All Posts in thinking

February 13, 2017 - No Comments!

“Throughout this Big Idea” article by Dave Fletcher in CIO Review

Founder Dave Fletcher was recently featured in the technology section of CIO Review. His thought-piece, "Throughout this Big Idea" offers a perspective on the history of manipulation through advertising and the importance of taking the time to absorb multiple viewpoints in the age of "Alternative Facts". Written before the 2016 Presidential election, the article presents a stark and vital viewpoint about the dangers of media manipulation from a technology industry veteran.

Modern technology and network-based communication contains and amplifies the desire originally facilitated by the print, radio and television mediums. As the internet continues to evolve, we must recognize that the quality of information is crucial. Groups of humans have always preferred to gather where people share the same beliefs, and without careful deliberation, we may continue to separate humanity into tribes of singular opinions. It's one of our great flaws, and keeps a vast majority distant from truly understanding those who oppose them. Viewpoint is religion and technology is the church. Right and wrong are blurred thanks to the internet's delivery mechanism, which facilitates quantity over quality. One could even argue that a younger generation has become accustomed to perceived communication patterns predominantly through text entry rather than actual speech - internalizing our thoughts and espousing complexity through emoji. It's faster, but certainly is a means to impede advancing our brains to their fullest potential. Wide-eyed, yet lacking wisdom, we coast dangerously close to only consuming what we understand implicitly. This is how technology captures us and how we lose our humanity; our ability to reason and the desire to better ourselves through healthy disagreement, knowledge and discourse.

Humanizing the Machine

If we learn one thing by examining the past of any medium’s evolution or any technology revolution, it's that as time goes on, we expect things to get easier. Interface design has always been about humanizing the machine - cleanly separating us from the bits and bytes; from the tedium of engaging with an electronic contraption by creating a natural interaction without falling face-first into the uncanny valley. The interfaces of the next generation of devices will follow the engagement rules perfected by the veterans of the digital era, but complexity will be undercut by the passive introduction of vocal dialogue with our device. As Artificial Intelligence improves, we will learn from and mimic the personalities of our devices. And likely, vice-versa.

Read the entire article in CIO Review: http://web-development.cioreview.com/cxoinsight/throughout-this-big-idea-nid-23278-cid-121.html

For additional information, speaking or media inquiries, please contact Sharon Terry (sharon.terry@themechanism.com)

November 4, 2016 - No Comments!

Dave Fletcher named as one of the Top 50 Creative CEO’s to Watch

dave-fletcher-ceo-to-watch

Dave Fletcher, CEO of The Mechanism is defining digital branding in a new way by maintaining an interest in and working with tactile relationships; understanding what it means to interact physically with something – whether it is a brand or an experience, and interjecting the potential of a human being actually enjoying the interaction. Under his leadership, The Mechanism strives to create affection for clients’ brands by injecting organic, fluid and meaningful interactions into the digitally-driven solutions that they are creating.

http://bit.ly/50-most-creative-ceos-to-watch

InsightsSuccess Magazine, described as an arch that is sustaining Entrepreneurs quench regarding technology and business update that is currently ruling the business world, featured The Mechanism's founder, Dave Fletcher in their latest issue in their list of Top 50 Creative CEO's to Watch.

The Mechanism’s team is selected on the basis of acumen, longevity and belief that the future is brighter when people are able to connect with one another through technology. Dave is confident that The Mechanism will continue to function as an innovator and conduit for these types of technologies while maintaining a grasp on the humanity that is required for authentic relationships between people, their devices and brands, individuals or products.

In the two-page interview, Dave candidly discusses The Mechanism's history, successes, and ways to continue to be innovative in the modern age.

We will remain visual design-focused and technology-mindful well into our foreseeable future. We can never forget that on the other side of our client’s device, there’s a human being – looking to be astonished and wishing to be connected to something bigger than themselves

Read more in the latest issue of InsightsSuccess Magazine: http://bit.ly/50-most-creative-ceos-to-watch

February 25, 2013 - Comments Off on Nova: Ancient Computer

Nova: Ancient Computer

ancient-computer-vi

PBS' Nova goes an a deep exploration of our favorite, the Antikythera Mechanism. Do not miss it, airing April 3, 2012 at 9pm on PBS.

