Struktur; the creative conference for active, outdoor and urban design!

I am so excited to be heading to Portland to participate in Struktur again in two weeks, and cannot recommend this conference enough to any designers in the outdoor, active or urban design space.

And with the topic of Inflection point this year being spot on, the size of the vibrant super connective event doubling all the more reason to come join the fun festive mind bending event. I am moderating a panel "Reframing Wearables" while there are panels on Female Leadership, Biomimicry, Futurecasting and so much more.  I cannot wait!
(wow and just found my tall last year, I was a bit under the weather but hey, there it is! ;)

Here is the topic description for 2017!

Inflection Point

Futurists describe an inflection point as a moment when the range of possible futures suddenly shifts. As designers, we must prepare ourselves for success within the context of these new possibilities.

Against the backdrop of disruptions in climate, trade, and manufacturing, new practices of generative design, bio-materials, and automation are moving into focus. Sustainability and ‘Made in America’ stories are shifting from novelty to necessity. As technical and performance gear continue to merge into the mainstream, the active and outdoor industries are well positioned to be a major influencer in what we wear.

Struktur Event was founded on the idea that a strong design community is vital for innovation and growth. We are committed to fostering a community where design and industry professionals can share ideas, build relationships, and tackle these important topics with integrity and respect.

Come to Struktur Event 2017 and position yourself for success."

Photography Resources to up Your Game

As I have allowed myself to dive back into one of my oldest loves, photography, and revisit as an art, and not just a design research tool, I have found a lot of great resources to support me in this freedom and journey.  And as I have been sharing them right left and sideways with folks, it became evident, this was worth a quick post.  All approach the goal of improving from different perspectives so pick your poison, or if you are like me go all in!

If you do nothing else, go to the website of professional photographer Ken Rockwell which is a wealth of knowledge on so many levels.  He has apps in the itunes store which are absolutely worth buying for your camera, you only need to pay the 4.99 for your camera specifically and I am constantly learning new things about my equipment as he cuts through the BS.  If you want to go deeper, he appears to be based in California and does workshops there which I highly recommend (human time is irreplaceable, even with youtube videos) but it is his break down of each type of camera and lense for that camera, cutting through the jargon, and explaining what they actually mean, which is invaluable.  The website is helpful, but the app is the way to go.

Subscribing to Tobias van Schneider's newsletter and website is a must for any creative.  And although I have a love hate relationship with instagram, it is a reality of our creative world, and his post on "how-i-edit-my-pictures-for-instagram" like all of his writing is very accessible, meticulous and intense, but inspiring.  It will up your game even if you only decide you might start taking your iphone shots in the Cortex Cam app instead of the iphone standard camera app. 

Improvement is incremental and a practice.

And last, if this isn't already clear, go find humans.  I highly suggest going to a workshop first.  I like the Boston Photography Workshop for the approachable teaching style, realistic scope of content in each class -- I have real skills to add it to my tool kit, and they will stick, and affordable rates.  I have taken night and editing, to learn the former and spiff up the latter, and am looking forwards to the soon to be added classes in portraiture, landscape and travel.

From a more theoretical approach to the creative journey, in general, and specifically, written by a deeply thoughtful, humble but talented photographer, I really enjoy David Duchemin's book, Beautiful Anarchy, which you can buy and download here. His website is full of other awesome tools and inspiring resources to up your game from a guy who has been at it for a while and has journeyed through the highs and lows of being a professional creative.

I think once you have a few workshops under your belt for skill building, then meet ups are a great way to challenge yourself with new styles and situations.  Instagram and google searches bring up loads.


WT VOX "Top 5 Technologies Transforming The Fashion Industry By 2020"

Top 5 Technologies Transforming The Fashion Industry By 2020

By Martin Smith
Posted on 30th August 2016

Top 5 Technologies Transforming The Fashion Industry By 2020

If you look back and carefully, analyse how you have spent your last 6 hours of the day you notice that you have had countless moments of interaction with the internet.

Quietly, in the background, your life is becoming increasingly connected and dependent on your devices; smartphones, connected objects, IoT architectures and digital platforms that are silently taking over the cities.

But how are these technological advancements affecting the fashion world? Can technology reach the fashion industry and alter its core and if so, to what extent?

Already signalling profound shifts in the fashion industry, here is my top 5 technologies transforming the fashion industry, finishing line 2020.

Read article in full on WT TOX site here

WT TOX Innovation in Fashion.
The most trustworthy, authoritative resource in Wearable Tech and Fashion Tech.

Critical Tools for the Tech Enabled Designer

Tobias van Schneider's Medium article "My Top 11 essential tools I could not live without" is an absolute must read toolkit of efficiency, design, enjoyable and just cool apps and tech tools to make work, particularly remote and online work more enjoyable and fluid. 

This article "The 5 Best Apps For Freelance Designers; Manage your email, time, money, daily tasks, and legal documents better with these (nicely designed) digital tools" is also great, whether for freelance designers or just those of us seeking more order in the overwhelming noise!

