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    Friday
    Aug242012

    DIY: GAFFTA Paper Computing Workshop

    In an effort to get more doing into my life I've been switching from interviewing and enjoying the work of creators in wearable tech, digital installations and device design to doing as much hands-on as possible. I think what appealed to me about the Paper Computing Workshop at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) was the speed with which you could try your ideas out. I love the idea of being able to recycle, reuse and tear apart my experiments in combining paper and electronics.

    I was also excited when I saw the video of electronics in a painting that Jie Qi, a grad student at MIT in the High-Low tech group and the instructor for the class had created. Natalie Freed, the second instructor who has just completed a degree in Personal Robotics from MIT also showed a pop-up book example with more possibilities of paper switches and play. As I've started to weave metal into my canvases, it seems like a natural extension to find ways to allow people to interact with the paintings.

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    Friday
    Aug172012

    Device Design Day 2012

    When you're an independent consultant designing for devices and non-web interfaces it can sometimes feel as if you're swimming upstream as those around you talk web and computer interactions. That's why I was delighted when 3 years ago Kicker Studio began hosting Device Design Day (D3), a 1-day interaction, industrial and product design conference.

    Hosted the past 2 years at the wonderful Art Institute building on Chestnut Street, the day is filled with short, intense talks from people across the year's theme.

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    Wednesday
    Aug012012

    DIY: Workshop Weekend in Oakland

    Workshop Weekend is a stunning conglomeration of DIY workshops that was started by brothers J.D. and Gil Zamifirescu in Oakland to create the kind of learning experiences that they grew up with to help them explore their passion for technology and electronics. In the DIY and Maker spirit they've created a profoundly dynamic and welcoming community of teachers and life-long learners of every age.

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    Wednesday
    Jun272012

    Maker Faire 2012 - Experiences

    I wanted to write a separate post about a few other experiences that really inspired me at this year's Maker Faire here in the SF Bay Area. I know that you'll get to experience some of these at the other events as well - if so, make sure you go and find them! I'm already plotting how I might participate in next year's fun by creating something along these lines. THAT is exactly what Maker Faire is about - get inspired and then try it out yourself.

    Pat Marsh and Matt Franks - frog design - 3D Light Trikes

    Ken Murphy - A History of the Sky and Panoramic Time Lapse

    Robotgrrl - Robobrrds

    Erik Johnson - PersonaLED

    O Yeah Toys

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    Monday
    Jun252012

    Maker Faire 2012 - Wearable Tech

    Ah, Maker Faire. Each May for the past 6 years it's become a tradition to head out to San Mateo Fairgrounds and mix with all the other lovely, obsessive DIY-ers for a weekend of play, show and tell. This year, I got a new perspective as I got a chance to go as a Maker - and got a great view of the setup and the people behind the scenes. 

    In the past I've been lucky to go as a Media person, interviewing Makers for my friend Alexa Smith's artfuture YouTube channel. Maker Faire is the perfect place to find people working in the intersection of art and technology and you should definitely check out some of the previous year playlists - so many cool projects to explore (MF 2008MF 2009MF 2010MF 2010 eTextile, MF 2011). The emphasis has always been finding out more about why the Makers do what they do, as well as getting a tour of the project they've brought. So many fun stories and tips to help inspire you to try out your own projects.

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    Friday
    Jun152012

    Talk - Designing Native Apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone

    Last night I went to an IXDA SF event at Trulia to hear Chia Hwu (@chiah) and Evan Kirchhoff (@theevank) of Qubop do some sharing on what they're up to in the mobile native app development world. They spent a nice amount of time giving an overview and also some idea of where development is currently on 3 platforms - iOS, Android and Windows Phone. I thought it was a really great conversation starter for those of us who are in and out of the native mobile space all day - a remarkably lonely space given the massive market, particularly if you're not focused on web-based responsive design. I also find we rarely get to see other people's process and thinking in native mobile design - so this was a real treat for me. 

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    Tuesday
    Jun122012

    Beyond Networking – Women 2 Founder Fridays

    Over the past few months I've renewed my relationship with Women 2.0's Founder Friday on the first Friday of each month. In that time, I've had a lot of different experiences but one thing remains the same for me - they are a place where I can refill the tank and be inspired by the diversity of humans and also the tenacity and creativity of how they go at what they are trying to do - exactly as I am in my life. And the fact that they support women in getting out there to create amazing things.

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    Thursday
    Feb162012

    WORKSHOP: creative blogging at teahouse studio

    In January, I finally made it over to Teahouse Studios, located nearby in Berkeley. I had been seeing some great workshops coming up for the past year but couldn't make things work with last year's busy travel schedule. So, when I saw that Britt Bravo was doing an afternoon Tea, Cupcakes and Creative Blogging workshop I jumped at the chance to go see what kind of community these women (founders: stephanie, mati and tiffany) were creating while getting some ideas for my own writing.

    Teahouse Studio is a wonderful, open and airy space. In the front is an open room that the bigger meetings and crafting work happen in. The large back room houses painting, computer and other crafting stations. In between is a kitchen space for the tea and the promised cupcakes for Britt's workshop.

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    Tuesday
    Feb142012

    DIY: exploratorium AFTER DARK - heartworks

    TINKERING STUDIO
    We later learned that it would have been a better idea to check in as soon as we got there if we were really intent on doing a lot of building. When we got there the only table left was the very last one - with a duck and a rat. I saw a really thick rope on the goodies table and Alexa found a boot, a ladel and some tall wood. Because we started so late, we ended up simply creating a pendulum that would swing to hit the final two pieces of wood.

    I was really stressing out on the last issue of getting the duck to sit on the piece of wood, when Alexa recognized one of the Tinkering Studio volunteers - none other than our old friend Michael Brown (Blue Rain and Playaflies) came to the rescue. It was so much fun to get it working even though it ended up sticking when it's turn came. We did too good a job holding up the duck! Ah well, the magic finger helped it through and on we went to the finale.

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    Monday
    Jun222009

    UX Intensive 2009 - an adaptive path through the UX forest

    After a few days to rest and reflect a bit here I continue to discover more and more things that I appreciate about Adaptive Path's UX Intensive in SF last week. I attended to give myself a deadline for the new brand launch, a place to talk shop, and I must admit, as my own personal "space camp" - so I could wander around in all that geeky UX minutia that's normally relegated to the "in a perfect world with plenty of money" category. And of course there were tons of collaborative activities, foamcore and exacto knives ;-). How much more geeky summer camp can you get?

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