In New York, a former elevated railway gets turned into a park! : High Line Park!

An awesome example of urban re-purposing of derelict or unused space. Turning an overpass or existing structure into something new can be amazing feats of urban design.

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Cool Tools: Ikea Nail-Driving Utensil
A review of Ikea Nail-Driving Utensil (Brilliant free knickknack), a Cool Tool

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Harvesting the Wind
Three young French designers hatch an ingenious plan to use existing infrastructure to create clean energy

A great design concept of modifying existing towers that hold up high voltage power lines to make clean, sustainable, wind electricity!

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This is for everyone who has a laptop.
If your not interested in details, scroll to the bottom for the simple guides for prolonging your battery.
I would kinda ignore the recalibrating one (esp with Asus). But I'd add this one: Don't discharge the battery past 30% (at most 20%).

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Here are some answers - Some peeves that I must point out, things I must clarify to you, or answers to questions that are often discussed around me. I will periodically add and update to this list over time.

+ The word you should be using is Contemporary, not Modern. 'Modern' design, is something else - its a cultural movement.
+ Interdisciplinary, is a discipline that exists in between that of other disciplines, crossing traditional boundaries.

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I posted earlier, a few months ago, some slides from presentations at the Interaction'09 conference put on by the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). They have recently uploaded their videos of the talks from the conference online. Check them out at or on their Vimeo profile. Great videos - very enlightening!

Although, I was watching their discussion panel on hiring the next gen of Interaction Designers, and was deeply surprised that they didnt mention SIAT in their discussions. They talk about needing more (10,000) Interaction Designers, how current programs are small and can only output 15 students a year in small two year programs; they talk about Bachelors and Masters in this field; they talk about how they need people who have the ability to work with people from different fields and can do design thinking. SIAT, who by the way HOSTED the conference, has almost 800 students at present with graduates since 2003, offers full Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs, and produces amazing students who work hard and are great designers, and amazingly talented. Everything they were talking about was right in front of them.

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Today I watched a screening of Gary Hustwit's film Objectified about industrial design and the design of everyday objects.

First thing I learned:

Japanese toothpicks are an amazing piece of etiquette design!
In the movie, Andrew Blauvelt revels that the ends of these toothpicks can be broken off. Why? Well first to simply indicate that they toothpick has been used. But also it can be used as a rest to keep the tip of your toothpick hygienically off the surface of the table. Awesome.

IDEO was working on a toothbrush design to make toothbrushes less disposable and more sustainable. Something that 'gets better with time' and is infinitely reusable. That one wooden handle looked nice, I wouldn't mind trying that out.

They talked kinda briefly about Interaction Design, with Bill Mogridge. But only briefly skimmed it and not explaining it to anyone. Afterwards during the Q&A with the director, Gary was hinting that he is thinking about a third design documentary (first was Helvetica, second is this one, Objectified). I hope his next film will delve into Interaction Design.

My favorite quote from the film:
[As a child,] All of my dreams were about the future.

I don't remember who it was by, perhaps Karim Rashid (but I generally find him too elitist).

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That says it all!

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One of my Body Interface projects is the weBlimp. weBlimp is a social, crowd controlled flying airship. It conceptually miniaturizes participants and places them inside the gondola of a remote controlled blimp.
Completion of our weBlimp project video, as well as the conference paper, is now done! Check out the documentation video for details on the project:

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Map your seldom used function keys to something useful!
using this tool, RemapKey, you can remap any key on your keyboard to be anything you want. On my laptop, I have to press Fn+F11/Fn+12 in order to adjust my volume. This is quite an annoying hassle, as a repetitive task, to have to use two hands in order to adjust the volume. So instead, I have remapped my F11/F12 keys to be directly volume buttons. A single key press is all that is needed now to change the volume.
Now, what if i need my F11 or F12 keys? I have used a tool called Asus Notebook Keys to remap what happens when i press Fn+F11/Fn+12 to be regular F11/F12 key signals.

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Awesome info-model-motion-graphic explaining why the economy is so crappy and whose fault it is:

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Awesome human-computer-interface!
Its a set of small blocks, with screens, audio, accelerometers, and wireless communication. With these little blocks, very intuitive and interesting applications are being developed.
Check out the Siftables TED talk here.

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... or so Frog Design's Jon Kolko's presentation at SFU was trying to explain. Check out his presentation.

Further to this, there was the Interaction|09 conference, an interaction design conference, that happened just over the weekend. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the conference - I am still beating myself over it. However, I was able to find some slides from the presentations.

Jon Kolko's Design Synthesis
(update) [Video of the presentation]

Dan Saffer's Carpe Diem

Michael Salamon's Gestalt Laws/Submit Button

David Malouf's Foundations Of Interaction Design

David Malouf's Introduction to Interaction Design

Also from David Malouf: History of Interaction Design

Simon King's Tailored Interactions
Video: Robert Fabricant - Behavior is our Medium

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This is a good vid; Freeways are in the way. This is similar to my past Seattle project, where we removed the Alaskan Viaduct and developed interesting programmes in its place.

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I really like the idea of this project!
Interactive gaming with an Arduino ... ion3d.html

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