Author Archives: david

NOTCOT: design Archives

Source: NOTCOT: design Archives


Daniel Libeskind’s lighting design creates a Big Bang | Design | Agenda | Phaidon


Daniel Libeskind’s lighting design creates a Big Bang | Design | Agenda | Phaidon.

“Hipster” Redesigns of Famous Brand Logos


The Coca-Cola logo may be classic, but is it really relevant to hip, metropolitan 20-somethings? With the motto “holding up a mirror to the artsy community,” a Tumblr called Hipster Branding proposes tongue-in-cheek solutions for popular brands looking to attract the cool kids. The blog’s mastermind, Dave Spengeler, redesigns corporate logos in a familiar minimalist style, with plenty of trendy signifiers — anchors, mustaches, Helvetica or old-fashioned fonts, the ubiquitous “X.” The results range from actually attractive to hilariously ridiculous; page through to see a few of our favorites, the follow Hipster Branding to keep up with the feed.

Image credit: Hipster Branding. Spotted via Thaeger

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding

Image credit: Hipster Branding


Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here’s How To Argue ProductivelyWRITTEN BY: Daniel Sobol AT CONTINUUM, INNOVATION’S SECRET SAUCE IS DELIBERATIVE DISCOURSE. HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT.


Turns out that brainstorming–that go-to approach to generating new ideas since the 1940s–isn’t the golden ticket to innovation after all. Both Jonah Lehrer, in a recent article in The New Yorker, and Susan Cain, in her new book Quiet, have asserted as much. Science shows that brainstorms can activate a neurological fear of rejection and that groups are not necessarily more creative than individuals. Brainstorming can actually be detrimental to good ideas.

But the idea behind brainstorming is right. To innovate, we need environments that support imaginative thinking, where we can go through many crazy, tangential, and even bad ideas to come up with good ones. We need to work both collaboratively and individually. We also need a healthy amount of heated discussion, even arguing. We need places where someone can throw out a thought, have it critiqued, and not feel so judged that they become defensive and shut down. Yet this creative process is not necessarily supported by the traditional tenets of brainstorming: group collaboration, all ideas held equal, nothing judged.

So if not from brainstorming, where do good ideas come from?

At Continuum, we use deliberative discourse–or what we fondly call “Argue. Discuss. Argue. Discuss.” Deliberative discourse was originally articulated in Aristotle’s Rhetoric. It refers to participative and collaborative (but not critique-free) communication. Multiple positions and views are expressed with a shared understanding that everyone is focused on a common goal. There is no hierarchy. It’s not debate because there are no opposing sides trying to “win.” Rather, it’s about working together to solve a problem and create new ideas.

So we argue. And discuss. And argue. A lot. But our process is far from freeform yelling. Here are five key rules of engagement that we’ve found to yield fruitful sessions and ultimately lead to meaningful ideas.


Breaking down hierarchy is critical for deliberative discourse. It’s essential to creating a space where everyone can truly contribute. My first week at Continuum, I joined a three-person team with one senior and one principal strategist. A recent graduate, I was one of the youngest members of the company. During our first session, the principal looked me in the eye and said, “You should know that you’re not doing your job if you don’t disagree with me at least once a day.” He gave me permission to voice my opinion openly, regardless of my seniority. This breakdown of hierarchy creates a space where ideas can be invented– and challenged–without fear.


It’s widely evangelized that successful brainstorms rely on acceptance of all ideas and judgment of none. Many refer to the cardinal rule of improv saying “Yes, AND”–for building on others’ ideas. As a former actor, I’m a major proponent of “Yes AND.”

But I’m also a fan of “no, BECAUSE.” No is a critical part of our process, but if you’re going to say no, you better be able to say why. Backing up an argument is integral in any deliberative discourse. And that “because” should be grounded in real people other than ourselves.

We conduct ethnographic research to inform our intuition, so we can understand people’s needs, problems, and values. We go out dancing with a group of women in a small Chinese village; we work in a fry shack in the deep South; we sit in living rooms and listen to caregivers discuss looking after a parent with Alzheimer’s. This research informs our intuitive “guts”–giving us both inspiration for ideas and rationale to defend or critique them.

During ideation, we constantly refer back to people, asking one another if our ideas are solving a real need that people expressed or that we witnessed. This keeps us accountable to something other than our own opinions, and it means we can push back on colleagues’ ideas without getting personal.


We’ve all heard of T-shaped people and of multidisciplinary teams. This model works for us because deliberative discourse requires a multiplicity of perspectives to shape ideas. We curate teams to create diversity: Walk into a project room and you may find an artist-turned-strategist, a biologist-turned-product designer, and an English professor-turned-innovation guru hashing it out together. True to form, my background is in theater and anthropology.

On a recent project, I realized the best way to tackle a particular problem was to apply a text analysis tool that actors use with new scripts. I taught this framework to the team, and we used it to generate ideas. Another time, a team member with a background in Wall Street banking wrote an equation on the whiteboard. It was exactly the framework we needed to jumpstart our next session.

When we enter deliberative discourse, arguing and discussing and arguing and discussing, we each bring different ways of looking at the world and solving problems to the table.


