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All posts by Alex Cornell

Alex Cornell is a San Francisco-based Designer and Musician. He is a cofounder of Firespotter Labs, a Google Ventures funded startup. He has also worked for IDEO, Plancast, and many other Bay Area companies as a UI/UX and brand designer. Recently he passed over 2 million views on YouTube where he maintains a periodic online musical presence. Contact Alex: emailE=('alex@' + 'iso50.com') document.write( '' + emailE + '' ) Links for Alex Cornell: Alex's main site / portfolio Alex on Twitter Alex's Music

Alex Goes to Japan 2010

Posted by Alex


Right now I’m packing for my trip to Japan tomorrow. I will be in Tokyo for 10 days, exploring and adventuring around with a photographer friend. It will be my second time visiting Tokyo (I went by myself for two weeks in 2008). Since I’ve been before, my to-do list this time is quite different from the last; I plowed through about three guidebooks worth of tourist attractions last time. With this trip, I am going to try and stay off the beaten path and explore parts of Tokyo I either missed or hadn’t heard about yet.

I’ll also be focusing a lot more on my photography. I was shooting from the hip with my D40 two years ago (gallery) — this time I’ll take a little more care and consideration with my shots. I’ll be carting the MKII with me everywhere and will be posting periodic pictures and travel updates. My Twitter should also be fairly active with Tokyo related musings.

I’ll definitely be on the lookout for all sorts of design related artifcats and thingamabobs. If anyone has any Tokyo recommendations along these lines, I am all ears.

Related: Scott’s trip from 2008

Tauba Auerbach

Posted by Alex




These reconfigured typewriters are by Tauba Auerbach. Olivettis looks awesome to begin with, so these souped-up specimens take it to the next level. I can’t make sense of the altered readouts of these machines, but apparently there is a system at work:

Auerbach often bases her work on these sorts of solvable codes or systems. In one of her works, a series of reconfigured typewriters, she alters the keys so that their letters and symbols no longer correspond to what appears on the paper. The typewriters are painted with clues to the logic of their new operating systems; once each code is cracked, the machine becomes functional again. Link

She’ll show in the Whitney Museum in NYC until May 30th 2010.

Jason Hill

Posted by Alex


I was really taken by this poster by Jason Hill. All of the elements are appealing to me; the type, the illustration style, and even the words chosen. I would imagine anything held at the “MonOrchid gallery” must be kind of awesome to live up to such a sexy name. I wasn’t familiar with Jason’s work previously, but he has some really interesting pieces in his portfolio. His Dreamscape series is pretty rad.

Dieter Rams in Frankfurt

Posted by Alex



I am very jealous of any of our readers that are able to make it to this event. Starting May 22, the Less is More exhibit will be at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. The exhibit surveys Dieter Rams entire body of work and is also accompanied by a lecture series. I’m hoping this Vitsoe sponsored roving exhibit will eventually make its way to California. Though the last time I wanted to visit a design museum, I had to all the way to Milan.

If you can’t make it to the event, do remember the 800 page catalog I posted on not long ago. This book is terrific. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, they are available from Vitsoe and Amazon.

Dribbble

Posted by Alex


Dribbble is a place to share little snapshots of what you’re working on. It’s kind of like Twitter, except instead of being limited to 140 characters, you’re limited to 120,000 pixels. Better have a good eye for cropping!

Dribbble is show and tell for designers, developers and other creatives. Members share sneak peeks of their work as “shots” — small screenshots of the designs and applications they are working on. It’s also a place to talk design, give and receive feedback and iterate toward better work.

They exited private beta about a month ago and are in invite-only mode right now. I’m very impressed with how solid the site feels overall. Seems like they spent a really long time finessing all of the details. I haven’t had a chance to ‘dribbble’ any of my own projects, but I really like the concept and I think it could be really fun to use. If you want to try it out, you’ll need to be drafted.

Renaud Hallee

Posted by Alex


Sonar and Gravité by Renaud Hallee. Both are ridiculously awesome. Make sure to watch Sonar until at least 1:17, that’s my favorite part. Mega simple ideas like these are endlessly satisfying to me (especially when executed this well). I want to see more from Renaud! Both of these are almost a year old now, would love to see what he’s been up to recently.

via Kitsune Noir

Overnewsed but Uninformed

Posted by Alex






Overnewsed but Uninformed is a collection of infographics and by Stefan Bräutigam. When I first saw the title, I misread it thinking it said Overnewsed and Uniformed, which could also have made sense strangely enough. As it is, Stefan point is something we all can relate to: feeling overwhelmed with incoming “news” while actually learning nothing at all. At least that’s what I can gather, some may be lost in translation. Either way, the design is pretty brilliant.

via information aesthetics

Volkswagen Folding Bik.e

Posted by Alex




We think far beyond the car as such, with a focus on mobility in general. We do this regularly in concept teams made up of specialists with a mission to look into the future and give up existing conventions. – Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg

The two wheeler above is Volkswagen’s latest bid in their mission to become the most innovative and environmentally friendly car maker in the world. Of course the VW Bik.e looks just like a bike, though I didn’t notice the lack of pedals at first (indicates how often I ride a bike). This folding contraption is battery powered and has a range of 12.5 miles, with a top speed of 12.5 mph (apparently allows legal helmet-less riding). Given these specs it’s definitely intended as an supplement to your car. In its collapsed state, it easily fits inside the spare tire compartment in your vehicle. Check out the video below for the animation showing it going from bike to tire. Sounds like it might actually be for sale too, eventually.

As an idea I am skeptical. I don’t like the reliance on cars to get you to a place where you can practically bike about. If you don’t live in a dense city or a city center, this solution is always going to be a car + bike situation. While the design is obviously a step in the right overall direction, I prefer urban mobility solutions that remove cars from the equation completely. That said, this is definitely the coolest looking folding bike concept I have seen. (Here is another one if you are interested, this one with pedals.)