Design Intern

Okay, so the bad news is that I have not posted here in a while. Sad.

The good news is that I have been super busy with awesome things, which I hope to start sharing more of soon.

The OTHER good news is that I am hiring a Design Intern this summer. We will be moving to Indy Hall and will be surrounded by awesome people (will totally miss BOK!).

SUMMER INTERNS, APPLY HERE

PARAMETRIC PRODUCT

Wallet Pod is evolving! I’ve gotten some first hand usage of version 1.0 these past few weeks. And there are a lot of improvements! Nicer materials, cheaper price, lighter, options from 4 cards to 12 cards, parametric modeling, and waaaaay sleeker design.

Version 1.0 - Much room for improvement

Version 1.0 - Much room for improvement

Version 2.0 - A different size for everyone

Version 2.0 - A different size for everyone

Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks. For anyone who purchased version 1.0 already, I have a special treat (for everyone else, you can still order 1.0, but no treats for you!). But seriously, for anyone who didn’t and is thinking about it, you probably want hold onto your cards for version 2.0!

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LANDAU + Toner Open House

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Toner Architects and LANDAU Design+Technology are having an Open House this Friday night. As part of Design Philadelphia, BOK is opening it’s doors for “BOK NIGHT”. BOK is full of some pretty great folks, who I have been getting to know and will be opening their doors too. If you haven’t been to BOK or if you have just been wondering what is so special about it, this is a great chance.

We will have food and drink and I’m sure others will too. So swing by and say hi.

Wallet Pod

A work in progress…

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If you have some extra cash and want to test this wallet idea out, please order one on Shapeways and let me know how you like it.

Knight Smart Cities Forum

Last week I attended the Knight Smart Cities Forum here in Philadelphia. I felt honored to have been invited to this cadre of thinkers, policy makers, innovators, and doers. Among the speakers was Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney who is the man. There was a high percentage of folks with municipal positions as “Chief Innovation Officers”. There were others who do smart city planning and strategy, like CityFi. And there were academic affiliates as well such as Eric Gordon from Emerson’s Engagement Lab, Paulette Brown-Hinds of UC Riverside and Voice Media Ventures, John Harlow from Arizona State, and Beth Coleman from the University of Waterloo. I was amazed to find myself among others; deputy mayors, Knight Foundation staff, and more. The forum was the brain-child of Lilian Coral, a fairly new addition to the Knight team. She sure brought a great group together.

The main area of discussion was not really about new technologies. It was more about how these technologies impact communities and how communities should be engaged in the process of planning for the smart city. I liked something someone said that his smart city strategy was the same as his city strategy, meaning that technology is the just another means of trying to build better cities for their citizens.

Youngmoo Kim demonstrates a touch-sensitive robot at ExCite Center

Youngmoo Kim demonstrates a touch-sensitive robot at ExCite Center

Another highlight was the tour we took of Science Center incubator IC@3401 given by Eamon Gallagher and the ExCite Center given by the wonderfully energetic Youngmoo Kim.

And, oh yeah, I took copious notes!

Dos Tres Press

I had a chance to meet with my friend Alexis Nutini at Dos Tres Press in the Carpenter Street Studios in South Philly, today. Alexis is an accomplished printmaker and skilled print technician. I’ve always been interested in Alexis’s relief print work because of its visual quality, color, and process-oriented approach, but am especially excited because he is using a small CNC mill to create his prints (which can therefore be driven by powerful digital tools!!). I also have a background in print and so we talked about the possibilities of working collaboratively in a few different ways.

Alexis Nutini with his Day of the Dead permutations for Fleisher Art Memorial’s 2018 celebrations

Alexis Nutini with his Day of the Dead permutations for Fleisher Art Memorial’s 2018 celebrations

Alexis and I hope to collaborate in the future on some digitally driven-printmaking. We can see doing editions of fine art prints for galleries and design clients alike. And just seeing what is possible. I’m excited to work with him, because he realizes that the digital process is not the end of the work and that there are a lot of other artistic decisions that need to be made along the way. And he has a great eye. Two of them, in fact!

Alexis’s new studio mate. Precision cutting skills

Alexis’s new studio mate. Precision cutting skills

His current project will be part of Fleisher Art Memorial’s Day of the Dead celebrations over the coming month. He has been working with integrating the imagery of several different communities.

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Color magic and precision-cut blocks.

BE OKAY

I am super excited to be working out of the BOK Building in South Philly. Not only is it near home, but it is also a super unique place to BE, full of amazing people who are starting or continuing awesome, creative businesses. Many know BOK for BOK Bar, a rooftop bar, with an unbelievable vista of the city and gorgeous sunsets.

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View from BOK

I love the way that they are transforming the building that was once a vocational school with new windows, renovations wall graphics, and recently, floor stickers. It is playful and colorful and helps a lot with wayfinding in this gigantic building. I think the graphic approach by Smith and Diction has had a big effect on the way I have been thinking about my own branding, my logo and color palette, in particular. I didn't even realize what an affect it has had until recently.

Smith Diction BOK

I am currently working out of the offices of Toner Architects in Room 425 for the time being. We are having a joint OPEN HOUSE during Design Philadelphia. If you are nearby, any time, come by for a visit!

THANK YOU, OLIN!

My 11 year stint at OLIN is coming to a close in a few short weeks. It is hard for me to believe that I have been there so long. It has been an amazing experience working with Laurie Olin and all of the other talented partners and associates. There is such an amazing culture of teaching, learning, and collegiality that, from what I have heard, has been there from the beginning. Don't get me wrong, working there was no basket of flowers. These are serious designers we are talking about. Some of the best in their game. They do not mess around. They are critical, challenging, and they work their butts off.

So it was the perfect place to learn about landscape architecture. I probably couldn't have picked a better experience, even at a University. My teachers were my project managers and coworkers and my 'studio' projects were rarely speculative. I also learned a great deal on my own. Looking back when I started at OLIN, I knew almost nothing about the profession. I had my art degrees, and I had started to get into design. I suppose this was enough for David Rubin and Bryan Hanes to hire me as a Graphics Specialist (they had not yet gone on to start their new firms). In the last 11 years I've taught myself a lot. I learned Rhino, Grasshopper, Python, 3DS Max, Lumion, After Effects, CAD, Sketchup, Revit and more (all to varying degrees). Not to mention how many hours I have spent in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. 

One of many '4x4' lunchtime lectures that I helped to start, where OLINites share knowledge

One of many '4x4' lunchtime lectures that I helped to start, where OLINites share knowledge

I'm grateful to all of the folks at OLIN, and have made some dear friends. There are so many amazing people who are there and who have left. I have made a very long list.

I look forward to having OLIN as a client and for their generosity and open-mindedness to continue to work with me. It will ease the sting of leaving a place that is so dear to me. I look forward to working with OLIN as a client and to bringing my knowledge and experience from OLIN to other designers, researchers, engineers, and builders of cool things.

Showing the studio the bench we built for Design Philadelphia back in 2011

Showing the studio the bench we built for Design Philadelphia back in 2011