Sunday, 20 November 2011

Material Science makes Yahoo!?

Today I found this article on Yahoo!'s front page. A new lattice structure of metal created to make ultra light materials from the researchers of HRL Research Laboratories, The University of California at Irvine, and the California Institute of Technology .  It is certainly nice to see something AWESOME instead of the lives of celebrities int the headlines.  I would love to know if other people are interested in this, and how our collective knowledge would be effected if this is the news we were given?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Art Birds

I picked up the book 'Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science and Evolution' by David Rothenberg today at the lovely Ben McNally bookshop on Bay in Toronto.  In reading it on the long train ride back, I have learned that there is a little bird called the Bowerbird, that makes assemblage art in order to attract a mate.  What the best part is, each type of bowerbird makes a unique shape, and prefers different colours and materials for decoration.  What a wonderful thing to learn on a rainy Monday.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Less Human?

If you only want to smell less human all the time - now you can sweat perfume...   In the research phases at the moment, the health implications are questionable, but would it be any worse than most 'vitamins'?  For more info, check out Swallowable Parfum.  Thanks Springwise for the heads up.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


I've been feeling a bit of internet fatigue lately.  All of the amazing things I feel I've seen them already.  Even the books I've been reading lately seem lame.  Guess its time to branch out and start looking elsewhere.  If anyone has any blogs or book suggestions, let me know....

Sunday, 11 September 2011

What it looks like in my head

As I have asked my students to purchase fabric that they believe represents them, I too thought I should do the same.  I was at the beloved Emeline & Annabelle's the other day - and Em thought there was one fabric that reminded her of me... and I guessed quite correctly what she thought

Its Jay McCarroll's fabric from the collection Habitat.  Quite apt for what goes on in my head; absolute chaos, in weird inelegant lines, poor digitization resulting in weird pixilation.  I like it, so I bought some in the pink and grey colouration (the shade orange is absolutely horrendous, and is a visual atrocity, which is an assault on my design feelings).  And then I saw this today on Dexigner, highly amusing, and is how I wished the structure of my thoughts were. I will have to badly Photoshop myself in sometime in the near future, and pretend I have great structure and foresight, if only through wishful thinking.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Book Club Meeting!

So there has been a change in plans... A new book has been chosen. "The Lab: Creativity and Culture" by David Edwards. We will be discussing soon, with the first topic being that of the barbeque utensils on the cover.

If you would like to join us, let me know.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Why I like bright colours

I think I have found a good theory to explain my two year obsession for an almost fluorescent lemon yellow:

"when faced with a new situation, we tend to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavour of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future"
- Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A book club

So I have one of the best of friends in the world - who is also an amazing designer, and sometimes we are so similar it makes me wonder if she can read my mind. The other day when we skyped - and we were both wearing pretty much the same black and white striped shirt (mine had sleeves, and hers didn't - that was pretty much the only difference).

Unfortunately - we normally live a bajillion miles apart (we are currently the closest we've been in years. She's down in the Boston area and I'm a 6 hr drive away in Montreal - too bad neither of us have cars). So with such in common - we often read the same books, and always are looking for projects we can work on together.

We've finally come up with a good long distance project; a book club focusing on our fascination with Design and the Future. The first book we are reading is "The Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil. So if you would like to join in on the discussion, pick up the book, and get reading, further details on our discussion plans will be posted soon.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Subtle Stephanie, really subtle...

So I'm usually a fish out of water, acting a ridiculous fool most places I go - mostly because I don't really understand the dynamics; an outsider (or more encouragingly an Outlier).

This past week I went to the conference Subtle Technologies in Toronto. I think I found my people. It was amazing, and so full of people doing amazing things, and all wanting to work together in some way. It was the first time in two years I felt as if I was with my tribe, and that people were behind me, and likewise I wanted to get behind whatever they were doing and support them. Someone mentioned that the Subtle Tech people become like a family - it certainly felt that way, in the best possible light.

PS - thanks for the photos Jenny - I stole it from the Facebook.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

biopolymers out of everything?

I try to stay attuned to what's going on with biopolymers and a few things have popped out recently in regards to new functional options. In the past week I got some information about biopolymers made out of chicken feathers (though I thought I might have seen this one before). And a new funding for 'spider silk' biopolymer implementation. If only I could get my designer hands on some of those materials - AMAZING - absolutely AMAZING!

All of the news including Pepsi's 100% biopolymer bottle have given me great hope for the industry - I'm certainly hoping its not a passing trend, but creates sustainable options for the future of materials.

The photo above is some of my preliminary bioplastic research back in 2007 - I can't believe its been that long!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


I was looking at my blog this morning, and I noticed something really weird. It was an advertisement. Not just any old ad, but one promoting investment in oil.I think the the Google bots/spiders/whatever got this one wrong - and not just a little bit but A LOT wrong. It shocked me at first, and now just makes me laugh a little bit.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Project Inspirations

In trying to figure out an economical method for storing all of my imaginary materials - I came across this image from Ferm Living:

Now it may not look like much at the moment, but I have a plan. My favorite thing to buy when I have cash in my wallet are empty wine crates from the local SAQ. They are beautiful wood, and they sell them for a very small sum of money for charity.

Step 1: Buy crates - use an oil rub to make them the same colour as the ones in the picture, and then line with some sort of textile - I think plain muslin or canvas should be sufficient for this project.

Step 2: Get them set up like this - or think about how this can be translated into a drawer type structure

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Book Report : The End of Oil

So I read The End of Oil throughout the past couple of weeks. It was a spur of the moment purchase at the used bookstore at the beginning of February - and I'm so glad the purchase was made. It was published in 2005, and already some of the forecasting in regards to the price of oil, increased production from non-traditional sources (tar sands etc...) have come to pass. It seemed like a relatively well balanced book in regards to its honesty about the future of energy, which I appreciated greatly. I loved it and it affirmed what I knew, and gave me more insight into the politics of oil.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Book Report: something on Nanotech

This is going to be a rather lack luster book report, but I felt I should write it anyhow. I read a book recently on the ethics and pitfalls of Nanotechnology - I think it was an Earthscan book if that helps at all. It was a great series of chapters from many different sources all about the future developments of nanotechnology looking at the ethical development of the industry, and many of the up and coming developments - soooo exciting (I love science) . I found the book - its called Nanotechnology: Risk, Ethics and Law, and overall it was great for an overview of the future of this field.
Anyhow, the only thing that I can actually remember from the book - is that we should approach the developments in nanotechnology with caution, as the full ramifications of each of the new technologies are unknown, and when we are looking at particles at that scale, it could have dramatic effects on life from the cellular level. That, and that the name for the thing we should be concerned about is AWESOME - 'Free Radicals', I want to be a 'Free Radical' - if I was cool/geeky enough to have a band I would name it 'Free Radicals', I can picture the punk inspired font right now...