Winners of the Webby Awards 2013

All the little characters from the animation

All the little characters from the animation

The totally great animated short “Dumb Ways to Die” won Webbies in three categories: Animation, Viral, and Viral Marketing, and won People’s Choice in Public Service and Activism. Don’t watch it unless you want to be singing the little song for days. My extra lyrics: Take a nail gun to yer face / Steal a San Franciscan’s parking place / Dumb ways to die…

By from

Our friends at the Webby Awards announced this year’s winners and as usual, it’s a fantastic mix of familiar sites and also sites I’d never heard of but will now kill my productivity for the week. Here’s a taste: Mental Floss won for best cultural blog, NFB took the Net Art prize for “Bear 71,” Rainn Wilson’s Soulpancake picked up two People’s Voice Awards for video, VICE News also landed film and video awards, and One Tiny Hand won in the Weird category. The Special Achievement honorees are a great lot too: Steve Wilhite (inventor of the GIF), Frank Ocean, Jerry Seinfeld, Grimes, and others. Cheers to the winners!

Winners of The Webby Awards 2013


Is 3D printing about to hit the mainstream? Plus some items I’ve printed for myself

3D printed "Day of the Dead" style skull in stainless steel

3D printed "Day of the Dead" style skull in stainless steel   Shapeways heart

I ordered this skull and heart from, a well-known 3D printing service. The 4-inch-high skull is heavy and beautiful (the heart hasn’t arrived yet). You can choose from many items with 3D patterns already uploaded, or upload your own. Some items are available only in the white plastic discussed below, and others in several other materials such as metals and ceramics. Both of mine are in stainless steel. I’m planning to learn some 3D modeling software and design my own holiday gifts this year.

3D printed eyeglasses
Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

By Charles Arthur from The Guardian:

Jonathan Rowley reaches into the basin of white powder and like a magician pulls out the frame of a pair of spectacles. Made of plastic, they’re the same white as the powder, but hard, and unusually shaped.

Designed by Ron Arad for PQ Eyewear, each hinge on the glasses consists of segments like an armadillo’s tail. “We made these here,” Rowley says, indicating a hulking white machine behind him, which looks like a cross between a dry cleaning apparatus and an industrial oven. “The thing is, you couldn’t make these any other way,” he says.

3D printing starts by designing objects on a computer and then printing them with thermoplastics (and in this case, lasers) in super-thin layers to create intricate finished objects.

Having got its start in making prototypes for aerospace and automotive companies, and latterly for surgeons looking to make precisely tailored replacements for bones, 3D printing is now blossoming.

The technology has been used to make everything from jewellery to replacement jawbones, but the question is, how big is 3D printing going to get? The estimates vary, but it’s always in the billions. Terry Wohlers, an analyst who has followed the field for years, argued last September that the technology has hit its “tipping point” and is about to expand into wider usage we’ll see every day.

[Full article]

HOW Design Live is divided into four distinct conferences, all taking place under one roof

Four design conferences (illustration)


At HOW Design LIVE, you’ll find everything you need to take your design expertise to a whole new level, including educational and career opportunities you simply can’t find in one place anywhere else.

  • Make the kind of valuable business contacts that lead to great gigs.
  • Find talented subcontractors or build a collaborative network you can tap into long after the conference.
  • Secure practical advice on how to manage and promote your business from people who understand creatives, know what really works, and can explain it in plain English.
  • Discover the latest trends in design and learn where you can use them by staying on top of up-and-coming business opportunities.
  • Get out of the office to network and learn from other folks who share your passions and face similar challenges.

Walk the Exhibit Hall and come face-to-face with industry leaders like Adobe and Shutterstock. Plus, you’ll come home with all the free samples you can carry!

Register today!

[Full article]

What the Heck Is P-Commerce?

Illustration with Pinterest "P"'s

Illustration with Pinterest "P"'sBy Lauren Indvik from

First there was ecommerce, a term developed in the early ’80s to abbreviate “electronic commerce,” or sales made possible through electronic funds transfer (and later, the Internet). Since then, marketers have gleefully affixed various letters to the word “commerce” to describe sales (or the potential for sales) made through different platforms: m-commerce for mobile, f-commerce for Facebook and p-commerce, which I’ve discovered recently, is an abbreviation for both “participatory commerce” or “Pinterest commerce.”

Should You Use “P-Commerce”?

No. Not only will you sound like a tool, there’s a good chance no one will know what you’re talking about.

[Full article]

You’re Creating iPad Art Without Even Trying

Fingerprints from email app
Fingerprints from email app
Fingerprints from email app

By Stephanie Buck from

Technology is becoming increasingly invisible. That’s impossible, you might protest — technology is more omnipotent than ever. It’s everywhere, and we can’t seem to go a day, much less an hour, without encountering it.

But entire computer systems are shrinking down to spaces the size of decks of cards. Keyboards are no longer “keys” nor “boards;” they’re touchscreens or projected lights. And screens that before constituted entire desktops have shrunk to eyeglass accessories the size of thumbtacks.

Artist Andre Woolery and partner Victor Abijaoudi want to preserve evidence that demonstrates how consumers interact with this technology. Problem is — those interactions are virtually invisible.

His latest series, titled Invisible Hieroglyphics, is a collection of fingerprints lifted off iPads. They capture how we interface with some of today’s hottest apps and social networks: where we click, how we touch and, sometimes, how fast we’re moving.

[Many more images]

Fingerprints from Fruit Ninja
Fingerprints from Fruit Ninja


Fingerprints from Facebook
Fingerprints from Facebook


Sinuous animal sculptures made from tires

Bull's head

Bull's headBy from

It’s perhaps the very best and ethical way you could place an animal bust on your wall – Korean artist Yong Ho Ji uses recycled tires from all sorts of vehicles to create these incredibly dynamic sculptures. The shape of his medium is what leads to the sinuous curves of each piece, while the knobby textures and coal black hue give them both a beautiful and sinister countenance.