In 1900, a storm blew a boatload of sponge divers off course and forced them to take shelter by the tiny Mediterranean island of Antikythera. Diving the next day, they discovered a 2,000 year-old Greek shipwreck. Among the ship's cargo they hauled up was an unimpressive green lump of corroded bronze. Rusted remnants of gear wheels could be seen on its surface, suggesting some kind of intricate mechanism. The first X-ray studies confirmed that idea, but how it worked and what it was for puzzled scientists for decades. Recently, hi-tech imaging has revealed the extraordinary truth: this unique clockwork machine was the world's first computer. An array of 30 intricate bronze gear wheels, originally housed in a shoebox-size wooden case, was designed to predict the dates of lunar and solar eclipses, track the Moon's subtle motions through the sky, and calculate the dates of significant events such as the Olympic Games. No device of comparable technological sophistication is known from anywhere in the world for at least another 1,000 years. So who was the genius inventor behind it? And what happened to the advanced astronomical and engineering knowledge of its makers? NOVA follows the ingenious sleuthing that finally decoded the truth behind the amazing ancient Greek computer.

 

Watch Ancient Computer Preview on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Published by: antonioortiz in The Thinking Mechanism
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February 4, 2013 - Comments Off on Machismo Manifest

Machismo Manifest

Sunday Sunday Sunday! Hope you all enjoyed the Superbowl. Even for someone so wholeheartedly disinterested in spectator sports as I, there is a certain charm to this most holy of American television events. I neither follow nor root for any team but I still had a couple of friends over for ribs, pigs in a blanket, potato wedges, and pints beyond count. We shouted and jeered during the match only to fall silent during the witty ads which vied for our attention. Long blackout aside it was a great game to watch with some ludicrous displays. Such a strong cultural tradition but kick off some inspiration.

This week I played around with a new set of grayscale markers I got. They bled a bit but I'm really liking them. Here the triumphant Raven sits atop the 49ers pickax.

This week I played around with a new set of grayscale markers I got. They bled a bit but I'm really liking them. Here the triumphant Raven sits atop the 49ers pickax.

The true beauty of football, or truly any sport, is in the skill and finesse of the players. Much like a dancer, it is an athlete's job to perfect their every movement. Last night, Jacoby Jones moved like water down the field, running through San Francisco's defensive line and returning a kickoff a remarkable 108 yards! It was a thing of beauty. Shinichi Maruyama celebrates such beauty of the body in motion in this series Nude. Made by compositing a series of photos, and not via a long exposure as one might expect, we peak into the stunning fourth dimension where movement has physical form.

Nude

Nude

Let us not forget that this is also the season for skiing. I keep telling myself this year will be the year I finally get back on the slopes but I still have no plans on the horizon. At least I can look at this marvelous website for Snowbird, a fantastic looking ski resort in Utah. The site is a wonderful showcase of clever interaction design with marvelous hover states largely based around the resort's V-shaped logo. Each page seamlessly transitions into the next with such fluidity it's like watching a master carve up the moguls on a double black diamond.

Snowbird

But where does the future of sport lie. Our pastimes have remained largely unchanged for the past few decades. Yet some think athletes are now approaching the upper limits of the human body as world records grow narrower and narrower. More than ever it has become apparent that large investments of time and money are required to forge champions. And from the inspiring story of Oscar Pistorious to the betrayal of Lance Armstrong, sportsmanship is clearly undergoing a turbulent time. Who knows what's around the corner but I like to think this fantasy-retro music video might be a sign of things to come, robots and all.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin during our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Internal Mechanism
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January 16, 2013 - Comments Off on The Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt

toolbox

Nearly 20 years ago in Monterey, I met David Carson at a HOW design conference. At conferences that followed, I found that he was always up for a conversation over a beer, providing that I picked up the tab. While that seems like a very elitist behavior to leave a young designer with the burden of paying for his beverages, I didn't mind. I was impressionable, and enjoyed the fact that I could have a yearly chat with someone I considered a design hero.

