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.

Ah, the Days of Disneyfied Speculation

Posted: February 12th, 2011 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: transportation, urban planning, video | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Currently my days are filled researching communication techniques and visualization tools employed in the realm of transportation, and my work brought me to this gem of a video, an excerpt from the 1958 Disneyland TV Show, Magic Highway USA.

Perhaps you’ve seen it, or perhaps this will be your first time to witness the awesomeness. Yes, the paternalistic mindset is a bit vexing but it does hail from over a half century ago. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that many of the speculative technologies and ways of transport have not become part of our urban (or rural) vernacular. (And thank goodness my day is not filled with taking Junior to the mall for “effortless window shopping on a moving walkway.”) But, I also smile and give a silent cheer in support of those who dared to speculate. Where has that gone? Why don’t we see crazy futuristic imagery like in the days of Bucky Fuller or Frank Lloyd Wright?

Wright, F.L. 1958. The Living City. New York: Horizon Press.

Is it that we have more access to information than ever before, making us all arm chair speculators? If access to information has increased, is there no need to employ Disney to visualize these grandiose ideas by planners, landscape architects, engineers and the like? Or perhaps our speculation has turned to different matters, like smaller technologies and communications? We’re all ears if you have some thoughts on this matter. Darn if they didn’t get some things right in this, like some safety features and increased commuter radius (code for suburbanization). Enjoy and let us know what you think.


Happy Winter Solstice

Posted: December 16th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, design, downloads, output | Tags: , , | 7 Comments »

design-solstice-2009-02

design-solstice-2009-01

Winter Solstice has been celebrated by many cultures for many thousands of years. And why not – it’s a big deal. What better occasion to gather together and find comfort in our connections with friends and family than the longest night of the year? Modern life often finds us far from our relations which is why sending a card is such a nice tradition. The time it takes to create, write and subsequently read brings us closer to one another. Granted it’s not quite the same as an all night, star-gazing, bonfire amidst the megaliths but it’s a nice bit of ceremony none the less.

So, in an effort to celebrate connections with colleagues, friends and family I’ve created the third annual, limited edition, BrainstormOverload Winter Solstice Card. Since I can’t send one to everyone I’ve linked to a pdf version of the design here. It won’t have a personalized note that way but given how I’m inclined to go on perhaps that’s best.

In the design on the front of the card each season’s solstice (or equinox) is represented by two arcs. A gray one for night and a colored one for day – the length of each being determined by the number of hours of light or darkness translated into degrees of circumference around a circle where 360 degrees signifies 12 hours. Possibly more than you wanted to know but it underscores how everything in Nature is simultaneously beautiful and meaningful. I hope it will bring a little color and connection to your evening on December 21st and that 2010 is a beautiful and meaningful year.

Download printable pdf version


TCHO Chocolate

Posted: October 5th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: chocolate, design, packaging | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

chocolate-tcho

Chocolate
TCHO chocolates come in four 70% cacao flavors made from organic, fair trade beans. Chocolatey, Fruity, Nutty and Citrus. These flavors are derived from chocolates inherent nuances and not from additional ingredients so the affects are subtle but quite distinct from one another. Citrus has a sharper almost malty impact at the back of the mouth and an after taste that lingers like wine. Fruity is a rounder, richer flavor that seems to happen more on the sides of the tongue and is my preference. I’m looking forward to trying chocolatey and nutty next.

Design
I discovered these little squares of chocolate in a small grocery store in the tiny town of Point Reyes Station, California and couldn’t resist the simple pleasure of the foiled, geometric designs on bright colored wrappers. I was delighted to discover the chocolates themselves also have a complementary geometric design engraved into them. TCHO’s is definitely a design friendly company. The identity and packaging were designed by Spiekermann Partners in Berlin and you can even read about the design from Susanna Dulkinys’ perspective on the site.

The TCHO website is nice and clean, full of fun information and the only site I’ve seen that boasts a colophon. They also have an ongoing blog.

Interactive types will appreciate that TCHO went through a beta phase and has now fully launched version 1.0. I would recommend you find some of this great chocolate. You’ll enjoy the experience while rewarding a company that values design as a partner in its business. If there is not a location near you try ordering online. As an interesting side note the first web based order was placed by Herbie Hancock.

Online
TCHO Chocolates

Location
Pier 17 (on the Embarcadero)
San Francisco, CA 94111
phone: 415.981.0189

Available in Minnesota at Product Exchange on Lake Street. Find other locations.

Update (11.13.09)
It looks like I’m not the only one to notice TCHO. Scott Hansen has a nice post on his iso50 blog worth checking out. If you can forgive him for the fact that he does “not really enjoy chocolate on it’s own” it is worth taking a gander at his fantastic poster designs while you’re at it (I already have three so try not to look as a poor substitute for self-control).


Launching A Good Mission

Posted: September 11th, 2009 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive, local twin cities, output | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

interactive-stdavids

St. David’s Center in Minnesota has provided a supporting environment for children of all capabilities since 1965. It has been a great pleasure to design a new website to support their efforts. Along with my partners Jonathan Anderstrom and developer Colin Petit at Creed Interactive and photographer Josh Hackney we’re celebrating today’s launch.