Weeknote #1 for 2014 : Making and breaking in 2014
2013 ended well for us. We worked on some great projects that included installing Silent Lights, designing and installing a storytelling piece called Wise Words, designing and installing Family Style – a data visualization piece for the Feast conference and working on a cool collaborative projection mapping piece called ‘bare branches’ which opened in New Delhi on Dec 11th. We worked on a number of digital projects as well which included a projection design web platform and a blog on Indian cooking. We experimented with a bunch of open source technologies and combined it with design and art. Got to know a lot of interesting people some of whom we collaborated with. Early on in the year Rick and I took a class on Business Development at 3rd Ward. It was tough to explain our business model since we were doing a lot of consulting at the time. Valeria was designing packaging for blue bottle coffee, Rick was and still is using his drupal chops while working with a hyperlocal startup company and I was doing user research for a start up called littleBits where I met a couple of my future collaborators who helped with Silent Lights. This year feels different, we’re a lot more focused on monetizing what we started with Urban Matter Inc.
Our year end brainstorm was promising and a lot of crazy ideas got thrown around. The main themes that emerged were around creating meaningful design using emerging technologies. Even if some of the ideas included creating a ‘Chable’ – a morphed cousin of the chair and a table, an ‘Earpod’ – an unwanted child of the earphone and an IPod, we settled on creating products and experiences at the intersection of design and technology while still working on art projects to keep us true to our mission. We’ve done a lot of artwork lately primarily because it has helped us experiment with new and old technologies without having accountability in a way that only a designed product can have. ‘Need’ is fully taken out of the pictures and one can play with the senses by manipulating tools and techniques. It is almost freeing in a way. The new year however is full of ideas that respond to peoples needs while having meaning and relevance. We’ll hopefully be sharing some of that soon. Not a day goes by when we don’t think – what do we make next.
We are in the process of redesigning our website and our editorial calendar. For now we’ll be updating our blog every week so stay tuned to hear more from our world.
Here is to a fruitful and productive 2014!