Yong Ho Ji’s animals are hardly accurate, often taking on the clear form of mutants. In this way each species veers slightly away from its real-life kin, sometimes going as far as merging with the properties of another species. In these examples, we see mythical creatures like a bull or wolf with a human torso. In others the mutation is far more subtle – perhaps an animal’s horns have become larger, teeth longer or muscles stronger. Like the Uncanny X-Men, these mutants have changed into forms superior in abilities to their predecessors. Frozen in motion, each creature could easily seem dead to the world were it not for their obsidian black eyes staring with melancholy realism from the folds of their skin.

The sculptures are constructed by screwing and gluing his cut pieces of tire onto a cast resin skeleton – often reaching close to life-size. You can see many more examples at

[Full article with many more photos of his artwork.]




Jan Chipchase was given the opportunity to try out Google Glass. He declined.

Woman wearing Google Glass

Person wearing Google GlassBy from Hidden in Plain Sight at

On Friday I was invited into Google Labs New York and given the opportunity to try out Glass.

I declined to put on a pair.

Here’s why.

There are many people who are exploring what Glass could be, evaluating and providing feedback to Google, exposing and conditioning their networks to the idea of Glass as a viable part of the technology landscape. The selection criteria for being a Glass explorer/evaluator/shill* has been as carefully thought out as any part of the bring-Glass-to-market process. Many early adopters are willing to pay to get their hands on Glass. Others will be paid (in kind or in cash) for providing feedback and related services to the Glass team – and I’ll be interested to know how many of those will reveal their consultant relationship when they talk about Glass publicly. While targeting trend and thought leaders, early adopters and legislatures is not novel, few projects or companies have such deep pockets to do so as comprehensively with such a disruptive product.

In most situations I’d jump at the chance to try Glass out. With most technologies clients want to understand everything about the user experience from how consumers first discover a service, first impressions out of the box, what will drive consistent use or more likely, how it will end up at the back of a drawer gathering dust. Like many of you I make a living from this rich contextual understanding that comes from first hand experiences. It pays (well) to have a natural curiosity about this space and I enjoy being surrounded by colleagues that like to sketch with code and bits – the drill that knows how deep it goes, or a tape measure that can remember everything it measures are two wonderfully understated and subversive examples of explorations that our Munich studio shared this week.

You’ll find no shortage of people willing to write about their hands-on experience of using Glass and I’m not convinced I have too much to add to the conversation around the hands-on product experience. I do however have something to add to the impacted-by-glass-experience for people who feel caught in Google’s proxy: the Little Sister data dragnet.

This isn’t a public declaration of never wanting to wear Glass or a philosophical stance against Google or that form factor. I can think of three Glass use-cases that I consider utterly compelling that could drive adoption, but that include significant social disruption. Instead it’s an appreciation that when it comes to privacy and un/acceptable behaviour in our public spaces there are stakeholders that go well beyond the community that will read this, with whom for now I prefer to maintain a closer affinity.

Stepping out of the Labs meeting and onto the New York streets my colleague Robert Fabricant asked the following question: If you could dictate the exact moment of your first perfect Glass experience what would it be?

For me it will be that short time between a bullet exploding out of a barrel and the moment it penetrates the skull: a lifetime of meaningful experiences played back before my eye. That cinematic-techno-utopian assumption of a life exquisitely recapped is of course wishful thinking and as inevitable as the Glass form factor itself. I suspect a far more realistic scenario is that the last thing I would hear is the sound of the gun-shot, and the last thing I would see is an interstitial advert for earplugs.

Go figure.

Thanks to Matt for the invite and the Google team for hosting.

* frog recently completed a project for Visa in Rwanda that included a short film on the opportunities for financial inclusion, in which I appear. I’ll write about the experience at some point.The line between evaluator, proponent and shill is a nuanced one dependent in part of where you stand.

[Full article]

Minuscule yet functional gold skeleton expected to sell for $150-250,000 at Sotheby’s

Miniature gold skeleton with silver gilt coffin

Miniature gold skeleton with silver gilt coffin

By  from The Awl:

In 1896, Israel Rouchomovsky, in Odessa, completed a 3-1/2 inch gold skeleton with 167 parts. It had taken five long years to create a fully articulated rendering, and he took particular delight in the lower jaw, which opened and shut. In Rouchomovsky’s memoirs, he wrote that he was truly satisfied as he made the final engraving, “Mozyr [18]92 Odessa [18]96” on the right splint-bone, and his name on the left, but “it was at that point that I realized that this ‘deceased’ deserved a beautiful sarcophagus.” He spent another five years on a velvet-lined silver coffin, illustrating the removable cover with the footsteps of the Angel of Death, surrounded by infants alternately laughing and crying. The base was a contemplation on the course of life, with war at one end and the arts at the other.

This Monday, April 29th, in Manhattan, Sotheby’s will auction off the gold skeleton and the silver-gilt sarcophagus. The auction house estimates that the silversmith’s decade-long endeavor, which has resided in hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt’s Judaica collection, will bring in $150-250,000.

[Full article]

Steampunk rabbit collectible toy

"Steampunk" rabbit collectible toy

This “steampunk” bunny started as one of internationally famous artist Frank Kozik’s plain white plastic “Smorkin’ Labbits.” I tricked the bunny out by applying a fine film of spray adhesive to hold multiple layers of silver leaf. I “antiqued” the silver with a wash of black acrylic paint and topped it with a layer of clear acrylic sealant, then added the mismatched screws and replaced his removable smile. There’s no other Labbit like it.

"Steampunk" rabbit collectible toy