hey you urban gardeners. 

take a look at this beautifully designed, origami-inspired planter from london-based studio ayaskan. it's designed to expand as the plan grows, allowing you to avoid the process of repotting. it's called "growth" and while it's still just a concept, they are working on beginning production soon. pretty cool!

from the studio: "the life cycle of a plant is a transformation, from an early seed to its full grown size; the blooming of a flower, the unfolding of a leaf, the branching of the roots... this process is what growth aims to capture within a plant pot."


more here.

via huh magazine


this is so cool.

pirate3d has created “the world’s friendliest 3d printer,” a printer that can turn images into 3d-printed objects. the video below is about “touchable memories,” a project they’ve launched that focuses on the printer’s ability to turn photos into 3d-printed objects for people without vision. the project hopes to increase awareness around the many ways that technology can improve lives. as the video says, “technology is just a tool. people give it a purpose.” using a home printer called a bucacaneer, they are able to create a physical, tangible scene of an image.

as a person who lives for design and beauty, i know that so many of the things that give me joy are based on the privilege of sight. the idea of seeing art and design and inspiration everywhere - which is at the core of THE BOSS AESTHETIC - truly takes for granted that privileged. justina blakeney mentioned this in a post for world sight day a couple of weeks ago: “i refer to myself as a ‘visual person,’ but without sight i would have to redefine my entire identity and carve out a new way of thinking and of being.” the idea that technology could give those without sight access to a little bit of this as well is pretty amazing.

more here.

via swissmiss



i wanted to share a recent article from the atlantic on why new ideas fail and how experts reject innovation. the essence of the article is that new ideas often fail because people have a bias against the new. because "the brain is hardwired to distrust creativity."

and experts specifically/especially resist change precisely because they are experts, because they know too much and are blinded by that knowledge. so, instead of knowledge turning us into critical thinkers, it may turn us into "over-critical thinkers."

what i thought was most interesting was that the article asks whether this is not just a dilemma for innovators, but for creators (and hence creatives) as well.

so, what's a creative/creator/innovator to do? the article says it might be all about disguising new ideas as *kindanew* ideas: "if people are attracted to the familiar, it’s crucial for creative people to frame their ideas in ways that seem recognizable, predictable, and safe...there is an "optimal newness" for ideas that live somewhere between the fresh and the familiar."

and the article ends with an amazing argument for marketing and design, thankyouverymuch.

"creative people often bristle at the suggestion that they have to stoop to marketing their ideas. it's more pleasant to think that one's brilliance is self-evident and doesn't require the gloss of sales or the theater of marketing. but whether you're an academic, screenwriter, or entrepreneur, the difference between a brilliant new idea with bad marketing and a mediocre idea with excellent marketing can be the difference between success and bankruptcy."

i could not have said it better myself!

more here.

beautiful scramble above by artist jen wink.


this is so cool. designer joe harrison was thinking about how the nature of logos will change as our screens get smaller and we get more and more mobile, so he created "responsive logos." this project made me pause and think about how branding needs to evolve for the multi-screen, interactive, ADD, always abbreviated world. if you click through and reduce your screen (it’s actually even cooler on your phone) you’ll see the logo evolve into it’s simplest form. the idea is that logos must be "responsive" to the device they're being displayed on.

i am obsessed with the simplicity-driven nature of this project. simplicity forces so much thought and intelligence into design and when it’s done right - and captures a lot with a little - it’s perfection. brands are going to have to do more with less as our interactions with them evolve so click through and see how harrison sees that happening. he plays with coca-cola, chanel, nike, bang & olufsen (shown below), disney and levi's.



the new yorker magazine released their first animated cover on instagram last week. check it out here. now think about what that means! like so many innovations, now that i see it and it makes so much sense i'm surprised more major publications haven't done this yet. i am a huge advocate of creating content that is right for the vehicle you've chosen, meaning that pasting print materials into a pdf and putting it on your website does not work. you need to adapt it for each channel, like they've done here. by pasting print content as is onto a digital medium you are missing so many opportunities - mainly the opportunity the web gives you to get your customers/viewers to engage with your content (click, share, etc) in a more meaningful way. print based brands particularly need to be thinking about how to repurpose their content for different digital platforms. might as well start with the cover!

this "animated cover" reminds me of a cinemagraph, a half-video-half-image invented by jamie beck and kevin burg. according to their site, "a cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly." burg is a visual graphics artist and beck, his wife, is a fashion photographer; they came up with the cinemagraph while experimenting with gifs. check out their beautiful cinemagraphs here and their blog (a must for fashion lovers) here

FEELING (forward-looking) WITH (story)

story is a retail store based in new york city that “takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.” started by rachel shechtman, every one to two months story chooses a different concept and then redesigns the store and restocks the merchandise around that concept, trend or theme. the idea is to tell a story through merchandise and constantly connect with consumers in a new way. past themes have included “home for the holidays,” “new york” and “made in america.”

why: i think story is an amazing example of disrupting traditional models (in this case retail) and making every day experiences more interactive. story is curating content through merchandise, constantly re-thinking design and inventing new ways to connect with their customers. given that brands have a hard time getting customer to watch videos longer than 15 seconds, why shouldn't retail adjust to shorter attention spans as well?

also: they find interesting corporate partners that are relevant to the concept at hand to sponsor areas of the store during that time (and get branding in return, #winwin). the most recent example is partnering with intel for their current story about style and technology. this is a *super* smart way to help large organizations experiment with new ways to engage their customers.

but: their email and website design is pretty flat. and i think that for how innovative and interactive they are in store, they could be better leveraging social media to expand their in-store community online.

long story short: we know people are expecting more from their online interactions with stores and retailers, but they’re expecting more offline as well. very few physical stores have changed the way they sell their products and story isn’t just doing that, they’re doing it really well.

ps: i saw the founder, rachel, speak last year and she was awesome. here's her ted talk.

more on story here. and here.