Two Thirds

Two thirds wrapped on 2011. Hello September. What projects have you all been sitting on for the last few months? Waiting for free time to present itself. Passively hoping priorities might shift in a good way.

I’ve got 3-4. All really good or cool or potentially rewarding in some way. Waiting for some scrap of attention.

Okay. Go.

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 Asides No Comments

Featured: designboom

Just wanted to throw this up on the Phase Blog – designboom is a long time favorite of mine for daily design content, inspiration, reporting, culture-tracking… and I soak it up almost exclusively through their daily eblasts. Usually on my mobile. Well-curated, always fresh, and global in scope. Architecture, product design, graphics, digital, furniture, experimental, art – all bleeding edge stuff. Check it out and enjoy.

Here’s a quick taste of a featured architecture project – ‘fragile shelter’ by hidemi nishida, outside of Sapporo, Japan. More info here.

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 Featured No Comments


So we can all look back on the trends of the 80s, 90s, maybe the 00s a bit, although that’s trickier. We can all see what design styles ruled the decade – what was contemporary. So then we should also be able to take a step back from the right-now, from what’s contemporary today, right? We can see what we (graphic designers, art directors, interactive creatives, animators etc.) are working on this week, or this month, and we *should* be able to recognize the aspects of our creative work that are lining up to fall into that category of ‘contemporary’. Do we want our stuff to look and feel like everything else that everybody else is working on this week, or this month, or this year?

The problem is that ‘contemporary’ and ‘trendy’ are constantly blurring together. They’re really one and the same. When our deadline is tight, or our clients are unimaginative, or we’re too buried in work to apply our own imaginative abilities… we fall back on what’s cool right now, and we contribute to the larger body of ‘contemporary’ work that we’ll all look back on in 5-10 years and be embarrassed to have been a part of.

Wouldn’t it be great to create, sell-through, and champion creative work that breaks the contemporary trends that surround us? What are the barriers, project to project (because they’re always different), that keep us from doing the unique and imaginative creative work that we know we’re capable of producing?

This weekend, I’ll be blasting out some design comps that will, I absolutely guarantee, be trendy and cool, but unimaginative. I will have to rush my work, and I will fall back on established and expected solutions. I’d like to apologize in advance for my contribution to the cheesy design trends of the early 2000-and-teens. I’ll blow it all out and work some fresh magic the next time, I promise.

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Friday, March 26th, 2010 Asides No Comments


Designers that really break out from the mainstream – from the worlds of average or pretty good – they all seem to have a moment, or a project, or an idea that propels them. How many designers slowly and quietly build up to greatness? Or to notoriety? How many designers roll casually into a position of prestige – with access to the best professional and creative opportunities? No, they bust out with something striking, and they figure out how to get it in front of people. The name gets around, and the creative gets around, and a heavyweight is born. It almost seems like we could craft that trajectory for ourselves, with just a bit of self-promotional savvy. And a bit of that striking creativity.

It doesn’t have to be a high profile project for a high profile client. Although that helps. You know the power of a mass audience. Greatness in front of 10 million people will get you farther than greatness in front of 10 people. Then again, the larger the project, the more likely your creative work will be part of a collaborative and diluted effort – less yours, less genuine. So then the mid-range project, the freelance project, the pro-bono project; these are the projects where it’s most likely to happen.

I don’t even want to touch the design annuals issue, but exposure in any form, especially exposure to your peers, can help you on your way. Do clients really read those magazines? Do they really look for firms in the Print Regional Design Annual? Print would say they do, but ehhhh…here I go, touching the design annuals issue. Like everything else these days though, organic growth/viral exposure are where it’s at. Because they’re genuine. Recommended and approved by people you (may or may not) know.

The question is, are you and I rolling through our creative careers being nothing more than good (maybe really good?), but anonymous? I think we are. It’s one of those enjoying-the-ride vs. captaining-the-spaceship sorts of things.

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Friday, November 13th, 2009 Asides No Comments

PDF Releases

  • Phase 01 Brainstorm [pdf]
  • Phase 02 Community [pdf]
  • Phase 03 Play [pdf]



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