It might get loud

It stands to reason that every designer needs to be engaged with some other form of cultural expression to have, you know, a real designer lifestyle. I run a little project studio, and occasionally rent my gears out to people (as well as running lots of weddings and gigs and dance parties and things). Last week I picked up a CM Labs Motormix off TradeMe which means I’m not stuck trying to mix with a mouse – I’ve yet to see anything that’s as tactile and useful as a deck of real faders in front of you.

Anyway, here’s a couple of snaps of the setup:

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New is sometimes old.

I can’t say too much about this, other than it’s very exciting, and I get to take lots of photos of cool old technology that designers have forgotten about.

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Provenance – Phil Dunstan-Brown’s Website

Earlier this year I worked with Phil Dunstan-Brown of DNA fame on producing the website for his new venture – Provenance. This is a one page website, content switched by jQuery. The portfolio is image driven, and all our content is pulled on demand, silky smooth. Visit Phil’s site at:

I also dove into the fun of the facebook OpenGraph Protocol to make the content easier to share on the social medias:

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I was a little annoyed at the proposed Wellywood sign – though there have been some slightly more tasteful suggestions, I still think that leaving the hillside bare is probably best. Anyway, myself and legend illustrator Tim Deneé threw together a little game to incite some public opinion. We had about 10,000 hits over about three days – boom!

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A little ambient motion

Recently produced an event ID for a camp. Gave it some afterFX loving!

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A good read

Last year I whipped up a quick site for Rex Massey-Malloy, tailor and suit fitter extraordinaire. His blog is well worth a read for some insightful morsels on all things fashion, and he’s a keen mountain-biker as well.

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Google’s undocumented weather API

When you punch in “weather” in google, you get a nice, clean representation of the upcoming weather. Working recently for an asian airline, I needed access to a weather API that wasn’t going to cost the earth, so I did a little digging on the google user groups, and uncovered a cool undocumented API.

It’s quite simple to grab the XML, just point your browser over here – obviously change out the GET string for your own location.

This will spit out a nice tidy XML of the next few days’ weather.

Here’s a snippet of PHP for grabbing the weather XML:

	ini_set("zlib.output_compression", "Off");
	header("Content-type: text/xml");
	header('Expires: 0');
	header('Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0');
	header('Pragma: no-cache');

	$weather = $_GET["weather"];

	$url = "".urlencode($weather);
	$file = "_weather_".str_replace( array(","," "), "_", $weather).".xml";


	// check if a local file less than an hour old is already on file
	if (!file_exists($file) || filemtime($file) < time() - 3600 || filesize($file) == 0){
		$google_xml = ob_get_clean();

		echo $google_xml;

		// save local copy of xml
		$handle = fopen($file,w);
		fwrite($handle, $google_xml);
	// load local copy of xml
		$google_xml = ob_get_clean();
		echo $google_xml;
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Weddings inc.

A wee illustration I’m working on for some wedding invites:


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Nek Minnit

The Nek Minnit phenomenon would have to be one of the strangest occurences in NZ pop culture recently. It beggars belief that an eight second youtube clip could have caused such a stir. The first time I watched the clip [here], i completely missed the now-infamous line. Is a bit of awkward turtle the proletariat answer to the billions spent on ultra-silky rhetoric that pervades our mediated communications? I want more messy conversations!

In addressing the creation and diffusion of memes, Clay Shirkey celebrates Lolcats as valid cultural production, and even progression – apparently the battle is not getting from Lolcats to forms of ‘higher’ expression, but in motivating observers to engage, even in the inane, the rapid-fire, the crude form. You can watch his video on Lolcats right [here].

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Masters 007 – Crit #1

Last week we had our first critique session for the Masters programme. I presented an experiential interface – Twitter articulated through spoken word, a strange piece of analog/digital typeface design. Video above documents the setup process.

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