MOMA Acquires @ Symbol

The Museum of Modern Art has added the typographical symbol @ to their design collection. MoMa’s chief design curator, Paola Antonelli, explains that “the @ is more ancient than you might think–Some scholars think it was invented over 1,300 years ago, as a way to reduce the Latin word “ad”–which means “at”, “to”, or “toward”–into a single penstroke.” (read full text here) In the 20th century it was considered an “oddity of typography” on most keyboards – utterly useless.

However, the @ has been revolutionized. We could not function every day life without the @ – all because of Twitter and email.

Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer who helped create the world’s first email system and is “the man who created email” according to NPR. He thought to use the @ symbol as a way to permit cross-server email routing. Tomlinson changed the rules of how the @ symbol was portrayed. Antonelli continues saying that Tomlinson “performed a powerful act of design that not only forever changed the @ sign’s significance and function, but which also has become an important part of our identity in relationship and communication with others.”

I find it interesting that something we consider an ubiquitous symbol finds placement in an renowned art museum. It reminds me of Found Art, making art out of everyday, familiar objects.

via Fast Company

Rock and Roll Metro Map

Here we have a metro map showing the most influential bands on history broken up by genre. The concept and design is by Alberto Antoniazzi, a freelance designer from Milan who has other interesting graphics on his site.

“The Rock and Roll Metro Map” designates each subway line with a genre:

A = Alternative Rock

G = Grunge

M = Heavy Metal

N = Nu-Metal

R = Pop Rockstars

P = Punk Rock

HC = Hardcore

E = Emo

Certain bands – designated as a stop – can sometimes cross multiple genres. Such bands are Metallica, Radiohead, and Aerosmith.  All in all, another fascinating way to explain the influence of music.

Being Proactive and Changing Perspective

Awesome building around Washington Square Park my friend Steph and I passed this past Saturday on the way to Dojo. Can some one identify it for me please?

My bad. My resolution to blog more regularly unfortunately has been placed on the back burner.  By far this has been my busiest semester, but as a whole I’m more content and self-aware than I have been in a while.  Between my capstone course working on a campaign for Pajama Program, doing media outreach for Long Island Children’s Museum, interning with Independent Film Channel, getting my fill of post Cold War Eastern European and Russian Cinema and Literature, developing PRestige Agency, delivering epic (if I do say so myself) speeches in Public Speaking, working on an independent study about the strategic thinking of Google for New Media, having adventures in NYC and spending quality time with my best friends – life is pretty good.

Everything seems to be coming together almost too beautifully – maybe I finally realized in my head I need to enjoy the time I have now, because nothing is constant.  Life is going to change once Graduation Day approaches.  Tonight I spent time with one of my best friends Maggie talking about how we were freshmen year and how everyone we knew has changed so.  Tables were turned slightly in that while I talked about my fears of the unknown, she talked about how one has to look forward to the future with excitement.  Every situation one finds themselves in is always subjective and in “the eye of the beholder.”  One’s perspective is the overall deciding factor on whether one is having a favorable or unfavorable experience.  It’s not worth wasting energy being negative – you miss out on seizing opportunities.

So if you are going to take anything away from this unexpected bit of optimism from yours truly (not that I am a Negative Nancy by nature – I’m truly a relatively positive person – but I do run the risk of having moments of cynicism – doesn’t everyone?) here is advice:

– Time and energy spent being stressed and sad is time and energy wasted – there must be something else  you can use that energy constructively on.

– Stop drinking coffee after noon, it is not an “elixir of life”, it’s a death sentence that leads to stress.  I speak from experience, my name is Reb and I am a recovering caffeine addict.

– If there is something you seek, something you must accomplish, take it upon yourself to figure out the right answer.  No one is going to deliver all of life’s answers on a platter.

– Acknowledge what you have, stop thinking about what you have left to acquire.  Figure out what it is that makes you unique and an asset and own it.  Never be ashamed of how you are.

– My mother (who you can call for now Barbara, my friends can call her “Mommy Carlson”) once used this metaphor on me and it has helped me more than I expected.  Imagine that you have a pitcher full of water and a table of glasses before you.  You can only filled so many glasses with so much amount of water.  Would you rather have many glasses barely filled, or a select few filled to the brim?  This is how you should look at the projects you invest yourself in.  Never stretch yourself too thin.

– Get your just rewards.  If you feel you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve, get it or let it go.  Demand the attention you deserve.

– It’s worth spending time finding the things that inspire you and ignite your creativity.  On better days I am able to start my day “combing through” the Internet looking through my Tumblr, RSS feeds, the news, etc. to find something interest and innovating that I can think about throughout the day.  Today’s great find courtesy of Kickstarter was a couple of rough sketches by The Museum Proper of their plans to create a 12-foot tall puppet.

I have a long night of homework and tasks ahead, and then it’s back to the grind in the morning.  However, instead of looking upon it in contempt, I have to admit it’s become characteristic of me to always be busy, always be thinking, always taking part.

All I want for Christmas

Here you are family and friends, My Christmas List.  Or a list of items that define my personality so much so that if having never met me and  saw all these things thrown into a drawer, you would understand me to my inner core – or at least have a good guess of my interests. Some you should take more seriously than others.

