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22 February 2
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Flyfire

Under - Design, Industrial Design, Inspiration, Technology
Flyfire, Raster Image Display – Mona Lisa

Flyfire, Raster Image Display – Mona Lisa

Imagine transforming any ordinary space into a highly immersive and interactive display environment! This is what exactly SENSEable City Laboratory and ARES Lab (Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory) aiming at MIT.

From the project website:

In its first implementation, the Flyfire project sets out to explore the capabilities of this display system by using a large number of self-organizing micro helicopters. Each helicopter contains small LEDs and acts as a smart pixel. Through precisely controlled movements, the helicopters perform elaborate and synchronized motions and form an elastic display surface for any desired scenario.

With the self-stabilizing and precise controlling technology from the ARES Lab, the motion of the pixels is adaptable in real time. The Flyfire canvas can transform itself from one shape to another or morph a two-dimensional photographic image into an articulated shape. The pixels are physically engaged in transitioning images from one state to another, which allows the Flyfire canvas to demonstrate a spatially animated viewing experience.

Visit Flyfire project website to learn more about it.

18 February Share your
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Sergey Prokudin Gorsky: At the stubble-field

Under - Inspiration, Photography
На жнитве / At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

На жнитве / At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

One of Gorsky’s incredible photographs titled ‘At the stubble-field’ (above) has been my all time favourite. Taken late in the evening more than 100 years ago (1909), this photograph has a mesmerising effect on me. Can’t stop staring at it, can’t stop thinking about it … I completely feel lost in time and space when looking at it hence featuring it again. It is a wonderful record of a golden moment in the evening at a Russian farm … a farmer family finishing off day’s work to go back to home, it’s going to be dark soon, shall I warm up or cook food, peace and quiet, can I lit a cigarette, let’s talk … may be some cattle sounds in the background. Smoke coming out of a chimney, a small peaceful dwelling – what would have been the conversation topic that night? Was there anyone to tell them that there’s a revolution on its way that is going to change their and their generation’s life in years to come!

This brilliant Russian photographer from early 20th century captured something which is more than a picture to me, may be a vivid statement of more than a thousand words?

Below is another picture at the same time, place and people.

At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

At the stubble-field by Sergey Prokudin Gorsky - 1909

Prokudin Gorsky (also Gorskii) left Russia on the brink of the revolution in 1918 and settled in France. Following is some of his other work around documenting Russian way of life back then.

At the river Kumsa - 1915 by Prokudin Gorsky

Этюд на речке Кумса / At the river Kumsa - 1915

Остречены / Ostrecheny - 1909 by Prokudin Gorsky (Серге́й Миха́йлович Проку́дин-Го́рский​)

Остречены / Ostrecheny - 1909

Peasant woman in Perm Province and By yarn. In the Izvedovo village - 1910 by Prokudin Gorsky

Peasant woman in Perm Province and By yarn. In the Izvedovo village - 1910

Peasant girls - 1909 by Prokudin Gorsky

Peasant girls - 1909

Столярный цех для выделки ножен / Joiner's shop for dressing sheath and Развесочное отделение (Чаква) / Weighing office (Chakva) by Prokudin Gorsky

Столярный цех для выделки ножен / Joiner's shop for dressing sheath and Развесочное отделение (Чаква) / Weighing office (Chakva)

Железнодорожный мост через реку Шую / The railroad bridge over the river Shuya - 1915 by Prokudin Gorsky

Железнодорожный мост через реку Шую / The railroad bridge over the river Shuya - 1915

View more of his work at Flickr and here.

13 February 2
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Where did You Go?

Under - Art, Inspiration, Literature, My Musings, Poetry, Typography

Where did You Go? by C. C. Carpenter II / Typography Asif R Naqvi

Where did You Go?
You were here a minute ago.
Drinking soda and
Laughing out loud
And loving the wine
And making eyes
In love.

There were two of us then.
Now there is one.

We were having so much fun…
I only shut my eyes
For a minute
And you
Slipped
Away.

Poetry: C. C. Carpenter II, Typography: Asif R Naqvi, Type: Garamond

6 February Share your
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‘Sky’ by Philip Bloom

Under - Art, Geography, Media, Photography

Interesting time-lapse short film ‘Sky’ shot on Canon 7D, 5D MK II and Panasonic GF1 in Dubai over five days and nights. This amazing piece of work by Philip Bloom is dedicated to his friend Sky Vassar, who died recently at a tragically young age.

31 January Share your
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One cubic foot of life

Under - Geography, Nature, Photography, Resources
One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe. This National Geographic commissioned project was then compiled into an interactive photogallery of more than a thousand organisms.

How much life could you find in one cubic foot? That’s a hunk of ecosystem small enough to fit in your lap. To answer the question, photographer David Liittschwager took a green metal frame, a 12-inch cube, to disparate environments—land and water, tropical and temperate. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes, coaxing out every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. Accomplishing that took an average of three weeks at each site.

One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

Red shoulder wrasse (Stethojulis bandanesis) / Moorea, French Polynesia / Photographer David Liittschwager

One cubic foot of life / Photographer David Liittschwager

Jewel scarab (Chrysina resplendens) and Jumping spider (Salticidae) / Monteverde, Costa Rica / Photographer David Liittschwager

You can read the full article by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson at National Geographic Magazine.

29 January 1
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iPad – actually it is an e-book reader …

Under - Industrial Design, My Musings, Technology

… disguised as a netbook or may be a formidable hybrid of both! But, with iPad Apple has defined a new category of products that many going to follow in coming days. With the revelation of iBookstore, it is foreseeable where the whole game plan is leading to.

