Archive for April, 2009

Too Small For Me

Shirt Proto

Man’s shirt modeled in subdivision surfaces and printed on Objet. The one you see is a small scale test. By far one of the hardest models I’ve ever built, as most of it had to be a single volume. Actually, only the buttons and the stitching (not visible) are separate geometry.

More on this later…

The Extreme Google Brain

Beautifully written post on male-brainedness in relation to Google.

Their brains are beautifully suited to the genteel eugenics program that is the Google hiring process but are broken for real-world use.

Maybe I am just discovering hot water, but could it be that the whole secret to Google’s success is to provide a shelter of realization for extreme nerds?

Fresnel Beauty

Hope The Fresnel lens has never been so elegant. Instant classic by Paolo Rizzatto1 and Francisco Gomez Paz. Absolute must see, the work in progress pictures on Francisco’s Flickr stream.

  1. For the uninitiated, Paolo Rizzatto, together with Alberto Meda whom he often collaborates with, are the Daft Punk of Italian design. 

21:9 TV And An Awesome Promo Site

Philips, I admit it, this is actually cool; great job.

Citroën Karin

Want! It’s so beautiful. Citroën Karin

Vimeo Special Edition for Honda Insight

Surprising. Can someone explain me how they did this (the webpage, not the filming)?

Disappearing Car Doors

Just watch it. The video is so odd; it says 2007, but the whole thing feels like it’s been filmed in the 80’s. Which makes it even more futuristic. Via David Weiss.

Karim Rashid is Still Wearing Pink

This year at the Fiera I’m showing 39 new projects.

Feeling the crisis…

One good side of this crisis is that it makes us all consumers consider for a moment, regardless of how well off we are or how poor we are, what and why we have what we have in our lives.


There’s a certain naivety now, that you pick up a magazine, y’know, if I could just make one funky chair that gets attention I’m gonna be famous. I think that’s kind of a wrong approach, you know, there’s something about the impatience of popular culture that’s happened, where we all have this kind of desirous want to be famous, to be immediately recognized.

I see…

You are so gentle to talk to, it’s really beautiful.

Emera Desk Lamp, by Luca Magaro

Emera by Luca Magaro Still from Vivo, a small design firm with studios in Rome and Milan, a nice take on a desk lamp. I love the RGB LED dimmer switch being fully exposed and not preset-based.

Twister by Mirko Schwiedrzik

Twister Trashcan Nice. Quite twisted for a trashcan. More info and press kits on Vivo’s website (which, on a side note, would greatly benefit from a complete redesign…)

Sterling on Design Fiction

Writers cling hard to the word, to semantics, to meaning and sensibility. Design, by contrast, is less verbal. Design is busily inventing new ways to blow itself apart. Design is taking more risks with itself than literature. That is why contemporary design feels almost up to date, while literature feels archaic and besieged.

From Tony.

As usual, here is a more readable PDF version of the same article

Look at this fucking hipster

Makes me want to rush out and buy a 21 gears mountain-bike.

He Processed Me

I first encountered Ballard on the back shelves of used bookstores, and thought he was one of the best treasures I ever discovered there. I always felt, reading his work, that I didn’t process a Ballardian piece of fiction; instead, it processed me.

Jeff VanderMeer on Amazon’s book editors’ blog Omnivoracious

We Lost J.G. Ballard

A Twitter memorial seemed the best way to participate.

Faith-based Publishing

Money redefined on Schott’s Vocab (in the comments).

Electro Cutie

I wish I found it first.


Oh, the Internet of the 90’s (ASMBLR) Convoluted1 but welcome re-find. I used to know this one back in 1999. Its once spectacular minimalism has now turned into glitch art, the new baroque.

  1. Daringfireball sent me to Zeldman who gave me his book for free. Get a copy yourself; it’s an oldie, but if you filter out the obsolete noise, what remains is actually interesting. 

Italian Domains Registration Procedure or May The Italian NIC Drown In a Mountain of Faxed Letters

In order to register an Italian TLD of the .it flavour you re required to follow the most anachronistic procedure ever:

  • Start the request as for any other TLD in the known world (I use Gandi, a fabulous non scammy maintainer from France).
  • Download a PDF version of the LAR, a contract letter written in Italian, where you accept legal requirements and other similar bureaucratic jam. The rest of the world does this (if ever) with a FORM and a checkbox.
  • Make sure you read through it carefully, because there are a few catches hidden in the bureau-lingo. For example, if you are an Italian national you have to provide you fiscal code (don’t ask what it is…) whether if you are just European you must provide your passport number. Great. Someone thought this out really well in Italy.
  • Sign the letter. With a pen please. Not digitally. It easier to counterfeit it if you use a pen, Italians love counterfeiting.
  • Once the whole thing has been compiled you have two options to send it back. Email it. No, you can’t, sorry bad joke. You have to either post it or send it by FAX1.
  • (optional step) If you are sending by snail mail, send something along with it. Be it money or a nice salami, every little helps.
  • Then pray, but pray something Catholic. Of course, there is no feedback whatsoever on whether your FAX was received or not, when it going to be processed, how long will take…
  • In case of fail repeat the procedure, but make sure you do it in less than 14 days.