I highly highly recommend checking out Tobias's site itself as well, van where the multi talented self taunt former creative lead of Spotify explores so many ideas which resonant deeply, learned through experience, creative inspiration through audio shows, newsletters, and more.  Awesome multi-hyphenate designer carving his own arc.

Data Driven Apparel in Rio, New Balance

As is so often the case with innovation, there is a long (long!) research and development process and sometimes and even longer runway to the public reveal, through the entire duration of which designers and researchers in our field cannot discuss their work, with varying levels of secrecy. 

So I am thrilled to see the Data Driven Training Knit which we developed and designed back in 2013 appear in preparation for the Olympics in Rio.  The tops are a part the New Balance Elite kit, as well as Team Ireland and New Zealand's kit.  Epic NB sprinter Trayvon Bromell wears it here in Rome.

We spent hundreds of hours planning & designing, researching the elite body, gathering thermal data, aggregating that data points, and translating them into the round for knit production.  It was an intensive process for an elegant simple looking product, but then that is good design, and it was a pleasure to be a part of a great team.

To visualize New Balance’s unique “data to design” architecture, Aggressive designed a futuristic test lab, where data-driven runners’ foot-strikes drive the creation of the midsoles in real time. Credits Production Co: Aggressive Client: New Balance Agency: Arnold Worldwide Directors: Alex Topaller, Dan Shapiro Producer: Kelvin Craver Creative Director: Alex Mikhaylov CG Supervisor: Max Chelyadnikov Edit: Alex Mikhaylov, Max Chelyadnikov, Dan Shapiro, Adam Thomson Design: Alex Mikhaylov, Andrey Krasavin 2D Animation: Andrey Krasavin, Federico Gonzalez, Dan Shapiro Modelling: E.D.Satan, Evaldas Cesnavicius Texturing: E.D.Satan, Konstantin Zankov Animation: Dmitriy Paukov, Max Chelyadnikov Simulation: Dmitriy Paukov Rendering: Max Chelyadnikov Compositing: Max Chelyadnikov, Dan Shapiro, Storyboard Artist: Rolo Ledesma Production Manager: Dustin Pownall Sound Design: Wesley Slover

FastCo Design "The Most Important Design Jobs Of The Future"

This FastCo article compiled by Suzanne LaBarre is a phenomenal call out of the diversity of jobs growing out of the rapidly changing design industry, even now, I would argue.  I feel that the Fusionist Designer Role describes exactly the approach, process and value I bring as a designer.  Thank you!!!!

Designers at Google, Microsoft, Autodesk, Ideo, Artefact, Teague, Lunar, Huge, New Deal, and fuseproject predict 18 new design jobs.

Yesterday's graphic designers are today's UX designers. Will tomorrow's UX designers will be avatar programmers, fusionists, and artificial organ designers? Yes, according to the illustrious roster of design leaders we spoke with here.

Design has matured from a largely stylistic endeavor to a field tasked with solving thorny technological and social problems, an evolution that will accelerate as companies enlist designers for increasingly complex opportunities, from self-driving cars to human biology. "Over the next five years, design as a profession will continue to evolve into a hybrid industry that is considered as much technical as it is creative," says Dave Miller, a recruiter at the design consultancy Artefact. "A new wave of designers formally educated in human-centered design—taught to weave together research, interaction, visual and code to solve incredibly gnarly 21st-century problems—will move into leadership positions. They will push the industry to new heights of sophistication."

Fusionist - Nominated by Asta Roseway, principal research designer, Microsoft Research
Early technology was, in its most basic form, like a huge block of ice: not very accessible, clunky, and necessitating specialists to handle. Now as technology melts, it will transform from solid to liquid to gas, permeating almost every aspect of our lives and creating a cross-disciplinary opportunities. Such diffusion will become the foundation for future design jobs. The designer’s role therefore will be to act as the "fusion" between art, engineering, research, and science. Her ability to think critically while working seamlessly across disciplines, blending together their best aspect, is what will make her a "Fusionist."

While still expertly versed in classical design skills, the fusionist will mix those skills with a "generalist" approach to technology, working across disciplines and interest groups. In many cases, the fusionist may feel like an outlier. The technologies she bridges will require her to expand her own capacities. She’ll need to be an expert collaborator and communicator, extending her vocabulary so that she can reverse engineer her vision into discrete items that specialists can act upon. The Fusionist will remain driven by her passion for the Future and her ability to use Design as the unifying vehicle to drive the best experience.

The global challenges that lie ahead can only be solved by a collaboration of minds and vocations, and a diversity of views. The challenge and reward for the Fusionist will be in her ability to communicate, comprehend, and connect all parties through design. This is already beginning to happen in the emerging fields of biofabrication and wearable technology. Stemming from biotech, biofabrication is a new cross disciplinary movement between the design and science that is generating the next wave of sustainable materials and solutions for our survival. It is not uncommon to see artists and biologists sitting together tackling the same problem. Additionally, wearable technology will see an influx of fashion designers and artists partnered with engineers, in order to create technologies that will go into our fibers and onto our skin. Fusionists will act as the bridges between emerging fields, and their ability to bring all parties together through communication and design will help bring about the greatest experiences.