Deliberative discourse is not just arguing for argument’s sake. Argument is productive for us because everyone knows that we’re working toward a shared goal. We develop a statement of purpose at the outset of each project and post it on the door of our project room. Every day when we walk into the room, we’re entering into a liminal play space–call it a playing field. The statement of purpose establishes the rules: It reminds us that we are working together to move the ball down the field. As much as we may argue and disagree, anything that happens in the room counts toward our shared goal. This enables us to argue and discuss without hurting one another.


We work on projects ranging from global banking for the poor to the future of pizza and life-saving medical devices. Our work requires intensity, thoughtfulness, and rigor. But no matter the nature of the project, we keep it fun. It’s rare for an hour to pass without laughter erupting from a project room. Deliberative discourse is a form of play, and for play to yield great ideas, we have to take it seriously.

But we don’t brainstorm. We deliberate.

[Images: Kazarlenyaaboikis, and Jakgree via Shutterstock]

See-through church, Limburg/Belgium by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

See through church, Limburg/Belgium by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

photo by Kristof Vrancken / Z33

Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, a collaboration between young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs (Leuven, 1983) and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh (Leuven, 1983), have built a see-through church in the Belgian region of Haspengouw. The church is a part of the Z-OUT project of Z33, house for contemporary art based in Hasselt, Belgium. Z-OUT is an ambitious longterm art in public space project that will be realised on different locations in the Flemish region of Limburg over the next five years.
See through church, Limburg/Belgium by Gijs Van Vaerenberghphoto by Kristof Vrancken

The church is 10 meters high and is made of 100 layers and 2000 columns of steel. Depending on the perspective of the viewer, the church is either perceived as a massive building or seems to dissolve – partly or entirely – in the landscape. On the other hand, looking at the landscape from within the church, the surrounding countryside is redefined by abstract lines. The design of the church is based on the architecture of the multitude of churches in the region, but through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art.


This type of work employs an RGB technique where Carnovsky overlap three primary colour images resulting in a super intricate multilayered print. When either Red, Green or Blue colored filter is placed over these surfaces a different image is revealed.

These images are of their first UK exhibition at DreamBagsJaguarShoes exploring the topic of ‘Jungle’. Check out more detailed views of their work below.

[Images via JaguarShoes Collective.]

LED MediaMesh NYC

The basic concept of Mediamesh® is a stainless steel mesh fabric with interwoven LED profiles and with connected media controls installed behind it. The LEDs render the images onto the facade, providing the ability to display a wide spectrum of graphics, animated text and video.

In comparison with conventional systems, Mediamesh® is a transparent system that does not completely close off the facade. The architecture of the building is thus not destroyed and, when turned off, the Mediamesh® facade is also integrated as a harmonious element of the architectural design.



Panther Signs


Fabio Rotella designed this “open-air living room” for the Italian launch of Citroën’s new DS3 model. The 6 metre high red lampshade activates a this piazza, providing an iconic and glamorous meeting place in the midst of the bustling Salon de Mobile furniture design fair.


A building facade in Tokyo has taken a leading step away from a cityscape overwhelmed by signage. Instead of the typical neon signs that adorn Tokyo’s Skyline, architects of the N Building, near Tachikawa station, designed a facade with two large QR codes.


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer / Solar Equation, 2010 / Spherical captive balloon, helium, tehers and winches, 5 HD projectors, 7 computers with custom-made software, wifi network, iOS app. / 14m diameter (Aerostat balloon) / Copyright the Artist / Courtesy Haunch of Venison

Using an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, people may disturb the animations in real-time and select different fluid dynamic visualizations.

PROJECT Light in Winter Festival
 Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia
ARTIST Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
ARTWORK Solar Equation

INSTALLATION PERIOD 4 June – 4 July, 2010


Gabriel Dawe’s textile experience inspired his creation of Plexus, a large scale gallery installation. Currently featured at the Dallas Contemporary, the installation is formed by brightly coloured Gütermann thread that is stretched between wooden blocks that are attached to both the floor and ceiling. The vibrant threads are arranged in a cascading linear pattern, yielding different effects of colour and form when viewed from different angles.


Before I Die | Candy Chang

Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer and urban planner. Before I Die was based on the artist’s motivation to transform neglected  sites and transforming it into constructive spaces for the local community.

A giant chalk board with the words “Before I Die I want to                             ” stenciled repeatedly in grid formation has been temporarily attached to an abandoned house in the neighbourhood, inviting local residents and passers by to fill out their personal expressions with chalk.

The artwork was inspired by the artist’s reflection on the question, “What is really important to me?”. Community members showed an overwhelming response to this opportunity to interact with their surroundings and share hopes and aspirations with other people who are connected to their space.

ARTIST Candy Chang
 Before I Die
 New Orleans
Kristina Kassem, Aan Williams, Cory Klemmer, Anamaria Vizcanino, James Reeves,Alex Vialou and Gary Hustwit


Lang and Baumann created a light installation for the Nuit Blanche Festival last year.  Their light installation titled Comfort #4 was featured along 2 floors of the Ecole Elementaire de Belleville in Paris.  Inflated tubes were threaded through several windows in a random order to create the effect of a woven facade.  Internal lights illuminated the tubes from within the building.

Sportsgirl Window Display

‘Turn your world’

Sportsgirl Bourke St 2010, Photography: Marcel Aucar

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

A forest installation made entirely of cardboard complete with its own soundtrack