Now, one of the things I learned from Carson was a list of the two items that every designer should carry at all times. I have eagerly shared this advice with designers whom I've had the honor of speaking with over the past 10 or so years as a lecturer at conferences and events. These items are: a camera and a sketchbook. You can add your own elements (a pencil, marker, pen or brush is obviously important and food helps) to the “toolbox”, but the importance of what I learned from that simple and now obvious and likely unintentional “advice” was that as a designer, part of our job is to DOCUMENT. Whether by collecting printed doodads and trinkets from our travels or simply to photograph or sketch the things that we haven't seen before, we are squirrels collecting nuts of creative nutrition to bury in our books and save them for later, when we're hungry for inspiration.

...we are squirrels collecting nuts of creative nutrition to bury in our books and save them for later, when we're hungry for inspiration

Fast forward to 2013. In thinking about those years past, I realized this morning that my recollection of conversations with Carson may be foggy. Sometimes we only remember what we want to remember - the good stuff, the takeaways of past experiences. Regardless, we now live in a world where digital devices allow us to capture - in increasing quality and seemingly unlimited quantity - our surroundings. Maybe it's easier to only have to carry around one device to photograph, write and capture life's experiences - or maybe the omnipresence of these devices, lessens the actual experience itself. Rather than simply experiencing life as it happens, perhaps we are now constantly on the wild hunt for stuff. We miss details while searching for things to happen.

Possibly the best experiences happen when we're not looking for them. In 1996, David Carson was sitting at the bar in Monterey, California, at a design conference holding court with some young impressionables like me. I joined the conversation and stayed until everyone else was too tired or drunk to continue. I never took a picture, sketched a sketch or saved an item to boost my memory of that evening. Maybe he told me to carry a camera and a sketchbook with me, or maybe I made that connection from something else he said. The point is that it doesn't matter. The tool in the designer's pack that David didn't mention was the brain -- to contain, process and recall what is important of our precious memories at a later date.

The tool in the designer’s pack that David didn’t mention was the brain — to contain, process and recall what is important of our precious memories at a later date

And if I ever see David at another conference, I'll once again listen more than speak, casually mention my point about the brain, and in the end, maybe let him buy me a beer.

July 30, 2012 - Comments Off on Meager Marble

Meager Marble

What an exhausting weekend at the beach. This past weekend I participated in my first ever Wildwood beach ultimate tournament, being the hipster that I am. Wildwood is the largest beach tournament in the world and with hundreds of teams competing it was awash with chaotic fun. On the trip back to the big city, slightly burnt and sore all over, I reflected on how lovely the beach truly is. As evidenced in this blog, I am obsessed with the ocean and the beach is the ultimate stage upon which the waves play. Though the sand may be an annoyance at times, beaches are a great inspiration.

Beach trips are a de facto part of life for most people who live near coastal regions. The sands are so loved in fact that many lakes have beaches largely thanks to human contributions. Sand creates a wonderful surface upon which to lay, play, or even sculpt. JOOheng Tan is an impressive sand sculptor who has participated in competitions around the world. This recent collaboration he did with Lowe advertising for OMO detergent is fantastic. Lowe is responsible for many familiar ads including the hit Superbowl Volkswagen ad starring a miniature Darth Vader. The youthful theme continues in this still series. Children, so often associated with playing in the sand, are here transported into a world made of the stuff allowing their imaginations to run rampant, with OMO's cleaning products allowing their parents to easily clean up the mess I suppose.

The beach is not just a local destination but very often the highlight of trips abroad. The most beautiful beaches attract tourists from far and wide who come to bask in the sun and enjoy the water. I plan to do just that when I visit the Yucatan this September but Southeast Asia has also been on my list for quite some time. The region is home to many lovely coastal areas and recently digital agency Fi helped Google create an interactive telling of the local story of Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic of the Hindu faith. The project itself is quite amazing but the case study for the project almost eclipses the work it documents. The creative design boldly expresses the region's character while clearly showing the detailed process behind the work. The study manages to even make blocks of code pretty and approachable. Be sure the check out the project itself, a modern browser and quick registration are required.

