Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Delay Lama

race for tibetA very cool way to show your support to the Tibetan cause, now that the Olympic games are just a sigh away is Audionerdz's Delay-Lama. This gizmo-widget is actually a VSTi plug-in for audio synthesizers. Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to use it using GarageBand, but you can play with it using other (serious) MIDI hosts like HostX (UB) or "The Ugly VSTi Interfase"delay lama, however, you'll need a real midi controller/editor to be able to manipulate the pitch... or you can do it by hand just for fun. I've trying to get my Delay Lama to sing Monteverdi's Orfeo Ouverture but he still sounds more like a drunken Japanese singing karaoke than a Tibetan Monk. You can watch some of Delay Lama's performances on youTube, they're hillarious!

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Monday, July 28, 2008


Electrolux Design Lab announced this year’s Semi-finalists. More than 600 iGeneration-design entries have been sent in from students in 49 countries. An Electrolux jury selected 9 entries to take to the finals in Zurich, Switzerland, on October 9, 2008.

For Design Lab’s sixth edition, Electrolux invited undergraduate and graduate industrial design students to create tomorrow’s home appliances for the Internet generation. Submissions should be looking 2-3 years into the future and address food storage, cooking, and/or washing.

The nine finalists are:
• Sook: the social networking recipe generator with electronic tongue, by
Adam Brodowski, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA.
• Coox: the rollaway cooking table, by Antoine Lebrun, L'Ecole de Design
Nantes Atlantique, France.
• E-bag: the kinetic energy-powered cooler bag, by Apore Püspöki, Moholy-
Nagy University of Arts and Design, Budapest, Hungary.
• Stratosphere: the sanitizing clothes rack/valet, by Atilla Sáfráni, Moholy-
Nagy University of Arts and Design, Budapest, Hungary.
• iBasket: the Wi-Fi-connected clothes hamper and washing machine, by
Guopeng Liang, Tongji University, China.
• Vesta: the foldaway cooktop with RFID scanner, by Matthias Pinkert, HTW
Dresden (FH) University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
• Drawer Kitchen: the desk-drawer hotplate and fridge, by Nojae Park, Chiba
University, Japan.
• Flatshare: the modular fridge solution for shared living spaces, by Stefan
Buchberger, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria.
• Scan Toaster: the USB toaster that prints news, weather and snapshots
onto slices of toast, by Sung Bae Chang, Sejong University, South Korea
The main criteria are the originality of the concept, loyalty to Electrolux brand values, the creativeness of the design, consumer insight, and the degree to which the concept reflects such iGeneration core interests and concerns as mobility, convenience, time, materials, personalization, entertainment, technology, and sustainability.

The competition targets the upper-age segment of the Internet generation (25-35) comprising brand-conscious, busy young professionals who are independent, concerned about the environment, and whose lives are intertwined with technology and online social networks. “We received daring ideas and solutions,” says Henrik Otto, Senior Vice President of Global Design at Electrolux.

The nine finalists have been invited to participate in the final event October 9 in Zurich, Switzerland, where an international jury of designers and experts will review the finalist entries and select a winner. The Design Lab 2008 has a First Prize of 5,000 Euro and a six-month internship at one of the Electrolux global design centers. The second prize is 3,000 Euro and third prize 2,000 Euro.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

y tu paleta de que la quieres?

I've been posting about some web-widgets I've found lately. It just occurred to me that last year I wrote about bad design... this year, I'll probably should start a series on widgets. On a recent article by MsBehaviour, she wrote about colour (with that purple hair #660099, MsBehaviour must look like Manijeh!).
The Philosopher Goethe believed that colours were 'Deeds of Light' and classified colour into three categories, of 'powerful', 'gentle' and radient. Fast forward to the Digital Age and we are dealing with pixels to mix colours, not paint. Wikipedia explains that Colour is 'the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, blue and others. Colour derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light energy versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors.' The online colour system called the hexadecimal system works in a similar way, with a series of six digits or letters denoting the proportion of Red, Blue and Green in each shade. Starting with 00000 for black (for the absence of colour) and finishing with FFFFF for white (all colours on full). Red is FF0000 (with red on full, but no green or blue), and following this logic you can see that Green would be 00FF00 and Blue 0000FF. (via)
pan de cada diaAnyway, there are some interesting tools... and some are just for fun: COLORS TOOLBOX: 20+ Tools For Working With Colors. The colour palette generator is a good idea if you hate the default choice of colours on your powerpoints. I already wrote about the asciifier... in colour! But the weirdest widget must be the comics cartoon maker... I couldn't resist to try as you can see.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Logo contest

mozilla mexicoYour chance to participate in a logo contest for mozilla.org! They are looking for a logo for their Mexico microsite, and they want something creative and inclusive of cultural diversity. Check out their guidelines and gallery, and submit your idea(s) to the forum before October 31st. Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird and Seamonkey have a great corporate presence, it will be a great showcase for your work.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fractal Robot

fractal robotThis robot is not my favourite design, but it's quite nice how the robot "paints" itself ad infinitum. I wonder if there's a fractal palindrome... or a fractal answer to the question "what was first: the chicken or the egg?" I am not an eggspert, but I believe the reason why we don't have an answer resides in the question itself. Shouldn't it be "hen" instead of "chicken"? In that case, "egg" would come before "hen" in the Webster's dictionary.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pic 2 txt

