth appreciating; however, as these materials are increasingly common in our visual landscape we have to create a visual language and appreciation of them in order to increase their beauty, longevity, and usefulness to us. In a way, we are using aesthetics to improve consumption. Though I would naturally be inclined to argue that there is no inherit beauty to old plastic, I can’t be sure if that is actually true or just true today, since there isn’t “connoisseurship” around aged plastic like there is around aged wood or metal. A large part of aesthetic appreciation is taught to us by various authorities and the marketplace that exists for things. Nothing new there.

So then, can we appreciate age in a digital world? And does an aesthetics of age even have a place in the digital landscape? In a digital world, age is almost non-existent: the physical objects that store data do age, but it does not manifest itself on the data. If we apply aesthetic rules for “old” things on the internet, we may or may not find anything useful there. Computers stamp a creation date, but I'm speaking more to age as interpreted through aesthetics and the visual field. For example, a more heavily compressed image would have a greater “patina” and thus be considered more precious. There is some silliness in this as to how easy it is to compress images instantly as opposed to actual age taking place through long periods of time.

Automatic JPEG compression is a happy accident, in my mind, that mimics the real world: a technical manifestation that things will age regardless of what we want or do. Based on an algorithm, certain data within the image is simply discarded forever and saved nowhere much like old materials that lose varnish or paint. JPEG images, each time they are saved, will “age” regardless of what we do: it’s built into its algorithm.

Then I wonder, is an older JPEG more beautiful than a new one? Is their something their to appreciate?

Source
Graphic source: unknown. Source of original painting, also unknown, though likely Italian Renaissance.
October 21, 2014
Correcting bad capitalization in CSS

Let’s say you are being sent data from all over the world. But what if you get data in all sorts of odd capitalization? For example:

  1. SOMETHING SET IN CAPITALS
  2. SOmething that has common capitalization Mistakes
  3. something that channels e.e. cummings

Use CSS like that below to correct these common capitalization discrepancies.

p { text-transform: lowercase; } p:first-letter { text-transform: uppercase; }

This takes the whole string inside the element and down-cases it for a uniform letterset, then it capitalizes the first letter using the pseudo-class first-letter.

Full snippet below:

October 19, 2014
Source
Heian brushes, Craig Mod
October 19, 2014
October 19, 2014
The ex unit in CSS

We are very familiar with the em unit in CSS (which counter to traditional print typography measures the font’s point size or height not width), but have you ever used the ex unit? It is defined as the x-height of a font, which is the height of its lowercase letters.

Ex unit expression can especially be useful for content-heavy sites, in which case, you can preserve alignment and font-rhythm much more consistently without relying on cumbersome line-height calculations, which can also allow better control with mixed font designs.

For example, 1.8 is usually considered a good measure for line-height. If you have the ex height, you can simply set the line height as 1.8 × ex.

