April 4, 2014

Road lettering. Freehand.

Beautiful. Perfect craftsmanship. The dance within the negative space of the letterforms, with his left hand behind his back, is so elegant. Particularly on the S. Amazing stuff. (via someone on Facebook.)

March 13, 2014

Pono Music. Elevating digital.

This is huge. Watch the video. As a musician I’m intimately familiar with the process of having sound choked and severely limited as it travels out of the studio and into a digital format. Pono’s ability to reproduce the capacity of the studio and the artist’s intention will be revolutionary. Leave it to Neil Young. I love that man.

But the larger trend that I hope we’re seeing is the ability of the universe of digital tools to more seamlessly replicate the intentions of our very analog, human expressions. I am hoping that we can look at our place in technological time and say that for two decades we have been in the infancy of digital technology, a dark ages of gear headed, internal reflection, and that now we are moving away from a fixation on the tools themselves and how to use them and back to the creation of content that intimately suits our needs. The trend across devices is toward simple gestures, worn devices and integrated circuitry. Devices increasingly communicate with each other to anticipate human needs. And interfaces become increasingly minimal, reducing the complexity of user manuals and increasing reliance on user intuition. The trend is toward reducing the extent to which our person to person relationships are mitigated by our person to device relationships. It’s difficult but very important to remember that the point of design, and of art and music, is to improve human relationships. When people and design behaviors become too focused on the technology, the tool, the device, then design is failing.

The transition to digital has been clumsy and I have lamented the loss of many small experiences from the age of analog not long ago. Tape hiss. Vinyl noise. Static noise. Knobs and buttons with mechanical connections to solid state functionality. For millennials and many others, the accessibility of Arduino programming is– forgive the expression– a digital analog to these direct old interfaces and user experiences. Ultimately, the experience of creating analog artifacts from analog interfaces is not replicable via digital. But our increasing ability to replicate analog artifacts with digital technology increases the transparency of creative media and the joy of artistic expression.

It’s moving to watch the testimonials of so many revered artists after they step out of Neil Young’s Cadillac having heard Pono for the first time. It’s like getting a little of your life back.

Can’t wait to get mine. Read more about Pono here.

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March 9, 2014

Ham Cream

sinclair smith Ham Cream

My hearing is a little shot so I frequently hear people ask each other for this. It brings me a quiet laugh so I thought I’d mock it up and share.

February 20, 2014

The consequences when Ikea trims a board thickness

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There’s an interesting piece here on Gizmodo about Ikea’s decision to alter the thickness of the vertical outer members in its ubiquitous “expedite” shelving. It’s good to see a company like Ikea making small changes to products, knowing that the consequences will be huge when measured in the millions of units sold. Because, consider their impact: “Ikea uses a whopping one percent of the world’s wood supply.” That’s a staggering statistic.

February 19, 2014

Playtime poster

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Source unknown. Found via google image search for Playtime.

February 8, 2014

Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design

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From the master himself… read here.

December 27, 2013

Japanese underground bike parking

Amazing.

December 14, 2013

The glory days

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Love. Probably skipped a lot though. via google search for “portable turntable”

December 3, 2013

This is a gingerbread house

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Don’t believe me? Click here. And don’t forget kids, it pays to play with your food! (via Colossal)

November 21, 2013

SS&Co x Svbscription parcel in the Dwell holiday gift guide

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And now happy to see the hatchet and multi tool along with the rest of the Svbscription gang in Dwell’s holiday gift guide!

November 18, 2013

SS&Co x Svbscription parcel in the NYT holiday gift guide

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Psyched to see my hatchet and other work featured as a part of Svbscription’s great momentum in this year’s New York Times holiday gift guide!!

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November 14, 2013

Move over Snowflake Bentley

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Moscow based photographer, Alexey Kljatov, has made amazing macro shots of snowflakes using a hacked rig of old equipment. His results are stunning. Learn about the original hexafrozavisual kid, Snowflake Bentley, here. (Originally seen on FB via boredpanda.com)

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November 1, 2013

How the Tesla Model S is made

This made the rounds in July. It’s still mind blowing and it will be for years. Tesla is leading the way. (via Wired.)

October 30, 2013

Svbscription x SS&Co parcel unveiled

Svbscription V6 Sinclair Smith Hatchet

I’m thrilled with the results and feedback so far on the work for the Svbscription V6 parcel, The Unexpected, and I’m happy that after months of biting my tongue, the secret is out and we can show the work! Everyone at Svbscription was a delight to work with and I appreciate the incredible care and attention they give to every detail of their process and product. There’s an interview with me on their blog here. (Photo courtesy of Svbscription. More photos to come.)

October 21, 2013

Transitions: Roundabouts

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In response to of our fair city’s own Columbus Circle being named “Roundabout of the Year”, the public radio show Marketplace‘s morning report last week included a great segment on roundabouts that actually had me laughing at several points. Yes I’m prone to fits of childlike delight in the face of great achievements in design and engineering and yes, my recent obsession with transitional gestures and structures makes me vulnerable to new roundabout propoganda, but you need to listen to this. Just hear the name of this gentleman’s organization before you judge me…

Sinclair Smith roundabout blog post