Posts tagged as ‘Fun’

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic…

I’ve always been fascinated with magic, the making possible of that which our mind tells us that is “clearly” impossible; those things that we are too puzzled (or narrow minded) to understand. And as I think back to some of the tech I’ve seen so far in my lifetime and the way I perceived it the first time I came in contact with it, I can’t help but agree with Arthur C. Clarke when he said that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

When you think about it, it wasn’t that long ago that we were still baffled by the novelty of technologies like a GPS, a smoothly working multitouch surface or the controls of a Nintendo Wii, and how they had this almost magical quality to them the first time we experienced them, yet thanks to Moore’s law and the ever thriving minds of designers and engineers out there I think that things are about to get REALLY interesting and I can’t wait to see the true magic that is coming our way.

Here are just a couple of examples of things I’ve come across lately that I’m very much looking forward to, both as a designer and as a consumer.

New year, new decade, new job, new city… and I get to play with robots!

It’s being a pretty hectic end/start of the year. As of last Monday (11th of January) I started working as Interaction Designer at VanBerlo Studios, the biggest design studio in the Netherlands and an important player in the European scene of product development.

As a consequence and after 9 years of my life spent in the little and picturesque town of Delft I had to move to Eindhoven, a bigger city down to the south of the Netherlands, very well known for being the headquarters of technology giants Philips and home of former European champions PSV Eindhoven (I guess I can never wear my Ajax jersey in public around this town).

The city is not as charming, but the work and the company is absolutely fantastic so far… and I get to play with robots! One of the first projects I’ll be working on deals with robotics and therefore today I paid a visit to the mechanical engineering department of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Sustainable packaging? Bring out the popcorn!

Another way of 'recycling' packing peanuts?

For my first post of the year I received the inspiration from a Christmas present my sister received while I was visiting her.

I’ve always had the habit of keeping the little styrofoam packing peanuts of any package I receive so that I can reuse them whenever I have to send something out myself. It saves me money and I ensure that the material is used at least once more. Sadly though, I’m sure that this is not something that everybody does and undoubtedly most of these peanuts end up in the trash after a single use, contributing to our waste problems.

But what’s the alternative? Well, as I mentioned, my sister received this gift during the holidays which I thought was brilliantly simple and a very nicely thought alternative. It was a little box with shower and bath soaps which used POPCORN (!!!) instead of styrofoam.

I’ve still got it a bit :-D

I recently discovered the newest version of Sketchbook Pro (2010) and I have to say “oh my freaking god! this is the coolest sketching program ever!”. I absolutely LOVE the simplicity and elegance of the software’s interface and I’m also very grateful that they follow the KISS principle very nicely (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) without cluttering the program with a whole bunch of tools and features that you seldom use.

Just for kicks I made a few sketches to add to my portfolio (pretty sketches sell VERY well on an industrial design portfolio, even if that’s not what you want to focus on) and I was very positively surprised that I still have it a little bit in me to come up with decent results. So here are a few underneath… What do you think? would you hire me??? ūüôā

TEN: 10 years of Design & Emotion (Workshop Part II)

TEN workshopA while back I wrote about the workshop organized by the Design & Emotion Society to celebrate their ten year anniversary, and I said I would make a second post explaining the rest of the workshop and the results… well, after finally making some time to sit down and go through it, here it is!

If you haven’t read the first part, I suggest you do so here, because that will make the coming lines much more clear to understand.

so, here it goes….

And just to get you a bit exciTED…

TEDx Amsterdam… in Delft!

TEDxAmsterdam in DelftNext Friday (20th of November) a conference called TEDxAmsterdam will take place in… well, in Amsterdam (duh!)

TED as some of you may know, is a very famous yearly conference held in California, which brings together top people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment & Design. Their TEDtalks are AMAZING to say the least and I’ve featured a few here before (I promise a post in the not so far future with a collection of my very favourites). They are trully Ideas Worth Spreading as their motto goes.

So anyways… TEDx is an initiative of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience and of course, we couldn’t be left outside of the big party here in the Netherlands.

At the TEDxAmsterdam event, TEDtalks videos and live speakers will be combined to spark deep discussions and connections from the local and world communities.

Unfortunately enough, TEDxAmsterdam is an invitation only event so not everybody can attend (yours truly included), but in the true spirit of the original TED (Ideas worth spreading, right???) a live video stream will be sent to various cities in the Netherlands where people can gather to see them in high quality video (a so called simulcast)… and waddaya know??? I’ve taken it upon myself

God! you gotta love Delft

DDEAThere’s a reason why Delft is ranked as the 15th best engineering university in the world, and god, you gotta love them for that!

In Australia, only a crash 3 weeks before the start of the race managed to keep Nuna 5 from being the top dog of the World Solar Challenge so far… After a speedy crash recovery operation, we’re still third by the second day of racing and breathing down the neck of second placed University of Michigan. But watch out Tokai University (leaders so far) ’cause the Nuna team went to Australia to claim their rightful place and beat the competition for the 5th time in a row.

