Obsessive Consumption Book

When I got home from work I was happy to find Kate Bingaman-Burt's book Obsessive Consumption on my doorstep.  I opened it to check out a few sketches, but ended up completely enthralled and reading it cover to cover.  The book is based on Kate's blog of the same name, where she keeps sketches of objects that she a has bought.  The purchases documented range from a hairclip for grandma ($5.95) (and one of my favorite purchases in the book) to a faux Eames Lounger ($50.00).  The purchase patterns themselves are very interesting as they span an number of years and life stages (student, marriage, dog, etc) which make you reminisce about your own levels of financial freedoms, or lack there of, over time.  The best part, to me, is the little notes that accompany a lot of the drawings.  A four colour click pen itself is not a very interesting purchase, but when accompanied by the fact that it was purchased to pay bills, it actually becomes very entertaining.  I adored the book, and the journey that it took me on.



I just ordered a TweetNotebook.  It's a personalized notebook featuring one of your own tweets at the bottom of every page.  All you have to do is put in your twitter name and the system (supposedly) picks out your best tweets to line the pages with.

Part of what I like about Twitter is that things you say are momentary, small things go from foreground to background very quickly, very reflective of real life.  The other thing I like about Twitter is that it captures moments in time, on an ongoing basis.  To me, that is what the TweetNotebook is celebrating.  It is kind of like a photo album, reminding you of passing thoughts and captured instants.

Feltron 2009 Annual Report

It is one of my favorite times of the year... time for Nicholas Feltron's Annual Report.

Most designers will be well aware of Feltron's tradition, as his reports are an annual source of graphic and information design inspiration.  If you have not heard of them, the Annual Reports are a summary of graphic designer, Nicholas Feltron's year.  They cover the places he has been, the foods he has eaten, the fluctuations in his mood, etc, etc.  They are not only ridiculously pleasant to look at, but amusing to read.  If you are interested in collecting your own annual data, check out one of Feltron's other projects, Daytum.

Question Suggestions

One of the joys of using a search engine that gives auto suggestions based on popular searches, is that it gives you a small glimpse into the collective mind. If you've never tried this, stop what you're doing, go to your favorite search engine (I recommend Bing.com) and start to type a question. With each letter you type, the search engine provides new suggestions based on what everyone else is searching for. The results are almost always both fascinating and funny. Justin Talbot has put together a website called Question Suggestions which features his daily explorations into the human psyche through half formulated search questions.

Rivane Neuenschwander

Rivane Neuenschwander's painting series Ze Carioca no. 4 is currently on display at MoMA. Rivane painted over a recently reissued Brazilian comic book series from the 1940s. The comic was a politically charged, but much adored Disney comic called Ze Carioca. In these pieces, the panels of the comic book are kept in order but the text has been blanked out, and the images painted over using the bright background colors of the original comic panels. The intention of the piece is for viewers to make their own stories up out of the emptiness, or to remember the stories from their own viewpoints, based on the titles.

(Found through Swissmiss)

What Can You Teach Me?

I dread cheesy ice breakers. Bonding through mutual embarrassment is just the wrong way to go about things. That's why I appreciate the brilliance of Swissmiss's technique at recent CreativeMornings. She made name tags, that don't show your name (you always get to that part in conversation anyway), but ask what can I learn from you. Looking through the Flickr set, people has some pretty entertaining skills, making it a great conversation starter.

3 Frame Movies

If you don't have time to watch movies, but need to catch up on a few classics, check out 3 Frame Movies. It is a website that summarizes blockbuster greats in 3 simple drawings. The 3 frames try to capture the essence of the movie... as the artist remembers it. Hopefully that means the good parts, but not always. You are all so free to submit your own movie requests.

Some of the interpretations are fantastically amusing. This site is like a mini lesson in storytelling. My favorite 3 Frame Movie is Jurassic Park.


Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek are a German photographer and profiler, who have spent the last 15 years studying the dress codes of social groups.  They have published a book and website featuring their photographs and findings, called Exactitudes (Exact + Attitude).

Members of the same social group are photographed in similar poses.  Juxtaposing their similarity with their desire for individuality.  Providing "an almost scientific, anthropological record of people's attempts to distinguish themselves from others by assuming a group identity".

We Tell Stories

We Tell Stories is a website created by Six to Start for Penguin books. It features 6 writers, telling 6 stories, in 6 weeks. The project takes classic Penguin titles and retells the stories in a digital format - but not your typical, eBook style digital format.  Six to Start consider themselves modern storytellers who tell stories using high tech interactive methods and media.  Of the 6 stories, one is told using areal view map fly overs, one is told using twitter, two are web based choose your own adventure stories, another was written in real time with real time readers, and yet another was interpreted by Nicholas Felton's data driven infographic style.

Whew.  And I'm sure there is much more to come.  The world of digital and location based storytelling is just beginning.  (Found through Half Deserted Streets).

The Quick Brown

The Quick Brown is a website that tracks changes made to Fox News headlines over time.  It notes and visualizes text that has been removed and added to the online articles, creating a time stamp for each round of edits.

This is totally fascinating to me.  I guess I assumed that this went on, but I never really thought about the scope of the manipulations changes made.  (Found through It's That Nice).

We're All Gonna Die

Photographer Simon Hogsberg has created a beautiful, explorable, 100 meter image, of people crossing a railroad bridge.  The project is called We're All Gonna Die.  The subject of the photos are 178 pedestrians, photographed over 20 days in Berlin.  The photos are stunning.  You can't stop looking at the people.  Some of the people clearly notice their picture being taken, and others are so lost in their thoughts that you can't help wondering what they are thinking about.  I'm going back to look some more...  (Found through Cool Hunting).

Fifty People One Question

Fifty People One Question is a heartwarming little video project created by Crush + Lovely and Deltree.  I say "little" because it is such a serenely simple idea, and so simply executed, that it seems effortless.  The project does what it says, asks 50 people, in 1 city, 1 question.  The questions are also simple:  What do you wish to happen by the end of the day?  Where would you like to wake up?  ...and the answers are varied and beautiful.  Watch them all here.  (Found through It's That Nice)

The Moth Podcast

I have recently become a fan of The Moth podcast.  It features true short stories told live in front of an audience.  Some of them are absolutely hilarious.  Check out some of my recent favorites: Sleepwalk with Me by Mike Birbiglia; My Outsourced Life by A.J. Jacobs; and The Funny One by Elna Baker.  Make sure to subscribe to the podcast via Zune for ongoing enjoyment.

Listen and Record

Listen and Record Wallpaper is part of Ihas Fotopoulos' Series Two wallpaper collection.  The whole collection was influenced by dots and lines from unexpected sources.  the Listen and Record patterns are based on braille.  They also have a fascinating story associated with them.  The story, by Juro Osawa, is about recording his voice every night before bed and then listening to the recording exactly one year later.  He's been doing the every day for 11 years!  I can't do the story justice, so make sure to look it up on the website yourself.  I'm not entirely sure how the story relates to the wallpaper, but it kind of doesn't matter because the story is so good.