October 19, 2014
A stunning Saint Laurent Sac de Jour (everyday bag) in brilliant yellow.
Source
October 19, 2014
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September 16, 2014
Other venues include the Mozartkirche in Biberbach, where the eight-year-old took part in one of those organ-playing competitions children seemed to be forced into in the 18th century…
August 24, 2014
On my bucket list is reading the entire list of Anthropologie and Urban Outfitter sub-brands. Here is merely a sample of their curious world of capricious brands.
  1. Allihop by Anthropologie
  2. Angel of the North by Anthropologie
  3. Anna Sui by Anthropologie
  4. Ballerina by Anthropologie
  5. Bica Cheia by Anthropologie
  6. Birds on a Wire by Anthropologie
  7. Blue Bird by Anthropologie
  8. Bordeaux by Anthropologie
  9. C. Keer by Anthropologie
  10. Cartonnier by Anthropologie
  11. Charlie and Robin by Anthropologie
  12. Coquille by Anthropologie
  13. Cordelia by Anthropologie
  14. Cross Stitch Heart by Anthropologie
  15. Daughters of the Liberation by Anthropologie
  16. Deletta by Anthropologie
  17. Edme & Esyllte by Anthropologie
  18. Elevenses by Anthropologie
  19. Eloise by Anthropologie
  20. ETT taia by Anthropologie
  21. Fei by Anthropologie
  22. Field Flower by Wendi Reed by Anthropologie
  23. Floreat by Anthropologie
  24. Freesia by Anthropologie
  25. Girls From Savoy by Anthropologie
  26. Guinevere by Anthropologie
  27. Hei Hei by Anthropologie
  28. Holding Horses by Anthropologie
  29. HWR by Anthropologie
  30. Idra by Anthropologie
  31. IPSA by Anthropologie
  32. Iris & Navy by Anthropologie
  33. Knitted and Knotted by Anthropologie
  34. Koto Bolofo by Anthropologie
  35. LeifNotes by Anthropologie
  36. Leifsdottir by Anthropologie
  37. Lil by Anthropologie
  38. Lilka by Anthropologie
  39. Lithe by Anthropologie
  40. Little Yellow Button by Anthropologie
  41. Maeve by Anthropologie
  42. Maple by Anthropologie
  43. Marimekko by Anthropologie
  44. Me and You… by Anthropologie
  45. Meadow Rue by Anthropologie
  46. Mermaid by Anthropologie
  47. Mint by Anthropologie
  48. Moth by Anthropologie
  49. Moulinette Soeurs by Anthropologie
  50. Nathalie Lete Paris by Anthropologie
  51. Odille by Anthropologie
  52. One Girl Who by Anthropologie
  53. one.september by Anthropologie
  54. Pilcro by Anthropologie
  55. Pinkerton by Anthropologie
  56. Porridge by Anthropologie
  57. Postmark by Anthropologie
  58. Ric Rac by Anthropologie
  59. Sitwell by Anthropologie
  60. Sleeping on Snow by Anthropologie
  61. Sparrow by Anthropologie
  62. Sunday/Saturday by Anthropologie
  63. Tabitha by Anthropologie
  64. Taikonhu by Anthropologie
  65. Tikirani by Anthropologie
  66. Vanessa Virginia by Anthropologie
  67. Viola by Anthropologie
  68. What Comes Around Goes Around by Anthropologie
  69. Yellow Bird by Anthropologie
June 27, 2014
There is no question that, in a blind test, luxury goods are overpriced. That’s the definition of luxury goods. They are not better in terms of measurable engineering specs. They are better because they are scarce.

Godin misses the point here — he’s rehashing an Econ 101 text on what a luxury item is. Any kitchen-table conversation can get that far. What he’s missing is that the luxury isn’t meant for the consumer — the luxury is meant for the business: the business has the ultimate luxury in that it can assign any price to the item, and people will pay for it. Make your price as high as you need to support every other endeavor in the business. You then have complete license to create the best. There are no concessions or compromises.

And that is magical. It is a model we want to preserve, because there are no other businesses or industries where cost is not an issue. It does not matter who these luxury brands are: Chanel can close its doors tomorrow. It matters that artists and craftsman have an option to create the best without the typical constraints of a business. That is luxury.

June 23, 2014
A simpler Amazon.com menu

When designing for megamenus or writing web copy in general, don’t put filler or nonessential words first: this prime location should be reserved for the most information-bearing verbiage and nothing else.

Update: further discussion on this topic at Designer News

March 25, 2014
Referencing parent selectors in SCSS

I was going over the SCSS documentation after finding some curious SCSS I was unfamiliar with. Did you know you can generate a CSS rule based on the existence of a parent class without having to nest that CSS within the actual parent?

In CSS, you can only scope an element or class based on its parent if that CSS is embedded within that parent like:

.parent .child { background: red; }

With SCSS, you can re-create this scope without the nesting:

.child { .parent & { background: red; } }

This can be useful for browser-specific scraping, responsive design elements, or when you find the organization clearer by keeping the child’s style variations centralized rather than scattered ’cross your stylesheets.