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

U21 Design Forum

universitas 21An invitation for anyone from U21 member institutions with a practical interest in learning space design and/or a professional role in this field – including property and real estate leaders, audio-visual and information technology staff, educational and curriculum designers, professional/faculty developers and academics to participate in the second U21 Design Forum hosted by the University of Hong Kong on November 10-14 2008.
The design forum is intended to engage participants in discussion and design activity aimed at creating new generation learning environments in higher education. An important aspect of the forum is its aim to promote inter-disciplinary approaches to the design and development of improved learning environments. The 2008 Design Forum will focus on the challenge of creating more effective on-campus learning environments beyond the regular classroom. In particular, it will address the design and development of:
  • a ‘learning commons’
  • external settings to enliven the campus and create a more engaging environment for staff and students
  • the challenge and opportunities presented by campus heritage buildings.

Like the previous design forum, this event is designed to engage participants in small, inter-disciplinary teams in real-life design activity based on actual campus settings drawn from the HKU context. However, the intention is to build the participant’s knowledge and skills in ways that can be applied in their own professional role at their respective institution.

For more information and contact details, visit the U21 Event release.

U21 Member Institutions are:
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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Change the way you see disAbility

All new Leonard Cheshire Disability's Creature Discomforts characters are now online at www.CreatureDiscomforts.org, ahead of a six week campaign to change attitudes to disability. Here's the press release:

Disabled people have the same desires and aspirations as non-disabled people, in work, education and relationships. The new animations will challenge people's low expectations about what disabled people can do.

The new characters are based on the unscripted voices of young disabled people talking about the issues that affect their lives. The first animation available on the website challenges public perceptions of disabled people, relationships and sex.

Leonard Cheshire Disability's new report on perceptions of disability and relationships, Up Close and Personal, challenges long-held assumptions that disabled people don't - or can't - have a relationship. Key findings include:

  • Disabled people have exactly the same hopes and anxieties about relationships as non-disabled people.
  • Two thirds (68 per cent) of disabled respondents have relationships with non-disabled people.
  • Both disabled and non-disabled people have low expectations of disabled people's relationships.

The Aardman team has created another four characters for the charity's campaign including a blind chameleon, an owl and a shrimp in wheelchairs, and a hearing impaired Cheshire cat.

From next Wednesday and throughout the summer the characters will appear in adverts on ITV, online and at bus stops in the UK. The adverts will be gradually revealed online over the next two weeks. So, to see them first, keep checking back at www.CreatureDiscomforts.org.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Maths in a nutshell

Wolfram Research's Mathematica celebrated it's 20th birthday last week. I haven't used it Mathematica - Wolfram researchin a while, but it was a very nice tool to do mechanical simulations. I'm glad to learn that they now have a free viewer which plays thousands of free demonstrations and notebooks on many areas like: architecture, fractals, 3D Graphics, art, patterns, chaos, mechanics, and more.
Mathematica Player is an innovative new take on viewer applications. Rather than just a reader, like Acrobat Reader, mathematica nbp koalaor a thin runtime, like Flash Player, Mathematica Player has the full Mathematica engine embedded right there --ready to make documents come alive or to power applets. (Of course, don't forget it can read notebooks too!) Because Player-interactive documents are so easy to make using Mathematica 6 technology, thousands of these are already freely available at The Wolfram Demonstrations Project--with more supplied each day by researchers, educators, students, and professionals. Yet there's one aspect that's just like other players: it's free. Download it now.
If you need an "oranges and apples" approach... here's a bit nutty way of exercising pattern sequences. (via: Not Quite Perfect) It might look... well, oranges and apples... but it's actually a squirrel! Seriously, I had to scratch my head several times with some sequences... actually not with the sequence itself, but trying to figure use it - discover pattern sequencesout the formula. Usually we just discover the pattern intuitively, we never actually think about the mathematical formula behind that. For example, a sequence as simple as: 5, 4, 3, 2... you may know that the next number is 1, and then 0, etc... but what about the 20th number in the sequence? You may need to think of a formula to calculate that ( 6-n=x ). After shaking some rust out of my brain, I managed to get 1404 points... I have no idea if that's good or bad, but it left me with a headache.

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