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Field Study

An Unedited view of design and thought process:

work, experimental and otherwise by Keenan Cummings

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

—a quote without a source from a comment on A VC: The Limits of Capitalism (via fred-wilson)

(via bijan)

짱!!! Been playing with some Korean typography

짱!!! Been playing with some Korean typography

Kanye or Nietzsche?

Last week there was a Twitter conversation about Kanye, greatness, authenticity, genius, talent, gimmicks, hubris and excellence. Nietzsche came up (re: the Übermensch) and today I stumbled on this quote where Friedrich himself is describing his own work:

With [this book] I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. This book, with a voice bridging centuries, is not only the highest book there is, the book that is truly characterized by the air of the heights—the whole fact of man lies beneath it at a tremendous distance—it is also the deepest, born out of the innermost wealth of truth, an inexhaustible well to which no pail descends without coming up again filled with gold and goodness.

Replace “book” with “album” and the resemblance uncanny. Kanye is not the first of his kind but they are rare. I’m sure, like Kanye, Nietzsche had his fair share of critics and detractors. Those people have faded with time; the work remains.

New way to share Days!

It’s getting better all the time! We just launched an entirely new version of our Days permalink pages. Each day now plays as a beautiful slideshow. It’s the best way to share the story of your day.

It gets even better. You can now embed you day on your blog. We had a significant day for our family two weeks ago — our second son was born on Sunday, October 27th. I was able to use Days to document the entire experience and then share that with our friends and family. Check out the embedded version of that day below:

An idea is not a design
A design is not a prototype
A prototype is not a program
A program is not a product
A product is not a business
A business is not profits

What are first time entrepreneurs often completely blind too? (via cdixon)

he goes on: “There are new skills and new lessons at each of those turns. Each of those needs to be done well. The real wisdom of entrepreneurship is to know what you do well and to value—rather than disdain—what others do that you don’t.”

++ emotional energy
- - physical energy

—For me, this sums up my experience with Brooklyn Beta, but I think this is true of the best experiences in life. Work, play, live, and love until you are exhausted and fulfilled.

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

—Arthur Schopenhauer (via Swissmiss)

Develop for Tumblr Locally!

I really love Tumblr. I reeeeaaaaaallllly, really love Tumblr! For me it is a weekend craft box, a simple kit of magazine scraps and pipe cleaners and markers and white paste. It is a place where I can experiment with ugly bits and bad code. I am free here to make weird, experimental, emotional, ridiculous, collaborative, anonymous, curatorial, and archival things.

Tumblr in many ways is a perfect pro-am tool (another current obsession of mine: pro-am tools that give anyone access to the resources and ability to create in unpolished, imperfect, low-budget, lo-fi ways. And many of them come with communities hungry for that creativity). But for anyone breaking through the wall of out-of-box tumblogging, you’re likely to run into the limitations of the tool. Developing and customizing themes can be a chore with Tumblr’s in-browser customization panel. Their code editor is a feat of engineering and design, but for any serious development, it can get pretty frustrating. You can write locally, but are stuck with a messy process of copy, paste, save, tab over, refresh, view, repeat. 

I have discovered — ready for this?!? — an easy way to do semi-local, semi-live development on your Tumblog! 



Simple (semi) Local Development for Tumblr

1. Upload your CSS/JS files to a folder in dropbox (make sure this location won’t change during development).

image

1. Right click the file in dropbox and select “share dropbox link”. You’ll get a link that looks something like this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/abcdef1234567/main.css

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2. Append that link with “?dl=1”. That changes the link from Dropbox’s default view document link to a download link. Since you are linking to this file as a page resource, you’ll want your site to be downloading just the CSS file on page load. If you link to Dropbox’s view link, the browser won’t know what to do with it. Now you just go use link tag in the <head> of your theme code to reference this file.

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3. Edit your CSS/JS file in your favorite code editor — no more janky in-browser code editor! Use LiveReload to dynamically process your changes live. Just set LiveReload to watch the project folder on dropbox. Then, in your browser, go to the live page you are working on and turn on LiveReload. Everytime you hit “⌘S”, it will force a refresh of the page resources — instead of getting an entire page refresh, only your CSS or JS will update — which is pretty great!

This is not true local development like you get in Wordpress. You still need an internet connection. You are still editing content and code that is on both Tumblr’s and Dropbox’s servers. But it FEELS like local development. It is fast and live and automatic.There is a short delay, but it is soooooooo much more tolerable than working in the Tumblr code editor, saving, tabbing over to the live page, and force refreshing (which sometimes doesn’t grab the new CSS since the existing CSS caches).

Good luck! Make great things! Leave more tips if you have them!

Big news! We&#8217;ve lined up our final two debaters for next week&#8217;s debate on whether Designers Make the Best CEOs! Charles Adler (Cofounder/Creative Director of Kickstarter) will be joining the team arguing for the motion, and Jay Parkinson (CEO of Sherpaa, futurist doctor) will be joining the team arguing against. It&#8217;s going to be wild!
get a ticket!

Big news! We’ve lined up our final two debaters for next week’s debate on whether Designers Make the Best CEOs! Charles Adler (Cofounder/Creative Director of Kickstarter) will be joining the team arguing for the motion, and Jay Parkinson (CEO of Sherpaa, futurist doctor) will be joining the team arguing against. It’s going to be wild!

get a ticket!

You learn to do things that matter by doing a lot of things that don’t matter, and so in the long run, they matter. Respect the experiments

Do Designer&#8217;s make the best CEOs? Next week (Tuesday, October 1st) come watch Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss), Rick Webb (Founder, Barbarian Group), Craig Shapiro (Good Magazine, Collaborative Fund), and Gadi Amit (President, New Deal Design) battle for honor and glory. Debbie Millman (Design Matters, Sterling Brands) will be keeping things civil and moderating the proceedings. And YOU, the audience will decide who takes home the title of Master Debater!
get a ticket!

Do Designer’s make the best CEOs? Next week (Tuesday, October 1st) come watch Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss), Rick Webb (Founder, Barbarian Group), Craig Shapiro (Good Magazine, Collaborative Fund), and Gadi Amit (President, New Deal Design) battle for honor and glory. Debbie Millman (Design Matters, Sterling Brands) will be keeping things civil and moderating the proceedings. And YOU, the audience will decide who takes home the title of Master Debater!

get a ticket!

Another old piece of student work. Unicorn meat is the best meat of all the meats

Another old piece of student work. Unicorn meat is the best meat of all the meats

Digging up some more old student work. This was for a poster called All American.

Digging up some more old student work. This was for a poster called All American.

Been going through some old archives and found some student work. The photoshop work on this is so bad but I still love the idea of this. I think I was inspired by this classic.

Been going through some old archives and found some student work. The photoshop work on this is so bad but I still love the idea of this. I think I was inspired by this classic.

We have plans to grow the debate club starting with a few chapters in larger US cities. Then we move on to international chapters&#8230;
Check out our upcoming event in NYC &gt;

We have plans to grow the debate club starting with a few chapters in larger US cities. Then we move on to international chapters…

Check out our upcoming event in NYC >