Friday, October 27, 2006

Another Reason To Love Front Design

One of my favourite design groups. They always impress! This is their most recent example of why!

For more check them out Online

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cool Shit

Amazing light graffiti via Coudal

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Attention Musicians, Music Industry Insiders, Music Fans or Anyone Who Knows Any of These People

So after a little hiccup in my thesis project I am know back on track and am currently undertaking the interview process to create personas. I have created a set of questions for Musicians, Music Insiders and Music Listeners. So if you fit into one of these categories or know someone who would qualify please let me know. Leave a comment or email me at nlarcher at Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Top 10

After reading the multiplicity of coverage on David Armano’s recent presentation in NY I realized that what I am passionate about right now is… my schoolwork. It may sound somewhat odd, but I have to occupy my time with something, right?

So I thought I would share my “Top 10” a recent presentation I gave. I chose based on what I view as the current shift in design in today’s landscape, as well as to show my classmates the stuff that has inspired me.

The Brief
What are you seeing that is interesting? What work is important to you? Who is doing good work?

All Photos from authors and nickf

Fuck Blogger!!!!

Crash on me once, shame on you. Crash on me twice, shame on you still!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Depletist {de-plE-tist}

1. An individual or group demonstrating apparent negligent or reckless disregard for the environmental consequences of their actions.

2. An individual or group that exhausts non-renewable resources and rejects positive environmental strategies.

I thought I would give a brief update on the fourth year think tank project I mentioned previously. We moved beyond using the school as a test bed for our ideas and have now created a word to try and affect change through language. We noticed that the word environmentalist was reserved only for those who acted above the norm. It was our goal to change this. So we created a word to make environmentalism the norm. Depletist is used in the same tone as racist or sexist and meant to label anti-environmental behaviour. We are currently spreading the word (literally) and would love some help. If you know of a way to help, please let me know, otherwise just start using it!

Depletism Online
Canadian Design Resource

Photo: kk

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ze Frank Knows Me? (Do I Know Ze Frank)

After watching this video of Ze Frank’s The Show I was just amazed by how much he knows his audience. Not only does he usually deliver great content but also manages to articulate the very thoughts that a viewer would have while watching. Ze is what I feel the future of media should be. He knows his audience enough to encourage them to form a true relationship with the content and the creator. Thinking about this, I think that this is what makes the best content work so well.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hey Check This Out!

Day 15

We all have those friends who love to show other people stuff they think is cool. Whether it’s a funny video or a cool ad, they love spreading the word via email or in person. In today’s media landscape these people are a marketer’s dream and the reason ”viral” advertising works. However I have come to the conclusion that they only embody this now and once we figure out new ways of tracking web activity they will no longer be son coveted.

I always have people showing me new things online and most of the time they are uninteresting to me. When our friends and family recommend something new to us we usually pay attention because we feel that they know our likes and dislikes. However somehow it never is as good as when we find it ourselves.

When we are online we can find others with similar tastes. The immense size of the web means that we can connect with any one of the million users online and gives us a better pool to draw from than our immediate connections. Online, we can find people with near identical tastes and it is these people who we really form a trust with. The difference between this and real world recommendations is that in reality others give suggestions based on their perceived knowledge of us, whereas online we are filtering the recommendations ourselves. In effect we are finding our own referrers and this is far more effective. Because, in the end,

who knows you, better than you?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bruce Sterling Visits OCAD (Why We Have to Find Our Own Modernity)

Photo: nickf

After class today I went to talk with Bruce Sterling, he is definitely a person to watch. I would probably be described as a futurist however he stated later in the day that he isn't. However I would definitely check out his book, Shaping Things.

So in the morning, he discussed among other things, Raisinettes, Eastern Europe and Capitalism. Very engaging guy that seems to have an opinion or knowledge on everything.

What was kind of strange was that although I regard Bruce as being a celebrity, he was so cool and down to earth that is was hard to keep up that illusion in his presence. I had no difficulty asking him his thoughts on where the future of music was. However his response was a little disheartening. His answer was simply that he was worried because he believes that music as we know it will die. Copyright restrictions will hurt music so much that people will stop caring and eventually will rebel in the form of user generated content that is aggregated via something like Flickr. By denying the user's needs we will natural resort to crowd sourcing to fill the void.

On a bit of a tangent he stated that in the future we will see information warfare, where one country will blatantly disregard their enemies copyrights. Keep in mind he is a Science Fiction writer, but interesting idea.

However this has given me some motivation... I hope!

Also, check out the Day x Day Project over at I'm already on day 14 !!!

Day 14
Here are my notes from Bruce Sterling's evening lecture...

Writers have audience, designers, futurists have clients
Designers value to companies is to bring information from outside of the box. In this case the value is from not being involved
Dematerialization is in the creation of services, interaction and experiences.
Futurist = Filter
Pew report = sensibility that is just a grinding process not blue sky/ demise

futurists don't tell the future, their tool and trade is the scenario the alternative possibility of the future.
No single future can exist, the future is alterable subject to change
Scenarios let you demonstrate people's untapped capacity to change through role playing
"Finding the three" selecting the proper ideas from a brainstorm or filtering out the important changes in environment
ideas develop and derive value from context
After brainstorming, it is key to let them "sleep"
Quadrant is the futurist's sketch
4 futures to represent multiple directions or tones of futures
tool to engage client
Greed > Fear, Familiar > weird (4 axis points)
Weird the one they never thought of
Each team is assigned to one scenario to compete on making theirs the most real
Sorting out brainstorming ideas into quadrants one or all
People naturally drawn into the cross hairs
The hit is the MAYA, allows the future to meet the needs

Design plus futurism??
futurists insist that designers have sell by date
designers know futurists are old fashioned
design has future, ironically futurism doesn't
products services are as fragile as we are, temporary and impermanent
We cannot gain insight by studying history and future, we personify time.
people demand an tangible future to make themselves happy and digest it accordingly
we can always think about the future scenarios, however all we have to do is wait
the future can only be predicted in the terms and conditions of todaysustainability is the only model that works
to get there we act and learn over and over
sustainability is dull, posterity and uninteresting un futuristic
sustainability needs to mean the same thing as modernist, without an future looking stance there cannot be a future.
green is mournful, to live is to consumer the most sustainable are those who do don't live
we see history as a nightmare we are trapped in
we need to use time to our advantage, it is all we can really depend on
we need to leave the future with options and the capacity to make fresh mistake, freeing them from history

1. Make everything monumentally - to make all things last forever. Traps descendants in our time for as long as possible. don't feasible
2. Make all bio-degradable - junk just disappears. great idea just not feasible right now
3. SPIMES - We digitally catalogue all objects, all our knowledge on the web, actual become the new virtual. a paradigm ship that meshes the dichotomy. Junk is easy to label once we know about it.

Instead of making the decision now leave it to the future when they are able to make a better choice.
Cataloguing objects makes time an industrial asset and resource

The past is the basis for the future
future is history that hasn't happened yet
find your own modernity

Thanks Bruce!