[UPDATE: As of October 27th, Nuna 5 has already surpassed the car from the University of Michigan, so Tokai is next!]

And back in Delft, the Design and Engineering Award is underway with some very, VERY interesting stuff going on.

On this post, you can find a couple of my favourite videos of some of the participating projects from our different faculties, which are just to show off a bit of why Delft is soooo cool ūüėČ

Cool greetings from Helsinki!


The welcoming image I found at Helsinki's airport. Don't forget to read the caption ūüėČ

I arrived today to Helsinki, where I’ll be attending and giving a small presentation at the EuroCHRIE 2009 Conference which has “experience in the hospitality and tourism industry” as it’s theme this year. Why am I presenting you say? Well, I’ll be talking about part of what I did during my graduation project and introducing the hospitality industry to Panoremo.

I’ll be posting a bit more about the conference in the coming days.

Unfortunately my hotel room (although very nice, pretty and cozy) does not have a very nice view… in fact all I see is the building on the other side of the street. So I can’t really publish any pics of Helsinki right now, but I did find the picture you see here at the airport which I thought was hilarious.

In case you missed the caption it reads:

“Finns are good at for example driving fast, skiing fast, ice-hockey and curling but we’re pretty good at creating new sports too. Judge yourself: Eukonkanto: Wife Carrying competition through an obstacle course. Saappaanheitto: Throwing a rubber boot. Kannykanheitto: Throwing an old mobile phone. Suopotkupallo: Football on a swamp.”

…I think I’m gonna have a bit of fun in this place ūüôā

TEN: 10 years of Design & Emotion (Workshop Part I)

TEN workshopThe Design & Emotion Society is celebrating this year their 10th anniversary and they decided to organize an event at the Delft University of Technology to commemorate this milestone.

‚ÄúTEN – 10 years of design and emotion‚ÄĚ was a one day workshop held at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering on the 28th of August and luckily I was there to participate. In this post I‚Äôll explain what the workshop was all about and I‚Äôll give a brief explanation of what we did in the first half of the activity. In a later post, I‚Äôll show some of the results that were obtained at the end of the day.

“World Builder”: Minority Report, eat your heart out!

Some one sent me a link to this very beautiful short movie, which shows some awesome holographic interfaces, and I just had to share it here. Not much more to say, but WATCH IT! it will certainly be worth the 9 minutes of your time.

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized!

Today I came across this awesome video, and I just couldn’t wait to share it here. It’s a video made by Jonathan Jarvis explaining the oh so current and oh so cryptical crisis of credit which seems to be affecting everyone of us these days (whether we want it or not). I think it’s a great example of visual communication design at it’s best.

Here’s what Jonathan had to say:
The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. This project was completed as part of my thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. For more on my broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world, visit my website www.Jonathan

Enjoy the video!

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Beerbuddies: Using the personality of cartoon characters to define people’s personalities

As a part of my Design for Interaction Master’s degree, I took part of a project called Exploring Interactions, for which I was trying to empower bartenders against unwanted behaviour in their bars.

As a field research, I organized some group interviews with local bartenders and made use of some generative methods (such as collage making) in order to gain more information regarding their context and the interactions involved in their job, specially those regarding the customers and more specifically those involving customers showing some sort of unwanted behaviour. After thorough analysis and fiddling with different ideas, the Beerbuddies were born.

The BeerBuddies are meant as a tool to reflect the personality and mood of bar-goers through the use of beer coasters with cartoon characters on them.

Weirdest pregnancy icon I have ever seen

I dont know if it looked disgusting, weird, ugly, or what… but I found an icon that I assumed was representing a pregnant woman on the floor of¬†the preferential parking space at a local supermarket in Athens, and I couldnt resist the impulse to take a picture of it and save it for posterity.


The Puma monk

A couple of days ago, I decided to go with Evula to one of Holland’s main spring atractions… the Keukenhof gardens. Filled with thousands and thousands of blooming flowers of any imaginable color, it was quite a spectacle to see.
But what caught my attention the most, were not the tulips, or the orchids, or anything of the like… it was this Buddhist monk, who’s¬†“lifestyle is shaped so as to support¬†his spiritual practice, to live a simple, happy and meditative life, and attain Nirvana”.
Wikipedia (the new “Holy bible”), tells us that the robes of a Buddhist monk¬†come from “the idea of wearing cheap clothes just to protect the body from weather and climate….¬†Since dark red was the cheapest colour in Kashmir, the Tibetan tradition has red robes. In the south, yellow played the same role“.
Pay close attention to the fact that they DO NOT¬†mention¬†ANYTHING about the shoes… so our monk decided to follow his vouws in style, with some very¬†cool Pumas¬†that match his ‘raggedy-poor-man’s-robes’

They’re made out of MEAT!

I came across this little story on the internet and I thought it was absolutely brilliant, so I decided to reproduce it here for anyone out there waisting their time reading this page.
BTW, the illustration was made by yours trully
So here it goes…
by Terry Bisson

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."