3D printing memories

3D printing – the ability to think of a shape and have a a physical representation of that shape. It’s fast, becoming cheap and as technology improves – able to print with incredible detail and textures.

This then starts to make you think about what you could design either from a functional or aesthetic point of view.

Then from a personal point of view – what artifacts and objects do I have that I would never want to lose. Could I make a copy of an object – in essence save it’s memory. If you copied a family heirloom – a vase for example. Does this still pass on the memories associated with that object.

Could that object even be alive?

How I arrived at this point was when I saw the following image via the shapeways blog. It is an artistic exercise by a dutch design studio wieke somers to look at how products can be made with human ash.

If we put aside the notion of rapid protyping with human ash and use conventional materials – Can we copy objects and use it ‘ash or even ‘stone” as a texture to recreate that object.

Could handheld scanning be so cheap that you can scan anything?

Handheld scanning could soon be so mainstream that you could scan your cute puppy.

Image via flickr

And immortalise it forever…

Image via flickr

Is there a business model there? Unethical? Nonsensical? One people would use?

What if you could send the ‘data’ of your objects to someone as a gift and they take this into a the 3D printing equivalent of snappy snaps – 1hr later they have an object.

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onedotzero – making an open source brand identity – part 1

I was flicking through a muddle of documents and found a little presentation of how we created the onedotzero brand identity which we gave at the festival. So here is an expanded version with some reminiscing on what I think is the best piece of work I’ve ever been involved with.

Assemble your A-Team

I think it was June 2009 (it *was* June 1st), a little email pops into my inbox – come to a quick brainstorm for a new pitch. It’ll only take a couple of hours. So off I trot and find myself in a room with a hand picked team (Ez, Tom, Dave, Matthew) being introduced to Shane and Sophie from onedotzero.

We are set a brief – Create the new brand identity for the festival on the theme of ‘Convergence and collaboration’. The festival identity has to work across print, motion graphics and if possible interactive. They’ll come back in two hours and we’ll present our ideas – If they like the idea we get the job. No pressure then.

I break out the white board doing my best ‘ideator’ impression breaking down audience segmentation and the like.

1.50 minutes go by – We’ve got zip. Nada.

Then suddenly it all started to click. We knew onedotzero had a massive global fanbase and community, a healthy 700 or so fans on twitter and well we wanted to harness that conversation and visualise it. That was the core of the idea. We presented this back to Shane and soon after we heard we had the job.

So this wasn’t your typical process for creative development. The reason why it was so rapid was a few fold- As an agency we had all just come out of Hyper Island training. They taught us how to break down creative workshops into short intense bursts of activity. This was a pitch and time of five people is sacred so spending this thinking time in an optimised and way was essential.

The other major takeout from Hyper Island was that creative teams should be tailored to the task in hand. If you know your output from the briefing then you need the people who will be making those things in the first creative sessions. This might sound like a facepalm of obviousness but remember we are dealing with an ad agency used to the art director/copywriter model. This was actually a masterstroke by Rob Steiner and Tony Wallace who put the team together.

Friendfeed is your friend

Through the creative development of any idea, we build a physical wall of stimulus. This let everyone on the team (and indeed) the office see what we are upto (this is very important later).

Once the initial concept had been resolved, we now had the very very hard part of actually realising this. We then went through a massive discovery phase (collecting hundreds of stim images) on how to realise ‘kinetic typography’, conversation and metaphors around this.

Collaboration – Living the idea

We knew pretty early on in the project that we would needed help to create some sort of ‘visualiser’ for all this conversation. I had really wanted to work with Karsten Schmidt aka Toxi for a really long time and I knew he would be the perfect person to take the idea further. Luckily for us, he graciously accepted to collaborate with us. David talks about this moment as being defining and I think so to. We would have never succeeded without Karsten coming onboard – This was key to the project and also pretty brave of everyone to let go a little to bring him into the creative team.


The amazingly talented Karen Jane had also now come onto the project as our superstar designer and the creative team was now complete. KJ started on a very rigorous design investigation phase and out of this came some super interesting studies of how lines start to intersect each other.

This led to one of our first ‘eureka’ moments when she produced this little sketch.

The metaphor of convergence was clear in the sketch, it felt a bit rigid but we all knew this was the start of a great direction. We just had to convey the ‘conversation’ in there as everyone was clear this was core to understanding the idea.


Karsten also started to explore use the metaphor of magnets ‘pulling in the conversation’ as a way of visualising the strands of conversation.

This led to another study in field lines.

Some old code immediately rapidly led to some great sketches.

This then led to further study by KJ which stared to apply the field lines to create the lockup of the ‘onedotzero’ logo.

So now the basic principles of the system were set. We would take the ‘onedotzero’ logo – break the letters down into ‘poles’ and create a system where lines flowed over the poles. Simple really.

Set the goalposts

The last part of the puzzle was moving into 3 Dimensions. For Karsten this was totally trivial and again very rapidly we led to the next sketch.

So the type is impossible read, there is no visualisation of conversation but in that we’ve got nearly all the tasks needed to push things forward. The goalposts were now set…More parts to this story soon…

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Life is a game

Gaming is hot again in advertising. I’m not talking about making online games (that is soooo 2000) or even building on top of Foursquare, but taking elements of gaming (achievements, rewards, levels) and applying this in other ways. The recent Nike Grid project was a great example of how these gaming structures could reward realworld participation.

What if we can extend a realworld participation back into videogames.

The brilliant Nike78 project has a film by Nick Marsh where they have hacked a Wii controller into a pair of running shoes. By running on the spot you control the game.

This is genius but restrictive. Could you do this in the real world?

Well actually – possibly yes. Nike+ is out there. By running you accumulate points.

In Grand Theft Auto your character gets fitter and can run further by running more in the game.

Could we combine Nike+ with Grand Theft Auto so that by running in the real world makes your gaming character fitter?

If there was a clear Nike+ API and the developers of GTA chose to implement this feature then it could be possible.

What other physical or social choices could there be to create this same offline/online reward structure?


Can shopping create points to spend in Farmville?

Again probably yes. There is a Tesco.com API and a partnership with Farmville could be thrashed out.

So can videogames influence our behaviour? I believe we could be at the point where they actually could.

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