While the beach is a great medium for sculptors it can also be used a canvas. Some artists choose to create large-scale sand drawings that are as ephemeral as they are beautiful. Or others, as in this Nokia ad called "Gulp", use that impermanent quality to their advantage to facilitate huge animations. This short was shot from a crane with a cell phone camera by Aardman, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit (a personal childhood favorite). I highly suggest checking out the behind the scenes to get a sense of scale for what you're seeing.

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.

Published by: benchirlin in The Sketching Mechanism
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September 2, 2011 - Comments Off on Water Always Wins

Water Always Wins

It used to be that art was the device we used to view ourselves within the world around us. Art would help us see things in new ways, with new perspectives. Once you stood in front of Monet's Water Lilies at MoMA, a massive triptych the size of a wall, you never looked at water the same again.

Today technology is what we use to view ourselves, but unlike art, the better the technology gets the more introspective the perspective becomes. We are coddled by algorithms and mobile devices to do what we want, the way we want it, when we want it, everything shifting towards us and not the world around us.

As hurricane Irene assaulted our area with it's macabre beauty and destruction, it was hard not to think that water is truly the enemy of technology. Hard not to think that we need more artists using technology to create art that shifts our viewfinder outwards allowing us to see things again for the first time.

That is precisely what two young filmmakers did while Irene pummeled the streets of New York, and in turn shared with us a new, unexpected perspective of the city we love and often take from granted.

The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Published by: antonioortiz in The Thinking Mechanism
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August 19, 2011 - Comments Off on A Penny for your Thoughts

A Penny for your Thoughts

"A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words." Samuel Butler

In last weekend's The New York Times the paper featured an Opinion article by Neal Gabler titled The Elusive Big Idea. In the article Gabler explores the very definition of ideas and thinking. What is an idea? What are they for? And, do we care?

If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.

It is not so much that bold ideas are passé as it is that bold ideas tend to be very costly.

Patent lawsuits are rampant at the moment, everyone suing everyone else, from Lodsys suing independent developers (and Apple trying to defend them), to Google, Apple, Microsoft, HTC, Samsung, and others all suing each other in various incestuous permutations fighting to put up the the walls that will determine what "mobile" means.

And it's not just technology. Lawyers, with their walls of words, are doing a great job to make anyone pursuing creative thought feel like the simple act of thinking is always pending litigation.

Ultimately there are two kinds of ideas: those that live in the ether of concepts and angels and dreams and those that are made known through action.

The boldest idea is the one that is actually implemented. Anyone can have a thought, anyone can try to define it, contain it, claim it, sue for it, but few, those that dare develop it, build it, are the true thinkers.

Bold ideas may be passé, but bold, differentiating action is not, and never will be.

Most importantly, if you can make something happen from an idea once, you can do it again.

With apologies to Benjamin Franklin, well done is better than well sued.

The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

Published by: antonioortiz in The Thinking Mechanism
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August 5, 2011 - Comments Off on The Thinking Mechanism – 8/5/11

The Thinking Mechanism – 8/5/11

The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.

The week in quick links:

A recent study determined the most influential person on Twitter is a Brazilian comic you've never heard of.

• The interactive trailer for BBC Earth's film One Life is fantastic.

2011 Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Main Title Design. - The best in storytelling motion graphics.

Adobe previews Edge, an HTML5 tool.

The Expressive Web is the companion showcase site to Adobe's Edge.

• Getting Bin Laden - What happened that night in Abbottabad. by Nicholas Schmidle for The New Yorker. -  "The teams had barely been on target for a minute, and the mission was already veering off course."

• Facebook Buys E-book Maker Push Pop Press, Plans to Integrate its Tech.

This American Life, When Patents Attack - "Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries."