Date Archives September 2013

Phonebloks: The Phone Design Dream

phonebloks 1

As Apple released its iPhone 5C last week, buyers had the opportunity to personalize their phone unlike never before. Five color variations as opposed to the standard two? Man, the choices.

Color variations aren’t much of a customization feature – in the end, your phone does the same things, has the same features, and even falls short in the same areas as everyone else’s. Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, however, has come up with a concept that would truly make your phone customizable.

It’s called Phonebloks – a name that might remind you of Megabloks or Legos. And thinking along those lines would be right on. The Phonebloks concept takes phone design to users as Legos do for architecture. Every functional component of a phone is contained in its own individualized block. The battery, for instance, would be one block; while the camera would be an other. Combine all the right blocks, and soon you have a working phone.

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“Designed Together”, a colorful new commercial for the iPhone 5C

Last week, Apple officially released iOS 7 as well as the colorful iPhone 5C, marrying the product and the operating system into a cohesive thought. This is the first time that Jonny Ive has had creative control over both the hardware and the software, and as you’ll see in the commercial below it’s a cohesive thought that the iPhone has needed for a while now.

I’m a huge fan of iOS 7, I have been since the beta, but it’s been great to see the reaction of friends and family to it as well. So far I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, heck, even my mom thinks it’s great looking.

Apple iPhone 5C

Thomas Prior Captures Amazing Images of a Mexican Fireworks Fight

Thomas Prior - Tultepec

As beautiful as they are terrifying, these images by photographer Thomas Prior show an amazing fireworks fight taking place on the streets of Tultepec in Mexico. The city is famous for its fireworks, and every year on March 8th, the people of the city take to the streets to celebrate their famous export in the most spectacular of fashion.

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Character creates a contemporary branding for Miselu’s C.24 Keyboard

Character creates a contemporary branding for Miselu's C.24 app

When I think of strong, contemporary branding I tend to think of a style that’s slightly edgy or futuristic. Branding that pushes some boundaries, that feels new and interesting. Character, a San Francisco based creative agency, created a striking bit of branding for Miselu’s newest product C.24, an innovative, two octave iPad keyboard.

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Jon Hopkins’ track “Breathe This Air” gets elevated thanks to Purity Ring’s vocals

Apart from Arcade Fire’s newest song, the only other song I get stuck in my head recently is this new track from Jon Hopkins. His newest album Immunity has been on repeat for me, but he recently did a new version of “Breathe This Air” featuring the entrancing vocals of Purity Ring singer Megan James, whom he’d been recently touring with. I actually prefer this version to the album version, Megan’s voice brings so much soul to the track, like a ghost in the machine. Certainly one of my favorite tracks of 2013.

Jon Hopkins "Breathe This Air" featuring Purity Ring

Orée Touch Slab Trackpad

Orée Touch Slab Trackpad

As a person who’s quite interested in wabi-sabi, the idea of the beauty that exists in things that have aged naturally, the Orée Touch Slab is quite intriguing. Despite it’s wooden frame this is actually a sophisticated, Bluetooth equipped trackpad. What I think is really neat is how the wood would start to wear as a person uses it, the subtle gestures of their fingers wearing familiar grooves into it’s surface. It’s kind of nice to think of our technology aging gracefully, hopefully we start to see more thoughtful designs like this in the near future.

An Art Project About Adventure: Luke Franklin’s ‘4 Bothies’

4 Bothies | SHARK-5

Described by its creator Luke Franklin as “An Art Project About Adventure”, the 4 Bothies Project is a wonderful idea that celebrates exploration, intrigue, and (if you’re lucky) discovery. Consisting of four unique spaces, each ‘bothy’ is hidden somewhere in Ireland, with the artist giving little else away about each ones location.

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Interview with a Painter: Erik Olson


The first time I came across Erik Olson’s work was when my sister showed me an image she had found online, it had no credit and wasn’t linked to the original painter. I put on my detective hat and set about tracking it down, doing a reverse image search that lead me to Canadian Painter Erik Olson. It’s something about the way his subjects are suspended within these bold backgrounds and the frenzied and warped feature, as if they’ve been framed in some sort of swirl and blur movement, that struck me and when the time came to put together a list of creatives I wanted to talk to; he was high up on my list.

I was also fascinated by his first solo show that was held in an abandoned gas station, I love this kind of ingenuity and it is this attitude that, it seems, has got the ball rolling for him and has seen him exhibited across Canada, America and even a spot in the UK.

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Control Two at Once in ‘Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons’


Puzzle games, for me, always seem to be on the forefront of game design. Like Bobby wrote a couple of weeks ago, sometimes game design can feel turgid, rote, and, frankly, uninspired. So many stories lack, emotional depth or attempt to put a real feeling inside you. I mean how many different times do I need to run around with a gun or hack and slash through a dungeon to get loot or save a princess?

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons feels different right off the bat. This new release on Xbox and PS3 is about two brothers looking for a lifesaving ingredient in a beautiful fairy tale world. Josef Fares, a Swedish film director, linked with Starbreeze Studios to give the game a cinematic sweep.

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Take a listen to Zero 7’s new song “On My Way”

Listening to the radio this morning I heard this new song from Zero 7 called “On My Way”. It’s a long, 9 minute burner which is driven by a plucky guitar beat and Danny Pratt’s haunting vocals which pop in around the 2 minute mark. I’d say this is track is better than 80% of that new Daft Punk album but I’ll leave you to judge it for yourself.

Zero 7