As of Tuesday 28th of April, more than 20 days since I started the registration, the domain is yet to be seen.

  1. What is a FAX you are asking? If you were born in the 90’s, a FAX machine is nothing more than a scanner-printer attached to a 16k analogue modem. 

Lost And Found – Clay Shirky at Design Interactions

After the recent newspapers crisis-related articles, a bell rang in my head and I “found” this little video gem in my Vimeo account. I totally forgot I had it there. Unfortunately it is just an excerpt of a much longer talk, but if you have never seen the man talking, this is a good start. Watch it, watch it! He talks about a lot of things, amongst them is “getting a tool right” in reference to online publishing systems. I told you, he is engaging. Watch it. I do not have it yet, but friend says his latest book, Here Comes Everybody, makes a lot of sense and it is a pleasure to read.

Material Formation in Design


Flat to compound, through a laser cutter and some brilliant work by Elijah Porter.

I have a thing for this sort of stuff. See here

Aspiring Photographer…


The about page is jaw-droppingly self-confident, but her work is in fact quite impressive.

I’m Nirrimi, a sixteen-year-old aspiring fashion photographer aching to take the world by hurricane, thunder and rainstorm. Photography took my hands and led me to a personal paradise at age thirteen, and I’ve been self-taught and seeing life through a lens since. My aspirations are heaven high and my potential and dedication higher still. I have a peculiar vision of beauty- I see beautiful where others don’t think to look and I capture it all so they do. I want to be shooting for Vogue before I’ve even reached adulthood.

The Dark Side of Dubai


Best written article I’ve read in a long time about Dubai and the UAE. A chilling read.

It is a long article, and it is definitely worth reading, so I am providing (with no explicit authorization form the Independent) a re-typeset PDF which you can print, turning the reading pleasure dial up to 11. The original link and the source are included in the PDF for fairness and backtracking ease.

She Loves Tofu As Well

This in NOT what originated this blog’s name. I was first.

BLDGBLOG Book Hitting the Street Now

Just noticed on Geoff Manaugh’s RSS that the BLDGBLOG book is out. Very, very highly recommended; just look at his blog if you need any proof of goodness.

Already out of stock on Amazon UK… Mad. Good job Geoff.

A Friendly Chat With A Scammer

Interesting transcript from Mike Nash – of – of a chat with a phisher trying to get some money by advanced fee fraud scamming technique. What is different this time is that the scammer is quickly told out of his scam and the discussion drifts into a humorous exchange between the “client” and the the scammer. Sweet.

We Can’t Create Your Short URL

Going to implement this sometime soon: How To Block The Diggbar.

UPDATE: Implemented with a simple mix of PHP and JS. URL detection is server-side á la Gruber, redirection is via JS. Why? Not sure, but it works perfectly and I prefer having the server do the majority of the work. I think I might also add some 301 in the redirected header. May Digg dig its own hole.

And on a side note, have a laugh.

The Last Flame


They are cheap, they are small, they are lost property moments after you bought them, they are your own, but not really, they seem to never end and you never see them die. Or maybe yours made it till the end?

Really, how many lighters that you owned did you actually manage to fully deplete?

Last Flame, initiated by me and Merel Karof over a couple of pints, which excuses everything forever.

Sorry For The Mess

This afternoon I had to change a few things on the server and I was doing it live, rendering the site unreachable or broken a few times. Now it should be alright.

The State Of The ‘Papers

Following a few long reads about the state of newspapers, here are some links which are worth a look.

On per-customer editions:
Time Inc.’s Mine Magazine is a Printed RSS Feed
Could Customized Newspapers Bring Readers Back? –

On business models, a great triplet from Clay Shirky:
Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable
Why iTunes is not a workable model for the newspaper business
Why Small Payments Won’t Save Publishers

And two final ones:
European Newspapers Find Creative Ways to Thrive in the Internet Age
It Is Anti-American to Try to Keep Newspapers Afloat