Procrastination Files

A daily dose of inspiration, nonsense, or whatever the heck I feel like posting

The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: The Ikea RGB Billboard

Yup, that’s right – an RGB billboard. It’s so simple and a little bit ingenious. 3 colors and 3 light set-ups, turning one promotional space into three…. Upon seeing it, I’m genuinely surprised I haven’t seen it done before.

The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: Edward Gorey Exhibit in Coming to Chicago

“Despite the fact that renowned author and illustrator Edward Gorey was born in Chicago and spent a sizable chunk of his formative years in the Windy City, his work has never been recognized with its own exhibition. That is, until now. Beginning earlier this month and continuing through June 15, the macabre creations of the late Gorey are front and center for two concurrent exhibitions at the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) in Chicago.” (via HuffPo)

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The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: Brandon Mise’s “Adventures in Letterpress”

“The creation of material objects is particularly ethically charged now because of the almost insurmountable quantity of waste Western society continues to produce. Surely digital product, stuff that exists in the ether, that doesn’t take up space and finite resources, is more defensible than physical posters, books, and cards—and surely making those material objects especially attractive is mere decadence?

Adventures In Letterpress is a bold book because it suggests precisely the opposite. It dares to offer the vision of a world that is serious about frivolity. It dares to suggest that you can spend time creating. It asserts that an object can be meaningful solelybecause of the means of its production. The effort and the skill that go into the creation of a letterpress item are what give it value; it does not have to mean anything in particular, although sometimes it does…  The mission of letterpress is to bring back variety, to make sure that one size no longer fits all, to celebrate all the possible sizes and colours and dimensions of typeface, metal press, ink, paper, images and words. In an increasingly homogenised world, its potential to make us think about what we create, and how we create it, is its greatest asset.” (via quadrapheme.com)

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The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: Unicorn Institute Courses funded via Kickstarter

Design and technology generalists who can work in user experience (UX) design are so rare and highly prized that they are called unicorns in the web world.  “It’s hard to find these mythical magical creatures that have a holistic mix of design skills, research skills, content strategy, business savvy, leadership and software development, but these kinds of design generalists are really important within a company,” Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman says. “We are focused on creating industry-ready designers who can, on day one of getting a job in a professional setting, jump in and be an asset to the company without a whole bunch of onboarding.”

Jared Spool and Jensen-Inman teamed up to bring their vision of creating a holistic UX design program for adult learners—a program focused on both technical and interpersonal skills through project-based learning—to Center Centre school.

The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: Darling Pancakes

A few months ago I wrote a post about Darling Magazine, and recently they’ve teamed up with the fine folks at SoulPancake to create a lovely set of “That’s What She Said” videos. Exploring topics from body perception, to gender equality, to confidence, parenting, and aging, the series is inspiring and honest without being too preachy. Enjoy:

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The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: SelfieCity

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a selfie worth? That’s what SelfieCity wants to find out. A new project by data visualizationwunderkind in collaboration with Lev Manovich, Jay Chow, and Nadav Hochman, SelfieCity is an attempt to analyze the data of more than 3,000 self-portraits and, in doing so, extrapolate what a selfie is even meant to say in the first place.” (via FastCoDesign article: Russians Are Miserable And Brazilians Love To Smile: What Selfies Reveal About Cultural Stereotypes).  

In order to visualize what a city’s super-selfie would look like, Stefaner and his team needed to quantify their data. The team collected 656,000 Instagram photos from New York, Bangkok, Moscow, Sao Paolo, and Berlin taken between December 4 and December 12, 2013. Feeding these photos to workers hired through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace, they then identified which of these photos were selfies, and made best guesses as to the age and gender of the person who took them. Here are a few of the highlights:

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The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: American Hippopotamus

“In the early 20th century, two master spies once sworn to kill each other—Frederick Russell Burnham, a.k.a. “the most complete human being who ever lived,” and Fritz Duquesne, a.k.a. the Black Panther—came together with a bold idea for America, backed by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and The New York Times. Their plan? Import hippopotamuses to the swamps of Louisiana and convince Americans to eat them. In American Hippopotamus, Jon Mooallem brings to life a historical saga too preposterous to be fiction.” (via This American Life, ep. 518: Except For That One Thing)

It’s gloriously ridiculous and, also, surprisingly logical. Check out the preview of American Hippopotamus.

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