New WordPress Theme

Original BaseLayer theme
Original BaseLayer theme

I’ve been developing a new version of my wordpress theme for quite a while now and finally have it to a point that I like and have installed it on my site (you’re looking at it right now). There are a few artists using the theme already, and I worked with a design friend to come up with a nice, flexible overall layout. It has a stronger grid than my last design, and many more typography tools that are accessible within the WordPress admin area.

I’m giving away the theme for free and will be gradually updating the documentation to explain what it can do. For example, I personally don’t use pop-up galleries, but a lot of people use them so I have several versions of Colorbox built into the theme. Simply typing in the shortcode [gallery_colorbox] will create a default pop-up gallery. More info and downloads can be found here.

in transit

UnityScreenSnapz001

in transit, an installation at UICA exploring the landscape and representation from June 11 through August 6. Above is a screen shot of the interactive projection that is part of the installation. The work combines single channel projection animation, 5-channel sound, 3D printed sculptures and original drawings. The concept revolves around explorations of the Colorado landscape and interest in depicting layers of representation to the viewer.

Web developments

This is a great story about something I’ve been noticing for a while – The gradual disappearance of Flash-based Websites (as he types from his Word-Pressed powered mobile-accessible web site). It goes into much greater detail than I ever could and I think summarizes the state of the field right now. At the bottom are some great examples of cutting-edge html5 technology like Chrome Canopy.

I think Flash really paved the way for high-level user-interactivity and has greatly influenced the field. Will Flash still be influential? It is really hurting them when Apple doesn’t support Flash on mobile devices. On the other hand, does Apple risk losing market share to Android by it’s very ‘Microsoft-like’ behavior?

I really hope and wish that Java applets would become as ubiquitous and well-supported as javascript in browsers. It’s such a disappointment that it Java apps never really work in the browser, at least on a mac, considering Java is an open source framework I don’t know why it’s not supported more by Apple. Maybe it’s not needed with javascript (which has no relationship to Java, BTW) advancing at such a clip, but one can hope!

UCD Visualization Symposium

Next week the College of Arts and Media (CAM) is hosting a MFA Visualization Think Tank with designers, educators and practitioners in the area of visualization from all over the world coming together to help us design the program. Last year, CAM hosted a similar event in Film that was very successful.

Our purpose of this Think Tank is to develop “first takes” for a graduate program that uses art and design methodologies to create visual solutions and/or interpretations for the social, scientific, economic and cultural challenges facing us today

Most of the work will be during two day long sessions but there are several events that are open to the public and I have posted them to my calendar – http://www.bryanleister.com/about/calendar. The main public event is Thursday night at Starz Film center where our guests will talk about their work and answer questions.

Wednesday night, ShiftControl Studios will be talking with students in Digital Design about their work, any UCD student is welcome to attend. This Copenhagen studio is doing some of the most cutting edge work in interactive design and we’re very fortunate to have most of the studio in town for this event.

iPad versus Kindle – a design debate

kindleiphone
[poll id=”2″]

iPad versus Kindle

I asked seven digital design students to take a look at the iPad and Kindle, analyze the major points both good and bad and come to a decision about the product. The specific question is what’s going to happen a year from now. Will the Kindle be overshadowed by the iPad, or will it hold it’s own? Is there a market for both kinds of products, a dedicated e-reader and a new type of device?
Continue reading “iPad versus Kindle – a design debate”

Classic Logo – v. 2.0

logos
I thought it would be fun to revisit a classic assignment Michael Beirut mentioned in a recent post on DesignObserver.com where he showed his student portfolio. The idea is to simplify an animal to it’s most essential elements and create a logo-like image. It occurred to me that those same skills are exactly what is needed when designing characters for game design, and with the game engine Unity now free we should introduce motion as an element.

Continue reading “Classic Logo – v. 2.0”

Arduino in the Wall Street Journal

My favorite microcontroller, the Arduino, has hit the big time – a WSJ feature article! For the uninitiated, the Arduino can be hooked up to sensors to detect presence and then it can send out signals to the computer or to motors, LED lights and a bunch of other stuff. The nice thing about doing interactive design with the Arduino, is that it can be a stand-alone installation without the need for a computer to remain attached.

RPS series

Great article chronicling the development of a game based on the Rock, Paper, Shotgun web site. This is a guy who does not know code, but is still able to develop a working game in two weeks! Shows how much fun it is to work with Unity!