A place where Minnesota's design community can blow its collective mind about creative expression in every medium from websites to landscapes, chocolate to bicycles.

We’ve Moved

Posted: April 11th, 2012 | Author: Todd | Filed under: advertising, architecture, artifacts, bikes, chocolate, competitions, design, downloads, events, food, illustration, input, Interactive, interiors, landscape architecture, local twin cities, opinion, output, packaging, photography, posters, resources, transportation, type, urban planning, video | Comments Off

We’ve incorporated our blog into our new website. Same unique combination of posts about chocolate and bicycles, design and architecture but in a shiny new wrapper: brainstormoverload.com/blog We hope you’ll drop by and linger as long as you like.

We've moved our blog


Walter’s in the Hood

Posted: December 1st, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: events, input, landscape architecture, local twin cities, urban planning | Comments Off


Photo: Heidi Schumann for the New York Times

Back in May of 2009, I posted about landscape architect Walter Hood, his work on LaFayette Square in Oakland, California, and musings on my own hopes for as relevant a career as his.

I’m happy to share that as part of the Next Generation of Parks lecture series Walter is in our hood. The former chair of the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at the University of California, Berkeley, Hood is thought-provoking in word and deed. If this recent article is any indication of what he may describe as 21st Century Parks, we’re in for a great event. I highly recommend the article, and would venture to say the lecture is mandatory for those interested in our public realm.

From Dan Macsai’s article, “…This is public space as Hood believes it should be: multitasking, respectful of the land, rooted in — and watered by — the community. “Think about the history of civilization,” Hood tells me, as if I’m one of his students at UC Berkeley. ‘The agora, the piazza, the theater, the street, the Colosseum — we define ourselves in the public realm. And in America, our public realm is sad. We have to be told how to act.” He deepens his voice. “Sit here, look there, understand this, don’t walk here, don’t do that. It’s crazy.’”

Lecture is at 7 p.m. tomorrow, December 2nd at the Walker Art Center Cinema. It’s free thanks to the co-presenters Minneapolis Park Foundation, College of Design, and Walker Art Center. Get there early as I suspect the cinema to fill as it did for the High Line lecture. We hope to see you there!


Pyramids and Totems

Posted: November 21st, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: illustration, input, photography | Comments Off

I looked out over Pyramid Lake.

Todd did a little airplane concepting.

Surely the trip to California for work and good family fun will be inspirational if this was just the beginning.


Temps est un Cadeau

Posted: October 30th, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: illustration, input, video | Comments Off

Feeling swirled by the windy fall and rush of the pre-pre-holiday season, I was cursing the pace of life the other day. In my wishing for more time, I was reminded of a poignant and beautiful video we found a number of years ago. Thankfully the intergoogles worked and I found it again. Le Cadeau du Temps was created by illustrator, Corey Godbey, and set to a tune by Map. It needs no preamble; just watch, enjoy, and if your wish for more time comes true, I highly recommend you share it. <<click the image to see the video>>


Read: Rework

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: input, opinion, resources | Tags: , , | Comments Off

I just finished reading Rework by the founders of 37 signals Jason Fried and David Hansson. The authors’ brilliance is in making all the advice sound intuitively spot on, straightforward and achievable. It’s a reassuring book to read if you are starting out on your own. It was written to give you the confidence to work in ways that make sense to you rather than trying to recreate in miniature the bureaucratic, wasteful and often self-destructive habits many large companies develop over time. Jason and David lambaste growth, workaholism, meetings, delegation and many other tenets cherished by large companies.
If you’ve spent time in a traditional advertising agency were the lion’s share of a project’s time-line is lavished on the search for “the big idea” the authors fire a shot across that bow as well saying: “Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The real question is how well you execute.” If you are considering or have already started out on your own even this particular heresy will ring true. You are full of ideas. What you need are freedom and clients to partner with so your ideas can take flight.
Thanks to the recession the 1099 workforce is full of top level talent that may never return to the big agency world. Smaller scale projects seem plentiful and now is an amazing time to take your ideas and your inspiration for a ride. But as the authors say “…it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”


UnSummit UpDate

Posted: June 26th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, input, local twin cities | Tags: , | Comments Off

View more presentations from Rohn Jay Miller.