March 21, 2014
Using the data attribute with CSS content

Did you know (I didn’t) that CSS can read the text out of a data-attribute in HTML? If this is your html, <div data-today="Currently reading">Vanity Fair</td>, you can populate the data attribute into your CSS through content:

div[data-today]:before { content: attr(data-today)": "; }
Source
January 3, 2014
It is surely nothing less than martyrdom to a man of cosmopolitan sympathies, to absorb in silent resignation the news of a country town?
Franklin Blake. The Moonstone. Everyman’s Library, p. 369.
January 3, 2014
Signature cues

Lippicott says good brands have signature cues that concentrate a brand into something tangible and can fundamentally be considered as a sign or signifier of the whole business. What is signified can vary dramatically. Examples form Lippincott include:

  1. Scent: the wood-infused interior of a Rolls Royce
  2. Sound: sonic signature of Intel
  3. Visual: the silhouette of iPod advertising
  4. Touch: the touch of Lycra
  5. Shape: classic Coca-cola bottle
  6. Voice: “Thank you for jetting with us” from JetBlue
  7. The behavior of people: the well-trained baristas of Starbucks
  8. Service: 24/7 customer service from Zappos
  9. Product uniqueness: the left-handed ignition of a Porsche
  10. Ritual: insisting on a lime wedge when drinking a Corona
  11. Color: the distinctive blue box from Tiffany
January 3, 2014
Feedback is what our customers are telling us. Product is what we are telling our customers.
Lippincott
May 3, 2013

One common example of skeuomorphic design mentioned by designers is the simulation of paper texture on the screen (Apple being the most common user of this aesthetic). What you may not realize is that the simulation can go even farther in our visual past. Above is just one example.

This is an etching printed on paper, but the etching simulates curled paper on the top left corner. Simulating paper on paper itself? You might as well simulate pixels on a computer screen.

The etching is a view of the Süleymaniye Mosque built in the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century.

April 11, 2013
Local production
Arguments that local or American made craft traditions are somehow implicitly superior to foreign production will be viewed with the same disdain we view Victorian ideas around nationalism and race. These are inherently nationalist (and even racist) statements that have swept the world of consumer goods. A globalized world must admit that every person is on equal footing with another and that country of origin should hardly be imbued with such mystique and pride as it is now. Do people who produce goods in other counties deserve less respect? Are they less capable of being called craftsman?
February 20, 2013
Originally designed for resting a knife or spoon, and found at any elegant table, this silver-plated rest with charming faux bois detail makes a very suitable rest for your toothbrush. The elevation prevents the toothbrush from touching anything nasty; the direction of the head allows water to dry more effectively with the help of gravity; and I find the low form-factor a welcome change from the top-heavy toothbrush cups that always seem to collect some unidentifiable gunk inside of them. And yes, there is room for more toothbrushes.
February 17, 2013
Digital decay revisted

Digital decay does not refer to how information is lost. Instead, it describes a deliberate process or belief by which content (information) is actively destroyed or neglected, as to prevent a glut of content.

One assumption of this is that there is a such thing as the trivial or unimportant, and its very existence is a burden — regardless of the cost or availability of space and resource.

The historian or curator now relies on a computer to first sort information before even approaching it because of the vastness of data. But can the initial sorting by the machine be flawed? In another case, the user of a piece of software can be overwhelmed by his own data-creation. Should the software have built in ways to eliminate data?

April 8, 2012
If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.
Khalil Gibran
May 18, 2012
We want users to get their tasks done as quickly as possible — however — and this is important — we want our users to use our applications and software for as long as possible.
April 16, 2011
Digital decay

Digital decay does not refer to how information is lost. Instead, it describes a deliberate process by which content (information) is actively destroyed, as to prevent a glut of content. How will a historian understand this time if the amount of content produced can only be processed initially by non-human means?