Apple iPad

iPad is an amplified version of iPhone but without a phone that is going to run all iPhone apps. It is an excellent alternate to netbooks and thin enough to be used as e-reader. As an e-reader, iPad is way advanced than what we are currently familiar with in the form of Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader. As mentioned earlier in a different context, this device has the potential of becoming an ultimate e-reader and PMP.

Apple iPad

Smartphones are excellent but still small enough to be used as practical devices for everyday use. With iPad, Apple has successfully combined several products in one. Many would struggle to fit this product into the current hierarchy of consumer electronics but I see it clearly replacing conventional laptops, tablets and netbooks.

What future holds from Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader – I don’t know but I’m sure for one thing that iPad, when wrapped in leather, is a clear invitation to Microsoft Courier to enter into the ring with caution.

28 January 11
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360° panoramic views of Lahore

Under - Photography

My brother Farhan has been playing with his Canon G10 and PTgui and took interesting 360 degree shots of some of the landmarks in Lahore.

Quide-e-Azam Library, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore - قائداعظم لائبریری, باغ جناح, لاهور

Quide-e-Azam Library, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore - قائداعظم لائبریری, باغ جناح, لاهور

Hazuri Bagh, Lahore Fort, Lahore - حضوری باغ, شاهی قلعہ, لاهور

Hazuri Bagh, Lahore Fort, Lahore - حضوری باغ, شاهی قلعہ, لاهور

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, Lahore - بادشاھی مسجد, شاهی قلعہ, لاهور

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, Lahore - بادشاھی مسجد, شاهی قلعہ, لاهور

National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore - نىشنل كالج آف آرٹس, لاهور

National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore - نىشنل كالج آف آرٹس, لاهور

National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore - نىشنل كالج آف آرٹس, لاهور

National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore - نىشنل كالج آف آرٹس, لاهور

Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore - مينار پاكستان, لاهور

Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore - مينار پاكستان, لاهور

27 January 9
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20 this and 10 that … 5 best of this and top 100 of that!

Under - Design, Miscellaneous, My Musings, Resources

Sorry, didn’t have anything to write today so I thought of a cliché post title. I don’t know who exactly started this trend but I started noticing it on MSN few years back on their homepage and Yahoo followed soon after. This kind of articles appeared after logging out from email accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo when you are automatically redirected to MSN or Yahoo homepages with some attention-grabbing top stories.

Those everyday articles used to be interesting, catchy and somewhat spicy. I bet they helped cutting down bounce rate and increased visitor retention on those sites but, the practice of such an approach within online creative community has now gone beyond acceptable. Smashing Magazine could be called trend setter within the creative industry and sort of sole responsible for the influx of such a nonsense that we have to deal with on everyday bases.

Just look at the article/post titles below that I accumulated from just one design resource:

  • 130+ Awesome Photoshop Tutorials
  • 7 Online Form Creation Solutions
  • 14 Great Posts on jQuery Plugins
  • 75+ Top jQuery Plugins to improve Your HTML Forms
  • 22 Stunning Free Download E-Commerce Icon Sets
  • 10 Amazing Avatar movie Photoshop Tutorials
  • 23 sites where to download free icons
  • Top 31 Most Creative and Interesting Movie Websites Designs
  • 20 Amazing Creature Illustrations by Imaginism
  • 35 Amazing Fantasy Art 3D Wallpapers
  • 10 Tips to Create a Motivating Working Environment at Home
  • 10 Beautiful Video Blogging WordPress Themes
  • 50+ Amazing Creatiive & Original Logos
  • 30 Cutting Edge Examples Of CSS Navigation
  • 60 Extremely Creative Movie Posters
  • 50+ Essential Techniques and Tools for Visualizing your Data
  • 40 Mind Blowing Surreal Photo Manipulations
  • 111 Best Online Web Design Tools
  • 27 hilarious stuff you wish, were Photoshopped
  • 27 Outstanding Car HDR Photos
  • 40 best photoshop tutorials for web layouts

Is there any number or combination of mind boggling words left? There were indeed hundreds of such posts/articles on that particular resource but I only picked a few to give an example here. The good thing about Smashing Magazine articles was that they were original, but the SEO orientated minds soon picked up the hidden benefit in such content and the rest is history now.

The type of material seen these days on lots of design/creative resources is meaningless. Although some of such posts provide valuable information (a tiny fraction may be) but most of the time their content is nowhere near to whatever claimed in their titles. Such posts are mostly used as fillers. It is also disrespectful and derogatory to senior designers, artists and creative people when their work is labelled and reviewed under 150 websites with beautiful background or something.

Having such content is supposedly one of the easiest ways to grab user attention and to generate content without much effort – and perhaps earning big plus from SEO point of view. I can generate at least five new articles, or may be more, out of the list above just by shuffling their content but is this what we really want to give to our audience or is this what people really want to see all the time?

25 January Share your
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CURB – the natural media company

Under - Advertising, Inspiration, Media

CURB

World’s first natural media company offering a range of highly effective media solutions solely using natural earth elements. Sounds interesting – isn’t it! CURB’s eco-advertising providing clients with natural marketing which impacts on their target consumer without impacting on the environment.

Our natural experts use only sustainable earth elements to create everything from national advertising campaigns to astounding corporate art. Ultimately we just love to do cool things with nature.

CURB

CURB

CURB

22 January Share your
thoughts

The Architecture of extreme connectivity

Under - Design, Inspiration, Technology

Usman Haque, Director of Haque Design + Research and co-founder of Pachube, talks about his theories of connectedness at CaT London.

Haque has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances throughout the world.

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