I walk by a shuttered Borders everyday on the way to work. It always gets me thinking, “What’s next?” An institution, 40 years standing, now gone, in an instant.
A TIME article discusses five reasons Borders failed: late entry to the web, slow adoption and minimal focus on eBooks, too much focus on music CDs, and then broader business issues such as having too large a footprint and too much debt.
Amazon and B&N were busy creating Kindles and NOOKS and investing in marketing to get them on the top of consumers’ minds. They were re-inventing, respecting change.
Borders lost focus of what consumers really valued: easy and affordable access to content.
The stores were “extras” that simply did not provide enough value to substantiate the trip and the higher retail prices. Reading itself no longer was a gathering experience. Coffee shops, like Starbucks, were quickly filling that void.
Who would of thought a major bookstore chain could have been ushered into bankruptcy by a $99 device and a WiFi connection?
So my question is, “What’s next?” As with any disruptive technology people tend to assume that’s it—there’s no more room for innovation.
So this brings me to today, where I think of last weeks launch of AJ Mobile. Our charter for these featured solutions is to help companies and organizations communicate with their audiences via mobile channels. Currently we are focusing on immediate needs: How do we transition current means of communication to mobile with the same content and framework? A meeting schedule becomes a digital meeting schedule. A communications portal becomes a platform solution delivered via an app. These are great solutions that will serve immediate needs.
So where does Borders fit in? It propels me to ask, “Why?” and “What can be?” not just “How?” And in doing so in tandem with developing our current solutions think of novel ways for communication outside of today’s current constructs. Thank you, Borders for teaching me to never stop inventing.
Perspective plays an enormous role in shaping the way we view life and our surroundings. In the hand of artists and designers perspective has contributed to the evolution of artistic compositions, taking us from cave drawings through the Renaissance and to modern 3D renderings. This evolving perspective has arguably affected our collective consciousness as we can visualize far more dynamic views of our world. Nowhere is this modern perspective more interestingly and pleasantly depicted than in the world of 'Tilt Shift Photography'. The tilt shift lens rotates on multiple axes and gives the viewer the sense that real world environments are being somehow observed through a magnifying glass from some otherworldly plane. Seeing the real and often challenging world we all live in depicted as some faraway lilliputian land offers a very unique and possibly reassuring perspective; quite a gift.
Photo Credit: Jose Minarro Vivancos
HERE are some great examples of this style of photography. Note: These are real photographs.
Creepy cool reminder that projection doesn't always have to be on a screen, and doesn't always have to tell a story.
Check out what the world's greatest museums are doing with our screens. The potential to enhance any intellectual experience with apps is profound.
"There is no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you've never dreamed were possible." - Alexander McQueen
I had the most cherished pleasure of seeing the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit at the Met this summer. The curation was impeccable. The presentation was exquisite. Alexander McQueen's pieces were enveloped in writing, audio design, lighting, media and showcased to perfection (aside from the crowds – it is rare you view art shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow engaged audience members). The entire experience set a moving and emotional stage for his artwork.
Alexander McQueen was a true visionary. He did not simply check off his list and move on once he did his job of creating fashions. He created an experience, and therefore an everlasting memory. He brought what is beyond most other's wildest imagination to life. He mastered beautiful, moving, ethereal, fashion – breathtaking art.
One example is for his FW0607 Collection, he delivered his inventive creativity to his audience on the runway in the form of a 3D hologram of Kate Moss dressed in one of his pieces and set to music. On a mannequin or more traditionally on a model strutting down the runway, an entirely different interaction and experience would have resulted, void of this same delicate beauty and emotion which captures his vision so well.
Had his "production schedule" allowed for the more of his fashion pieces to have been created sooner, much prior to the live runway show, he would have done the entire collection in hologram. Here is a view from the audience perspective:
Alexander McQueen took a risk in that he made a large investment in something which had never been done before. He had many important and critical people in the audience who were there to see a runway show. Due to the fact that he was meticulous in executing his vision all the way, to his highest standard, despite going against the grain, I do not imagine anyone minded…
The filmmaker who worked with McQueen to create the hologram, Baillie Walsh, later went on to create both a controversial yet stunning ad for Cadbury Flake:
as well as another 3D video with Kate Moss using state-of-the-art Phantom cameras (put on your 3D glasses for this one):
May we continue to embrace and nurture our very own wildest imagination and continue to inspire and be inspired by the artist in each and every one of us.
Bluebrain’s latest release is not a traditional album — it can’t be listened to passively in one sitting or, for that matter, at just any location. Central Park (’Listen To The Light’) is a site-specific work of music that responds to the listeners location within the stretch of green of the same name in New York City. Available only as an iPhone and iPad app, the album will be released as a free download starting October 4th, 2011.
Central Park (’Listen To The Light’) is the second in a series of site-specific app-albums, following The National Mall, released last May, designed to experienced within the boundaries of the parks in New York and Washington DC respectively.
Both albums work by tracking a user’s location via the iPhones built-in GPS capabilities. Hundreds of zones within the landscape are tagged and alter the sound based on where the listener is located in proximity to them. Zones overlap and interact in dynamic ways that, while far from random, will yield a unique experience with each listen.
So this is pretty much amazing — no two listens will ever be exactly the same. BRB pitching a thinkpiece about participatory, multisensory, active listening to every music publication EVER.
Ok Go has made a name for themselves creating interesting, outside the box, and innovative music videos. Their first hit was the Treadmill Dance, which was a hot item to perform at high school talent shows that year.
Then there was the absolutely awesome This Too Shall Pass whose list of collaborators, technicians, scientists, producers, and film crew rivals that of the huge conferences we produce.
I think their latest creation beats the rest however.
HTML5 is the latest revision of HTML and "its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices." The first Google Chrome and HTML5 experience I encountered was when Ned shared this Arcade Fire interactive film with me (view in Google Chrome). It allows you to put in your home address, and customizes the viewing experience with Google images of your street and house.
Well, Ok Go has teamed up with Pilobolus (one of my favorite dance companies), and Google to create an interactive film. You can insert your own message before viewing the video, and towards the end of the film, your message is displayed in a custom manner. I made one for AJ that you can view HERE (view in Google chrome). For those of you who don’t have Chrome, you can watch a not as cool and unpersonalized version on YouTube.
A surprising, useful, and inventive way to use space that could easily be written off as unusable:
"In Warsaw, Poland in the district of Wola lies a small crack of space between the buildings on 22 Chłodna Street and 74 Żelazna Street. Jakub Szczęsny of Centrala, recognized the potential to create something unique within this narrow area, and derived a design of an art installation entitled Keret House. The house upon completion shall become the narrowest house inWarsaw, measuring an interior that will vary between 122 centimeters and 72 centimeters in its narrowest spot." READ MORE
Han's Rosling's "200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes"
Brings statistics to life with a compelling melding of animated graphics and video.
If you thought temporary tattoos were a thing of your childhood, think again. Designer Tina Eisenberg takes the old fad and shakes it up with some truly interesting art.