Friday, July 04, 2008

Another New Home For Nate Archer

I have moved addresses once again. The fun continues over at

Sunday, January 07, 2007


This blog has moved to

See you there, have a good trip!


I was flipping through Icon Magazine and found this interesting definition under "isms" for the 21st century.

Rather than solving our problems, design is killing us. Architects and designers no longer provide for our needs but for our wants, fuelling the inferno of human consumption that is overwhelming the planet's life-support systems.

Yet our collective fear of impending disaster is overwhelmed by our unwillingness to make the lifestyle compromises necessary to reverse climate change and habitat destruction. Contemporary notions of “sustainability” are aimed more at assuaging our guilt than making a real difference.

Neroism describes the contemporary condition of hedonistic behaviour in the face of catastrophe and also justifies it: ours is the last generation that will be able to enjoy such wanton irresponsibility, so let's enjoy it while we can!

I thought this was a very apropos way of describing design's role in today's mainstream. I feel that this represents all that is wrong with design and presents an interesting new approach to designing objects. What if we designed not to satisfy needs, but rather designed to avoid satisfying needs?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Re: The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Noah’s latest post touches on a lot of things I have been thinking of recently. I recently hung out with a couple of friends from high school and after a few years apart, the ways in which we have all changed is very noticeable.

It was my understanding that everyone thought the way I thought. All my colleagues and friends in the design world thought the same as me and I assumed this extended beyond them. However when comparing my high school friends and myself, I realized how different we have become in only a few short years.

The world doesn’t think how I think and I am only beginning to understand how large this difference is. (The very fact that I can’t define what I do would scare the shit out of some people, but to me it seems right.)

As Noah said, “I'm not saying one is better than the other, just that we don't all have the same thing driving us.” I believe this is what it comes down to: motivation. I believe the separation that exists can be divided into two parts. The majority of people are driven to work so they can live their lives the way they want. The rest of us are driven by an intangible force. By this I mean that work isn’t work to us, it is a passion that we cannot deny. Our work is our lives, and vice versa.

The notion that "not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur" follows this logic by the fact that there are those who work to provide and those who define themselves by their work.


For Maglite (for some reason the "" banner is blocking the caption.)

via: Scary Ideas

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Blog Post a Day, Keeps The Doctor Away

So as some of you may have seen, I took a photo everyday last semester for a thinktank project. Although I skipped a few days here and there, the project was an overwhelming success. One of the main things I learned from this project was how easily something become part of your schedule when you are "forced" to.

So I was thinking about it and I thought that I should apply this same idea to some thing that I have a hard time fitting into my schedule. This thing is of course: Blogging. So starting next Monday, I will be blogging once a day. From a single word to unlimited words, the sky is the limit. I think that this will allow me to really get into blogging and create some unexpected consequences.

See you then!

(I'm aiming to post before then too)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Design v. Business (Or Desiginess)

Day 38

Business is blending into Design, and Design is blending into Business. This trend has been continuing over the past couple years and is really beginning to take shape. Listening to the Businessweek Podcast entitled Design Means Business, I heard a phrase that I believe sums up the relationship between the Design industry and the Business sector.

"One can't do it without the other."

The podcast was covering the AIGA Gain conference in New York. The speaker was someone who has always been a blend of Business and Design, Tom Kelley of IDEO, who was discussing the JetBlue terminal design at JFK. I think this phrase stuck out because it shows that neither Design or Business is more powerful than the other. Their true power is found when combined in equal parts. This is a great notion and something that both designers and business people should learn from.

I am reminded of the OCAD Rotman's partnership program happening at my school. It combines 2 OCAD designers and 5 Rotman's students together in collaborative projects. I think this partnership is missing one thing: equality. It is my hope that in the future we will see less of this one sided view, and more of an balanced partnership that weighs both sides equally. This will release the true potential of Business and Design.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mp3, Photo & Presentation

Day 32

State of the Music Industry

Digitization has advanced how music is created; however it has negatively impacted how music is commodified. Unfortunately, because the industry’s business wasn’t designed for this environment, artists and labels are unable to reap the benefits from these changes. The result is an industry that is not fairly compensating its most vital participants: creators.

The rapid changes of the last few years have empowered the artist. It is key to find a solution to their problems and fulfil their needs; without them there is no music. The democratization of the industry has taken the power away from the labels and needs to be made accessible to artists. We need to allow the artists to maintain control and ownership of their creations, empowering them to craft and control their own careers.

However, the labels still hold some power when it comes to commodifying music. Their strengths lie in the business, financial and marketing aspects. The label of the future is about providing these necessary services to artists, facilitating the relationship between the artist and the listener. This new approach will allow them to maintain their business and profit without drastically altering their business.

The listeners need music delivered to them the way they want. Just like the artists, they too have been empowered by technology and will no longer play by anyone else’s rules. They want to find great music and create rich experiences around it. They want to have music delivered to them on their terms, at the right price and without any restrictions. The demand exists; it is up to the industry to fulfil it.

To fulfil these needs it is essential to start embracing new technology and business innovations. The industry must accept this new technology and use it to its full capabilities. These innovations offer immense opportunities to enrich the musical experience and in turn, create profit.

The industry has the ability to benefit from the technology they are currently ignoring. Many mavericks have abandoned the past and have been greatly rewarded. The old system was designed to profit from music, the new one will nurture music and benefit from it. Artists and listeners have the ability to ignore businesses that don’t meet their needs, but they can also greatly benefit from ones that do.

From these perspectives it is clear that we need to empower the artist-listener relationship. The labels need to realize their core competencies. Artists need tools that empower them to reach the listener and make a living, and listeners want a rich music experience. The relationship is reciprocal; the artists have music and want revenue and the listeners want music and have revenue. Connecting the two is my goal.

This has led me to conclude that the music industry is in need of an effective way to commodify music that is designed to fit into the digital landscape. This will specifically focus on a system that provides artists with tools to effectively distribute their music and profit. The service will provide new artists with the tools they need to break into music, while also allowing established artists to continue their careers. It would also connect listeners and artists and nurture their relationships.

Simultaneously, this system will provide listeners with a product that fits their needs to effectively close the commodification loop. The act of buying music extends beyond the transaction. The music industry is a business, but to the artists and listeners it is all about the music. This service needs to facilitate this and provide music not as a product, but an experience.

To conclude, my goal is to create a system that distributes music in a way that meets the needs of artists and listeners in our digitized world, reinvigorating the music industry with a sustainable business model. This would enable artists to keep making the music we love.

Example of some great music: The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations

Monday, November 20, 2006

How Long 'Til This Is On Letterman

First was Will It Float, now its Will It Blend

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gate Closed

Gate 2 is over! My presentation went pretty good, I stumbled a bit, but overall it went well. H

I also started back on the photoblog and tonight is my parent's Taste of the World Gourmet diner party. It will feature food from all the continents and should be pretty good, my dad has been making pesto all day, so I expect the rest of the dishes to be very good too.