The author is on vacation or travelling for work for the next two weeks. I’ll be reading Foucault’s Pendulum and developing a story about a hyper-active gym owner.
Pint Craft brings the joy and passion of craft brewing to a competitive card game format.
This is a video I have wanted to make for weeks. While the vision of Pint Craft has remained the same, the rules of the game have changed over the course of the past six months. The video shows the fifth iteration of the game’s rules.
The biggest change to Pint Craft is that beer recipes are now drafted from the center of the table. Brewers can make any of the beer styles that are showing as long as they have the necessary ingredients. With non-proprietary beer recipes, the dynamic of the game shifts between rounds as different sets of recipes become available.
Pint Craft is nearly ready for wide distribution! I am working with a publisher to get a prototype of Pint Craft using die cut cardboard for the ingredient tokens. This will substantially reduce the price to print the game. If the prototype looks good then I will use one or two methods to bring the game to market:
- Kickstarter – a crowdsourcing platform that many game designers have used successfully
- Microbreweries – custom skinned games based on a brewer’s brand and styles of beer can be created for small print runs
If you want to be informed when Pint Craft is available – do one of the following:
- Leave a comment on this page with your email address
- Or email me directly: nickhelmholdt /at/ macrospectra /dot/ com
Eddi Törnberg, a Swedish graduate student, created the workstation above so that it generates all the power it needs through everyday activity. The name of the project is Unplugged and its thesis is aligns with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s quote, “Human nature is above all things lazy.” While I don’t subscribe to Stowe’s reasoning, I am excited to see the integration of renewable energy technologies into furniture design.
In Unplugged, three techniques produce energy: piezoelectricity from the carpet, the Seebeck effect on the chair, and the flower through photosynthesis. Eddi explains how each element contributes to the power generation:
So-called piezo-elements are woven into the carpet, which means that whoever walks on the carpet exposing the crystal in the elements to mechanical stress and the elements then emit energy. [sic]
The flower is a plant-microbial fuel cell, which means that the natural sugars and enzymes help to extract energy through photosynthesis.
The seat of the chair is based on the Seebeck effect, which means that the metal on the upper surface becomes warm, in this case from the body heat, while the underside is kept cold by metal fins. The difference between these temperatures emits energy.
It’s not clear how much power this project could produce per workstation or if the design includes consideration for an inverter. If the technology works and can be scaled up, then I imagine many office designers will want to find ways to integrate this technology into new workstations.
hat tip to Planetizen.
Prepare for some mild nausea.
Paul Ford gave this speech to the graduating class of the Interaction Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In the speech, Ford advocates for the time that users will spend interacting with devices and interfaces produced by these graduates. I like the way that Ford plays with the division and demarcation of time through the ten sections of the speech.
Read 10 Timeframes by Paul Ford at Contents Magazine.
The clutter of wireless communication infrastructure that currently litters modern urban areas might soon be replaced with sleek, integrated and adaptable technology hubs. The idea behind the V-Pole in Vancouver, B.C. combines mobile phone coverage and wi-fi capability into a single piece of municipal infrastructure. Douglas Coupland, Canadian author and artist, teamed up with Vancouver’s mayor to present the V-Pole concept to the New Cities Summit.
As it stands, every new wireless communication protocol and carrier brings with it a new host of devices to propagate its frequency. These devices are mounted onto buildings, towers, and other pieces of infrastructure. The V-Pole flips the equation on its head: instead of the wireless technology as a nuisance and eyesore, it’s highlighted as an amenity and seamlessly built into the urban fabric.
In addition to the benefits resulting from consolidated communication infrastructure, the V-Pole can integrate with LED street lighting and electric vehicle charging stations. The aesthetic and functional improvements to public, urban spaces that could be achieved through the V-Pole are very fascinating. The one thing that seems to be missing (from the diagram) is a bike rack.
Strangely enough, this isn’t the first time that urban areas have been nearly buried by communications devices. The National Post (Vancouver) related the story of Thomas Edison’s invention of the Quadruplex Telegraph, which allowed multiple telegraph operators to use the same lines – thus preventing ”dense urban jungles of telegraph wires that came close to blocking out the sun.”
Douglas Coupland released the idea of the V-Pole as an open source platform. He says he has no intention of using this concept for financial gain. It is unclear what the next step will be for the V-Pole. It may be possible for municipalities to incentivize this technology platform over other conventional methods that wireless carriers are currently using, but that would likely take some serious commitment from city leadership.
Download the V-Pole fact sheet [pdf].
Hat tip to Planetizen.
A Chinese real estate developer just completed a full scale replica of the Austrian village of Halstatt. The cloned village is located in Guangdong province’s Huizhou city, about 100 miles outside Hong Kong.
While this may be “flattering” to the Austrians who have seen their village copied, it is not a promising development in urbanism. It is a shame that developers can get away with this complete lack of creativity in the design and construction of new communities. However, this may also be an indicator that buyers are willing to pay the appearance of of an authentic place even if it is thousands of miles outside its original context.
Kudos to Planetizen for picking up my submission.