  • iTouch – smartphones are on the rise.  I have  many statuses on social networking platforms to update.  I love Verizon Wireless too much to give it up.  My iPod is finally on the fritz.  I’m hoping wherever I land my first job, a Blackberry would automatically come my way.
  • Black Hill’s Gold Jewelry
  • Books – anything by Roald Dahl, Infinite Jest , Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta (need for an independent study next semester)
  • Movies – Royal Tennenbaums –  Wed Anderson,  Woody Allen – Manhattan
  • Piano player/singer of White Rabbits Stephen Patterson.  Dear Stephen, Locking eyes with you at the Wicker Park Fest over the summer…I can’t, I can’t, I just…ugh I can’t even…marry me.
  • black tights by the truck load – I will be damned if I walk around looking like some hobo hipster.
  • “Ugg Repellent” – If I never see a pair of Uggs again, it would be too soon.
  • knitted hats – I’ll be damned if I get a cold this winter.
  • Adobe Suite – best to buy while I can claim student status
  • Black hardcover sketchbook 8.5 x 11
  • membership to Underground Library Project
  • an appearance on IFC’s “Food Party”
  • oil pastels
  • that my shoes will stop falling apart
  • that i will learn that all the walking I do is not worth ruined shoes and I should just spring for subway fair.

Outside There’s a Boxcar Waiting

I am content. Who knew that with a new found obsession with organization, this impulsive/ambitious self-expressionist with an affinity for getting flustered, can actually complete her to do list at the end of the day?

If there is one piece of advice I can spread onto others, it’s To Do Lists.  Write them, follow them, live by them.

All I can say is that for the past week there has been an extra pep in my step, tune in my head, and a smile showing up more often.  It’s due to an acknowledgment that yes, it’s awful to grow up.

The troubles of your youth are nothing compared to the issues you face now.  How I wish I could go back to the days when my biggest concern was if that strapping young lad in my psychology class noticed I wore blue today, which brings out the color of my eyes, and if he knew as much as I did how we were destined to get married and run off to a foreign country.

Poor Generation Y.  The pastimes of thier youth are growing more mediocre by the day thanks to technological advances and information overload. Take the Kindle for example.  I’m a bookworm – always have been.  My favorite memories as a child were my mother reading to my sisters and I before going to sleep, along with going to the library with my sisters after school and taking out ten books a week.  I love when I’m sitting somewhere reading and an intriguing stranger asks me what I’m reading.  Will the Kindle, a pretty fascinating bit of technology I can totally see as replacing hard copies of daily publications, take that away?  Will I read to my kids from a touch screen?

If there is such a risk, I guess I’ll take my family into the woods and we can live as hermits…but then this BA in PR I’m getting would be obsolete….

It has been hard to sit and write a well thought out entry.  Not to say that my classwork hasn’t been interesting.

I spent two hours Monday designing a logo of a monkey banging cymbals.

My Google Alerts are set to follow American Apparel – one would think I was obsessed with illegal immigrants and pornographic print ads.

I can now firmly attest to the fact that myself and my friends are the target demographic for Apple, Inc.

My homework last week was to call a customer assistance number in order to learn about customer relations.

In one of my classes, we recently took an exam.  The guy who did the best got a coupon for McDonalds.

Interpretation of Someone Else’s Inspiration

This was originally posted on my blog RBLYN Creative for my Motion Graphics class, but I thought it would also be worth sharing here.  It is a unique perspective on how to solve problems/challenges.

Characteristics of a Problem Solving, Strategic Designer Extraordinaire who “gets” the design process-
applicable for anyone who finds themselves facing long to-do lists, managing a team, or trying to accomplish a goal.

1)      A problem solving, strategic designer extraordinaire knows that In order to understand a situation fully, one must learn everything about it down to the last detail.  When approached with a situation/challenge, a problem solving, strategic designer extraordinaire knows the importance of understanding all sides and all possible angles.  This is the only way to avoid error and see all opportunities that may be presented.  Problems should be interpreted as opportunities to enhance the situation at present.  Step one for any challenge – do your research.

2)      A problem solving, strategic designer extraordinaire must be organized systematically in order to combat the chaos.  In order to meet challenges, designers must adhere to the design process, or the scientific method for those not yet past grade school.  The design process is research, brainstorming, prototype/experiment, presentation/execution, and then iteration. Once someone is able to master the process can they guarantee that their goals will be accomplished.  In this crazy world of chaos we live in, any sort of systematic process used to “figure it all out” is the key to success.

3)      A problem solving, strategic designer extraordinaire is a Renaissance man.  They must be able to do everything and learn multiple skill sets.  This is due to their ability to analyze problems from multiple viewpoints.  One must never get stuck in a rut; one can never learn too much or be too old to be further educated.  We are in an information age where new ideas are being discovered constantly and the last thing anyone wants is to be out of touch with society.  In order to stay engaged, one must always strive to be better educated and test their own abilities by constantly research, writing, sketching, brainstorming, etc.

4)      A problem solving, strategic designer extraordinaire is humble.  No one is perfect and no one has the ability to do everything.  Designers acknowledge the usefulness of team work and the ability to let go of tasks to become someone else’s responsibilities.  The delegating tasks is a sign of one who follows the design process.  It is difficult to let go of responsibilities, but it is necessary in order to give full attention to their other priorities.

5)      A problem solving, strategic designer extraordinaire treats all jobs equally.  No job is too little to be ignored or too big to be feared.  The design process is applicable to all situations, whether just a small solution is determined or a large problem is solved.