Tag interests

The Original Plan.

In my final year of undergraduate studies, I and a few of my friends developed a computer game called “Meltdown 2018.”  The concept was based around a return to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant more than three decades after it’s unfortunate demise.

My work on the computer graphics portion of the game triggered a lengthy pursuit that would consume my life for the next ten years.  My goal was not necessarily to develop computer games, but rather to become immersed in computer graphics at its core; I wanted to understand graphics and mathematical concepts well enough to develop software applications based upon these ideas.

Fortunately, I was able to achieve several successes during this period:

  • I developed a modeling plug-in for a popular 3D modeling and rendering application.
  • I developed a NOAA weather satellite image interpreter.
  • I obtained an in-depth understanding of how wavelets are used for image compression (e.g. JPEG).
  • I developed a basic rendering application based on radiosity principles.

For numerous reasons, I eventually abandoned this technical pursuit and focused my energies on the creative-side (e.g. Maya, Gnomon Workshop, ZBrush).  While I have some regrets, I’ve gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience since that time.  However, for someone who loves playing in both areas, it’s hard not to return to this original path – at least for a short while!

Mental struggles aside, I thought it fitting to include a video of a software developer (Eric Soulvie) who continued the journey and developed a powerful physics plug-in for Modo (based upon the open source Bullet Physics engine).  It’s called Recoil.

It’s something that I am excited to play around with as I can already envision finding uses for such a tool in a design context.

Eyes Wide Open II.

Several years ago, I designed a sugar dispenser for an industrial design class.  I decided on this particular challenge after seeing just how quickly sugar poured out of a similar dispenser at a local restaurant.  Through the design process, I discovered that it was my various interests that played a key role in the final product.

Here are a few examples:

Model Railroading: Once I had a general idea for what the dispenser would look like along with the relative dimensions, I created “sketch models” which are basically rough prototypes made from various materials.  Thinking back to my model railroading days, I chose styrene plastic for later prototypes along with the final model.  Styrene is typically used for the construction of miniature buildings used on a model railroad, and I decided that the material would work well for this project.

Architecture (Core): I wanted the dispenser to be very modern looking and sleek; ultimately something much different from those you would normally see in a restaurant.  I ultimately decided to model the dispenser similar in structure to a modern skyscraper, and I chose a variation of styrene to match the building’s fascade (narrow vertical lines without horizontal equivalents).

Architecture (Supplemental): While I liked the skyscraper concept, I felt that another design element was needed.  In one of my visits to the Los Angeles area I noticed a building that had a protruding metal “screen” with large-scale letters inset within (negative space).  I decided that I would do the reverse and project letters outward (positive space).  But what letters?

Chemistry & Flight Training: Here I combined my original undergraduate goal (chemical engineering) with my flight training experience to come up with the “surface layer” that would rest on one of the dispenser “walls.”  The chemical formula for sugar contains the elements Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen.  Similarly, the airport code relative where I was living is CHO (Charlottesville-Albemarle).  Clearly, the gods had spoken.

The process of designing an object, vehicle, experience, etc. that has value in the real world takes not only solid design skills, it requires the ability to pull from multiple disciplines and incorporate those findings into something powerful.

Until perhaps now, I have always believed that my desire for knowledge was simply leading me astray from a specialization of some sort.  My experiences over the past several years have altered this belief; I now believe my innate curiosity enables versatility and a strong design sense, two things that I highly value.

While I believe that specialization in a given field and/or domain is in my future (that was my original goal all along), I envision staying “plugged in” to just about everything and anything that interests me.  It’s these interests that will continue to play a key role in my technical and creative development – the combination of which will continue to grow beyond what I’ve accomplished to date.


New Beginning.

Territories is my new blog from which most all other creative endeavors will originate.  Territories will be a continuation of the journey described in Incubator, but the subject matter will focus less on healing / introspection and more on pure exploration – both from a concept and design perspective, as well as physical locations across the United States and around the world.

Below are some of the themes that you’ll see over the next year:

THEMES: electronic music . industrial design . graphic design . product management . emotional intelligence . advanced concept design . going beyond . HD . instructional . personal . travel . environments . deep-thinking . socialization . advancement . education . next generation . ideation . radical thinking . evolution . inspiration . post digital