Sep 4, 2009

Design Philadelphia Buttons

DesignPhiladelphia Buttons

This is my second year interning for DesignPhiladelphia. Last year I designed the laser cut event signage, and was part of the team that designed the illuminated outdoor signs that were placed at all the events.

This year one of my tasks was to design the promotional buttons. They are all "d"s and if you flip them over they are "p"s too. They are worn in pairs to spell "DP" for DesignPhiladelphia.

Each button is a photo taken in the streets of Philadelphia. Hopefully locals will recognize a few of the letters taken from the signs that they have been looking at for years.

The DP team will be handing out the buttons and other goodies tonight in Old City during First Friday, so please come out and show your support.

Check back for more posts about DesignPhiladelphia between now and Design Week, October 7-13, 2009!

Jun 13, 2009

10,000 Photos!


The photo above was named "IMG_0001" by my camera. It took me a bit by surprise to see the photo counter on my Canon 20D roll from 9999 back to 1. I probably would have saved the shot for something a bit more interesting had I known.

I reluctantly bought the camera in Colorado when I was working for the College newspaper. I realized I couldn't keep up with developing film every week. Back when I was working for Joel Meyerowitz Photography I noticed that I had taken 2000 photos, and thought that was a big deal. Rob, a coworker, said "some people take that many photos in a week," which somewhat lessened the accomplishment. Well Rob, a person would have to take one photo every minute, for eight hours a day, for seven days to take 2000 photos! I'm happy to have chosen quality over quantity.

Recently my photography has been centered mostly around presenting and promoting my design work, and less on fine art photography. After taking 10,000 digital photos I have to think there are at least a few good ones.

See more of my photos on Flickr

Mar 30, 2009

Waking Up to Industrial Design

Hey, wanna see something weird?
I made a short film about how sometimes I get a little preoccupied with my work. I wanted it to be a film about me, but I couldn't find a director of photography to film it. My solution was to have an actor play me. Adding to the weirdness is the fact that the actor playing me is a woman.

The project that I am currently borderline-obsessed with is my Vegetarian Deer Mount. The half finished sculpture makes an appearance in the film. Occasionally I wake up having had surreal, project related dreams. This film is an exaggeration of that kind of morning... and it's supposed to be funny. Look for the finished deer in a few weeks.

Book Light

Book Light

Part of the junior ID class has taken on a project that addresses the human factors issues in the UArts library. One of the most noticeable design flaws is the lighting. The florescent lights are standard tubes, fixed to a 3o foot high ceiling, that cast a dim green light over the work areas.

This is the first of many concepts for creating an environment that students want to be in. The Book Lights are inexpensive and easy to construct. Elegananly simple, it has only one flatpack piece, plus bulb, socket, and cord. The warm glow comes from a CFL that illuminates at a low temperature, guaranteed not to scorch the books.


Mar 13, 2009

Allen Shelf

Allen Shelf
Flickr for more photos

This is the first prototype for the Allen Shelving system. They are light shelves with surprising strength. They have the look of two layers of honeycomb stuck together, but are made from one solid piece. The different sizes of honeycomb pattern give it a random looking underlying structure, even though the pattern is even and uniform.

The shelves were named for both the Allen Wrench and Allen Ginsberg. The first thing that was placed on the shelf was a book of Allen Ginsberg's poetry, and the honeycomb pattern looks like the head of an Allen Wrench. My system for naming objects I design is quite profound, don't you think?

Allen Shelf

Mar 5, 2009

Lemonade from Lemons


So, I was documenting how to make a lamp so that I could post it on instructables, when I stopped drilling into the LDPE and started drilling into my hand with the most savage looking bit known to man. Unfortunately I was making the instructable for a class, so I had to do it even though I was bleeding profusely from the thumb.

To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to switch the focus of my DIY projcet to fixing my f-ing hand. Thus was born the How to dress a shop wound instructable... I hope you never have to use it.

Feb 20, 2009

Made of China

Made of China

Fine china is used as a ritual object in many households; being used only a few times a year on special occasions. Traditional design is challenged with the Made of China line of fine tableware. Maintaining traditional materials, while using the design language of disposable items questions the elevated status of fine china.

The full line includes porcelain plates and dessert tray, hand-blown glass water bottle, silk napkin with printed "wrinkles" in silk packaging, and silver "disposable" utensils.

This project was a lesson in traditional crafts. Learning to create and produce multiples of high-end, craft based products, using traditional techniques was one of the greatest technical challenges I've faced so far.

Download the PDF presentation to see the full Made of China line.

Jan 30, 2009

Write Like Jesse

Now you can write ransom notes and other nefarious documents in my hand writing! I made the font so that I can maintain continuity between my concept sketches with handwritten notes, and presentations designed digitally. In the end it looks very similar to how I write with a pen; so much so that it's creepy to see things that other people have written with it.

