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Flying propeller

I’ve often wanted to play with propellers as a way to generate electricity, but recently also began to wonder about using them for lift. Over the course of…

Three methods for increasing your personal creative velocity

When you make things you come up against hard limits to how much you can make in a given time. One way to overcome this problem is to add…

The future of books – Part 1: The awesome features of paper books

The modern paper book represents a pinnacle in the evolution of a physical medium to store and communicate information. Through trial, error, iteration, and experiment the paper book arrived at some pretty…

Making it worth something; creating value by design

Some describe value as a simple equation: benefits – costs. This is a rational way to think about value. But people, especially when assigning value aren’t rational.

The function of corrugation

Corrugated steel, corrugated cardboard, creases in the external panels of your car. Ridges in shells, palm leaves. Every one of these leverages bends in a sheet to increase…

Every thing you’ve ever designed should be dissatisfying (to you)

Every thing you’ve ever designed should be dissatisfying to you. Sure maybe the day you came up with it all you could see was sunshine and rainbows. But…

Augmenting music to fit the surrounding spatial environment

I’ve always wanted to find ways for digital technology to reconnect people with their environment. Screens, with the exception of augmented reality, tend to disconnect people from their…

Redesigning a complex system

I was given the opportunity to lead a top-to-bottom redesign of our EHR. The goal was a responsive design that is mobile and desktop friendly, that is modular enough to support…

Stone sketches

What started out as a lazy day at the beach ended up as an unexpected discovery of a new medium.

Start with vision

When you are creating products, start from a holistic vision of what you want to arrive at. It’s true that you must build it one step at a…

Simple electromagnet

I’ve been curious about how electromagnets work. Because they are a magnet that can turn on and off they are a lot more versatile than a natural magnet…

New hand-drill handles

A friend gave me an old broken hand-drill. All the metal mechanical parts still worked, but the plastic handles were loose and cracked. I took a redwood branch…

Breath as ambient connection

Experience trumps success

Experience is worth more than success. Success is a one time deal.

177 truths of innovation

After reading Scott Berkun’s excellent mega summary of 177 Myths of Innovation I was inspired to create a list of 177 truths of innovation, derived solely from reversing…

Understand your design framework

Design frameworks define the fundamental patterns, workflows, architectures and and layouts that comprise a product. Frameworks provide system coherence and allow for efficiencies in the building of products…

If you can’t back your design up with data you’re just another expert with an opinion

Even really badass designers make poor calls. We sometimes design things that can’t work or don’t make sense to users. We have personal pet preferences and theories. We…

The benefit of speed is that you get there quickly, a drawback is once you’re airborne it’s harder to adjust course

When you’re building digital products speed is a critical. Developers and designers need to practice getting their work done quickly and iterating toward perfection.  There’s little doubt that…

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Limited mastery makes you timid or reckless, expert mastery makes you either careful or fearless

Novices and experts come in two flavors.

Rough stringed instruments

What started as an experiment in different ways to attach rubber surgical tubing to wood became a set of crude stringed instruments. I found I could drive a…