By all accounts UnSummit 5 was a success. Personally, I met some great people and enjoyed many great conversations including “Ensuring Relevance With Good Design” hosted by Circadian, “Minnesota Start-up Culture” hosted by Jeff Pesek, and “Escaping Wage Slavery” hosted by Don Ball. My favorite presentation however was by an old friend. Rohn Jay Miller hit a home run with “The 25 Minute MBA: How To Anchor Projects in Real Business Success” which he has made available on SlideShare. Sadly, his fantastic delivery and the many nuances aren’t available for download. Don’t let that stop you from checking out the presentation above. And, if you find yourself intrigued give him a shout at Take5Interactive.


UnSummit 2010 – June 26

Posted: June 15th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, input, Interactive, local twin cities | Tags: | Comments Off

event-unsummit

The 2010 UnSummit is an alternative, “unconference” for those in the interactive profession. It is being held on June 26th with the stated goals of “full participation, full dissemination and free admission — all the things that traditional conferences are not.” You can register here. The event will be held at the CoCo – Coworking and Collaborative Space in Saint Paul’s Lowertown district. This is perfect because CoCo is sort of an UnOffice.

I’m still a little unsure about what is going to happen at the UnSummit but things should get interesting as the group gathers to apply some brain pressure against the community’s collective hemorrhaging. The official theme is “Solve for X. Where X = your problem.” So, unless your problem is fear of open-ended conference themes you should come and participate in the unintended consequences. Hope to see you there.


Get Your Social On

Posted: June 10th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: input, landscape architecture, opinion | Tags: , , | Comments Off

interactive-designintelligence2

Following up on the theme of my resent marketing presentation for the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects I was just made aware (thanks to chapter president Richard Murphy) of a terrific article emphasizing the need for firms to engage in social networking. The article “If You’re Not Online, You’re Behind” was written by architect Evelyn Lee and published on the Design Intelligence website. It’s a great introduction to Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. Refreshingly the story does not obscure its purposeful and simple moral -why you should get involved – in the cloud of jargon and statistics common in discussions on this subject.

Design Intelligence (a publication of the Design Futures Council) is targeted squarely at the architecture profession. This is an important point. I’ve spoken to many a Landscape Architect who has a small but legitimate chip on his/her shoulder acquired through years of experience providing a design service that seems all too often to come as an afterthought to a site’s architecture. Personally I think it is important to see more synergy between structure and landscape. For this to happen landscape architecture firms need to gain a stronger presence in the minds of architects and in the public consciousness. Social networking can help achieve this because it is functioning (for better or worse) as the new town square where hundreds of millions of people are asking questions. If you don’t want architects to be providing all the answers about landscape architecture you need to jump into the fray.


Pat Fallon on Midmorning

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: advertising, events, input, local twin cities, opinion | Tags: , , | Comments Off

event-mpr-fallon

Local advertising maven Pat Fallon will be featured on MPR’s Midmorning today at 10:00 a.m. (91.1 fm in the Twin Cities or listen online by clicking the blue button in the narrow center column)  He’ll be speaking about the future of advertising. If you miss it the podcast should wind up here.


Disruptive Effects

Posted: March 8th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: events, input, local twin cities, opinion | Tags: | Comments Off

event-disruptive

The University of Minnesota provides quite a few great resources that are both excellent and free. Promotion however is often not excellent so events are easy to miss and are not as well attended as they should be. The Upcoming Disruptive Effects symposium is breaking that mold. The bad news is that it isn’t free – though it is still a bargain relative to the cost of many creative industry events. The good news is that Larsen is a sponsor so there are posters and a website and I know about it far enough in advance to blog about it. This symposium is worth considering since it looks like it will break another mold as well. Namely those stale presentations of the presenter’s past work in favor of a multi-disciplinary dialogue about what could be. Take a look, take a chance and take the opportunity to challenge the participants. This may be one time they’ll appreciate the disruption.