Unnumbered Sparks

The Technology

Unnumbered Sparks is an interactive art collaboration between artist Janet Echelman and Google creative director Aaron Koblin for TED 2014. The art installation and experience is made from ultralight fibers and hangs from a skyscraper over the water and walkways near the Vancouver Convention Center. According to a blog post by Google Creative Lab’s Jenny Ramaswamy, the interactive lighting “is actually one giant Chrome window, stretched across the 300-foot long sculpture with the… Read more »


X–SPACE: A Library Designed and Built By Its Students

Recently launched on Kickstarter, X-Space is a library designed and built by 108 8th graders at the REALM Charter School in Berkeley. X-Space started out as a project by the students in the Studio H class, an in-school design and build program offered to students in the 8th to 11th grade. The students were asked what they wanted from their school and the majority just wanted a place to read, relax,… Read more »


Urban Sounds

Sonictravlog is a mobile app that allows users to record and listen to sounds recorded by other people located in different places. Through geotagging, the sounds uploaded will appear in a soundmap. There are two recording modes: Timer mode: the app will record a short clip from time to time automatically. This acts as a sound diary. Navigate mode: the user can record sounds according to a route they’ve created or joined. Users can interact with… Read more »


Free Homes to Writers in Detroit

A new nonprofit organization called Write a House is refurbishing three two-bedroom houses in Detroit and accepting applications for writers to move in, rent free. Their mission is to “to enliven the literary arts of Detroit by renovating homes and giving them to authors, journalists, poets, aka writers. It’s like a writer-in-residence program, only in this case we’re actually giving the writer the residence, forever.” Poets, journalists, novelists, and anyone who falls somewhere in between… Read more »


Free Amtrak Rides to Writers

Amtrak is now offering residencies to writers that want to set-up shop aboard Amtrak trains for long roundtrip rides dedicated solely for the purpose of writing. Jessica Gross, a New York City-based writer, took the first residency, traveling from NYC to Chicago and back, and documented her journey here. This concept of residencies could translate nicely to other environments that innately provide experiences  infused with self reflective time. Environments such as libraries and museums… Read more »


Smartglasses Help Surgeons Visualize Cancerous Cells

On Monday, February 10th, the first surgery  using smartglasses to visualize cancer cells was conducted at Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The wearable technology was developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells, helping to ensure that no stray tumor cells are left behind during surgery. The cancerous cells glow blue through the eyewear when in use. “Imagine… Read more »


Radiohead Releases PolyFauna App

Radiohead’s latest creation, PolyFauna, is an experimental collaboration between Radiohead and Universal Everything. The mobile app was inspired by The King Of Limbs sessions and uses  imagery and  sounds from the song “Bloom.”  The digital experience may not meet the standards of Bjork’s Biophilia or Arcade Fires’ Just a Reflektor, but it is worth exploring for free for your iOS or Android device. Thom Yorke announced the launch of… Read more »


Training the American Workforce

Community College leaders are in Washington lobbying for more money and a bigger role in training Americans for the workforce. In most states though, community college funding has been slashed. It’s unclear if the schools can open their doors to more people or create new job-training programs.


Gregory Porter – 1960 What?

“The next great male jazz singer”—NPR Music

“Liquid Spirit is shot through with gospel, blues and R&B influences… the title track pairs soulful horns with a deep, enveloping bassline that frames the California native’s supple tenor.”—Wall Street Journal

“Gregory Porter [is] a powerful baritone who writes his own songs… from a more ’70s or early ’80s-oriented place in the African-American jazz tradition, strong and sometimes experimental yet serenely unacademic,… Read more »


Red Bull House of Art: Detroit

Anyone that watched  the Grammy Awards on Sunday saw a Red Bull commercial promoting the House of Art. “Red Bull House of Art is a program for up and coming artists to develop their skill and showcase their abilities in a collaborative and inspirational environment by exploring new themes and innovative ideas. From Baroque to Banksy, the art world is always rebuilding from the foundation up. It’s this principle that is the bedrock… Read more »


Love Letters

In a recent conversation with my Mother, she lamented over a comment one of her customers had made to her earlier that day.  She said: “This customer told me that they no longer teach children to write in cursive at school.  It upset me so…” My Mother is an artist – specifically, a master calligrapher by trade.  She works in beauty of the physical – combining her rare, heavily cultivated talent with her… Read more »


A New Framework for Forrester’s Social Technographics

Forrester announced a new framework for their Social Technographics, called the Social Technographics Score that: Focuses on commercial social behaviors. Many surveys reveal the social behaviors in which audiences engage but make no distinction between peoples’ social interactions with friends and their social interactions with companies. In contrast, the new Social Technographics Score is based on how audiences interact with and talk about companies, brands, and products. Helps marketers choose among social strategies. Most models for evaluating… Read more »


Playboy Ruins it for Everyone

The future of the Prada Marfa, a public art installation designed by Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, is now at risk. Located in Valentine, Texas since 2005, the art installation has remained relatively untouched. However, this summary, Playboy decided they wanted to capitalize on the concept with a similar idea, but for commercial purposes. Playboy installed a 1972 Dodge Charger on top of a box and a 40-foot neon version of its iconic bunny… Read more »


The Pulse of a City

Pulse of the City is an interactive public art installation installed in five locations in Boston that turns pedestrians’ heartbeats into music. It combines art, design and technology to promote the use and celebration of public space in an uplifting and imaginative way.

From the artist, George Zisiadis:

We designed music that would complement different heart rate levels. The unit detects your pulse and then an algorithm determines the best sounds to play for you…. Read more »


Kellogg’s RFID Projection Mapped Skatepark

In effort to rebrand Kellogg’s® Nutri-Grain® breakfast bars and associate the brand with a younger, hipper audience, Kellogg launched an RFID triggered, Projection Mapped, Glow in the Dark Skatepark in Australia. With their influencer outreach program, they connected with influential teens in the area to participate in a competition to win tickets to the experience. The skateboard features laser triggered cameras to auto-shoot and upload images via RFID tags to Facebook at the optimal capture positions to showcase peoples… Read more »


Take On Me, Volkswagen

The new “Feeling Carefree” commercial from Volkswagen featuring one of the best songs from the 80’s, “Take On Me” by A-ha is very entertaining. The spot pays homage to the music video, featuring a daydreamer sketching in his notebook, but instead imagining a world with his VW. Just like the music video, the daydreamer comes back to reality and gets what they wanted. However, sadly, the message promoting repair and maintenance is not memorable. Instead, the viewer… Read more »


The People’s University

Community Deficit Fighters

For more than 144 years, Cleveland Public Library has stood as a beacon of hope, inspiration, and opportunity for generations of Clevelanders, a progressive and pioneering institution that has helped shape our great city and its diverse neighborhoods. While it’s exciting to see some areas of the city experiencing a renaissance, there remain barriers to a good, quality life in other areas. Cleveland Public Library calls obstacles, such as hunger,… Read more »


Just A Reflektor

The Experience

Just A Reflektor is an interactive  film that explores the themes in the song “Reflektor” by Arcade Fire through two devices simultaneously: the computer and smartphone/tablet. Filmed in Haiti, the story follows a young woman who travels between her world and our own. To experience the film, visit justareflektor.com in Google Chrome on your computer, and g.co/af on your Android or iOS device. Your computer will connect with your… Read more »