Author Archive

May 4, 2012

The Power of Introverts

by nanokiwi

Randomly clicking through Ted Talks and came across this one a while back: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain.

It talks about some of the most famous introverts and how, while our society favors extroverts, introverts often deliver better outcomes.  They typically end up being the backbones of society and, while they make not speak much, their self-containment makes them a happier lot.

It’s a really good talk, so I highly recommend watching it 🙂


May 4, 2012

The Cookie Experiment

by nanokiwi

This is only because Nachi asked me to post this.

I’m a huge fan of cooking, baking, etc.  I’m also a huge fan of the scientific method.  So after reading Cooking for Geeks, I decided to take on my own baking experiment by tackling chocolate chip cookies.  A friend of mine gave me THE BEST RECIPE EVER for chocolate chip cookies, but I had another friend who was allergic to gluten…what to do!??! I decided to experiment a little with my recipe and his techniques for creating cookies (apparently, gluten-free flour rises too much and you have to press the cookies?).  Here are the photos:

The moral of the story?  Experiment with EVERYTHING. And science is fun…so go and play!

May 4, 2012


by nanokiwi

There’s a sketching technique that I think is really beneficial to those who are at a loss for ideas.  It’s something I learned a long time ago when I learned to draw: the scribble method :).  Basically, it consists of scribbling on a page.  You don’t even have to look at the sheet of paper.  You don’t even have to use your dominant hand.  Using marker, scribble a little doodle on a sheet of paper.

Scribble Drawing

Once you have your doodle, start to highlight the lines you really like.  Maybe there’s a strong line in the center of your page. Maybe there are two parallel lines that could become a handle or car’s spoiler.  I don’t know.

Start to add a little bit of detail…does your handle need a grip?  Add a few notches to create a place for your fingers. The possibilities are endless.  These are sketches done for controllers and pencil sharpeners using the scribble method.  (Of course color was added to create a little bit of a better idea of what everything was)

May 4, 2012

Make Magazine

by nanokiwi

Maybe it’s just me, but I love that Ellen forwards the Instructable’s weekly email.  In conjunction with that (and Inhabitat), check out MAKE Magazine. I know everyone in our class loves technology :p, but if you love Do It Yourself projects check the magazine out because it’s incredible.

Also, they host a Maker Faire every year and hosted a small one at Tech in October (I think Oct).  It was really neat to meet a lot of other DIY folks…but it was also neat to meet others who encourage the ability to build on your own.

May 4, 2012

The Anatomy of Infographics

by nanokiwi

There was an interesting article I read about the anatomy of useful infographics.  It breaks it down between the visual, the content and the knowledge.  These 3 components are then filtered into the 5 steps you should always take when creating an infographic:

1. Create a skeleton and flowchart

skeletons and flowcharts


2. Creating a color scheme…
Creating color schemes can be really difficult…even when you’ve been doing it a while.  Here’s a HUGE hint, when in doubt, go to Adobe’s Kuler.  Find a color combination you like, download their CMYK specs and go to town 🙂


3. Graphics
Theme graphics are the overall graphics for the piece and Reference graphics are visual cues you use to call things out.

4. Research and data
Self explanatory.  Just make sure your research is legit :p

5.  Knowledge
Make sure what you’re trying to say is completely apparent.  Step back and make sure others can read it properly.

Anyways, good luck 🙂

May 4, 2012


by nanokiwi

We got a lot of comments on our poster yesterday so I think a post on useful infographics will be useful :).  Technically, I think I should use an infographic for this post, but an infographic on infographics would be a little weird.

I know HCI students have to take a course on data visualization, but from what I understand (and correct me if I’m wrong), it’s more from an analysis standpoint as opposed to making that data look pretty.  I’m definitely not claiming to be good at making infographics or even at graphics, but there are a few resources that I refer to when trying to seem legit ;).

First and foremost, I love the infographics developed by Good Design.  They do all styles…play with different eras of design.


You might like their one on innovation, perhaps :).

Other resources consist of Cool Infographics and

When all else fails, I was recommended the books by Edward Tufte.  I have yet to read them, but apparently, they blow your mind.

May 4, 2012

Recyclable Fashion and Re-usable Fashion

by nanokiwi

First off, if you’ve never read Inhabitat, you should add it to your RSS feeder and/or sign up for their weekly email.  They’re worth that dreaded weekly email because they showcase various sustainable products.

Secondly, to add to the Recyclable Fashion show, a few months ago, Montreal artists were challenged to transform post-consumer products into exciting couture.  Below are some products that were featured.

one outfits from a new era


recyclable couture

This all being said, AND I’M NOT DETERRING PEOPLE FROM USING RECYCLABLE PRODUCTS BECAUSE RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT, but I feel like people gravitate to using recyclable products for couture when there are alternative methods for couture.  There are other aspects to reduce, reuse, recycle.  In fact, recycle is the last part of that whole phrase.  Instructables has a dress (that I love) called the “infinity dress”.  I think it’s incredibly cool mainly because there are so many different ways to wear it.  It’s the epitome of reuse 🙂  Girls, think about that little black dress that “makes guys go wild”…now think if you had an “infinite” amount of little black dresses :p.  Anyways, here’s one way you can wear it:

infinity dress

Just my two cents.  You can find the infinity dress here.  Enjoy!

March 7, 2012

On the Analysis of Intuitive Design

by nanokiwi

A summary will be posted shortly, but my comments on the article basically include:

  • I really liked the fact that they added a methodology to intuitive design.
  • Based upon their opening sentence in their conclusion, I think there’s this really big disconnect between engineering and design.  “The most important general finding from these studies thus far has been the significance of representational languages to problem-solving ability.”  For me, this is something that I thought everyone knew; however, based off of comments made in class, it’s clear that not everyone understood that making things visual is immensely important to problem-solving.  It doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to visual drawings, but writing down code, writing a language, orally story-telling, they all help you work the kinks out of a project.
January 18, 2012

Telescoping Tower of Awesometude

by nanokiwi

In this particular newspaper instance, the gallery delineates the basic steps required to create a “telescoping tower of awesometude”.

Materials:  1-2 full newspapers


1. Creating the base:  Roll 7 -10 sheets of newspaper into tubes and tie the tubes together 3/4 of the way up from the ground.  It should look like a teepee.

Step 1 - Creating the Base

2.  The initial telescope:  Roll a piece of newspaper into a tube and insert it into the center of the teepee.

Step 2 - The Initial Telescope

3. Continuing to telescope:  Continue to roll the newspaper and insert into previous tube.

Step 3: Continue to telescope, Part 1

Step 3: Continuing to telescope, part 2

4.  More height:  To prevent the newspaper rolls from falling to the bottom, we inserted rolled up balls of newspaper.

Step 4: More height

5. Rigidity:  To prevent the structure from tipping over, we angled “leaves” of newspaper to the base.

Step 5: Rigidity


Hopefully, you can now create your own Super Telescoping Tower of Awesometude.  Let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions on how to make it better 🙂

January 18, 2012

Origami Process

by nanokiwi