Since you can’t outsource your soul, you can’t outsource your design

Posted by on Mar 4, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Link: Since you can’t outsource your soul, you can’t outsource your design

This is dead on why as an Interaction Designer, I’m hell bent on understanding architecture, electronics, industrial design, service design, business design, software architecture, information design, psychology, and literally everything I can get my hands on.

Matt Ratto made a really good observation at a NormativeDesign talk a little while ago, considering the longevity of different parts of a house. A structure my stand for decades or centuries. But its component parts: exterior, paint, appliances, furniture, electrical infrastructure, and now things like network infrastructure; all these things are subject to change at substantially smaller intervals. In short, a structure should be considered a fixed object containing layers with different natural lifespans to be replaced and updated at those fixed times.

By limiting yourself to a “veneer” perspective, or the idea that design is just for prettying something up, means that your relevance is as fleeting as lifetime of your veneers lifespan, which is always the shortest. Never look down on the interface, the graphics, the logo, the iconography, or the veneer, but you can’t ignore the other aspects and still be doing design.

Give the post below a read, it’s worth the look.


Earlier this week, i reblogged a Steve Jobs quote that was lighting up on Tumblr with well over 200 notes. Here’s the quote:

In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the…


Posted by on Feb 27, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Link: LeyLines

I’ve been working on a game project for about two-three weeks now. It will hopefully be finished by the summer and I’d love to be able to share with you when it’s finished and when I release the code base on Github.

See you soon!

I had a bit of a frustrating weekend working on my GIS-based game.

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I had a bit of a frustrating weekend working on my GIS-based game.

Some early computer vision work.  Soooo good.  You have to watch this. Yeah… Moore

Posted by on Jan 27, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Some early computer vision work.  Soooo good.  You have to watch this.

Yeah… Moore’s law.  The techniques really haven’t changed for a lot of things too much.

What will become endless nights of coding away for my new Kinect have begun. I’ve be

Posted by on Dec 3, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

What will become endless nights of coding away for my new Kinect have begun.

I’ve been wanting one since hearing about a cheap, accessible 3D camera, so it was about time.  Having been a long time user of the PS3 eye, it’s a natural first step.  Installing the OSX drivers was a fairly painless task, though first time I’d encountered cmake.

The ever brilliant Daniel Shiffman has begun working on a set of processing libraries around the open kinect drivers, which so far capture depth and image data.  After some initial struggling, I was able to get a good framerate at 640×480 for a point cloud and associate colour mapping to the points. I literally cannot wait to start at it with the openCV libraries, though whether I can stick with Processing in doing so is questionable.

All told, it was fun to hack around with the stuff last night.  I’m looking forward to using it as a means of exploring gesture based interactions and specifically, some of the classic notions of “virtual reality,” as you can see in that image of me holding the world in my hand, created in only a few hours after getting the Kinect itself.  

Whether we’ll be seeing a snow crash like “Street” is another matter, and I was really taken with how disorienting the act of “grasping” that sphere was.  As these previously locked away technologies become more accessible, we’re bound to see some absolutely incredible stuff emerge from it simply being available.  But if my struggling to grasp that orb is any indication, we’ve got a very, very long way to go.

Diaspora and Gender

Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Gender is frequently treated as a binary or “N/A” option in online forms with the purpose of collecting demographic information, analytics being the life blood of many online applications.
Freed from this need to collect information, the open social network Diaspora turns Gender in to a text field, freeing us to put whatever we want.  Which begs the question: how accurate can these binary or opt out analytics be at identifying trends and behavior when they don’t account for something as fundamental and varied as gender?  What else are we missing?

The Kinect as a means of altering ones visual environment is definitely a novel use for the devic

Posted by on Nov 26, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The Kinect as a means of altering ones visual environment is definitely a novel use for the device, and it’s incredible to see it explored by a talented artist.  As computer vision speeds its panoptic advance in to public space, our environment will become filled with visual aids to computer vision techniques, allowing the categorization and sorting of the real world into addressable, identifiable objects.  What began with the bar code or the scan card will become a sparkling world of lights and sounds just beyond our range of perception, but that we can still detect.

I’m reminded of the ever-present sparkle of nano-technological mites described in the world of Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.  Will the lack of these things seem foreign to us in a few years time, like a natural environment with no hum of electricity?


“With these images I was exploring the unique photographic possibilities presented by using a Microsoft Kinect as a light source. The Kinect – an inexpensive videogame peripheral – projects a pattern of infrared dots known as “structured light”. Invisible to the eye, this pattern can be captured using an infrared camera.”

The Rapid Prototyping of Interaction Design

Posted by on Nov 25, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Yesterday I gave a short talk on the Rapid prototyping of Interaction Design for a profession development event at the University of Toronto’s Knowledge Media Design Institute.  These guys are doing some incredibly interesting work in Toronto right now, so it was a surprise and an honour to have been invited to speak.  I did a presentation chatting briefly about how I got in to Interaction Design from graduating as a political science specialist last year, and five principles I’ve come to apply in my use of Rapid Prototyping as a design practice.

You can access the contents of my lecture at and the slides themselves are accessible from

Knowledge Media Design Professional Development Event

Posted by on Nov 21, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m giving a short lil’ talk this Wednesday about rapid prototyping as an Interaction Designer, and what I’ve learned in the past year and a half since graduating with a Political Science specialist degree from the University of Toronto.

It’s exciting to be able to share what I’ve been learning with others entering or about to enter similar fields, and to learn from those more established (I’m by farrrrr the most junior person there).  Should be a fun event, and many thanks to Margaret for inviting me to speak!

Now… to finish slides.

Physical Glitch Architecture

Posted by on Nov 16, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments

These images (link thanks to by Wes Hodgson) are of pre-fabricated concrete dwellings which, by some error in the process, ended up completely different from what we imagined.

As we move closer and closer to a world of rapid fabrication, I can’t help but wonder how our appreciation for flaws and error will continue to evolve.

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