Five things on Friday #57

Things of note for the week ending January 31st, 2014.


1. Robot Building: Big, Bold, and Benign
One of my favourite blogs to appear in 2013 was ‘Adam’s Apples’, the blog of design/storytelling agency, FreeState. The image (and title) above is taken from a post exploring the virtues of ‘building as message’. I love the photo but the short, accompanying post is worth a look too.

2. I really like the idea of ‘secondary attention’
That is all.

3. Hope Soap
Washing hands frequently with soap, is the most effective way of preventing the spread of infection and deadly disease. Providing the disadvantaged children of South Africa with free soap is one thing, but how do you get them to use it?

I love this idea. So much.

4. Stop the Cyborgs!
Are you a shop/venue owner? Do you fear the impending onslaught of Google Glass-based surveillance about to come swarming through your door? Is the very thought of your own customers being able to record everything that you do FROM THEIR FACES break you out into cold sweats?

Then you need to get your hands on one of these handy signs!


Find out more more about these signs, and this movement in general, over at Stop the Cyborgs. The future of surveillance-free zones may depend on it. Speaking of the future…

5. 2014: Year of the Drone?
They’re cheap, they’re useful, they’re coming –

Drones designed to do the bidding of ordinary people can be bought online for $300 or less. They are often no larger than hubcaps, with tiny propellers that buzz the devices hundreds of feet into the air. But these flying machines are much more sophisticated than your average remote-controlled airplane: They can fly autonomously, find locations via GPS, return home with the push of button, and carry high-definition cameras to record flight.
Besides wedding stunts, personal drones have been used for all kinds of high-minded purposes — helping farmers map their crops, monitoring wildfires in remote areas, locating poachers in Africa. One local drone user is recording his son’s athletic prowess at a bird’s angle, potentially for recruiting videos.

Much more via Tyler Cowan.


Until next week.


Quarterly Co: #DSC03

‘Did you have fun doing this exercise?’

Sunday afternoon creativity, via #DSC03

Yes. I really did. Different tools and bits and bobs make things fun to play with. I think the cardboard was the most fun. Reminded me of building robots when I was a kid and, oddly, I felt the most was possible with the material.

Least favourite material would be the toothpicks and the gum: a) the gum tasted TERRIBLE and b) SO STICKY! ARRGH. Couldn’t get it to finish and/or stick on time.

I think the cardboard best expresses the original chair that I drew: I was able to add cushions and shape and, as I said, I felt most comfortable with it.

Incomplete #DSC03

— per instructions I’ve just checked out the other contributions to #DSC03 and they’re AWESOME.  I especially like Claire’s and Danielle’s (I have no idea how claire got her chair to stand like that – maybe I should’ve started chewing earlier).


The above post was written in 5mins. Per the instruction ‘Reflect on it‘ that I received in the latest package from Quarterly Co (itself a birthday present from the rather awesome Robbie Dale). The challenge? Five chairs: design and build one chair; and then prototype it four/five times, per the instructions, only using the equipment provided – all under 30mins.


I wonder if Robbie has done his yet…