I encourage you to download "Write Like Jesse" and write things with it that I never would!
(and email them to me

Dec 31, 2008

Collab 2008: 1st Place

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's Collab gallery has a student design competition every year. This year the topic was "Processing Frank Gehry," to coincide with the gallery opening of architectural models at the Museum.

My entry is the Lewis Bench, a set of two laminated plywood benches. I'm pleased to say that I was awarded first place! The former organizer of the competition said that it was the first time in the sixteen year history of the student competition that a project has been unanimously chosen for first place by all the judges.

There were murmurs among my classmates that the winning bench would be made by the museum. Unfortunately that never happened, and the bench still remains a quarter scale model.

One of the judges was Lewis Wexler of the Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia. Talking with him after the competition, he mentioned that if I build the bench, he will put it in his gallery. So, if you love the bench, and would like a one of a kind piece of furniture from an up and comming designer, than by all means please get in touch with me.

The PMA website has a very official looking posting of all the Collab Student Competition: 2008 winners. Click the links to see the poster, more photos, and information about the bench.

Jul 28, 2008

The Salp Light

Salp Light
Click here to Download The Salp Light PDF

The Salp Light is a modular light fixture. Chaining together individual “salps” enables the user to adjust the look and luminosity as desired.

The first question that you may ask yourself is "What the hell is a salp?" to which I would respond "It's a marine invertebrate that is a very important step in the evolutionary chain... which happens to look like clear jello with a blueberry stuck in it."

The project brief this time around was "Biomimicry": Looking at plants and animals natural systems as design inspiration.

Previously this year I haven't had the chance to do any lighting design, which is one of my very favorite areas of design. Once I found the tubular, gelatinous, bioluminescent salp, I couldn't keep my self from lighting any longer.

For much better explanations of both the salp, and The Salp Light, consult the PDF

May 12, 2008

iClamp Pro

Sick of trying to read the JHG Design Journal with only 1/4 of a screen? Then you need the iClamp pro: The perfect accessory for any almost new MacBook Pro
where 75% of the screen is gray due to a factory defect!

But seriously, there is a short circuit in my laptop screen that causes the bottom part of my screen to turn gray, like in the photo above. The only fix for it is to squeeze the screen with a clamp in just such a way that the screen connection is pinched, and the circuit uncrosses.

Apple products are beautifully designed with careful consideration to detail, and assembled with very tight tolerances: but it doesn't matter if the thing doesn't work and you have to stick a giant orange clamp on it!

I'm going to have to make a visit to the church of Steve Jobs (Apple Store) and get this straightened out.

Apr 7, 2008


For Materials and Processes class, Tristan and I were asked to rip a printer to shreds to see how it works. It took us 45 minutes, you get to see it in 5, in reverse, with a catchy soundtrack. (Sorry about the gray screen at the beginning, I guess youtube dropped it or something.)

If you listened to the live sound, you would hear me telling Tristan to get his head out of the picture every five seconds, I guess that's why we decided to be designers and not actors.

All the parts were recycled properly when the project was over.

Apr 3, 2008

Nimaya - Architecture Graphic

This is a graphic design project I did for a software company called Nimaya. I was asked to do a visual redesign of their Actionbridge software Architecture Graphic.

Unfortunately I was mostly asked to design for graphic appeal, not clarity. It's like looking at the pictographs of an ancient culture, no one really knows what they mean, but they're pretty. That being said, think my graphic is considerably more clear than the one it is replacing. Decide for yourself, their old graphic is below.

It was fun doing this project, working with the company was really easy and smooth. It was good researching a product that I had absolutely no experience with, and then conveying that knowledge through a graphics project.

Mar 23, 2008

Flex Bench - 2x4 Final Presentation

Click Here to Download the 2x4 Final Presentation PDF

Make a finished piece of furniture and a presentation that sums up a half-semester project, all in 6 days: no problem. I was so exhausted after this project that I'm only now posting it four months later. I think first semester sophomore year at UArts is like ID boot camp. They kick your ass early to make sure that you can handle it.

The bench turned to be pretty cool; it's still flexing and is in one piece. If you want to see it, I have it in my living room. See a recap of the project and the final product in the pdf.

Jan 9, 2008

Wind Powered Bubble Blower

Click Here to Download the Wind Powered Bubble Blower PDF

Who doesn't like bubbles? This project for 3D Techniques class was a study in mechanics and kinetic sculpture. Made mostly from wood, with a few styrene and aluminum parts, this sculpture went through a lot of design alteration to try to make it functional. Have a look at the PDF to see how it works.